April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
–T.S. Eliot, “The Waste Land”
We can’t remember the last time poetry bubbled up from Read More
The career of R.B. Kitaj, whose work is the subject of a very large exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery, is like no other in the annals of American art. For one thing, no other American artist in recent memory has accorded to literary and historical subjects so large a role in shaping his pictorial ideas. Read More
In art circles, it’s sometimes forgotten that the first generation of Abstract Expressionist painters in the 1940′s were indebted to the modernist writers of the 1920′s, who elevated an interest in myth and symbolism to the level of an aesthetic imperative. James Joyce’s Ulysses and T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, both published in 1922, were Read More
There are times when I see ghosts on the stage and then I remember the theater that was handed down to me in childhood by my mother and father, whose own parents laughed and wept and sang along in the same irresistible, ghostly company.
I was raised in England on the great warrior class of Read More
On the face of it, I can think of no better recommendation for
the beautiful, mind-blowing possibilities of theater than this wonderfully
optimistic statement from an unknown British dramatist by the name of Zinnie
Harris. Her play at Manhattan Theatre Club, with the nice title Further Than the Furthest Thing , has
been clobbered by Read More
Nothing ever repeats itself twice; that is both the joy of
life, and the sickness of woe.
In the uncertain hour before the morning
Near the ending of interminable night ….
After the dark dove with the flickering tongue
Had passed below the horizon of his homing ….
That is how T.S. Eliot described Read More
Of certain artists it may truly be said that they remain,
both in their life and their work, a considerable conundrum long after they
have been elevated to the status of a classic. The English poet and painter
William Blake (1757-1827), whose work is currently the subject of a remarkable
exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum Read More
As I was walking through the various subdivisions of Open Ends the other day, trying to find something worth looking at, what came to mind again and again were those once-famous lines from T. S. Eliot’s poem, “The Hollow Men”:
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This Read More
A concerned letter has flooded into my mailbox. “I read you every week and I love you,” it goes. “But why didn’t you adore Dirty Blonde , and what’s so terrible about cross-dressing anyway? Yours Sincerely, Raymond Boot, Brooklyn.”
I had mentioned last week that we must all give ourselves a well-deserved rest from worrying Read More
It was William Rubin, then chairman of the department of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, who, on the occasion of Frank Stella’s second exhibition at the museum, invoked the names of Dante, Shakespeare and Picasso as artists with whom it was thought appropriate to compare the work of Mr. Stella. But Read More