Summer Reading


I’ve spent countless hours listening to Bob and Ray, first on the original radio broadcasts, later on cassette tape or CD compilations of their greatest routines. I don’t know of any other comedy as mesmerizing or closer to the spirit of art—that ability to make a whole world out of a few ingredients. I love them extravagantly. Bob and Ray, Keener Than Most Persons by David Pollock (Applause Books) is the first behind-the-scenes study of how the duo generated their material and shaped it into such casual sublimity. I’m cheating a little, as this under-the-radar book came out in 2013—but isn’t humor always in season?

David Salle is a New York–based artist.


When I saw Einstein on the Beach more than thirty years ago, I experienced for the first time the stunned sensation that I had witnessed something tremendous in the art of our time. The 2012 production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music confirmed that reaction. I read in the program that the 1976 tour had put Robert Wilson and Philip Glass deeply in debt; as a result, Glass, then thirty-nine, went back to driving a cab in New York. Floored by that image, I wondered, “Did they realize what they had done?” I couldn’t get the question out of my mind. I can’t wait to find out if Glass’s new memoir, Words Without Music (Liveright), holds the answer.

Ann Temkin is the Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.