the brooklyn rail

I have an adage: “To do the thing is easy enough, but to put yourself in a position to do it is extremely difficult.” In other words, you have to be perceptive about yourself. And you have to allow the authority of yourself to conflict with the authority of the world, so you can create something the world doesn’t yet have, which is what art is about to a great extent. At least it is to me. So whatever people gravitate towards, poetry, painting, or film, or whatever, it’s the putting themselves in the position to do it that’s very difficult.

Carl Andre in conversation with Phong Bui and Michèle Gerber Klein, The Brooklyn Rail, February 2012.

When I worked on the first version of Marry Me A Little, [Sondheim’s] position in the world of theater was very different; a lot of people criticized his work for its purported coldness, lack of melodic rewards, technical virtuosity over natural beauty. All of those people have died and burned in hell, and he is now generally held to be the finest practitioner of his art in the last 50 years. He is a natural teacher, and he’s direct, which I prefer. I’m not afraid of informed criticism. For criticism to wound, it has to be malicious, intelligent, well-crafted, and perfectly aimed. Given the laughably low-level of dramatic criticism in America, most artists worth their salt in theater are permanently safe from pain.
—  Craig Lucas on the difference in working with Sondheim then and now, in The Brooklyn Rail.

The Brooklyn Rail reviews Pearlstein, Warhol, Cantor: From Pittsburgh to New York:  

The pleasures and perils of studio visits at provincial art schools are not unfamiliar to us critics. When you see what talented students have learned by imitating faculty artists from a previous generation, you recognize that these young people must move to an art center and radically innovate if they are to find an entry point into the contemporary art world. Gathering paintings, photographs, and works on paper from their student years and early times in Manhattan, “Pearlstein/Warhol/Cantor” provides a marvelous record of such a process. Philip Pearlstein (b. 1924), Andy Warhol (1928 – 87) and Dorothy Cantor (b. 1928) studied at Carnegie Tech, Pittsburgh—and they went together to New York after graduation, where the two men sought employment as commercial illustrators. Pearlstein, who was slightly older than his two friends, had served in the Army. And so we see scenes of training camps and military life in Italy; and then from Pittsburgh his drawing Private Hebrew Lesson (ca. 1948) and domestic scenes, like Family Picnic (Memory of) (ca. 1948 – 49). Some of his advertising images are on display; but unlike Warhol, he soon realized that he was not a successful illustrator. His Superman (1952), however, is a convincing, oddly precocious proto-Pop painting—with the comic book figure flying over a city, the entire scene rendered in an expressionist style. And then Two Models with Three Masks with Turkish Rug (2015) is a good recent example of a painting in his long-established personal style.

Read the full story.

David Hockney. “Nichols Canyon,” 1980. Acrylic on canvas. 213.4 × 152.4 cm. Private collection. © David Hockney. Exhibition organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne.

William Corwin visited David Hockney in his studio in Bridlington, Yorkshire, to discuss the paintings, iPad drawings, and videos that form the core of his show A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy in London (January–April 9, 2012) via The Brooklyn Rail.


Patricia Cronin
Shrine for Girls, 2015
installation inside the sixteenth-century Church of San Gallo, Venice
presented by the Brooklyn Rail Curatorial Projects at the 56th Venice Biennale

In one shrine, an altar exhibits hijabs symbolizing the 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria and another alter is in remembrance of three women who were recently gang raped, murdered and left to hang from trees in India. Cronin’s memorial explores that even though the United Nations passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, women and girls around the world continue to be among the most vulnerable members of our global society. 

In The Brooklyn Rail’s most recent interview with Richard Tuttle, writer Jarrett Earnest asks questions using each letter of the alphabet in order to choose a “theme or subject” to discuss with the artist.  Be sure to read this playful article and visit the exhibit, Systems, VIII–XII, currently on view until this Saturday, October 13, 2012.   Photo by: Kerry Ryan McFate / Courtesy Pace Gallery © Richard Tuttle, courtesy Pace Gallery