Morning Links

Morning Links: The James Dean of Postwar American Art Edition

Cool School

Ed Moses, pioneering L.A. painter and paragon of the California art scene, passed away at age 91. Read the ARTnews obituary by Alex Greenberger. [ARTnews]

“Gordon Matta-Clark was the James Dean of postwar American art,” Martin Filler wrote at the beginning of a New York Review of Books essay of the artist’s retrospective at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Allow us to humbly nominate that sentence as the James Dean of ledes about Gordon Matta-Clark. [The New York Review of Books]

The Boston Globe has a review of “Legacy of the Cool: A Tribute to Barkley L. Hendricks,” a group show at the Massachusetts College of Arts. Of the late great painter, Cate McQuaid writes, “Hendricks’s legacy, like his art, can’t help but be political. Maybe especially now.” [The Boston Globe]


Sebastian Smee, newly installed as an art critic at the Washington Post, writes about the Google Arts and Culture face-matching app and confesses to, on just his second day on the job, counting among masses “wasting precious work time texting and posting pictures of themselves matched to obscure 18th-century portraits of cravat-wearing aristocrats with weird facial hair.” [The Washington Post]

The Los Angeles Times reviews Laurie Simmons’s movie My Art and called the artist herself “an appealing screen presence, aloof yet somehow magnetic, an older woman fully in command of and confident in her life, work and sexuality.” [Los Angeles Times]

The mixed feelings surrounding a proposed Jeff Koons sculpture to serve as a public memorial for victims of a terrorist attack in Paris have not become any less mixed, the Art Newspaper reports. [The Art Newspaper]


BBC News took up the subject of Kurt Schwitters’s Merz Barn, now up for sale in England, with a Chinese developer reportedly in the mix of potential buyers. But “contrary to other reports, the Chinese developer is not planning to move it to China. Instead, they say they would be likely to create a studio for visiting artists, as well as a library and a cafe.” [BBC News]

For This Long Century, photographer James Welling put together a bunch of bewitching pictures that his grandmother took going back to 1906. [This Long Century]


For 4Columns, Monica Amor writes about the first U.S. retrospective for Brazilian artist José Leonilson, whose work shifted from painting to needlework around the time of his HIV diagnosis in 1991. “The artist mixes the inside with the outside: organs with streets, rivers with brains, hearts with kingdoms,” Amor writes. “The self is not represented, rather it is scattered throughout the world.” [4Columns]

New York Times critic Roberta Smith really likes the new show at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery devoted to Spanish neuroanatomist Santiago Ramón y Cajal, who was a big deal in the history of brain science. “And yet he also drew with such delicacy and vivacity that his drawings stand on their own as wonders of graphic expression, both mysterious and familiar,” Smith writes. [The New York Times]


Michael Stipe, erstwhile R.E.M. frontman and enterprising artist in numerous other realms, talks about his own favorite Michael Stipe songs for the Guardian. And among them is “World Leader Pretend”! (“I realized it was my take on Leonard Cohen,” he says of great song from Green.) [The Guardian]

The Paris Review has a list of definitions for 58 terms common to academia compiled by Princeton graduate students and faculty with a stated goal “to prick both egos and consciences.” The word “art” gets called “a term substantially defined by resistance to definition. Hence, difficult to define satisfactorily, if also satisfactory to define difficultly.” [The Paris Review]

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