Tag Archives: criticism

‘Explicit and Mysterious’

I’m a child of ranchers. Because of how misshapen and reactionary mythic cowboy culture is in America, I’m a fool for painting that introduces what Roberta Smith terms the “subversive theme of the gay black cowboy.” And as usual, Ms. … Continue reading

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A Hopper Reveal

It’s interesting to see instances of a teenage Edward Hopper’s copying of other artists, the more so as it touches on the reputation he cultivated “as an artist whose innate genius allowed him to emerge on the scene without a … Continue reading

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The Gargoyles’ Grin

In 1915, Wallace Stevens offered Harriet Monroe, founder of Poetry (the magazine), several poems that included Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock. “She returned them… finding them ‘recondite, erudite, provocatively obscure… all with ‘a kind of modern-gargoyle grin to them,’” writes Stevens … Continue reading

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Prosodic Moments in Poeisis

In English, the difficulty of perceiving even brief isosyllabic lines as rhythmically equivalent is aggravated by the inordinate power of stressed syllables… The mashup of mystification about versifying that’s available online furnishes what I call Prosodic Moments — when phraseology … Continue reading

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The Pain of Poetry

My correspondent in life of the mind states my state of mind neatly and plainly in the matter of phosphorescent gargoyle exhalations swaddled in effulgent gossamer — I mean to say prosody. Now I remember why I, and doubtless others … Continue reading

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Gerhard Richter Voiced

For 60 years, he has treated uncertainty as an ethical duty. … That is the priceless example he offers today’s young artists, whose every mistake or hesitation gets pounced on by digital Savonarolas. So much dogmatism out there, so much … Continue reading

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A. O. Scott on Sontag

The credit on this piece says “A.O. Scott is a chief film critic at The Times and the author of ‘Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth.’” I read him frequently. (Strictly as a … Continue reading

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Drawing in Jail

Hilarie M. Sheets writes an article about how people have coped with incarceration by drawing (“For the Incarcerated, Drawing Is a Lifeline,” NYTimes, 9-20-19). What interests me on the margins of this interesting article is the innocent tell favoring depiction … Continue reading

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The Critic Almost Ran Out of Praise

Here’s a review of Nick Cave’s album “Ghosteen” that has a left-handed conclusion. On one level, it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s as good as it is: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have been in a career-high purple patch … Continue reading

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Words With Eyes

Viewing a Kirchner painting always makes me want to say more than I know how. I’ve seen this painting several times. A picture best speaks for itself, but a good art critic’s words can add to its impact. In “Berlin … Continue reading

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