Brief remarks published in the 'Comments' sections of weblogs and periodicals here and abroad. Dates refer to comments, and "(AJ)" refers to ArtsJournal, which hosts most of the weblogs. Suggestion: read the original piece first, then click on "comments" link if there is one, search for "Aristos," or scroll down to find your humble co-editor's name. -- Louis Torres

February 2011

NOTE: Entries from September 3 to December 24, 2010, are new, and annotations have been added to comments from March 30 to August 30. Links to January and February 2011 comments will be posted in our next issue. --L.T.


12/24: Art Newspaper, "Flavin and Viola Light Works Ruled 'Not Art.'" The European Commission, an arm of the European Union (I'm not a fan), has ruled that works by Dan Flavin (consisting solely of arrangements of colored fluorescent tubing--at times, of just a single tube) are not art but "lighting fittings." Makes sense to me. (See also 12/23 New York Times item below.)

12/24: Wall Street Journal, "It's a Norman Rockwell Christmas, and Dan French Is Out in the Cold." That would be Daniel Chester French (1850-1931), please, who sculpted the seated Lincoln in Washington, D.C. "Dan" is how the inept head of the avant-garde-leaning advisory board at Chesterwood, French's summer estate (a National Trust Historic Site), refers to the great sculptor.

12/23: New York Times, "Is It Art, or Is It Lighting?" On Dan Flavin's fluorescent tubes and the European Commission's ruling that it's not art. (See also 12/24 Art Newspaper item above.)

12/23: Wall Street Journal, "When Subjectivism Ruled." All photography--not just the "pictorialist" photography of the 1890s to the 1910s--is art, this review would have readers believe. I compare one such photograph to a painting by Jean-François Millet (1814-1875), one of the greatest artists of the nineteenth century (and a personal favorite, I might add).

12/22: Slipped Disc (AJ), "Dutch Play 4'33" on Prime Time TV." That would be John Cage's infamous silent "music composition." View the video first, then see my very brief comment in the color rectangle. (No, that's not a speck of dust on your monitor screen!)

11/24: Chronicle Review, "Art Programs Stress Studio Safety." "How does one judge a collegiate art program?" Not primarily by any of the standards cited by Daniel Grant, including that of "studio safety." In the present day there's an even more important criterion that must be met.

11/22: Wall Street Journal, "Artsy Sag Harbor Is Up in Arms About a Long, Shapely Pair of Legs." No, no, not real legs! A 16-foot-high "legs sculpture" that is "indisputably a work of art [by Larry Rivers, a 'master']--whether you like it or not," according to an art historian--or the product of a "guy [who is a] whack job," as a local citizen has heard.

11/12: Seeing Things (AJ), "Gimme Shelter." Tobi Tobias, one of the most astute dance critics in the business (she is cited frequently in What Art Is) invited me to comment further because, as she put it, she knows something of my work in Aristos. Of course, I did so. Other readers chimed in as well. (Read comments in the order they were posted, from the bottom up.)

11/6: Sandow (AJ), "Making It Work--Finishing (for Now). Greg Sandow, an activist music critic and consultant who "challenges . . . old assumptions," once hosted a concert series featuring such extras as the shaving of the head of an audience volunteer while the Pittsburgh Symphony orchestra played the "Bacchanal" from Samson and Delilah. Would you subscribe to another season?

11/6: Wall Street Journal, "Sydney's 'Sculpture by the Sea [Australia].'" Sculpture? Not quite. A few other commentators seem to agree.

11/4: Real Clear Arts (AJ), "A Win for Contemporary Arts in Cleveland." It all depends on your definition of contemporary arts, doesn't it?

11/3: Slipped Disc (AJ), "What the House of Commons Culture Committee Wanted to Know." What it wanted to know was "What's wrong with the Arts Council?" Norman Lebrecht suggested "huge budgets lavished on non-arts social and political ventures." For my own answer, just strike three adjectives and a conjunction from his.

10/24: Foot in Mouth (AJ), "Conundrum: How to Write About Left Field Shows." The title alludes to dances that do not use an "academic or codified language"--to "experimental" dance in other words. Apollinaire Scherr is correct in implying that the work in question is not dance. To read her full review you must follow the Financial Times link she provides.

10/21: Real Clear Arts (AJ), "Glenn Lowry and Contemporary Art." In a brief post which refers to "contemporary art" eleven times (and once to "contemporary artist"), Judith Dobrzynski wonders if "the content of contemporary art [is] failing to do what it is supposed to do." I suggest an answer, though not one with which she would likely agree.

10/12: The Guardian (U.K.), "How the 60s New York Arts Scene Revolutionised Dance." It sure did, and not for the better, as I note.

10/5: Art Newspaper (U.K.), "No More Contemporary Art in Versailles' Royal Rooms After Murakami." Traditionalist protest groups have succeeded in stopping future avant-garde exhibitions in the chateau's royal spaces. Good for them. (More Murakami bogus art: Kaikai Kiki and Flower Matango.) The deputy editor of the Art Newspaper had read a brief comment I had posted online (it's not archived) and invited me to submit a letter for publication in the paper's print edition. The following abridged version was published in the December issue.

Jean-Jacques Aillagon, the director of Versailles, may have "caved in" to pressure from groups protesting against the exhibition of contemporary "art" in the royal apartments, but in the U.S. we have our own museum directors who flout the purpose of their collections. A current exhibition (until 2 January 2011) at the Morgan Library in New York features "drawings" by Roy Lichtenstein that are flagrantly antithetical to the museum's holdings in 16th- to 19th-century master drawings.

10/5: Real Clear Arts (AJ), "Dreams for a Bigger Hirshhorn: The Response Was Mostly Con." A temporary inflatable events "bubble" is planned atop the avant-garde Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. Negative comments in Dobrzynski's post and in her WSJ article (link provided) imply that the museum's director doesn't know what art is. (He doesn't.)

10/3: Wall Street Journal, "Hear It, Feel It." Heading: "Are we hard-wired to hear emotion and meaning in music? Scientists probe the puzzling world of sound and sense." This interesting review of Philip Ball's The Music Instinct gave me an opportunity to quote a lengthy passage from our discussion of Ayn Rand's little-known theory of music in What Art Is.

9/24: Prospect (U.K.), "In Praise of Dead White Men." Heading: "Efforts to make education more "relevant"to black people can be both patronising and harmful. The western literary canon should be taught to everyone." Agreed. I cite the black poet Langston Hughes's practice of reading poems by Longfellow and Walt Whitman, among other dead white poets, to black school children.

9/20: New Scientist, "Can Video Games Be Art?" Game designers and a bunch of art critics, journalists, academics and historians (all of whom are "avowed gamers") answer this question. One of the best answers was by philosopher Denis Dutton.

9/18: Wall Street Journal, "Portrait of an Artist's Hype." Regarding works by Gerhard Richter at an exhibition at the Drawing Center, I agree with art critic Lance Esplund (with whom I rarely agree about anything) that they "never add up to anything substantial enough to be considered drawings."

9/10: Wall Street Journal, "Christo vs. Colorado." See 8/23 below.

9/9: Grand Central Academy of Art (weblog), "Landscape Painting Show at Kaaterskill Fine Arts." I cite a Smithsonian Magazine review of a similar exhibition, "Remember the Ladies: Women of the Hudson River School," which is followed by comments (including one by me).

9/8: Real Clear Arts (AJ), "The Difference Between Art and Politics, And Thank Goodness." I argue that in addition to not liking abstract art, many (if not most ) ordinary people do not think it is art. One other reader, who begins her comment with "Bravo, Louis Torres," agrees with me. Two others (one of whom calls me "Luis") don't. An interesting post and discussion.

9/3: Wall Street Journal, "Drawn Into His Web." Robert Greskovic, who writes on dance for the paper, praises an event sponsored by the Dance Theater Workshop featuring a guy who stands in place with his back to viewers--while drawing on a wall with both hands at once, as if he were "Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man in contemporary clothing."

8/30: Education Next, "Advocating for the Arts in the Classroom." Michelle Kamhi and I comment separately on Mark Bauerlein's mostly astute article. I question his reference to "innovative, boundary-breaking art." Scroll down for Bauerlein's response to me. (See next item and also his contribution to the "Social Justice" forum in the November 2010 Aristos.)

8/30: Real Clear Arts (AJ), "Bauerlein: How Not to Save Arts Education." Michelle Kamhi, who largely agrees with Bauerlein, comments. (See above item.)

8/29: Wall Street Journal, "Group is Seeking a Legitimate Tag for Graffiti Artists." Not art, I say, and provide a link to Heather Mac Donald's Aristos Award-winning article on the subject.

8/28: Wall Street Journal, "When Creator and Owner Clash." I side with the maker of a Holocaust memorial in his dispute with the parks department that modified it against his wishes--but not because the memorial is a "work of art" protected under the Visual Artists Rights Act, enacted as an amendment to the U.S. Copyright Code in 1990. It is design.

8/25: Wall Street Journal, "He Painted the Body Athletic." Agreement with Andrew Malone regarding his assessment of the article and its subject, Thomas Eakins (about whom I have written), and thanks to him for having provided a link to a superb Eakins website I didn't know about.

8/23: Denver Post, "Colorado's Arts Community Fears Cultural Setback If Christo's River Project Is Rejected." Comments. In which I defend ordinary people who criticize the plan for Christo's latest despoiling of nature as "so-called art" against a slur by the pompous director of the Denver Art Museum, Christoph Heinrich, who is a specialist in so-called contemporary art.

8/6: Lies Like Truth (AJ), "Where Birds Go Off to Die" [read all before clicking this link]. My comment that "models are models and art is art" regarding a "paper sculpture" prompted three readers to respond: the gallery director, someone who "totally" agrees with me, and a colorful character who doesn't. I reply. (Scroll down and read comments from the bottom up.)

8/6: Wall Street Journal, "What the Camera Wrought." Richard B. Woodward begins his review of a photography exhibition with this assertion: "That art can be made of anything . . . is a truism now widely accepted by critics and audiences alike." True only in part. Do you, for example?

8/3: The Guardian (U.K.), "The 10 Best Dancers" [Click on "Comments" to right of headline, then scroll down to Aug. 3 comment by "esthetics (that's me)]. I cite the example of American Ballet Theatre principal Bill Carter [scroll down to "A Personal Note"], who was a friend and who died of AIDS in 1988 at age 52. A reader's post below mine expresses kind appreciation (8/3), followed by my brief reply to him (8/6), and his to me (8/8).

7/29: Smithsonian.com (Smithsonian magazine), "The Grand Women Artists of the Hudson River School." A review of "Remember the Ladies: Women of the Hudson River School." I cite an exhibition related to the Boston School of painting, "A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists in Boston 1870-1940," and mention the catalogue for "Remember the Ladies [of Boston]."

7/21: The Guardian (U.K.), "Noises Off: What's the Difference Between Performance Art and Theatre?" Just a brief comment on this one: "Theatre is art. Performance is fraud," but you may find some of the other comments of interest, not to mention the article itself. It cites Marina Abramovic, the "self-proclaimed 'grandmother of performance art,'" whom I saw staring at successions of museum visitors who volunteered to sit silently opposite her for indefinite periods at her recent retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. See the four-part multimedia feature "The Artist Is Present," especially the "portraits" of the poor souls who willingly participated in the event with Abramovic, who is either a charlatan or mentally unbalanced. (On the latter phenomenon, see Louis Sass, Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature, and Thought.)

7/20, 21, 23: City Journal, "Classical Music's New Golden Age." Yet another insightful article by Heather Mac Donald, a non-specialist who is one of the very best writers on the arts today, particularly on the subject of music. Winner of two Aristos Awards (2007, for "The Abduction of Opera," and 2002), Mac Donald sees much to be optimistic about concerning the state of classical music today, including the influence of the "early music" movement, the caliber of musicianship, and the sheer quantity of music available, both live and in recordings. The future, she notes, looks bright. On July 20 (search for "bio") I offer general comments of praise for the article. On the 21st I reply to two commentators, one who responds to a remark of mine, the other who is critical of Mac Donald. Finally, on the 23rd I cite, and provide several links related to, the neo-classical composer Stefania de Kenessey.

7/19: The Guardian (U.K., "Music and Sentiment by Charles Rosen." This fine review of the latest book on music by the renowned pianist gave me an opportunity to give readers a link to "Music and Cognition," Chapter 5 of What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand.

7/16: Real Clear Arts (AJ), "Philadelphia Commissions Another Fanciful Oldenburg." A few careless factual errors in my remarks on a paintbrush "sculpture" outside the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts prompt a cowardly responder to assume the name Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827) [more], founder of the Academy and one of America's great early portrait painters.

7/11: Wall Street Journal, "Where Paint and Poetry Meet." They don't. I take issue with Judith Dobrzynski's claim that Charles Demuth's well-known painting of a vibrant number 5--The Figure 5 in Gold (1928)-- is a "transliteration into paint" of William Carlos Williams's poem, "The Great Figure." Compare the two and decide for yourself.

6/27: Wall Street Journal, "Too Complicated for Words" A sentence beneath this headline of Terry Teachout's column poses the question "Are our brains big enough to untangle modern art?" Regular readers of Aristos will not be surprised by my argument that, in most cases, there is nothing there to be "untangled."

6/23: Wall Street Journal, "Art and Nature, Hand in Hand." I suggest that the Indianapolis Museum of Art ought to have shed its avant-garde bias and commissioned real sculpture by "'emerging' and underappreciated midcareer artists" for the opening of its "100 Acres" park. A reader is critical of the three traditional sculptors I suggest the Museum might have considered.

6/21 : The Chronicle Review (weekly magazine of The Chronicle of Higher Education), "In Praise of Tough Criticism." In comment 32, I cite my April 2010 review "What Makes Art Art? Does Denis Dutton Know?" (See also comments 33 and 34 by me, the latter of which mentions the forthcoming "June" 2010 issue of Aristos, which was eventually posted in . . . November.)

6/21: The Guardian (U.K.), "The Human Heart of the Matter." The article notes that the great books about war in our time are not novels, as might be expected, but non-fiction. I suggest that this may in part be due to the fact that there are no novelists writing today who are capable of writing such stories, and cite Jack Schaefer's magnificent 'Company of Cowards' (set during the Civil War).

6/8: The Art Newspaper, "Funding: The Sate of the Art." Heading: "In a world mired in economic uncertainty and with cash for the arts disappearing, how do we argue for culture?" András Szántó's argument in favor of increased support for the arts is based on several false assumptions, including that art is "a form of disruptive innovation." Spoken like a true avant-garde apologist.

6/7: Prospect (London), "The Dustbin of Art History." Praise for commentator Gerrard Barnes (an ordinary person and winner of an Aristos Award for 2010)--not for the article writer, who makes no distinction between contemporary charlatans like Damien Hirst [one of his medicine cabinets] [detail of another], Tracy Emins [cast of a child's mitten], and Jeff Koons [the artist and one of his balloon dogs] and genuine artists such as Bouguereau (1825-1905) and Boucher (1703-1770) [see especially his atypical Painter in His Studio].

6/7: Los Angeles Times, "Technology Changes How Art Is Created and Perceived." It sure has, but what the writer perceives as art is not art. See comments.

5/12: Wall Street Journal, "Branching Out Atop the Met Museum." Heading: "With 'Big Bambú,' Doug and Mike Starn Have Erected a Surrogate Forest, At Once Artificial and Natural." Here's "Big Bambú" (on the roof of the Met), which critic Karen Wilkin terms an "exuberant invention"--not a "significant sculpture," "more of a phenomenon," but sculpture in her view nevertheless.

5/1: Wall Street Journal, "Intimations of Mortality." Focusing on a single painting by Thomas Eakins, John Wilmerding errs in concluding that the notion of "interiority" one finds in such works makes Eakins a "protomodern artist." Rembrandt, for example, concerned himself with his own inner life in the late self-portraits (1660) as well as in portraits of others. (See, for example, A Bust of an Old Woman [1629-1631], also titled The Artist's Mother. See also my discussion of Eakins's Portrait of Susan Macdowell Eakins [his wife], c.1899, in "Thomas Eakins: Painting Pure Thought.")

4/30: Real Clear Arts (AJ), "Whitney Biennial: Too Much Talk About Process." "Process" here means "technique"--how a painting, say, is made. But maybe that's all there is to talk about if a work has no "substance," no real meaning.

4/16: Orange County Register (The Arts Blog), "Some at MoMA Show Forget 'Look But Don't Touch." As the summary statement at the start of the Comments section put it: "The Marina Abramovic retrospective, which features nudity, has generated unwelcome behavior by visitors." None that I saw. Young models of both sexes re-enacted (if one can call it that) "performance art" pieces originated by Abramovic and her then lover/collaborator in the late 1970s and 80s. My comment (#314) consists of brief praise for each of a few of my fellow commentators who had the courage to go against the artworld grain and say, or imply, "not art" about it all. (Note link "Back to Article" at the end of the headline.)

4/14: Wall Street Journal, "Lone Star Stadium of Art." Original works--mostly abstract--made for Cowboys Stadium in Dallas are colorful, but are they art? The writer thinks so, but I say no in a brief remark that singles out one work, Cheering Crowd [detail], which is made from a photo taken at a Nascar race. The other pieces are decorative art of a type befitting a football stadium.

4/5: Dewey21C (AJ), "Jane Remer's CliffNotes: Counting the Arts as An Act of Faith." Remer ends by saying "I know, I know, we still need to define 'arts'" (or "art" as I suggest). "Still need to"? To her credit, however, she argues against using the arts as agents of social reform. I cite links to a book and an article on these topics that might interest her.

3/30: Orange County Register, "Daniel Pink Gives O.C. Leaders an Important Message: The Arts Matter." In his lecture Pink focused on "the importance of arts education in forming a well-rounded, competitive job-force warrior." I agree, but note that too often true art is neglected. The executive director of Arts Orange County, an advocacy group, responds--not altogether favorably.

3/8: Los Angeles Times, "Variety Lays an Egg: Is Firing Its Critics Really 'Economic Reality?"

2/26: Wall Street Journal, "Not a Member of the Club." On choreographer Mark Morris.

2/23: Washington Post, "After 200 Years, Classical Composer Chopin's Music Still Holds Mysteries."

2/23: Wall Street Journal, "Plotting a Revolution." Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto.

2/22: Guardian (London), "The Music Instinct by Philip Ball."

1/28: Orange County Register (The Arts Blog), "At Sacramento Retreat, Wondering How to Make the Arts Matter."

1/21: Washington Post, "The National Arts Index, a New Survey by Americans for the Arts, Paints a Troubling Picture for Arts Organizations."

1/8: Los Angeles Times, "Michael Brand, Director of J. Paul Getty Museum, Is Stepping Down."

1/8: The Arbuturian (a gourmet, lifestyle, culture, and travel magazine), "On the Origin of Stories."

1/2: Wall Street Journal, "Art That Defies That Definition."


12/20: Wall Street Journal, "Before Cowboys Became Cliché."

12/14: Wall Street Journal, "Maximal Results, Minimal Means." By Lance Esplund.

12/9: Dewey21C (AJ) [on arts education]: "The Partnership for 19th Century Skills."

12/4: Wall Street Journal, "A Star, a Soap and the Meaning of Art."

12/4: Chicago Reader, "Chapman Kelley's Mutilated Garden." ("The Seventh Circuit is set to decide if the Park District had the right to destroy an artwork.")

11/17: Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC: "Why Architecture Matters" (scroll down to end for my comment). Listen to interview with architecture critic Paul Goldberger. In my brief comment I cite "At His Father's Knee," my review of John Silber's Architecture of the Absurd: How "Genius" Disfigured a Practical Art in response to comment by a listener who hoped that Goldberger would mention Silber's book. He did not. In his book Why Architecture Matters, Goldberger makes such foolish statements as "Art is defined largely by intention, and so is architecture [6]," and "architecture is art and it is not art . . . art and not art, at once [8]." Silber would scoff at such gibberish, which Goldlberger repeats soon after the start of the interview.

11/8: Creative Destruction (AJ) [on music]: "Public Concert, Private Music." Comment by Louis Torres & Michelle Kamhi. On a moving account of pianist Andre Watts's large heart and modesty. (See more at "An Enormous Heart" in Notes & Comments, Aristos, December 2009.)

10/29: Culture Monster (Los Angeles Times): "Dance Review: Pilobolus at Ahmanson Theatre." Yet another critic dubs performances by the Pilobolus company "dance." It fact, it's pure entertainment. What else to call "acrobatic feats . . . contortionist extremes . . . clown-show antics . . . aerial assaults . . . [and] inventive commingling. . . ." Certainly not dance. Click on "Comments" at end of review for my very brief remarks. (See also What Art Is--enter book title at Google Books, click on title, then "Overview" at left sidebar (a more useful page), then search for "Pilobolus" [p. 235].)

10/19: Wall Street Journal: "The Mystery of Music: What About It Has Such Power Over Human Beings?" Click on "Comments." See my reply to first comment (by Alice Felt), then click on the number 2 above and to the right of her remarks.

10/18: Real Clear Arts (AJ): "On Shark-Jumping and Shark-Dumping: Has Conceptual Art Jumped the Shark Tank?" My critique of remarks made by philosopher Denis Dutton in "Has Conceptual Art Jumped the Shark Tank?" a New York Times op-ed piece. See my review of Dutton's The Art Instinct (Aristos, April 2010).

10/14: Seeing Things: Tobi Tobias on Dance, et al. (AJ): Decreation Indeed. Tobias says that William Forsythe's dance, Decreation is "empty" and "inexplicable." I agree with her, but go one step further.

10/13: Real Clear Arts (AJ): "A Change in Culture: Why Mario Resca Could Be Good For Italy." Resca is charged with transforming Italy's cultural treasures and plans to appoint expert advisors in "classic/modern art" and "contemporary art." My advice to him is that he needs a third advisor to counter the advice he'll receive from the second one.

10/6: Real Clear Arts (AJ): "New Old Masters: Young British Artists--No, Not Them--Look Back." While I have reservations about the exhibition under consideration here, my brief comment refers to a link in the very last sentence of this post. That link leads to a sobering previous post by Real Clear Arts critic Judith Dobrzynski regarding the unfortunate fact that art students just "won't go to art museums," preferring to view works exclusively online.

10/6: Real Clear Arts (AJ): "Discovering Robert Bergman, An Art World Cinderfella Story." I refer the reader to an article by weblogger Judith Dobrzynski on Bergman, a photographer, in the Wall Street Journal. In the comments section of the WSJ article, for which Dobrzynski provides a link I discuss on whether photography is art or not (see "Newest Comments"). A responder wrote that he could care less. Oh, well.

9/30: Wall Street Journal: "Major Miniaturist Makes Art That Comes With Its Own Microscope: For Willard Wigan and a Handful of Nanotechnologists, Small Is Very Big." A rare two-word comment by me to see if anyone would respond. Someone did, writing in rebuttal: "Everyone is allowed their own opinion. They are not required to have yours." How true, but. . . .

9/24: Real Clear Arts (AJ): "A New Theory About Pollock's Mural: He Hid His Signature." Comment is not on Henry Adams's inconsequential new book on Jackson Pollock (the subject at hand), but on Judith Dobrzynski's surprising implicit agreement with the prurient-prone scholar's unsubstantiated thesis that the painter Thomas Eakins had molested his niece and caused her gruesome suicide at age twenty-four. Dobrzynski intended no such thing, as she makes clear in a response to my comment.

Adams, who is chairman of the Department of Art History and Art at Case Western University in Cleveland, taught a course entitled "Acts of Genius: The Arts of Humankind: The Renaissance to the Present" last spring. Among the works of "genius" featured was a "dismembered shark," presumably Damien Hirst's [more] [video] now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

9/2: Culture Monster (Los Angeles Times): "Ed Ruscha, Robert Redford, among 2009 Americans for the Arts Honorees." Ruscha, a pioneering "pop artist" is but the latest avant-gardist to be given the lobbying group's "Artistic Excellence Award."

8/27: Wall Street Journal: "Getting an Earful at the Museum." On museum audio and multimedia guides--I advise against them, especially the first time a museum visitor sees an exhibition.

8/13: Real Clear Arts (AJ): "A Brilliant No-Brainer Idea at U-Penn Focuses on Art (How Refreshing!) My critique of a plan to have incoming freshman at the University of Pennsylvania study Thomas Eakins's great painting The Gross Clinic then be prepared to discuss it at the start of the academic year. A good idea--the image of Dr. Gross is one of the most compelling in American art--but not the way Penn intends to carry it out. (The painting is currently not on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as it is undergoing restoration.)

8/12: Cityscapes (Chicago Tribune): "The Saga of the Burnham Pavilions: Fragile Public Art Takes a Hit in an Interactive World." The question is asked: "Can the public love public art to death?" Yes, if it's not really art. No, if it is. I cite an example to illustrate my point.

8/10: Real Clear Arts (AJ): "Does It Have to Be Experimental to Be Art?" On playwright Theresa Rebeck's Aristos Award-winning essay "Can Craft and Creativity Live on the Same Stage?"

8/6: "My Dinner with Merce and Its Connection to Cultural Policy." Comment on the avant-garde "choreographer" Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) and his long-time collaborator, avant-garde "composer" John Cage (1912-1992), by Michelle Kamhi.)

7/30: Washington Post: "NSO [National Symphony Orchestra] to Try Beethoven's Tweet Suite: Maestro Taps Twitter For a Mobile 'Pastoral.'" (For comment on the equivalent in music of the intrusive audio guides in art museums, click on "View All" just below image of musical score--after "0 Comments" becomes "19 Comments." Be patient. See also 7/23 item below.)

7/23: Baltimore Sun: "National Symphony to Introduce Real-Time Twittered Program Notes." (As if reading printed program notes before or during a concert were not bad enough. See the critic's response to my comment, as well as a reader's comment [three below mine], and 7/30 item above.)

7/17: Real Clear Arts (AJ): "Does the NEH [National Endowment for the Humanities] Know That Philosophers Exist? They Don't Think So." (On the $25,000 "Enduring Questions" grants awarded by the NEH, and the suggestion that "What is art?" be one of the EQs.)

7/14: Real Clear Arts (AJ): "(Untitled) The Satire: It Targets Contemporary Art and Music." (On "a movie that's bound to infuriate the contemporary art and contemporary music worlds, make them howl with knowing laughter, or both.")

7/12: Daily Telegraph (London): "We Have Had Enough of Con Artists" (On Antony Gormley's One & Other scam at Trafalgar Square in London: live webstream, through 10/14/09.)

7/9: Los Angeles Times Op-Ed: "What Makes the Arts 'Essential'? Let Me Draw You a Picture." (For part 2 of comments, scroll down to end of this cached version of the article. part 1, which cited my article "The Child As Poet: A Dangerous and Insidious Myth," is lost somewhere in cyberspace.)

6/25: Another Bouncing Ball (AJ): "Odd Man Out--Andrew Wyeth: Remembrance at [the Seattle Art Museum]." (Wyeth disparaged.)

6/22: Real Clear Arts (AJ): "Seattle Artist Buster Simpson Wins Public Art Award." (On a maker of "contemporary" and "environmental" art.)

6/10: Real Clear Arts (AJ): "Women Artists in Museums: Take a Clue from . . . [National Gallery of Art] Show." (An interesting discussion rightly critical of "women artist" shows.)

6/5: Out and About (New York Sun): "What Kind of Art Do the Obamas Want at the White House?" (Date of comments is two weeks after the original post appeared: a long story! Click on link to comments title, "Real Art," below post. See also 5/24 below.)

6/5: Real Clear Arts (AJ): "Are Gardens Art? Many Are, of Course." (Are they?)

5/24: Wall Street Journal: "Changing the Art on the White House Walls." (Don't miss video interview with the two writers. Click on "Comments" under the headline, then "Sort by: Newest," and see third comment. See also 6/5 Out and About entry above.)

5/18: Boston Globe: "What Fate for the Carriage House that Mrs. Jack [Isabella Steward Gardner] Built?" (On plans by Gardner Museum trustees that would defile Mrs. Gardner's legacy. Sort comments by "Latest First," then search for "Aristos" to read comment. Postscript: "Gardner Museum Tears Down Structure at Heart of Dispute."

5/4: New Statesman (London): "Screen Test." (On video games as art and whether, generally speaking, the question "Is it art?" is still asked.)

5/1: Out and About (New York Sun): "Young Poets Show a Love and Gift for Language at Poem in Your Pocket Day." (At end of post, click on comments link, "Are Children Natural Poets?" under "Reader comments on this weblog entry.")

4/30: Real Clear Arts (AJ): "Will the New York Sun Rise Again?" (Comment--second after post--regarding letters by me published in the Sun during its all too brief run between 2002 and 2008.)

4/30 (I): Another Bouncing Ball (AJ): [Part I] "Gala Bent--May the Force Be With You." (On an alleged artist whose drawings "appear to be waiting for you to leave, in order to disappear.")

4/30 (II): Another Bouncing Ball: [Part II] "Aristos: Delighted to Disappoint You, Mr. Torres" (Read [Part I], above, first. See two comments below post.]

4/29: Life's a Pitch (AJ): "Naked Emperors." (The Colbert Report satirizes Steve Reich's Pulitzer Prize in music. Begin by viewing just 1'30" of the first of two videos.)

4/24: The Artful Manager (AJ): "Opening Wounds to Heal Them" (On public art and technology. Read article then view video. See also, just above, two comments that comment on my comments.)

3/30: Another Bouncing Ball (AJ): "How the Legal System, the Press and His Nerve Failed Dale Chihuly." (About the pioneer maker of "glass art.")

3/29: New York Times, (Sunday) Arts & Leisure section: "A Wounded Museum Feels a Jolt of Progress." (See fifth paragraph of article, which begins "For Anne Hawley. . . ." Comments on that paragraph are entitled "Gardner Museum: Defining Progress."

3/26: Los Angeles Times: "Sol LeWitt's Final Public Wall-Drawing." (On the minimalist's minimalist. Don't miss video. See comment below mine as well.)

3/19: Diacritical (AJ): "Is the NEA Bad for the Arts?"

2/25: New York Times: "House Bill Would Increase Funding for Arts and Humanities. (On the NEA and NEH budgets.)

2/20: New York Times: "Armani Donates $1 Million to Schools." (On arts education.)

2/10: Chicago Tribune: Theater Loop: "In Economic Stimulus Package, Arts Deserve Place in Line."

2/10: Los Angeles Times: "Five Reasons Congress Hates the Arts."