Posts Tagged ‘Harvard’

The Fire of Hephaistos

Wednesday, May 1st, 1996

These ancient bronzes, which have long since lost their golden gleam, are still numinous fragments of a vanished world. One statue of young man was recently pulled out of a river; his pale sea-green body is scratched and scarred; but he is still a lovely apparition, reminding me of some lines from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”:
“Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea change
Into something rich and strange.”

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Busch-Reisinger Museum

Saturday, September 14th, 1991

A crowded stage, and all the players on it. A king, wearing a crown, stabs himself in the heart. A woman looks at her reflection in a mirror, next to a statue of a Greek god. Modern men and women read the newspaper, talk, flirt, and fight with real knives. MAX BECKMANN’s The Actors aims to encompass all of Art and Life in thick, sure slashes of paint.

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Fragments of Antiquity

Friday, June 21st, 1991

All that we know of Greece has come to us in ruins–armless, headless, faded, fallen, broken, battered, lost in translation. What we have are fragments, fragments that have lost almost everything–except their poetry. But, generation after generation, that poetry has never lost its thrilling, visionary gleam.

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Images of the Mind

Monday, May 19th, 1986

Tao Chi was a prince who became a wandering Buddhist monk. His “Melancholy Thoughts on the Hsiao and Hsiang Rivers,” captures the mood of the end of autumn. A lonely fishing hut is half-hidden by a few sparse trees; a flock of wild geese flies over a river. The calligraphy echoes the flight of the birds and the quiver of the leaves. Without understanding a word, we can feel the poetry.

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The Sketchbooks of Le Corbusier

Tuesday, December 1st, 1981

LE CORBUSIER created his own myth through the organic generation of forms. His genius constantly renewed itself, pulling new phenomena into the orbit of his thought and recreating them in the purified, monumental yet human forms of his architecture.

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Ingres 1780-1980

Monday, December 1st, 1980

For a twentieth-century audience brought up on abstraction, INGRES’s greatness, his fascination, lies in the abstract qualities of his line, its restless, obsessive movement across the page. Ingres’ line has power, grace, life; it’s brilliant, dramatic, neurotic, even perverse. He told his students, “Drawing is everything; it is all of Art.”

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Gabriele Munter: From Munich to Murnau

Saturday, November 1st, 1980

A woman sits thinking, resting her head on her hand in a room filled with flowers and fruit. The room seems charged with meaning, filled with her extraordinary presence. For GABRIELE MUNTER, art was not about appearances, but about realities lying behind appearances. Abstraction was a way of seeing into the heart of things.

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Claude Le Lorrain

Tuesday, April 1st, 1980

CLAUDE LE LORRAIN depicts the moment just before transfiguration — the moment just before women turn into goddesses, or girls turn into swans, or life turns into art. His light is dusk and twilight — the darkling light that washes the physical world in unearthly beauty and fills the heart with an intoxicating sense of possibility.

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Becoming an Art Critic

Thursday, April 13th, 1978

In 1979, an 11th century Persian poem with 50,000 rhyming couplets, illuminated by tiny paintings in exquisite colors made from crushed jewels and insects’ wings, inspired my first story about art. For the next 20 years, I wrote, published, and broadcast hundreds of Stories about Art in Boston and beyond. This is how it all began.

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