Sunday, February 19, 2017


By Ernest & Gregory Disney-Britton
His Jesus drawings were made ever more interesting by the handwritten phrases beside them such as: "No pool of Alpine fountain at its source was purer."
Goodmorning from Key West! In New York City today, New Museum visitors will explore Raymond Pettibon's graphic images of rising seas, cathedrals, surfers, and even Jesus too,  but in Key West, as we head out to church, we'll be looking out over true blue waters. Admittedly, Pettibon is an atypical guide to religion. He is a legendary social critic, whose work, The New York Times described as "deeply creepy, beyond dystopian." There is nothing reverential about his work, but it does prompt both practical and spiritual questions. On this morning, Raymond Pettibon's drawing raises one question: how do you know when your source is pure?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Movie Review: An anti-Semite learns of his Jewish roots in ‘Keep Quiet

By Glenn Kenny
Movie poster for "Keep Quiet"
HOLLYWOOD---“You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,” says an old song about bigotry. But to hear the former far-right Hungarian politician Csanad Szegedi tell it, he was essentially a self-taught anti-Semite. In “Keep Quiet,” a documentary directed by Sam Blair and Joseph Martin, Mr. Szegedi recalls the pride he felt as a student reading far-right newspapers pushing a nationalist narrative. For his part, Mr. Szegedi disdains what he calls “cosmopolitan” Jews who insist “all Hungary gave the world was peach schnapps and baggy pants.” Then Mr. Szegedi learns an inconvenient truth: He is of Jewish lineage. His grandmother was an Auschwitz survivor. His colleagues initially suggest that this could be a good thing, inoculating the party from accusations of race hate. That strategy seems to last about half a minute, and Mr. Szegedi is expelled. He begins to embrace his Jewish identity, perhaps out of necessity. [link]

Friday, February 17, 2017

A newly discovered photograph of young Harriet Tubman heads to auction

Carte-de-visite of Harriet Tubman, found in an album from the 1860s (all photos courtesy Swann Auction Galleries)
A previously unrecorded photograph of Harriet Tubman has resurfaced from an album of cartes-de-visite, showing a considerably younger image of the abolitionist than those captured in other known portraits. The rare picture, preserved in an album of 44 cartes-de-visite, was taken by an unknown, local photographer in Auburn, where she moved to care for her family after the war. It comes to public eye as the collection is part of a forthcoming sale by Swann Auction Galleries, Printed & Manuscript African Americana. The album was once owned by Emily Howland, a schoolteacher born to Quaker abolitionists from Sherwood, New York. [link]

Show Us Your Walls: Calmer New York living through minimalist art

By Randy Kennedy
Nathalie de Gunzburg with Carl Andre’s “The Way East West (Uncarved Blocks),” center. Left to right in back: three sculptures by Louise Bourgeois, Dan Flavin’s “Untitled (Fondly to Helen).” Right, Glenn Ligon’s “Stranger #39.” Credit Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
NEW YORK----It’s quite a distance — stylistically and chronologically — from the brightly colored geometry of the French early-Modernist painter Sonia Delaunay to the Shaker-like austerity of the Minimalist sculptor Carl Andre. But in her collecting life, Nathalie de Gunzburg, the chairwoman of the Dia Art Foundation’s board in Manhattan, has bridged the gap. Their Upper East Side townhouse is a well-lived-in shrine to many artists from that generation — Andre, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and Robert Smithson — but also to bold outliers like Louise Bourgeois. Here are edited excerpts from a conversation during our visit. [link]