Month: August 2016

  • August 27: dipping into SFMOMA

    DIPPING INTO SFMOMA The newly expanded San Francisco Museum of Modern Art exhibits a disappointing proportion of fashion-chasing dreck (Jeff Koons floating basketballs, ferheavenssake, and down from there), but there are some delights. Two examples: A gallery devoted to the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, consisting of several groups of closely hung, identically framed photos […]

  • August 20: better, definitely better

    BETTER, DEFINITELY BETTER The collapse of The New Yorker as cartoon mecca is a sad tale. There have been bright spots–Roz Chast, for example–but in general, year after year the work has gotten weaker and weaker, smaller and smaller. Lately, however, there are hopeful glimmers. Stronger artists, braver, more original stuff. An unhappy proportion of New Yorker cartoons […]

  • August 13: St. Jerome in his study

        This piece by Antonello da Messina never fails to engage me. I suppose it’s because I would love it if my own studio were as rich and cerebral as this. The elevated carrel is perhaps a little cute, and there aren’t nearly enough books, but the view from the windows is delightful, the […]

  • August 6: Saturn, one way or other

    SATURN, ONE WAY OR OTHER Some subjects are congenial for a particular artist, while others are not. Consider–just to seize on a random example–Saturn devouring his children, and compare the approaches of Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640) and Francisco Goya (1746 – 1828). Rubens is notable in his mainstream work for the literalness of his plump […]