Bruce Kurtz

  • “Black Folk Art In America 1930–1980”

    The only problem with the traveling show “Black Folk Art in America,” organized by the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C. and culminating this month at the Institute for the Arts, Rice University, Houston, is its premise and the abysmal catalogue essay by Jane Livingston, the Corcoran’s associate director. Once these obstacles are vaulted the show offers, with minor exceptions, artworks as fresh and as exhilarating as any in SoHo galleries.

    That one can discern black American folk art as a discrete entity separated from other folk art is a preposterous assumption. In defense of the exhibition’s


    NAM JUNE PAIK IS VERY hot with the popular press, but has few sales. Entertaining he is, but this is only an enticement into a web of multilevel meanings woven from communications theories, avant-garde music and visual art, Zen riddles, and Duchampian puns. Born in Korea in 1932, after a brief sojourn in Hong Kong Paik went to Japan, where he first saw commercial television. He lived in Japan from 1950 to 1956, earning a degree in esthetics and writing a thesis on Arnold Schönberg; he then traveled to Cairo and Calcutta before settling, temporarily, in Germany. He recognized the persuasiveness

  • Last Call at Max’s

    BETWEEN 1965 AND 1974, Max’s Kansas City was the central meeting place for the personalities, professions and mixtures of mediums that characterized the culture of the period. Painters, poets, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, sculptors, underground actors, art critics, curators, dealers and collectors convened at Max’s, mixing with fashion designers, fashion photographers, models, Hollywood actors and actresses, film directors, politicians, millionaires and “ordinary” people.

    The 1960s was a period of social and esthetic mobility, a time when boundaries between the art world and the rest of