Frames rule

Slap a piece of wood around a painting, and you've created a border  -- a signal that the viewer is leaving one kind of space and moving into another.  Carve and gild that border and you're declaring that what is inside is special, very special. And sometimes the frame itself can grow so exuberant, so … Continue reading Frames rule

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

TIBETAN WORKS IN NEWARK

A worthwhile collection of Tibetan art in Newark -- that in itself to most will seem like the ultimate oxymoron.  As one friend wrote to me, "I thought Newark was a cultural wasteland."  Wrong.  At least not within the wall of the Newark Museum where a very dynamic curator has reinstalled the Tibetan galleries, striking … Continue reading TIBETAN WORKS IN NEWARK

Chinese cloisonné: just decorative or also art?

Here's the ultimate decorative arts medium -- cloisonné -- and new evidence that Ming Chinese scholar-artists might have prized it the way they did their craggy scholar's rocks and understated ink paintings. The Economist has a great review of a show of cloisonné at the Bard Graduate Center; I also reviewed it in the Wall … Continue reading Chinese cloisonné: just decorative or also art?