Berfrois

Lyra and Pantalaimon

Lyra and Pantalaimon

I first read Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy as a young teen; it felt like a revelation. The books had a rough-textured animal-breath closeness that I had rarely encountered before...

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Dylan J. Montanari on Michael Fried

Dylan J. Montanari on Michael Fried

Readers of contemporary art criticism may have come across the following story about Michael Fried. Fellow critic Rosalind Krauss was with Fried at a show in the early 1960s when someone confronted him about a Frank Stella painting. “What’s so good about that?” the challenger asked. According to Krauss,...

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Often, standing in front of paintings Jenny Diski wonders what it is she is supposed to be feeling…

Often, standing in front of paintings Jenny Diski wonders what it is she is supposed to be feeling…

From Midnight in Paris, Sony Pictures Classics, 2011 by Jenny Diski There is a picture in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, where I live, called The Annunciation. I keep a postcard of it in my writing room, and visit the actual painting from time to time. A winged and...

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M’Dada

M’Dada

Dada is a new tendency in art. One can tell this from the fact that until now nobody knew anything about it, and tomorrow everyone in Zurich will be talking about it. Dada comes from the dictionary. It is terribly simple. In French it means "hobby horse". In German...

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Claude Monet’s signature in the Dulwich Picture Gallery visitors’ book From Paper Monument: By now, commercial galleries know to make an artist’s CV, press clippings, and images readily available for download by prospective collectors and critics alike. Email blasts and rich media campaigns have all but replaced snail-mailed press...

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‘Perfectly comfortable to live in when the hour means idleness’

‘Perfectly comfortable to live in when the hour means idleness’

Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer (Mariana Griswold), Augustus Saint Gaudens, 1888 From The Design Observer: Many of Van Rensselaer’s essays focus on country houses, and can be read as offering a counter-narrative to the better-known contemporaneous essays on high-rise architecture by Louis Sullivan and Montgomery Schuyler.  In his seminal “The...

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Sparkly Compost

Sparkly Compost

Located in Kleinbasel close to the Rhine, the Kaskadenkondensator is a place of mediation and experimental, research­- and process­-based art production with a focus on performance and performative expression. The gallery, founded in 1994, and located on the third floor of the former Sudhaus Warteck Brewery (hence cascade condenser),...

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How to Teach with Guerrillas

How to Teach with Guerrillas

In fall 2009, an exhibition, public talk, and workshops by the Guerrilla Girls were presented at the Acadia University Art Gallery. Coincidentally, Gender and Development was being offered in the same semester. This provided an opportunity for a cross-disciplinary collaborative project that engaged students outside the classroom.

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Katrina van Grouw: Every Minute Part of the Avian Skeleton

Katrina van Grouw: Every Minute Part of the Avian Skeleton

I began by anatomical investigations on a dead Mallard which I found washed up on the beach, lovingly stripping off each layer of muscle, boiling up and reassembling the skeleton. Then, everything was drawn; from several angles. There were several mishaps: like when I glued a small bone to...

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For 20 years at the end of his life, Marcel Duchamp did little more than play chess…

For 20 years at the end of his life, Marcel Duchamp did little more than play chess…

From The Smart Set: Robert Rauschenberg made a series of all-white paintings after meeting Cage and Cunningham and seeing the work they were doing in the early 1950s. Cage called Rauschenberg’s white paintings “landing strips,” meaning that they were like little airports for light and shadow and dust to...

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Well Above $344,000

Well Above $344,000

It is difficult for me to imagine that I have much to contribute to this exhibition or its catalogue, with their aim of offering a survey of art of the past two years. I have not been looking at art in galleries or museums much for a number of...

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Christopher Cappelluti: Scratched

Christopher Cappelluti: Scratched

Reason dictates that the devil does not exist. As sophisticated 21st century people agree, it is absurd to put stock in the magical power of trinkets, ritualistic dances and incantations. While evil is apparent in the world — war, genocide, prejudice, hatred — few rational people would argue that...

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A Whole New Shark

A Whole New Shark

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, Damien Hirst, 1991 From The Believer: When I’ve gone to the Met to study the early Italian works that Berenson loved and appraised, I’ve often wandered into other parts of the museum, and gradually a looping chain of...

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Franco Mormando on Bernini

Franco Mormando on Bernini

Detail of Ganges, Fountain of the Four Rivers, Rome. Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1651. Photograph by Dale East by Franco Mormando One of the more frequent comments made – approvingly or disapprovingly – about my recent biography of that international superstar of Baroque Europe, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, concerns its scandalous content. Why...

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