Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Homage to The Four Tops
Jamie Foxx, Smokey Robinson, Ne-yo and original Four Tops member Duke Fakir perform at the 2009 Grammy's.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Re-newed Interest In Chagall and Rouault
Are We Not All Prophets? study for Miserere, Georges Rouault 1920-1929.
Georges Rouault, 1936.
The wheel of fashion, which turned Marc Chagall and Georges Rouault into has-beens a few decades ago, is turning again. These two misunderstood moderns are being taken seriously. The rise of identity politics in the intellectual world has certainly played a part. If once upon a time Chagall was seen as too Jewish and Rouault as too Catholic, by now the very allegiances that were said to compromise their modernist credentials have a renewed fascination. What is so remarkable about the work that has been done on Chagall and Rouault recently is that it goes well beyond identity politics, revealing the ardent particularism that these great artists brought to modern art's dreams of universalism.
The last time Rouault and Chagall were widely admired in the United States was in the years after World War II. They both received a considerable amount of attention at the Museum of Modern Art, where Rouault had exhibitions in 1945 and 1953 and Chagall a retrospective in 1946 and a show of the Jerusalem Windows in 1961, before their installation at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Both artists were still basking in the afterglow of their early avant-garde years. They were aging bohemian legends. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the all-purpose San Francisco hipster, managed to find a place for Chagall in "A Coney Island of the Mind": "Don't let that horse/eat that violin/cried Chagall's mother/But he/kept right on/painting."
Chagall and Rouault, more than any other painters, raise the question of the modern artist's willingness, or ability, to absorb religious experience, or at least some personal experience that is deeply colored by religion. It is a question to which there is no single or simple answer. In Marianne Moore's contribution to the Partisan Review symposium, she speculated that "one could almost say that each striking literary work is some phase of the desire to resist or affirm 'religion.'" Perhaps the same can be said for works of art.
Perhaps the same can be said for works of art. Moore's observation is intentionally elliptical, beginning with the speculative "one could almost say" and closing by putting religion in quotation marks. With those quotation marks she is suggesting how vague and broad a word religion is. What do we mean by religion--a form of social observance? a private faith? a philosophy? a set of rules or laws? Religion is all these things to different people in different degrees at different times.
In wondering what religion meant to Chagall or to Rouault, we would do well to remember that artists have rarely had a simple relationship with religion, even in modern times.
The Juggler Georges Rouault, 1938.
Singer With A White Plume Rouault, 1928.
From The New Republic by Jed Perl. An excellent article. And the gallery site for Mystic Masque.
The Blue House Marc Chagall, 1917.