Scrolling through Chinese art

"I hate theme shows.  I hate shows that bunch a whole lot of works together that should be seen alone."  This -- or words to this effect -- is what an artist friend said when I was telling him about a show of Chinese paintings at the Met I had reviewed.  It hit home because, … Continue reading Scrolling through Chinese art

Crossing over

The whole notion of thresholds and borders between the sacred and profane got me to thinking about facades of churches and how they signal this border/threshold and perhaps none more loudly than baroque facades designed with Counter-Reformation zeal in the Italian town of Lecce. Talk about a border teeming with life forms... At first glance, … Continue reading Crossing over

Borders

One reader commented... "And the “borderland” is often the richest, most productive and releaving place to be. In ecology, scientists study and celebrate the “edge” — the edge between sea and land, between fresh and salt water, between one climatic zone and another. There they find not only an incubator for distinctive forms of life … Continue reading Borders

Asuras and devas at Angkor Wat

Cannot quite yet let go of the Churning of the Sea of Milk... Here are the asuras or demons standing on the sea, tugging fiercely on the snake... And here are the devas or gods, also standing on the sea (which you don't see here) with heavenly maidens frolicking above their heads: Why is it … Continue reading Asuras and devas at Angkor Wat

Saving the Sea of Milk

The Wall Street Journal's art page has this great feature called the Masterpiece column in which you get to just stop and spend time on one work.  As every writer who has done one of these will  tell you, it is exhilarating and frustrating.  I don't have to explain the first part, at least not … Continue reading Saving the Sea of Milk