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Editorial Archive


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An Ode to Old School Curators
Walter Hopps, in his day, altered curatorial practice to configure exhibitions according to the aesthetic demands of the art being exhibited. That, for better and for worse, must now be considered the old school of contemporary art curating. More...


A Talent for Talent
The late curator Walter Hopps, "elusive, unpredictable, outlandish in his range, jagged in his vision, heedless of rules," was as responsible for the emergence of L.A's 1960s avant garde as any one individual. A new book on Hopps helps explain why. More...


The Eclipse is Coming
The August 21st full solar eclipse crosses the U.S., offering a unique visual experience to millions in approximately two minute intervals. Bill Lasarow takes a look at how that visualization has impacted global culture over millennia. More...


“Tomorrow is Another Day”
Mark Bradford's Venice Biennale installation covers multiple rooms in an impassioned aesthetic wail that laments a disgraced nation. More...


The Swimming Pool as a Springboard
It being summer and his return to Los Angeles being recent, two artists that prominently feature SoCal's most notorious trope, the swimming pool, immediately drew David S. Rubin's attention. More...


Urs Fischer and the Art of Juxtaposition
Daniel Dennett, a critic of postmodernism, argues that "Postmodernism, the school of 'thought' that proclaimed 'There are no truths, only interpretations' has largely played itself out in absurdity," disabled by distrust of the very idea of truth. More...


“Basquiat and The Artist Next Door”
If billionaires can wheel and deal in cattle futures, crude oil, shipping, technology, and defense contracting, why not in art? More...


Paul Allen’s Emerging Vision for Seattle
Paul Allen is only the latest major civic-minded donor to Seattle's cultural maturation, but he may be exerting the most impact. He has he backed the Seattle Art Fair and added his museum, Pivot: Art+Culture to the South Lake Union neighborhood; and it seems he is just getting started. More...


Ghosts of the Cultural Past May Fuel Visions of the Future
From MacArthur Park, near downtown L.A. the Berggruen Institute will peer into our public policy and cultural future from a revamped Spanish Revival building. That building and its current tenants reveal much about L.A.'s deeper cultural history. More...


Art Business as Unusual
Documenta and the Venice Biennale have opened; major retrospectives are gearing up. Beneath the surface, all is not well. More...


Stuart Davis: In Full Swing
Not perhaps as much an event as the recent Monet or Matisse and Diebenkorn exhibitions, Stuart Davis dazzles at the de Young Museum. It clarifies his path from early Ashcan to the electrifying visual music he is best known for. It is work that still has important things to say about America. More...


An Artist’s Line Drawn in Quicksand
Daniela Repas' short documentary/animation "Mnemonics" embraces the ethnic heritage of this former Bosnian refugee as subject matter. There are larger lessons in how Repas tolerates values she cannot assimilate while celebrating those that she can. More...


Marimekko, With Love
The rise and continued cultural influence of the Swedish fashion design house Marimekko is here traced and assessed. More...


America’s First Contemporary Art Star
Currently on view the Art Institute of Chicago, James McNeil Whistler's portrait of his mother Anna is not the public event that it once was. But it does remain one of American art's most iconic images, and we do well to remember the artist's standing as perhaps America's first major international art star. More...


The Pregnant Void
The immaculately spartan works of Kirshio Suga provoked Richard Speer to reflect on the dialogue between shape and space. More...


Disturbing Subjects
The heated controversy over Dana Schutz' "Open Casket" overlooks that the artist favors honest personal emotions over graphic realism. More...


Deconstruction: The War for a Word
The philosophical importance of Jacques Derrida's deconstructivist theory has helped shape serious art for decades. That makes Steve Bannon's mis-use of it in a political context not only offensive but dangerous. More...


Martha Alf Pointed Me to the Light
Martha Alf introduced a noteworthy approach to contemplative spirituality in art in here series of pears during the 1980s. Starting as carefully staged psychodramas, the edible object assumed the role of an actor, but over time they assumed a whole new dimension. More...


Archipenko on the West Coast
Ukranian native Alexander Archipenko rose to become one of cubist sculpture's most important talents early in what became a globe-trotting career. A survey exhibition at the Frye Art Museum reinvigorates his contributions to cubism, the modern ceramics movement, and, yes, to West Coast modernism. More...


Protest and Authenticity
Genuine political outrage channeled through the sensibilities of strong, creative individuals can certainly generate great art. They are the natural opponents of authoritarianism after all. But we must keep in mind that high emotion is never sufficient to produce great art any more than it results in wise political solutions. More...

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