Thursday, February 22, 2007


Here's what happens when I don't get out enough (or when I do get out, but fail to see any art that grabs my attention).

*More on Syau-Cheng Lai: A review of her recent concert performance and more incessant recycling on my part. Some interesting comments on the latter.

*I've been browsing through the Johnson Museum's 1998
collection handbook. The introductory essay is online, along with a selection of pictures (with accompanying text). Many exciting and familiar images; this one, by George Inness, is among my favorites. (I don't know what the deal is with the overall greenish tint on the online version.) The linked essay gives a interesting if brief history of the museum and of art at Cornell in general. The tone is optimistic and self-congratulatory, which is entirely understandable. But it makes me want to know some of the dirty details. In particular, I'd imagine that their commitment to modernist art (since at least the early fifties) has generated its fair share of controversy. The same goes, of course, for the starkly contemporary look of the building itselfone of I.M. Pei's earliest museum designs. Another essay, by Pei employee John L. Sullivan III, details the building process. The inclusion of diagramsfloor plans in particularwould have helped elucidate the often technical discussion.

*On art criticism and the art criticism debate: Charles Giuliano and Kriston Capps.

*Three online samples from Umberto Eco's endlessly entertaining book of short satirical essays, How to Travel With A Salmon: the title essay (scroll down through the Chinese), "How to Eat in Flight", "How to Use the Coffepot from Hell".

I'll be at the museum on Saturday, doing volunteer work for their Chinese New Year festivities. Hopefully I'll get to see some art as well.



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