News

  • Art as History

    At night on a heaving sea off the shore of Charleston, South Carolina, the Morris Island lighthouse seems to walk on water. Its sand spit is sinking, and so is the post–Civil War lighthouse. At high tide the island disappears, and a needle of brick appears to float upright in a foaming blackness. The searchlight was dismantled forty years ago, but in Kim Sooja's installation, A Lighthouse Woman, for the Spoleto Festival USA, the lighthouse itself glowed in colors from a bank of lights at its top. The meditative mood has infected the whole Spoleto art program, “Evoking History,” which is on view

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  • A Visionary Architect Becomes a Builder

    Zaha Hadid, photographed against a background of blurry purple dots, gazes out this summer from the backs of buses barreling down streets all over Rome. An advertisement for Hadid's architecture and design retrospective here at the National Center for Contemporary Arts, the poster will remind some viewers of Cleopatra's arrival in the ancient capital, or at least Elizabeth Taylor's re-creation of it in the “dolce vita” 60's. Amid the din of hurtling Vespas, Hadid's face projects Sphinx-like composure, while the bus conveys the forward thrust crystallized in her designs.

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  • MoMA QNS Opens This Week

    Starting next Saturday and for the next three years you'll be going to a former Swingline stapler factory at 33rd Street and Queens Boulevard to see MoMA's fabled masterpieces, from Picasso to Pollock, as well as a full program of temporary exhibitions. Meanwhile, the museum's flagship in Midtown Manhattan has been closed for the completion of its $450 million expansion.

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  • Catherine Millet's Sexual Memoirs

    La Vie Sexuelle de Catherine M., by Art Press editor Catherine Millet, has been hailed as “the most explicit book ever written about sex by a woman.” In France, it has sold over 350,000 copies. Now out in English, American critics are trying to take its measure.

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  • Snapshots of America: Thomas Eakins at the Metropolitan

    The splendid Thomas Eakins retrospective, newly arrived at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, begins, as you would expect, with rowers, sailors, and baseball players—sporting pictures, American subjects, gravely imagined. If the country is to produce great painters, Eakins said, its young artists will have to stay put “to peer deeper into the heart of American life.”

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  • Big in Japan

    An upcoming show at the Central Academy of Fine Arts Gallery in Beijing presents over one hundred award-winning works selected from the annual national new-media-art festivals of Japan, including video installation, digital art, games, mangai (a kind of Japanese caricature), and animation—highlighting the fact Japan's high-tech passions.

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  • Freudian Dreams

    How good an artist is Lucian Freud, asks the Telegraph's art critic Richard Dorment? In the third gallery of Tate Britain's Freud retrospective, which opens to the public tomorrow, we come across not one but two really bad paintings, both from the early '60s: Figure with Bare Arms and Head on a Green Sofa. Surprised, we look more critically at other pictures from this period—pictures such as the awkward Red Haired Man on a Chair—and discover that more often than not, an arty pose or an interesting face can't disguise the clumsiness of the painting.

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  • Anchorage Art Fest Nixed by Security Fears

    Every summer since 1983, the Anchorage beneath the Brooklyn Bridge has opened up to art projects as unique as the space itself. This year, however, there will be no twentieth season. Art in the Anchorage has ended for reasons of national security.

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  • Iranian Postmodernism

    When President George W. Bush condemned Iran as being on an “axis of evil with Iraq and North Korea” it is unlikely he knew that Iran’s President, Mohammed Khatami, is profoundly interested in aesthetics and in the role art and culture can play in opening up his country to the rest of the world. This philosophical inclination showed itself repeatedly at an unprecedented conference held in Teheran at the end of April on “Modernism and Post-Modernism,” organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art and the faculty of philosophy of the University of Teheran.

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  • Depressing Art and Theory

    Modern art has often been accused of being meaningless, but could this mean it can bring on mental illness? A man who studied art theory and postmodernism at university says feelings of disengagement and alienation as a result of his studies caused him to suffer serious depression after graduation. Scott Reid, 28, currently a secondary-school history teacher in Hackney, London, says postmodernism and its teachings that everything is relative made him feel he no longer knew what reality was.

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