David M. Lubin

  • Oscar Santillan, The Castle, 2009–11, book pages, tape, glue, 4 x 16 x 16". From “paperless.”


    Paper manufacturing consumes 35 percent of harvested trees in America, while 40 percent of our total annual waste consists of paper and paper products. We all hoped that digital communication would alleviate these problems, yet today we churn out more paper than ever (while gobbling up other natural resources to power our smartphones, laptops, and high-definition televisions). Archaic as well as nonecological, paper is dirty, a material that some have come to regard as fragile, antique, even abject. Curated by Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art’s Steven Matijcio, “paperless” contemplated

  • Oscar Muñoz, Line of Destiny, 2006, still from a color video, 1 minute 56 seconds.

    Oscar Muñoz

    “Imprints for a Fleeting Memorial,” an exhibition of installations, videos, and works on paper by the Colombian artist Oscar Muñoz, haunts the viewer with images that evaporate, disintegrate, or in some other way vanish before our eyes. These ingenious portraits and self-portraits, rendered in a variety of formats, emphasize the fluidity and instability of the self, showing it to be a never-solid, ever-dissolving entity that requires constant management in order to appear whole. It’s a figuration of self-erosion that speaks to the universal human problems of aging, decay, and death while expanding

  • Childe Hassam

    The nineteenth-century novelist William Dean Howells identified an abiding concern in American literature for the “more smiling aspects of life.” A similar interest can be found in the Impressionist paintings of American Childe Hassam (1859–1935). A contemporary of Howells, this Massachusetts-born artist recorded a version of modernity that was insistently untroubled. Flooding his depictions of bustling Parisian and New York streets, distant skylines, and flowering gardens with direct sunshine or light resplendently refracted through rain or snow, Hassam imbued the daily life of his times with

  • Thomas Eakins, The Gross Clinic, 1875, oil on canvas, 96 x 78 1/2".

    Thomas Eakins

    The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s “Thomas Eakins: American Realist,” which opens in October, will in many ways be a traditional survey of an acknowledged master. Even so, it promises to redefine its protagonist in accordance with contemporary concerns.

    In his latest permutation, Eakins is nothing less than a pioneer of modern information technology. The exhibition, which is built around 68 Eakins oil paintings and 128 photographs by the artist or his students (culled from various public and private collections as well as the PMA’s own impressive holdings), will present an artist who achieved his