reviews

  • “Melancholy: Genius and Madness in the West”

    Grand Palais

    The sitter leans forward. The head tilts slightly to the side, propped up by the hand (an open palm or a closed fist) at the end of a bent arm. The elbow is supported by a flat surface—a desk, a table, often the sitter’s own knee. The brow is usually furrowed, throwing a real or implied shadow over the eyes, which are lowered but never closed. Posture and facial gesture imply a layered interiority, acts of reflection flashing across the surface of troubled depths. The downward rotation of the propped head conveys an impression of heavy weight. The force of “gravity” is understood to be both

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  • “Africa Remix”

    Centre Pompidou

    According to Ghanaian philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, art made in Africa since the end of colonialism is not necessarily postcolonial, but most of the works in “Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent,” shown this summer in Paris following appearances in Düsseldorf and London, fit the bill. For Appiah, that prefix post- indicates not merely a temporal, historical division, but also an inherent critique of the hierarchical power structures of colonialism, much as postmodernism critiques and subverts the grand illusions and metanarratives of modernism. The art in “Remix” provokes reflections

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