Daily Overview

I could spend hours looking at these.

About that Kara Walker piece

If you've been to the Menil recently, you've surely seen the giant Kara Walker silhouette piece now up in the newly rehung Modern and Contemporary gallery. (If you haven't been to the Menil recently, now is a really great time to go!)

I saw a friend yesterday who works at the Menil, and I asked her what exactly the collection owns: the actual paper silhouettes? The stencil? The right to reproduce the work?

She explained that the Menil owns the stencil used to make the work; when it's removed, they don't have to preserve the thin paper attached to the wall. However, not just anyone can remake the work using the stencil. They had to get one of Walker's assistants to come to Houston to "make" the work for the space. Apparently it was a bit of a budget buster, but everyone agrees it's worth the cost to have such an amazing work on display.

Here is a similar work from Walker, if you're not familiar. This isn't the same one as at the Menil.

Also, Wu-Tang never stops

GZA is giving a lecture at MIT about interactions between Art, Space, and Physics. He's given similar talks at RISD and Harvard. Because he's The Genius, and we're not.

Art, Crime

Did you know that Hyperallergic has a regular post about art crimes throughout the world? It's called...wait for it..."Crimes of the Art." It's fun.

Christo never stops

Christo and Jeanne-Claude's last work to be realized was The Gates, but Christo, now 79 and without Jeanne-Claude, is still working hard. There's the river in Colorado. There's the mastaba. And now there are plans for a watery walkway to connect Italian islands to the mainland. He just keeps on working.

Art Quiz

I got 14 out of 16. How about you? Take the quiz on famous paintings here.

More on Wiley

Here is a summary of the talk Kehinde Wiley gave for his show at the Brooklyn Museum: A New Republic. I love how an artist who is so contemporary, multi-cultural, and fresh can also make work so lush, beautiful, and traditional. The more of his paintings I see, the more I love seeing his paintings.

Art from trash

I didn't think there was any more art to be made from garbage that might be interesting to me. The idea, for all its social and ecological weight, is pretty simple and overdone. And then I saw these site-specific works and found a new reverence for trash. Enjoy!


Hey Art History students: I forgot to tell you that you'll want to bring your textbooks to class on Monday. If you see this before then, please share with your friends and colleagues that they should bring their books. Thanks!

No explanation needed

Just start clicking on things and playing around. Trust me.

Little reminders

A number of you have asked about the little quotation cards I have in front of my desk. They're reminders to myself, which I ignore more than I care to admit.

"The readiness is all" comes from Hamlet. Hamlet tells his friend Horatio that he has a bad feeling about this fencing match he's about to go through. Horatio says that Hamlet should put it off if something's not right. And Hamlet replies "if it be now [and "it" is death] 'tis not to come; if it be not to come it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come; the readiness is all".

"This is water. This is water" comes from David Foster Wallace's brilliant and beautiful 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon College. Unless it will get you in trouble or cause bodily harm, read it. Right Now.

"Breathe, smile, and go slowly" is advice from Zen master Thich Nhat Hahn. And now that I look it up I see that I have it backward. He actually says "Smile, breathe and go slowly." I don't think Thay will mind.

"Transcend" is just my own single-word advice to myself. Some days one word is all we can handle.

So many flowers!

Listen to the Talking Heads' song "Nothing But Flowers" while looking at this.

More on the Harvard Rothkos

The New Yorker has a short and reflective essay about the digitally-restored Rothko murals at Harvard. Spend five minutes reading it; you'll enjoy it.