Tag Archives: rhetoric

‘Gloopy Glory’

The paintings of 90-year-old Frank Auerbach, “last surviving member of a pathfinding generation of postwar British figurative painters,” are up my alley. Auerbach’s iterative pigment attacks are savage and astonishing, and Jason Farago is always good for a blue-streak of … Continue reading

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A-Theology

A poke at Ludwig’s nonsense adumbrates an a-theology that circumvents the mortiferous belch of cassock-and-biretta evangels. There’s an amount of life which abounds so abundantly it’s incommensurate with measurement. It amounts to the livelong life force of aliveness that explodes … Continue reading

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‘Business in Great Waters’

I jotted on the fly several snatches of phraseology that resonated with me today as I watched Prince Philip’s live-streamed funeral service on the BBC. May what power that is deal graciously with those who mourn, and those who go … Continue reading

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Native ‘Son’

A chance juxtaposition of readings* has suggested to me the perennial nature of America’s brutish policing streak. In 1941, Richard Wright’s manuscript novel “The Man Who Lived Underground” is rejected by publishers who are made queasy over scenes of violence: … Continue reading

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‘Cry of Pain’

Housman’s “To an Athlete Dying Young” ruefully ironizes over a lad clever enough to “slip betimes away / From fields where glory does not stay.” Novelists, though, get more mileage out of superannuated jocks — Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom, Malamud’s Roy … Continue reading

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‘Inter faeces et urinam nascimur’

“Between feces and urine we are born,” said Augustine in the 4th century. The bishop of Hippo’s take on parturition was that our mothers effectively defecate us from their feculent crannies. Doctrine on sex and love handed down by dour … Continue reading

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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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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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‘The Painting Just Falls Off the Brush’

… Ms. Shinoda worked primarily in sumi ink, a solid form of ink, made from soot pressed into sticks… “It is… necessary to finish one’s work very quickly. So the composition must be determined in my mind before I pick … Continue reading

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