Month: April 2016

  • April 30: nudes and nudes

    NUDES AND NUDES The nude takes many forms, and serves many agendas. Here are four examples, proving that in art, as elsewhere, form follows function. Peter Paul Rubens devoted himself to fleshy, sensual women–richly detailed, like everything else in his paintings. The danger in being so single-minded is that the world is wide, and it […]

  • April 23: the studiolo

    THE STUDIOLO I never visit the Metropolitan Museum in New York without devoting a few minutes to Gallery 501: the Studiolo, or study room, from the ducal palace of Gubbio, dating from 1478-82. Its murals are executed in intarsia, or wood inlay. Everything between the text band of gold and blue at the top and the red tiles at […]

  • April 16: at the Whitney–fine and oh please!

    AT THE WHITNEY–FINE and OH PLEASE! The current hanging at the new Whitney in New York includes several galleries of portraits. A mixed bag, as big shows tend to be. The standout on the quality side is this intricate portrait of Andy Warhol by Alice Neel (1900-1984), which I’d never seen in the flesh before. The […]

  • April 9: a Trump portait

    A TRUMP PORTRAIT This blog largely concerns itself with good art, because that is where the most interesting ideas are found. But bad art, while not uplifting, can still be full of information. Here we have an example. The portrait (of Donald Trump, in case you didn’t recognize him) is feeble and kitchy, and the massive gold […]

  • April 2: a favorite Fra Angelico

    A FAVORITE FRA ANGELICO Fra Angelico (1395-1440) produced many fine paintings, but this one engages particularly by the boldness of its abstraction. We have two vignettes, subtly united: the bottom of the bed platform aligns with the base of the wall in the right half; the curtain rod aligns with the top of the doorway; the little window on the […]