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Volume 34 no 4 March-April 2020

Features: 7  No Art Superstars from Israel – Daniel Nanavati, Tel Aviv 10 The reality of Gabo does not match the expectation – Ken Turner, St Ives 13 Sculpting mathematics – Stephen Luecking, Chicago 18 Scouting the blogs – Miklos Legrady, Toronto Departments: 2 Letters 4 Editorial by Daniel Nanavati 6 Speakeasy by Gill Fickling 37 Newsbriefs Reviews: 15 Girls’ …

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Editorial Volume 34 no 4 March – April 2020

There are some paintings you look at and you wonder who the people were, you muse about the time and place, the fashion, the thinking of the characters and you inspect as far as you are able the skill of the artist. But you have to take another step in your mind to consider philosophical ideas. Then there are paintings …

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Speakeasy volume 34 no 4 March/April 2020

I watched in horror as a nurse passed a wooden ladle full of food through the bars of Julio’s cell. Naked, wild-haired and eyed, 21-year-old Julio pressed himself up to the other side of the bars and opened his mouth wide to accommodate the huge spoon. Having spent the last 14 years of his young life behind bars, Julio’s only …

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No art superstars from Israel

Given the chance to visit the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and to consider the work and place of contemporary Israeli artists, my mind was filled with expectation. Surely the people who had produced Camille Pisarro and Marc Chagall, rumours about Rembrandt’s Jewish ancestry, Mark Rothko, Amedeo Modigliani, Leon Golub, Naum Gabo, Lucian Freud, Sonia Delaunay and so many others, …

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Sculpting Mathematics

Mathematics has had a profound effect in shaping modern art: not in its ability to generate attractive patterns but in exposing the artists to spatial possibilities not easily observed in their physical world. One such spatial possibility is the fourth dimension, which is, for the most part, inaccessible to human perception. The question of whether or not this invisible extension …

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Girl’s World

Take a second look. The exhibit is a nuanced Janus presentation of girlhood well worth the visit. Together, two artists break taboos and give us a revealing look at the state of contemporary girlhood. These friends have made a thorough study of childhood and undoubtedly remember their own as they show us some surprising interpretations of young girls metaphorically swimming …

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Empathy Fatigue

Empathy Fatigue at Andrew Rafacz raises some interesting questions. There are so many things to be fatigued about. Our ex-governor just returned home to Chicago from prison where he served a partial sentence for odious crimes, commuted by our current president. There is little surprise in one thug having empathy for another, but the existence of yet one more moronic …

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Information Theory – Shake That Tree!

Information Theory In 1948, Claude Shannon of Bell Telephone Laboratories published two papers on a system he called Information Theory. In his paper Shannon proved that disorder or haphazard noise contains a message. Most interesting of all, Shannon’s math for describing information was identical to  equations devised in the Victorian era to explain entropy. The equation was a mathematical expression …

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New York feels empty now

  It’s 1995. I’m with my brother in Soho; I live five minutes away on Stanton St; he’s visiting from California. We’re walking past Broome Street warehouses washed by winter sun, that cold yellow light on white painted brick. We visit one gallery after another. George says it feels like post-apocalyptic times. Money’s gone, the markets crashed, art world’s dead …

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A brief history of permanence

Antonio Canova and Bertel Thorvaldsen, the two sculptors currently on show in Milan, share the the desire – together with the ability – to capture ideals in marble, to make beauty permanent. When I left the gallery I found myself spontaneously comparing this search for infinity with various forms of contemporary art – its transience, preoccupation with the finite, and …

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Pandemic Programming: Have You Had Enough of Virtual Exhibitions?

As with every aspect of life today, Covid-19 has drastically altered how the art world does business. Back in March, when federal and state governments forced art institutions to shut their doors to the public, it was surprising how quickly museums and galleries embraced the wholesale move to digitization. While internet-based creative production is nothing new to contemporary art, the …

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In Search of a Visual Reward

Writing about art is an art in itself. I join in with the cliché, ‘I don’t know much about art but I know what I like.’ For years I assumed that it’s in the seeing that believing comes. Now I feel it’s become the other way round, as in religion where believing affects the seeing, perhaps. The media critics are …

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We all suffer from psychoanalysis

The Exchange’s part of this show had a recording of Grace Pailthorpe explaining in detail one of Mednikoff’s paintings, using Freudian and Kleinian ideas about everything relating to his experience as a baby, his earliest supposed feelings about his mother, his faeces etc. She speaks with a remarkable certainty about the meaning of each element of the picture – I …

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Grace Hartigan: Reluctant Feminist

Critical reappraisals of women artists continue unabated, as they legitimately challenge historical omissions and, in some cases, neglect. In this environment the American University Museum in Washington DC mounted, in fall 2019, an exhibit of so-called ‘second generation’ Abstract Expressionist artists, Grace Hartigan and Helene Herzbrun. (This review concerns Hartigan only.) It would be hard to argue that Hartigan has …

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