Robert Longo makes aggressive, powerful images. They are usually big. Sometimes very big. High-definition, high-contrast, high-octane. Stereotypically masculine, he’d be the first to admit. Emphatically American.Read the rest of this entry »
In 1959, composer John Cage appeared on the popular Italian TV game show Lascia o Raddoppia? (Double or Nothing?). Specialist subject: mushroom identification. Cage was in Milan as the guest of fellow avant-garde composer Luciano Berio, and was performing a series of concerts. Berio was at that time working for Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI), the state media channel that included, improbably, an “experimental studio for audio research.” Others in Berio’s circle, including writer Umberto Eco and sound engineer Marino Zuccheri, also worked with RAI, and together the cohort had finagled Cage a spot on the show.Read the rest of this entry »
On Christmas Eve 1968, astronauts on the Apollo 8 Moon mission took the first photographs of the Earth by someone not on it. William Anders’s Earthrise, the best-known image, immeasurably altered humanity’s consciousness of its environment, but it also changed forever the way landscape was viewed in art.Read the rest of this entry »
This summer, for the first time in two decades of drawing figures, Christina Quarles found out what it is like to be drawn by other people. During lockdown, she and a small group of friends and acquaintances organised socially distanced life-drawing sessions, taking it in turns to model.Read the rest of this entry »
Mark Bradford, Q1, 2020 © Mark Bradford. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Joshua White / JWPictures
“I’m adjusting to life on Mars,” says the artist Mark Bradford, as he folds his frame into a chair positioned a prudent nine feet from my own, and unpeels his mask from behind his ears. Yes, he says, his glasses fog up, too.
Since mid-March, when California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, issued a statewide “stay at home” order, Mr. Bradford has kept a low profile. Throughout the nationwide unrest that flared after the killing of George Floyd, he remained silent. While Mr. Bradford, 58, is one of the more visible figures in the arts community in Los Angeles, he is not on social media. But with three new paintings on the wall in front of us, he’s finally ready to talk.
An ad, printed in the Spring 1972 issue of Avalanche magazine, trumpeted in boldface type ‘FOOD’S FISCAL FAMILY FACTS’. Most of the readers of Avalanche would, it was assumed, be at least part way familiar with FOOD, the restaurant opened in SoHo by artists Gordon Matta-Clark, Carol Goodden, Tina Girouard, Suzanne Harris, and Rachel Lew a few months earlier. It was already a fabulous success, and the Downtown art scene was tight knit in those days and more or less identical to Avalanche’s readership. Also, FOOD was the only decent restaurant in the neighborhood.Read the rest of this entry »
The invitation, when it comes, is invariably by email and typically consists of the entirety of the note crammed into the subject line, plus a random image.
“Can you make Ricks tomorrow Thursday at 8.30 am…….derek,” read a recent message accompanied by a photograph of a headshot of Julie Andrews adjacent to a paper Union Jack. “Sent from my iPad.”Read the rest of this entry »
Betye Saar has lived in the same shingle-clad house up a winding lane in Laurel Canyon for nearly 60 years. To reach the front door, on the house’s top story, visitors ascend several flights of steps, passing the kind of thickly planted garden—filled with ornaments and trinkets—that can only be created with decades of care and cultivation.
Saar moved to Laurel Canyon with her former husband, Richard, and three daughters in the early 1960s, shortly before the Hollywood Hills became the nexus of Los Angeles’ hippie music scene. Frank Zappa lived in a log cabin just a few doors down, and Neil Young, Brian Wilson, and Joni Mitchell were also neighbors. The Saars were a hip, artistic family: Betye was a printmaker and designer, and Richard a ceramicist and art conservator. They led a comfortable middle-class life but were far from famous. As with most Black artists of her generation—and virtually all female artists—Saar made her way outside of what little limelight shone on the local art scene. For years, she didn’t even consider herself a real artist.Read the rest of this entry »