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Sunday, May 16, 2004

NJ Symphony Addresses Instrument Donation Issue By Philip Leininger

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Gordon: Milwaukee Art Museum On Track By David Gordon

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Is Art Dead? Hmnnn... By Paul Mellender

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Leeds - Looking For A "Proper" Hall By Pat Atkinson

Friday, February 20, 2004

Prosyletizing for the Arts I have been giving a fair bit of thought about promoting the arts in a manner similar to the way religion is being promoted by using other subjects as a starting point... By Joe Patti

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Cost of Symphony Tickets Too High By Art Priromprintr

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Interpret Ye Yourself I have never been moved to give my response to a published perspective, however the congruent nature of thoughts is too delightful. The article titled, "Let's have more art with out explanation", so eloquently states a view that I strongly agree with. By Kelly Coleman

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Rethinking The Classics - Not All "Perversity" By Les Gutman

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

Why No Follow-up On Warhol? To me the biggest story of the week is the decision of the Warhol Authentication Board to de-certify copies of Andy Warhol's artwork on the grounds that he had no hand in producing them. I would have thought there would be numerous follow-up stories, but the silence is deafening. Surely some enterprising reporters could ask what's going on here? By Peter Miller

Friday, October 10, 2003

"Critical Distance" Village Voice critic Jerry Saltz is well known for the strength of his convictions and for his contrarian spirit. His latest article ("The Whitney Museum at the Crossoads") invites a reply. As the Whitney's former director, freed for a time from the well-meaning restraints of publicists, and in a lively setting rich with blogs, it's a pleasure to respond on behalf of all museum directors who are congenitally obliged to hold their tongues.
By Maxwell Anderson

Monday, September 15, 2003

Beware The Thought Police There is a strange line of thinking slowly enveloping our nation and the tragedy of the World Trade Center is being used to foster it rather than crystallize our resolve for freedom! Limiting creative growth and expression are the first issues addressed when democracy is being "redefined". I wonder how far off the mark is Alexander Stille's article (published the day before in the NYTIMES ) that you have included today online under IDEAS? By L. Ford

Friday, August 8, 2003

Beethoven Was Austrian, Mozart Was German? The Austrians have no right to complain about the Germans claiming Mozart as one of their own. I'm in Austria right now. Two days ago I heard a prominent Austrian claim that Hitler was German and Beethoven was Austrian. Whatever makes you sleep well at night, right? By Dan Martin

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Is Music Worse Off Than Poetry Or Dance? I can look at a 16th Century painting and be dimly aware that there are dozens of symbols that I can’t recognize, but that are absolutely intrinsic to what’s going on in the painting – in the same way that I am dimly aware that there is a formidable set of theoretical decisions driving the Bach piece I’m listening to that are totally beyond my current understanding. Same with modern painting, film, etc.: if I have any self-awareness, I know I don’t really know what the heck Chagall is doing or why; and that’s all the more true with Charles Ives. But for some reason hardly anybody would admit they don’t know who Chagall is, but wouldn’t necessarily lose sleep over confusing Ives with Barber. By Michael Parkhurst

What's Wrong With Strong Views? I think the reorientation of US awareness from its (earlier) European roots to a more homogenous, media-generated culture has resulted in what I see as an impoverishment. Most cultural awareness seems ultimately generated by advertising these days. By Linda Defendeifer

An Open Mind Is Key I teach the appreciation of classical music to people with a variety of disabilities at Uniten Cerebral Palsy on Long Island; these people are open to listening to everything from Bach, Handel, Mozart and Beethoven etc, to contemporary music. Why can't more people be like this? If a person's mind is not open, you cannot make him or her like anything. By Robert Berger

The Problem With Classical Music? Presentation I teach for my university in Paris in the summers and I love to listen to the french classical stations because the DJs make it more interesting. Even my students listen. I believe the fault of lessened popularity of classical music is in its presentation. 'Modern' classical music (surely an oxymoron) has become so intelectualized that it has forgotten that its roots lie in the popular music of the past. By Clayton Adams

Classical Music Market Is Still Strong Re: the state of classical music... The broadcasters and the print media have a lot to answer for, and the financial side of the business is messed up; the best thing that could happen to music (*every kind* of music) would be the five multinational label conglomerates all going bust. But don’t count classical music out just yet: there are more new string quartet recordings alone than I’ve got money to buy. By Donald Clarke

Frankly, Im Skeptical Isn't it possible, just possible, that support is lacking for the aural equivalent of Jackson Pollock because the ordinary listener, with no professional committment to Art, intuitively recognizes it for what it is? By w.d. grissom

Is Music A Fine Art? What "is" the place of music (classical or other) and the other fine arts in general education and cultural literacy? What should it be? This is a very tough question, and one about which even the most articulate and passionate advocates have serious problems making reasoned and persuasive arguments. It's even a serious question whether music is a fine art at all... By John Francis

Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Classical Music - A Bygone Art? One of the things I think that hurts classical music is a combination of the inability of the average musical listener to discern individual variances in performances and technology. Let's take for example, the 1812 Overture. Once anyone records it capably, its etched forever into the average person's universe, and doesn't need to be performed again. I don't have the time in my life to seek out another version other than my NY Phil one with Bernstein. In contrast, a Jazz piece in particular, being of less strict form, has more room to create variance that is discernable to most people... By Aaron T. Dingus

Monday, June 30, 2003

A Better Case For Art Years ago, as a theater critic, I complained in print that as accurate and heartwarming as all of the "arts are educational/arts are good for you" arguments were, they sidestepped what the arts are, that art as an aesthetic experience was deemed essentially worthless or embarrassing or controversial or non-productive. It was something no one talked about. In effect, the arts accepted the entire business-political ethic: they'd better justify themselves on profitable/socially beneficial terms or they were going to die... By Jerome Weeks

New Definition For Art I now predict that within five years, all major university-level "required" texts whose titles fall in the category of "The History of Art", will, and certainly should be, titled: "The History of Esthetic Experiences" as none of today's art scholars or writers appear, understandably, capable of defining what presently passes for...art. By James L. Weaver

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Full Of Fear - Why We Don't Engage With Culture Yes, indeed, literacy is at a low ebb but I don't think the reason is necessarily because we are undereducated idiots. I think the reason has to do with fear. The fear to say what one thinks in the art world (of all places!) is out of hand. By Jennifer Reeves

Saturday, June 21, 2003

How About Fewer Stories On The Amazing Tactics Of Thieves? I have some questions. Under the visual arts heading for Artsjournal, why are there so many articles on art theft and/or mostly articles having to do with money? Why don't you include more articles from Modern Painters, Art in America etc.? By Jennifer Reeves

Okay, No Vision, But What's The Problem? Re: Arts Funding - What was interesting to me about the discussion so far is that, while there was widespread agreement that arts institutions today are without vision, there is rather wide disagreement as to where the problem actually lies. There were several takes on this: By Jonathan Gresl

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Kamhi/Hughey: One Last Word And Let's Put This One To Rest As I understand it Ms. Kamhi's position is that abstract art cannot be meaningful because all meaning in art is derived by its reference to something external to it-a picture functions as a conceptual symbol like a word. She feels that abstract art does not refer to anything in the external world - therefore it has no meaning. I prefer to define meaning in art as felt experience as well as conceptual reference and I also deny that abstract art cannot refer to anything external. By Kirk Hughey

Wanted: A Vision For The Arts Our government (national and state) has lost its vision, if it ever really had it (of which I am not convinced). They don't "see" the connection: that you can't run the government (people) and the arts (inspiration, things of the spirit & dealing with character of people) like a business (money, material goods). The arts (and people) certainly deserve to be perceived as having more worth than material goods. By Sharon Sherrard

We're Not Average Joes... There is a glaring and bizarre dichotomy between how we arts professionals and almost everyone else seem to view our creative world... By Michael Boriskin

Filling Seats Or Inspiring Audiences? I agree that some of us "artists", arts organizations, and arts funding for that matter, no matter what our genre, HAVE lost sight of our purpose(s). I know that I have to go into my studio to do my art. It's like breathing, if I don't do it, I don't feel so good. But, in the search for financial support (funding) and success (sales), I know I am not always doing my art and I am not always feeling so good. And maybe there lies my and the rest of arts mediocrity. By Kathy Iwanowski

Needed: Art For Art's Sake I believe the rebirth of performing arts organizations will come in the form of smaller ensembles that strive to create art for art's sake. This genuine approach will strike a connection to communities and create enthusiasm. The audience is out there waiting to be found. By Drew McManus

Arts Funding - Not A Birthright I am personally sick of hearing people carp about cuts to funding. The real issue is "Why?" which then leads to "What?" and ultimately "How much?" It is not a birthright (which many groups seem to assume) and too often government funding has been diluted by the political process.
By Scott Carter

Where's The Promise Of Art? If we look for wisdom and insight from art there may be enough funding for the few artists left no matter how deep the cuts. Art need not appeal or be accessible to all the people or even any majority but it has to offer something to its audience, no matter how small, that they can't get on the street. Sadly the trend has been the opposite for decades now... By Kirk Hughey

Monday, June 9, 2003

Come On - This Argument Is Just A Subset Of The Classic "What Is Art?" I am an artist/writer (age 60, female, divorced) living and working in Mexico for the last 10 years. I have been following the debate on contemporary art on your site between Hughey and Kamhi since its inception and have had enough of beating the horse dead!!!!!!!! Diversity breeds differences and this dialectic is a necessary arena to maintain vitality but let's not loose sight of the real and most fundamental issue of which all are subsets. What is Art! By L. Ford

Kamhi: I Must Correct The Sorely Mistaken Hughey I had hoped to leave behind the debate with Kirk Hughey regarding the value of abstract art. That he resorts once more to ad hominem is a sure sign of the poverty of his case. I will therefore not bother to respond to his personal attacks. But I cannot refrain from correcting the sorely mistaken account he offers of the relationship between abstract art and totalitarian ideologies. By Michelle Kamhi

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Hughey Fires Back Debating Ms. Kamhi is like trying to debate a computer. Both have programmed responses and a comprehension limited to the literal. She either can't or won't grasp the idea that art is directly experiential and not a context employing generalized conceptual symbols (as with mathematics or language). By Kirk Hughey

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Looting Exaggerated In Iraq? The Baghdad Museum looting was truly over exaggerated. I've been following this story since it started. A reputable museum would evacuate all their priceless artifacts from harms way. The Baghdad Museum had months in to secure everything. The first part of the Hague Convention states that each party is responsible for taking museum pieces away from military establishments and secure them away before a war starts. By Lisa Lindel

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Kamhi: Art That Bridges The Artist And The Subject "When abstract art enters the public realms of education, exhibition, and discourse, the assumption is that it has broadly intersubjective relevance. I am arguing that that assumption is unfounded." By Michelle Kamhi

Thursday, May 1, 2003

Hughey: Abstractly Yours, Abstraction has been accepted as valid art to the degree that any form of art can be (unanimity , even consensus, has never applied in art). It is an inseparable part of art history- even and especially that of American art history. This is fact whether Ms. Kamhi wants to acknowledge it or not. It was invented by artists, not some conglomerate "art-world" of bystanders. By Kirk Hughey

An Argument In Favor Of Abstraction Representational art would not exist without the concepts of abstraction. The formal components of composition necessarily apply to either mode of expression. The act of seeing is as abstract and mathematical as hearing music is without the words. One may paint the concept of a flower and one may paint the concept of red. One may write on the concept of grocery stores and one may write on the concept of words. Some concepts are specific in nature, others cover a broader spectrum. We need equal access to them all even in the visual arts. By Jennifer Reeves

Friday, April 25, 2003

Kamhi: On Keeping An Open Perspective Though more than a month has passed since Kirk Hughey posted his latest letter (March 16) regarding the merits of abstract art, it was so gracious in tone, achieving such a welcome level of civility, that it would be rude of me not to reply. At the same time, he raised some interesting points that are worth clarifying. By Michelle Kamhi

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Music From Brainwaves Not The First Creating music from brainwaves is not a new phenomenon, as suggested in a current Wired story. Nearly 40 years ago, American composer Alvin Lucier... By Frank J. Oteri

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Hughey/Kamhi Debate Continues I cannot understand why appreciation for one form of art must exclude appreciation for all others. My devotion to Goya doesn't mean I cannot love the grand resonance of Rothko. Ms Kamhi can't see this because her theory blocks her view. I am saddened by this - she's missing much of beauty and understanding. By Kirk Hughey

Friday, March 7, 2003

On Meaning And Art Once more unto the breach with Kirk Hughey on the issue of abstract art. . . . "Where we disagree is whether abstract art can intelligibly embody such complex meaning. Mr. Hughey ultimately appeals to the "subjectivity" of art. Of course, the response to art is inevitably influenced by individual differences of personality, character, and worldview. In a work of representational art, however, it is generally possible to point to objective features that can be understood as a reasonable basis for a particular response in a given individual. Abstract art is largely at a loss in that respect." By Michelle Kamhi

Monday, February 24, 2003

Re: Bringing "Science" To Bear In The Debate Over Abstract/Mimetic Art Does "science" prove the superiority of mimetic art? "All deeply original discoveries and creations tend to provoke a measure of doubt in their originators. Ask any scientist if absolute certainty is a useful attitude. I am reminded of a favorite Einstein quote: 'A thought that sometimes makes me hazy: am I - or the others- crazy'?" By Kirk Hughey

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Bring Science To Bear In The Debate Over Abstract/Mimetic Art Recent brain-imaging studies by Semir Zeki - a leading researcher in the field of visual perception - show that the perception of abstract works invariably “activate[s] a less extensive part of the brain than representational or figurative compositions, even when the two are made of the same elements.” By Michelle Kamhi

Friday, February 14, 2003

Mimetic Vs. Abstract Art - The Debate Continues The fact remains that some people find abstraction as meaningful and intelligible as so-called "mimetic" art. To exclude this reality is as absurd as excluding non-Euclidean geometry from mathematics just because some people find Lobachevsky incomprehensible... By Kirk Hughey

Saturday, February 8, 2003

Extravagant Claims For Abstract Art Unwarranted Re: Kirk Hughey's latest missive:...I have never suggested that abstract art should be suppressed or eliminated. Nor do I feel in any way "threatened" by it. As it happens, I even like some abstract work - for its elements of color and design. In the light of the cognitive revolution, however, I find the extravagant claims for its meaningfulness, and for its ultimate cultural value, more and more unconvincing... By Michelle Kamhi

Wednesday, February 5, 2003

AJ's Idle Speculation Just Small-Minded Generalizing I was surprised by the theorizing included in your brief about the departure of Executive Director Steven Ovitsky from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (2/5/03). You speculated that he was forced out by the Board because he was too cosy with the musicians... By Andy Buelow

Meaning In Abstraction - The Debate Continues The history of abstraction is not crucial to its defense but the presence of abstraction in other cultures and times does, at least, create some interesting questions. The introduction of the term "free-standing" can be something of a red herring used to disqualify art from cultures that have no exclusive division between "art" and "decoration". Does this mean that applied abstract motifs had no symbolic or contemplative value to those cultures - and that they should be viewed in the same terms as we use to dismiss decoration as "meaningful"? By Kirk Hughey

Sunday, February 2, 2003

Real Abstraction - A Cognitive Disconnect "Kirk Hughey’s objections to my article “Art and Cognition: Mimesis vs. the Avant Garde” are not surprising, since he is himself an abstract painter — a fact he failed to mention. His defense of abstract art consists of false allegations about my view of art and its relationship to that held by Ayn Rand, unsupported assertions about how abstract work is perceived, misinformation about its history, and (by his own admission) ad hominen argument." By Michelle Kamhi

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Regarding "Art and Cognition" Since abstract art did not suddenly appear a hundred years ago but has been in evidence in many cultures and periods in all of human history it would seem at least as valid a subject for inquiry into human cognition as mimetic art. From a purely personal view, though, articles like this tempt me into the dread waters of the ad hominem fallacy and I can't resist thinking that any form of art so universally rejected by all totalitarian dictators (like Stalin and Hitler) as well as obsessive-compulsive ideologues (like Ayn Rand) can't be all bad. By Kirk Hughey

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Some Empathy For Arts Groups Who Aren't Lincoln Center? In a recent letter to the Washington Post, Reynold Levy haughtily dismisses an assertion by Michael Kaiser, published in the same newspaper a week before, that "the world of the performing arts is sick." But the way he does so strikes me as evidence of the very ills Mr. Kaiser is warning us about... By Kit Baker

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Time For An American "Minister of Culture"? Ultimately, I would like to see our nation realize what for so long has just been a hope and a dream; namely, the creation of a Minister of Culture position. While in the White House, Mrs. Kennedy had urged her husband to create a Minister of Culture position for America. Although this did not occur, I think that Mrs. Kennedy's idea was a bold and important step forward for the evolution of the performing arts in the United States. By David M. Huff

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Re: What Makes "American" Culture So Satisfying? Perhaps there is a common threshold of pleasure - something very basic on the simplest level that we all share - and that provides a kind of security in familiarity? By Kirk Hughey

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

What Makes "American" Culture So Satisfying? Reducing complexity and searching for the simplest pleasures is a real strategy... By David Tiley

Monday, January 13, 2003

Ballet Directors Will Form International Network Following Three-Day Think Tank The largest ever gathering of heads of international ballet companies
concluded a three-day think tank in Suffolk this weekend (January 10-12), hosted by Dance East, with a commitment to form an international network of Artistic Directors to address issues of rights and royalties, creativity and risk-taking and corporate governance...
By Dance East Press Release

Friday, January 3, 2003

The American Myth Of Individualization "Invasion of the Culture Snatchers?" by Winfried Fluck is very interesting but misses a point... By Kirk Hughey

Monday, December 23, 2002

Thing.net Booted From The Web As reported in a story in today's New York Times, Thing.net, which hosts a variety of pushing-the-edge artists and activists, was in danger of being shut down for controversial works. Early this morning a release arrived from Thing.net saying it had been booted off the web. Here's their press release... By Thing.net

Monday, December 16, 2002

Censorship? "Why censor the article from the Art Newspaper about DIA. This publication is not exactly known for its hack journalism. And while the DIA letter makes some persuasive points, it would be nice to let the readers see..." By Thomas G. Beischer

Dia Responds After an article in The Art Newspaper about the state of the Dia Foundation's finances was taken offline [12/16/02], Dia sent this statement... By Dia Foundation

Thursday, December 12, 2002

There's Nothing "Objective" About Art I found the article by Andrew Eaton in the Scotsman on the Turner Prize very poorly wrought. I, for one, am perfectly willing to admit anything into the category "art" that comes into being to evoke response. But being art doesn't necessarily imply that something has value... By Kirk Hughey

Sunday, December 8, 2002

Fast Food Art For A Fast Food World Rupert Christiansen laments the fast-fooding of the arts [Fast-Food Arts The Telegraph 12/04/02]. Surely he doesn't mean that because some have tried to break down the definitions of shall-we-call-them longer-form arts and elevate the status of bite-size popular culture, that this has degraded the definition of art... By Dorran Harper

Friday, March 15, 2002

British Protest over Italian Cultural Envoy is Unfair Dr. Edoardo Crisafulli, cultural attaché of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs writes to deplore an Observer article about a campaign by a group of British arts luminaries to lobby Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi to keep Mario Fortunato, the Italian cultural envoy to London... By Dr. Edoardo Crisafulli

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Report on Arts is Misleading John Brotman, director of the Ontario Arts Council, writes to protest the conclusions of a study and a report on that study in Canada's National Post, that said... By John Brotman

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