COLUMNS

  • Film

    The Red and the White and Faces

    In The Red and the White, a swift fresh air war movie about Czarists, Red Russians, and a band of Magyars who get tangled within the scythelike moves of both armies in a Hungarian border locale that has a grandiloquent sweep, there are a dozen actors with amazing skin tone, sinew-y health, and Brumel’s high-jumping agility in their work with horses. These actors have an icy dignity—they never mug, make bids for the audience’s attention, or try for the slow motion preening that still goes on in cowboy films. (Jack Palance in Shane, hanging over his saddle iron, spitting tobacco juice, menacing

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  • Film

    Pendulum, Bullitt, Coogan’s Bluff, Madigan and The Detective

    There’s no question that there’s a new crowd-pleasing movie around that has to do with a disenchanted cop, a city in which no corner is untainted, and an artichoke plot. Wrapped around a heart that is just a procedural cop story, police routines in Washington (Pendulum), San Francisco (Bullitt), Phoenix (Coogan’s Bluff), and Manhattan (Madigan and The Detective), is a shrubwork of Daily News stories, the whole newspaper from beginning to end: the sensationalism, sentimentality, human interest, plus some liberal editorials. Each film has its mini-version of the drug scene, investigating committees,

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  • Books

    Peter Selz’s The Work of Jean Dubuffet

    “The Work of Jean Dubuffet,“ by Peter Selz. Museum of Modern Art, N.Y., 1962. Illus., 187 pp.

    The exhibition is taken down; the paintings are returned to their owners, or to the artist’s studio. What remains is history, and more and more that history has come to be embodied in “the catalog.” Nowadays, the catalog is often a full-length book, written by some notable critic or curator. The exhibition brings forth the book; the book purports to be the history of the exhibition. If the books represent the paintings to have been something which they were not, how can they, stacked in corners or hanging

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  • Architecture

    Architecture

    From December, 1964 to July, 1965, the University of California at Berkeley conducted a competition to select an architect for the proposed University Arts Center, a museum complex to function under the directorship of Dr. Peter Selz. The jury for the competition consisted of three architects: Lawrence B. Anderson, Gardner A. Dailey and Ralph Rapson.

    The jury’s choice lighted on the design submitted by Mario Ciampi, of San Francisco. Careful examination of the final entries leaves little doubt that the Ciampi entry was, by all odds, the best, and that the jury was wise in selecting it. The

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  • Architecture

    ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN

    Industrial Design from Japan, UCLA Galleries: The room is a cool glade set with floating floodlit discs. Upon them glitter a bright new generation of objects from Japan: not red lacquer bowls but white Western china, neither gilded screens nor dancing fans but the personal, portable machinery of the contemporary world. Suspended silks and photographs seem anxious to remind us that these international-looking objects are truly Japanese.

    In exquisite refinements to human use, in little dramas played about an idea the national skills show best. The transistors under glass are textured to the hand,

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  • Books

    British Art Since 1900

    British Art Since 1900, by Sir John Rothenstein. Phaidon, 1962.

    The picture of British painting and sculpture is, happily, not nearly so dreary as this book would lead one to believe; one must only keep in mind that almost the entire flock of painters and sculptors who have given vitality to English art in the last decade are completely ignored both in Sir John’s rather stuffy preface and in the deadening series of half-tone photographs following. (One would think that national pride, if nothing else, would encourage the publisher to be more lavish in color plates for the first illustrated survey

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  • Passages

    Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968)

    The self attempts balance, descends. Perfume—the air was to stink of artists’ egos. Himself, quickly torn to pieces. His tongue in his cheek.

    Marcel Duchamp, one of this century’s pioneer artists, moved his work through the retinal boundaries which had been established with Impressionism into a field where language, thought and vision act upon one another. There it changed form through a complex interplay of new mental and physical materials, heralding many of the technical, mental and visual details to be found in more recent art.

    He said that he was ahead of his time. One guesses at a certain

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  • Architecture

    Architecture and the New Vernacular

    An idea, now treated by those in the know as highly old-fashioned, is that a distinction should always be made between architecture and buildings. As Gilbert Scott, the great 19th-century English Gothic Revivalist put it, “Architecture consists of the decoration of construction.” While such an assertion would only bring smiles from our current schools of architecture or from our professional architectural journals, this is a distinction which is still almost universally made on a popular level. To most people, that which is thought of as architectural in a typical project house, are shutters,

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  • Books

    Aesop, Five Centuries of Illustrated Fables

    Aesop, Five Centuries of Illustrated Fables. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Distributed by New York Graph­ic Society, Greenwich, Conn. 96 pages, illustrated.

    Parents who find themselves stupi­fied by the vapid quality of present-day children's books will find this selection a joy. Illustrations for each of the fables selected range from 15th-cen­tury Italian woodcuts to drawings by Alexander Calder, and the fables themselves are presented handsomely print­ed in translations also ranging from Caxton to Marianne Moore. J. J. Grand­ville's 19th-century wood engravings, which have been charming readers

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