Category Archives: Commentary

Opinion or analysis concerning whatever’s on my mind.

Be Paint

… [Clement] Greenberg’s organizing idea was surprisingly simple: modern painting, having ceased to be illustrative, ought to be decorative. Once all the old jobs of painting—portraying the bank president, showing off the manor house, imagining the big battle—had been turned … Continue reading

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But Also Thank the Devil

The worst way to defeat a social or cultural ill is to declare war on it. The U.S. declares war on problems it can’t or won’t solve. The worst way to foster a social or cultural good is to declare … Continue reading

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Un pinar y un mar.

Contrastes. Un pinar y un mar. Alba — camino, verde, azul, los pájaros que viven en el bosque… son palabras que ahora [now] tú reconoces [recognize].

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The ‘Open-(Ahem)’

The polite, socially acceptable name by which it’s currently known is the medlar. But for the best part of 900 years, the fruit was called the “open-arse” – thought to be a reference to the appearance of its own large … Continue reading

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Wide Load

Jason Farrago lavishes a container shipload of exegetical rumination on Julie Mehretu’s paintings. Lines accreted in an essentially radial configuration, with large arcs orbiting an absent central axis, and orthogonal spokes sprouting from the core. (The Mehretu black line is … Continue reading

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Clarice Beckett – The Present Moment — leonieandrews — Silicon Valley Types

“roll up your catalogue and view each picture through it. … You will be rewarded with a wonderful suggestion of light and air and sufficient detail, and finish.” So said critic Percy Leason and  fellow student of Clarice Beckett (1887- … Continue reading

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Animales/Animals

Learn Spanish Knowing Mexican Culture/Blanca Caballero Animales/Animals

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‘El Borracho’ de Joaquín Sorolla

“As if in preparation, with this deeply human painting he returned to his engagement with the Spanish peasant and, perhaps as important, to making brilliant use once more of the indispensable Spanish colour – black.” (Mark Brown, “National Gallery buys … Continue reading

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Still Life

(c) 2021 JMN

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Story Power

There is one form of power that has fascinated me ever since I was a girl… the power of storytelling. In this May, 2019 essay, novelist Elena Ferrante writes that the “Decameron” by Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) made a great impression … Continue reading

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