Monday, November 24, 2014

Bartholomeus Spranger's Wild, Weird and Voluptuous Art at the Met

By Philip Kennicott
“The Lamentation of Christ.” Credit ayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich
WASHINGTON, DC---“Bartholomeus Spranger: Splendor and Eroticism in Imperial Prague” is billed as the first major exhibition devoted to Spranger, who not only served Rudolf from the early 1580s until the painter’s death in 1611, but also Rudolf’s father, the emperor Maximilian II; Pope Pius V; and one of the greatest arts patrons of any age, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. Born in Antwerp, Spranger studied with Flemish landscape painters before heading south, by way of Paris and Milan, to Rome, where he was deeply influenced by the prevailing Mannerist painters of the day. But it was the call to serve the Habsburgs, and particularly the febrile court of Rudolf, that allowed Spranger to produce the sensual, fleshy, sexually charged works for which he is most famous. [link]

A New Exhibition at Salt Galata in Turkey Explores Religion, Spirituality

By Kaya Genç
Descend the stairs of SALT Galata building on Bankalar Caddesi, turn right and you will hear amplified voices of Shiite Muslims who commemorate the Battle of Karbala during Muharram in an Istanbul neighborhood.
TURKEY---Religion is not the favorite subject of Turkish contemporary art. In the past, artists rarely touched on the subject. Realized with the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and curated by Sebastian Cichocki and Galit Eilat in collaboration with SALT, "Rainbow in the Dark" is one of the most evocative shows of the year. "One of the major phenomena in contemporary society is the growing influence of monotheistic religious practices," the exhibition program informs us. "Radical movements in Islam, Christianity and Judaism appear to penetrate the ever-widening areas of social life, to the point where they threaten the more traditional understanding of religion." [link]

Jerusalem: Seeing a City 'Upside Down'

By FPJ Bureau
"Turning the World Upside Down" by Aneesh Kapoor at Isreal Museum, 2010
ISRAEL---A massive hourglass figure of stainless steel installed by the internationally renowned Indian/Jewish artist, Aneesh Kapoor, and commissioned by the Jerusalem Development Authority, greets one at the threshold of the renovated Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The untitled work has since been dubbed as ‘Upside down’ as the piece of art reflected the world upside down, just as it is to discover Jerusalem, from the present in to the past! As part of a team of architects and journalists participating from around the world in the ‘Open House Jerusalem’, festival from 18 to 20 September 2014, I precisely got this opportunity – to explore the vitality of this ancient city. [link]

Republicans Considering Constitutional Amendment to Ban Gay Marriage

By Gary Baurer

At a time when many Republicans have embraced a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to same-sex marriage (“Don’t ask me what my position is because I won’t tell you”), Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has proposed a characteristically audacious solution to judicial assaults on traditional marriage: a constitutional amendment. Mr. Cruz’s proposed marriage amendment would prohibit the federal government or the courts from overturning state marriage laws. It may be the only way to restore the people’s voice in defining society’s most fundamental institution. [link]

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Photo taken by Amit&Naroop for The Singh Project
The self-styled "turbaned fashion-blogger" Pardeep Singh Bahra was featured in The Wall Street Journal this week. Singh is a photographer and founder of Singh Street Style, a menswear fashion blog. He is also a "Sikh" who believes that the meticulous care of his beard and his clothing are a reflection not of fashion but his faith. In October, he was even awarded a "Sikh Award" for his example. Why don't more of us seize opportunities to reflect our faith in our hair and clothing? That inspiration makes Singh's turban and beard, my NEWS OF WEEK.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Art & Design: When Three Into One Equals More at Harvard Art Museums

By Holland Cotter
Stuart Cairns for The New York Times
MASSACHUSETTS---Six years is a long time for an art museum to go dark, and at Harvard, make that two museums, and eventually three. Now there’s a happy ending, and a beginning. As of last Sunday, the three museums, identities more or less intact, are back as the one-title Harvard Art Museums. The best thing about Harvard’s new museum headquarters is that it feels as if it really was designed, as advertised, for students of all persuasions and disciplines, and for accessibility, not just as a material fact, but as an aesthetic and ethical ideal. [link]

Movie Review: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1’ Opens

By Manhola Dargis
Dressed in all-white garb in a white room, Peeta Mallark (Josh Hutcherson) stands dutifully by the side of a sanguine President Snow (Donald Sutherland), who addresses the people of Panem from a white throne.
HOLLYWOOD---“Mockingjay Part 1” is indisputably a war movie, from tearful start to unsettling end. Its director is Francis Lawrence, who did the honors in the second one, and he does a serviceable job again of pulling the parts together. If you haven’t seen the earlier movies, you may get a little lost; it doesn’t matter. If you’ve watched them and forgotten certain details, it also doesn’t matter. “Mockingjay Part 1” is streamlined, blunt and easy. The Capitol, the base of Panem power, is after Katniss, who is squirreled away in a part of the country, District 13, once thought to have been destroyed. Led by President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore, equal parts iron and silk), District 13 is now leading the charge against the Capitol. [link]

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). War violence and torture.