Composers John Cage and R. Murray Schafer sculpt sound into moments that evade on-demand consumption. What can we learn from sound that will not be harnessed?
“If creative music is under celebrated and under documented compared to other eras in jazz, the women who played a role in the music are doubly so,” writes Leena Mahan. The former radio DJ will use this column as a space to profile women jazz artists.
Edward Hopper’s ‘Rooms by the Sea’ captures the psychic tension resulting from conflicting states of mind. The visible ambivalence of the painting is particularly relatable during Covid.
Photographs stage a confrontation between the idea of an object and its representation, and demonstrate how Form can overwhelm aesthetic pursuit.
“If you revisit the things that once interested you, you can return to that period of your life. It’s part of time’s relativity—how its span depends on the way you spend it—something the pandemic has made visible. Lockdown turns a day into an elevator ride, a walk to the store into months, the house still with dust on your return.”
A critic surveys the Wynn Las Vegas art holdings and asks, “What can compete with a hanging parasol garden, life-size crystal peacocks, anemone-lantern trees, dramatic drapery edged with passementerie, and swirling golden mosaics, as well as carpets, ceiling moldings, and chandeliers fit for royalty?”
“The work is so far from perfection because we ourselves are so far from perfection … That is why art work is so very hard. It is a working through of disappointments and a growing recognition of failure to the point of defeat. But still one wakes in the morning and there is the inspiration and one goes on.”
In 2020 actor Kait Russell got her big break – her first audition for a Broadway musical. But while preparing for it she received a phone call that changed everything. “Broadway is shutting down,” her agent told her. “We can’t keep your audition.”
“If you’ve ever asked yourself why a particular painting is considered beautiful, or whether a curious item displayed in a gallery even counts as art, then you’ve engaged with the same species of question that aesthetics aims to address.”
Each of these writers has a unique point of view and range of interests. They will be contributing to Critical Read between November 2020 and June 2021.