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Features:

Kingdome City by Playwright Sheri Wilner

World Premiere at La Jolla Playhouse

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Theatre
By: Jack Lyons - 09/18/2014
The La Jolla Playhouse launched the world premiere of “Kingdome City” by playwright Sheri Wilner directed by Jackson Gay. “Kingdom City” is playwright Wilner’s take on the state of censorship in the United States in the 21st century. Like Arthur Miller before her she uses the metaphor of “The Crucible” to examine thorny problems and issues plaguing American society when it comes to religious issues versus political situations and protected First Amendment rights to free speech.


Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight

A Brilliant Woman's Love and Philosophy At The Nora

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Theatre
By: Mark Favermann - 09/19/2014
Emilie du Châtelet, was a brilliant physicist before physics was a word. She was also a card shark, and all-around bad ass during the Age of Enlightenment. At the Nora Theatre Company, she as a ghost returns searching for answers: Love or Philosophy? Head or Heart? An outspoken eccentric or actual intellectual revolutionary, she was lustful and brilliant. The Marquise introduced Newtonian physics to France and took Voltaire as her lover always correcting errors in his work. This theatrical exploration traverses time and space with a woman ahead of her time, ignoring the rules of polite society, with her greatest limitation being that of her dexterous mind. The central character is wonderfully portrayed by Lee Mikeska Gardner.


Fulper

Damage Control for a Rare Bowl

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Word
By: Jane Hudson - 09/20/2014
With her husband Jeff, when not making art and writing poetry, Jane is a partner in Hudson's Antiques at Mass MoCA. Here she considers the nature of condition and value.


Can One Idiot Learn from Another

What You Don't Know About Quantum Mechanics Does Help You

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Opinion
By: David Zaig - 09/21/2014
Knowledge doesn’t limit us or take away the beauty and mystery of the world—it actually enhances our view of the world and should make us stronger and more tolerant.


Di-no-mite

Dreadnoughtus Don't Weep in Argentina

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/21/2014
At 65 tons, and not quite grown, Dreadnoughtus, bought the farm some 75 million years ago give or take a few million. Compared to which we showed up about 25,000 B.C.E. Don't count on the human species being around millions of years from now.


<50% at Fringe Festival Encores, Encores

Gianmarco Soresi's Hilarious Theatre Piece

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Theatre
By: Susan Hall - 09/21/2014
Soresi describes his first moment playing a role like <50%'s in second grade: "I was the Handsome Prince in “The Princess and the Pea” in 2nd grade. My crown was made of gold-spray-painted-Styrofoam. It was a big deal. In the penultimate scene, Pretty Princess said to me “I love you”. My response was supposed to be “And I love you”. In the heat of the moment, twenty if not thirty parents’ eyes fixed on me, I stuck my index finger down my opened mouth, tongue outstretched and made a gagging sound. The audience approved. I saw those ten-to-fifteen adults roar with laughter, people who under any other circumstance wouldn’t have given me the time of day (my parents were in the audience as well…), all of us sharing something." In that moment I became a writer, an actor, and a bit of an asshole all at once.


Kites

Bermuda Triangle

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/22/2014
On Easter Sunday it's traditional to fly kites in Bermuda. That morphed into ten degrees of separation.


Octopus

Fishy Friend

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/22/2014
Friendships come in all forms. Including ones that can be clinging and venemous.


Sicilian Valhalla

Death of the Don

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/22/2014
In a Viking funeral the warrior is cast adrift in a burning vessel. The Sicilian Don expired amid tomato vines.


Harvard Art Museums Open November 16

Renovation by Renco Piano Conflates Separate Museums

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Architecture
By: Harvard - 03/11/2014
The Harvard Art Museums—comprising the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum—will open their new Renzo Piano-designed facility to the public on November 16, 2014. The renovation and expansion of the museums’ landmark building at 32 Quincy Street in Cambridge will bring the three museums and their collections together under one roof for the first time


You

A Poet and Her Muse

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Word
By: Jane Hudson - 09/20/2014
Decades later Jane Hudson, artist and musician, returns to her first love poetry. Here she evokes what inspires her.


Finding Neverland A Spectacular Journey

American Rep Wows With Broadway Bound Musical

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Theatre
By: Mark Favermann - 08/15/2014
Based upon the story of the creation of the 1904 now classic play Peter Pan, Finding Neverland at the American Repertory Theatre is a wonderful theatrical multigenerational event. With spectacular performances, magnificent stagecraft and beautiful music, this is a sight and sound treat. Already set for Broadway in 2015, getting a ticket might be difficult, but well worth the effort. Bravo Diane Paulus and A.R. T.!


Premiere of Works by Stephen Dankner

Clark Features Berkshire Composer October 12

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Music
By: Stephen Dankner - 09/01/2014
During a recent meeting in Williamstown the Berkshire Composer and Berkshire Fine Arts contributor, Stephen Denkner, discussed several world premieres over the next couple of months. His Quartets Nos. 14, 16 and 17 will be performed by the Dover String Quartet at the Clark Art Institute on October 12 at 3 PM.


Modern Art in the Berkshires

Clark Curator David Breslin Part Two

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/12/2014
Through October 13 the new special exhition galleries of the Clark Art Instiute feature Make It New: Abstract Painting from the National Gallery of Art 1950-1975. This is part two of a dialogue with Clark curator David Breslin who worked with Harry Cooper of the National Gallery. We discussed how this changes art history and the impact of the exhibition on showing modern art in the Berkshires.


What’s Magna About Clark’s Carta

Williamstown Display of Seminal 1215 Document

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/06/2014
The Barons of England forced King John to sign Magna Carta in 1215. It limited his Divine Rights and created a Constitutional Monarchy laying a foundation of British Common Law and the eventual creation of Parliament. A less than perfect document it was annuled a few months later then revived several times in later years. One of only four copies of the original document is on display as the special exhibiton Radical Words: From Magna Carta to the Constitution on view at the Clark Art Institute through November 1.


Sweeney Todd Thrilling At LyricStage

Music and Performances Create Haunting Theatre

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Theatre
By: Mark Favermann - 09/07/2014
Stephen Sondheim's Tony-Award winning Sweeney Todd is a macabre musical thriller that blends wit with a hauntingly beautiful score and grisly humor. Elegantly and wonderfully produced at the LyricStage, the musical follows the homicidal barber Sweeney Todd on his quest for justice and vengeance after years of unjust imprisonment and exile. With the aid of Mrs. Lovett, the twisted proprietor of a failing Fleet Street meat-pie shop, Todd sets out to avenge the terrible wrongs done to him and his family while adding filler to tasty pastry.


Brice Marden Discusses Cheap Shots

At 75 an American Master

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/08/2014
Brice Marden is widely admired as one of the foremost abstract artists of his generation. He spoke with the poet Vincent Katz during a recent symposium Make It New? Conversations on Mid-Century Abstraction at the Clark Art Institute During a break we spoke with him and also researched his experiences as an undergraduate at Boston Unversity and transition to graduate study at Yale.


The Koons Phenomenon

Reacting to Jed Perl's Essay in New York Review of Books

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Fine Arts
By: Martin Mugar - 09/08/2014
As Brice Marden commented in a symposium at the Clark "I haven't made up my mind about Jeff Koons. But it's not for lack of information." He's not the only one that's hanging on the fence. Here Martin Mugar responds to a review of Koons by the always fiesty Jed Perl.


Guess Who's Coming To Dinner At Huntington

The Very Human Pain of Confronting the Us and the They

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Theatre
By: Mark Favermann - 09/11/2014
Set in the 1960s, this an alternating funny and poignant new stage adaptation that offers a contemporary interpretation of the 1967 Academy Award-winning star-filled film. It features Julia Duffy (“Newhart”), Tony Award winner Adriane Lenox (Doubt), and Will Lyman with Malcolm-Jamal Warner (“The Cosby Show”) making his Huntington debut. Still relevant nearly 50 years after the movie it was based upon, this is a story about race, prejudice and acceptance.


Joseph Rosen Starts Fall NY Music Season

James Cohn, Beethoven and Brahms

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Music
By: Susan Hall - 09/09/2014
Musicians like Joe Rosen will keep all forms of music alive. Monthly or bi-monthly, in a lovely, open salon that seems to hover over the Hudson and the setting sun, Rosen gathers together special young musicians as they begin their careers in music, or continue them even if they have to have a day job elsewhere.


Theresa Rebeck's Seminar

Palm Desert's Arthur Newman Theatre

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Theatre
By: Jack Lyons - 09/11/2014
“Seminar” is not a study in intellectual rigor by a long shot, but it can be an entertaining evening of theatre, if one goes not expecting to challenge the gray matter in one’s head. The ensemble cast throw themselves into their portrayals with gusto, sometimes, a little too much gusto


Noel Coward's Fallen Angels

North Coast Rep Theatre in San Diego

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Theatre
By: Jack Lyons - 09/11/2014
North Coast Rep Company, of Solano Beach, CA, launched its 33rd season last weekend and hit the ground running with Noel Coward’s delightful spin on the 1920’s comedy-of-manners genre “Fallen Angels”. This wonderfully hilarious and fast-paced romp has the very good fortune to have San Diego-based director Rosina Reynolds at the helm.


Clark Launches New Galleries with Make It New

Selection of Mid Century Abstraction from the National Gallery

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/11/2014
Clark curator, David Breslin, worked with Harry Cooper of the National Gallery for a special exhibition launching the spacious new galleries designed by Tadao Ando. For long time friends of the Clark it is a bold move into issues of 20th century art. This is the first of two parts of a dialogue with Breslin about the impact of the exhibition, a related seminar, and what this means for the future of modernism in the Berkshires.


Susan Erony’s Redeeming Pessimism

Trident Gallery Gloucester, Mass.

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Fine Arts
By: Matthew Swift - 09/12/2014
In the heart of downtown Gloucester, a short walk from the renovated and expanded Cape Ann Museum of Art is the ambitious Trident Gallery. Unlike the tourist kitsch of the majority of Gloucester and Rockport galleries this venue speaks to the historic role of Cape Ann as a vibrant modernist art colony. Susan Erony is an example of the small but seminal community of professional artists represented by gallerist Matthew Swift. In his catalogue essay published here he offers an insightful overview of the issues and work of a concerned artist.


Die Tote Stadt (The Dead City)

Boston Premiere for Korngold Rarity

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Music
By: David Bonetti - 09/16/2014
Best known for his film scores, Erich Wolfgang Korngold was a child prodigy in Vienna. "Die tote Stadt" is his operatic masterpiece. Long ignored, it is increasingly being performed internationally.


Sed Festival

Ancient Egyptian Ritual

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/16/2014
On the occasion of his Jubilee Year the Pharaoh was tested in front of the court. Initially there were consequences which eventually evolved into ceremony and ritual.


Trane

Giant Steps in Boston

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/16/2014
Only got to hear Trane once. He died young. Surprised that just one tune comprised the set.


Far From Heaven At SpeakEasy

1950s Musical Deals With Sexual and Cultural Issues

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Theatre
By: Mark Favermann - 09/17/2014
Set in the Eisenhower era of complacency and Norman Rockwell family and Main Street values, Far From Heaven is by the creators of the musical Grey Gardens and Tony Award-winning playwright Richard Greenberg, It is a a lushly operatic adaptation of Director Todd Haynes' romantic melodrama of private longings and social taboos. A beautiful 1950s Connecticut housewife's perfect life is shattered when she discovers her husband's secret and then seeks comfort in a forbidden relationship. The world is never what it seems..


Brook and Estienne's The Valley of Astonishment

Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn

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Theatre
By: Susan Hall - 09/17/2014
Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne stage mesmerizing moments at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center. In a program note, Brook makes clear that theatre must both amaze and hit the audience in its gut. Four unusual characters are presented under examination by neuro-scientists. The result is charming, engaging and provocative.


The Mooche

Duke, Buddy Rich, George Frazier

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/18/2014
As a teenager my first visit to a nightclub occurred when my Uncle Brother, a huge fan, took me to see Duke Ellington at Storyville in Copley Square. Years later, as a jazz critic, he joined me to hear big band drummer Buddy Rich. In the tiny dressing room we had an odd encounter.


Sophisticated Lady

Encountering Duke Ellington on the Road

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/18/2014
An afternoon appointment to interview Duke Ellington led to a strange encounter. Beginning with an angry woman loudly evicted from his suite in the Eliot Hotel.


Royal Pain

Childhood Encounter with the Duke of Windsor

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/18/2014
My career as a journalist started young with an interview with the Duke of Windsor. It proved to be suitably imperious.


Lunch With Dexter Gordon

Frozen Schnapps in Copenhagen

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/18/2014
Jazz giant Dexter Gordon was strung out and on the run when he fled to Denmark. He was off smack when I had a schnapps fueled lunch with him in Copenhagen. Not long after he returned to the States in triumph.


Ghosts

From The Merit of Light

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Word
By: Stephen Rifkin - 09/19/2014
Ghost from the collection The Merit of Light. Written in Provence.


Native Dancer

In the Zone

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/19/2014
Three dudes enjoy an afternoon in the Combat Zone. Barry was dressed for success.


Bitches Brew

Miles Combed His Hair

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/19/2014
When Bitches Brew was released it changed the jazz world. I spent months researching a series of Sunday features on Miles Davis from Charlie Parker to this landmark double LP. Through Columbia Records PR guy Sal Ingeme,, a friend of Miles, I got to speak to him after the gig at Lennie's on the Turnpike. That night I learned a lot about Miles as well as the art of the interview. Come prepared but willing to improvise. After the first question all that research went out the window.


Mulligan Stew

Tirade in an Elevator

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/19/2014
There is nothing more soulful and sensual than the rich baritone of Gerry Mulligan. A routine interview proved to be anything but as he was pissed about everything.


Anita O'Day

Errand Boy for Jazz Singer

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/19/2014
During her week at Sandy's, from airport to airport, Anita O'Day owned me. Recalling running errands for one of the great jazz singers of her generation. What a dame.


Nature

Studio Visit

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/20/2014
Lee Kransner was anxious to promote the career of her husband Jackson Pollock. She invited Hans Hofmann the renowned German artist, teacher and mentor to a generation of Post War artists to visit the studio


A Secret Passage Way - 2014

Global Call to Participate in Photo Project

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Photography
By: Astrid Hiemer - 06/17/2014
From February to May we invited participants to submit photographs and words via email and Face Book representing passages in any way real or imagined. Collaborators expanded the project in amazing and unexpected directions. Here is the resulting digital exhibition:


Love Made Visible by Jean Gibran

A Complex Book on Her Husband Kahlil Gibran

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/27/2014
Decades ago the sculptor Kahlin Gibran and his wife Jean purchased a shell in Boston's ethnically mixed South End. A meticulous craftsman the home evolved as a museum of his work and collection. Together they wrote a definitive 1974 biography "Kahlil Gibran, His Life and World." Now Jean has published "Love Made Visible: Scenes from a Mostly Happy Marriage" about a complex relationship with her late husband.


Cogito Ergo Sum Ok Now What?

The Mind Is What the Brain Does

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Opinion
By: David Zaig - 08/06/2014
We are supposed to love, feel, and have emotions, but not supposed to know what the mechanisms are that make us behave that way. That is too much to ask. So now, it’s normal to say, “I feel” or “I love” without having to explain how these emotions came about. This is the accepted standard for social and human behavior—it’s very much a fixture of our psyche and the cause for our societal chaos, helplessness, confusion, and mindlessness.


Rudd Art Museum in North Adams

Presenting Berkshire Artists

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Fine Arts
By: Keith Shaw - 08/06/2014
As artists approach their senior years familiar issues arise. Unless they reach a level of broad recognition and market value for the work there is the challenge of legacy and handling of estates. North Adams based artist/ author and developer, Eric Rudd, has written a book on these concerns and by creating his own museum in North Adams is taking action to address them. Art historian and former Berkshire Eagle critic, Keith Shaw, is assisting Rudd by curating exhibitions based on artists living and working in the region. Here he discusses what that entails.


WAM Theatre Fresh Takes

reading of Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George

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Theatre
By: WAM - 08/11/2014
WAM Theatre will present the reading on Sunday, August 17 at 3:00 p.m. at No. Six Depot Roastery and Café, 6 Depot Street in West Stockbridge, MA. Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England is the fourth presentation in the new Fresh Takes play reading series, which offers new and reimagined works that tell women’s stories. The series has proven popular with audiences and the first three readings sold out.


My Name is Asher Lev at Timeline

Chaim Potok's Portrait of an Artist in Chicago

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Theatre
By: Susan Hall - 08/31/2014
My Name is Asher Lev is the story of a boy brought up in an insular world with very particular beliefs and practices. Until recently this world has succeeded in keeping its own in the fold. Very few escape or leave behind the families, religious observances and commitment of the Hasidic world. Lubavitcher ambulances rush all over the boroughs of New York today. Live chickens arrive to be properly slaughtered in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Young couples are married as soon as parents can make an arrangement. They don’t have a chance to think about leaving when they are surrounded by a gaggle of young children. You still see teenage mothers aged by their wigs and their nun-like dress and tied down by several kids hanging from their hems.


Magna Carta at the Clark

1215 and All That

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Word
By: Clark - 08/29/2014
Magna Carta comes to the Clark courtesy of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral as part of the United Kingdom’s preparations for celebrating the document’s 800th anniversary in 2015. The Lincoln Cathedral Exemplar of Magna Carta is widely regarded as the finest extant copy of the document due to the fact that it is written in an ‘official’ hand and has remained at Lincoln since the time of its first issue.


Cape Ann Museum Reopens

Tour with Director Ronda Faloon

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/15/2014
The Cape Ann Museum has raised $5 million with $3.5 for a renovation of its eclectic warren of buildings and galleries. Just prior to the recent reopening we were given a tour of the collection by the museum's director Ronda Faloon. The collection displays all aspects of life on historic Cape Ann. Its heart and soul comprises 40 paintings and 100 drawings by America's most renowned 19th century painter of seascapes Fitz Henry Lane. There are also many works by leading artists who were a part of the art colony.


Boston Modern by Judith Bookbinder

Definitive Study of Boston Expressionism

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/18/2014
Judith Bookbinder's 2005 publication Boston Modern: Figurative Expressionism as Alternative Modernism is the definitive study of this important but neglected movement. Her study is meticulously researched and documented. This is the catalogue for the exhibition that the Museum of Fine Arts has failed to deliver. Significantly most of the Boston Expressionists were Jews struggling with Biblical constraints against the graven image.


Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley

A Copper in BBC Hit on Netflix

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Television
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/24/2014
Sarah Lancashire is familiar to PBS viewers as the lesbian head mistress in Sally Wainwright's series Last Tango in Halifax. She has written a news cop series Happy Valley built around Lancashire. The hit, six part BBC series is now avaiable for binge viewing on Netflix.


Berkshire Photographer Benno Friedman

Early Years: Woodstock, Rolling Stone, Playboy

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Photography
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/25/2014
Berkshire based photographer, Benno Friedman, bought a camera in a duty free shop in the Amsterdam airport. It was the summer after graduation from college in 1966. Upon returning a friend helped him to process and print the film. Soon that launched into dual career as a commercial and fine arts photographer. That led to assignments like shooting Woodstock for Playboy and Seventeen. He was also a stringer for Rolling Stone. This is part one of a recent extensive interview.


The Vaccination Divide

Exploring the Pros and Cons

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Opinion
By: Jimmy Midnight - 08/25/2014
Faith based and other concerned parents have opted not to vaccinate their children. This can result in outbreaks in formerly widely preventable diseases. There are concerns that vaccinations may in fact induce dangerous side effects inluding an inclination for autism. Our science correspondent, a firm advocate of vaccination, explores the issues and risk factors.


Salamander a 12 Part Belgian Thriller

Compelling Series on Netflix

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Television
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/29/2014
We devoured the 12 part Belgian series "Salamander" over three riveting evenings. Starting as a not so unique bank robbery the master mind has more than theft planned for the 66 owners of targeted private boxes in the vault. The real motive is to bring down a powerful cabal with the code name Salamander surviving from a WWII Resistance group.


Vaccination Followup

Poor Former Dr. Wakefield

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Opinion
By: Jimmy Midnight - 08/31/2014
In this sidebar to the Vaccination Divide we discuss the contoversies surrounding the research of Dr. Andrew Wakefield who uncovered links between autism and a particular type of gut inflammation. Eventually his findings were discredieted and his liscense to practice medicine was revoked. But he is correct that aluminum toxicity is capable of doing real damage.


The Freud Machine

Taking Responsibility for Opinions We Promulgate

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Opinion
By: David Zaig - 09/02/2014
As an artist, I learned to understand that in this world of ours we humans must take responsibility for the opinions we promulgate: that means, ideally, we ought to search for the data to support what we say. We take notions such as subjectivity, creativity, feelings, or likes and dislikes for granted. Let’s not forget that, first, these notions are words--words we inherited and use automatically, words that can be skewed when translated into action, and as such misrepresent and distort our perception of the world.


Benno Friedman Hosted Tim Leary

Hitched Ray and Alice Brock of Alice's Restaurant

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Photography
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/02/2014
An extended family of artists and hipsters celebrate holidays in the Berkshires at the home of Benno and Stephanie Friedman. Among the renowned guests have been LSD guru, Tim Leary, and chef Alice Brock. Benno shot the illustrations for the Alice's Restaurant Cookbook. There's a shot of me with an apple in my mouth in the chapter on stuffing.


Berkshire Theatre 2014

Highlights of a Diverse Season

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Theatre
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/02/2014
From the first of May through the end of August we posted 86 theatre articles by a diverse staff of contributors. This overview is limited to the four major Berkshire companies: Barrington Stage Company, Berkshire Theatre Group, Shakespeare & Company, and Williamstown Theatre Group. Our summary is based on reviewing most but not all of the 2014 Berkshire Summer Season.


Outside The Machine

Waxing Philosophical

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Opinion
By: Stephen Rifkin - 09/03/2014
There has been a lively response to the provocative series of think pieces by the Berkshire artist David Zaig. Here the Berkshire poet Stephen Rifkin debates Zaig's contentions. They often sit at the same table during weekly Monday night Chinese dinners in North Adams. Rifkin recently gave a poetry reading at the Rudd Art Museum where Zaig is currently exhibiting his work.


Clemente: The Legend of 21

Chicago's Night Blue Produces a Dramatic Tale

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Theatre
By: Susan Hall - 09/03/2014
Clemente: The Legend of 21, is a musical drama being developed as it is performed. This work in progress is well worth the effort. Music, videos, Spanish language with subtitles, a bit of this and a bit of that mix wonderfully. Modesto Lacén makes you feel that Clemente lives again, he so captures the vitality of the man.


In Love

From The Merit of Light Poems by Stephen Rifkin

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Word
By: Stephen Rifkin - 09/04/2014
A debut collection of poetry The Merit of Light is inspired by the author’s relationship with his wife and their time living on an island in Maine. Rifkin’s poems... communicate both the beauty and isolation of island life, and his wife Wilma's simple but lovely sketches enhance the poems, making them even more evocative.


The Man with the Beckett Face

Heavier Than Joyce, Terser,

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Word
By: Stephen Rifkin - 09/07/2014
He crossed over to Ireland, yet again. That was August,1939, and the Germans On the move.


An Update with Michael Conforti

Clark Art Institute's Globe Trotting Director

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/07/2014
Completing a $145 million renovation and expansion the Clark Art Institute repoened this summer. The occasion was launched with a stunning range of special exhibitions. During a recent opening of Magna Carta we asked the museum's fast moving director, Michael Conforti, for an overview of the season and when we might expect to see Treasures from the Prado?


Cedar Tavern

Ersatz Artist Mecca

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/10/2014
The emerging ideas of the abstract expressionists were debated and brawled at the legendary Cedar Tavern. It was just a bar near Greenwich Village in walking distance from 10th street studios where artists gathered to hang out and drink. As an art student on Spring Break I wandered in expecting to find de Kooning.


Seance

Tales of the Lower East Side

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/11/2014
Mooshie the stray cat adopted me. After an uptown seance we parted company.


Modern Theatre at Suffolk University

The 2014-2015 Season

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Theatre
By: Suffolk - 09/11/2014
The Modern Theatre at Suffolk University announces the programming lineup for its 2014-2015 season, featuring conversation, film, and new and classic plays.


Boston Mayah Walsh on the Arts

Reply to Larry Stark

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Opinion
By: Joyce Linehan - 09/16/2014
Veteran Boston theatre critic Larry Stark wrote an open letter to Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. He stated his disappointment that campaign promises to the arts community were soon forgotten. We posted his original letter which is linked in this reply from the Mayor's spokesperson longtime arts advocate Joyce Linehan.


Elvin Jones

Sweating It Out

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/16/2014
My first assignment for the daily Herald Traveler was covering Elvin Jones. There was a surprise when I visited his dressing room.


LAX

First Visit to City of Angels

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/19/2014
One of the first American critics to interview Elton John he invited me to LA for a party. There was a VIP on my plane and another one in the airport.


Anselm Kiefer at Mass MoCA for 15 Years

Building Developed with Hall Art Foundation

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/27/2013
In collaboration with the Hall Art Foundation a building dedicated to works by the German artist, Anselm Kiefer, will be on view at Mass MoCA for the next 15 years. Combined with the 25 year agreement for the Sol LeWitt building this greatly enhances the museum as America's foremost destination for contemporary art.


Izhar Patkin's Space Time Continuum

The Wandering Veil at Mass MoCA

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 01/19/2014
In the vast space of Building Five, for the coming year, Mass MoCA is hosting a retrospective for the Israeli born artist Izhar Patkin. A series of rooms features Veils inspired by the poems of a collaborator, the deceased Pakistani poet, Agha Shahid Ali. The artist is challenged by solving technical problems for a variety of approaches to painting in sculpture in a range of media. Central to his practice is a commitment to modernist inspired narratives devoid of the irony of post modernism.


Israeli Izhar Patkin Debates Jewish Art

Secular Narratives When God Is Dead

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 01/21/2014
During a dialogue with the artist Izhar Patkin about his Mass MoCA exhibition David Ross hit a dead end when he asked whether there is a Jewish art? At this point in post modernism, with more than a century since Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz, Chaim Soutine or Amedeo Modigliani, it is not a question that one would ask a Jewish American artist. But is it relevant for an Israeli Sabra?


Joe Thompson on Mass MoCA Expansion

Part One on Phase Three

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano and Joe Thompson - 03/09/2014
Several months ago we spoke in depth with Joe Thompson about a bill pending on Beacon Hill to grant $25 million toward the final phase of developing the North Adams campus of Mass MoCA. This week, early August, 2014 the bill has been signed by outgoing Governor Deval Patrick a Berkshire neighbor of the museum. Thompson, as he discusses here, must raise an additional $30 million for the project which will take several years.


Huntington Theatre Company 2014-2015

Six Shows Plus One

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Theatre
By: Huntington - 03/18/2014
Huntington Theatre Company announces six productions of its 2014-2015 Season plus one additional title. Continuing its 32-year tradition, the Huntington will present world-class productions of new works and classics made current created by the finest local and national talent. The varied lineup includes a Tony Award-winning Broadway comedy, a thrilling new play set in Boston, a new play by a celebrated local writer that riffs on a beloved classic, a revival of a provocative comedy, a classic American drama, and a topical new play directed by Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois, plus the return of visionary director David Cromer (Our Town).


PBS Fall Programming

Season Launches with The Roosevelts September 14

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Television
By: PBS - 05/08/2014
The Roosevelts kicks off PBS’ fall season Sunday, September 14, with an epic seven-night premiere. The 14-hour documentary airs nightly at 8 p.m. through Saturday, September 20 with a repeat at 10 p.m., and for the first time on television weaves the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics.


Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010

German Master Surveyed at MoMA

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/03/2014
Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) was one of the most important Post War German artists. He is the subject of a dense, sprawling and and messy retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art through August 3. It would be a folly and conceit to attempt to review such diverse and eclectic, mind boggling work. For that we refer you to mainstream critics all of whom fail, to varying degrees, to nail down the work of one of the most fascinating and daunting artists of our time.


Alice Walton’s Crystal Bridges

Bringing Iconic American Art to Arkansas

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/11/2014
During our visit to Crystal Springs Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas we met with museum spokesperson Diane Carol. Fending off questions of media controversy regarding aggressive acquisitions she emphasized that the museum is free and serves a region that lacks resources of its quality. As she pointed out since opening in 11/11/11 some 1.3 million visitors have viewed "Kindred Spirits" by Asher B. Durand which formerly hung in the New York Public Library.


Descartes to Yogi Berra

When You Come to the Fork in the Road Take It

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Opinion
By: David Zaig - 08/19/2014
The artist/ playwright/ thinker David Zaig evokes Descartes and Yogi Berra in a lively response to dissent aroused by his recent ruminations in Berkshire Fine Arts. Here he brings more depth and insight to those previous discussions.


Art and Fashion

No Regrets

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/01/2014
Once celebrated artists no longer are. One of them was Jennifer Bartlett. Even then I was not impressed.


Tanz im August 2014 – Berlin

Assessment of Contemporary Dance

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Dance
By: Angelika Jansen - 09/06/2014
'Dance in August' in Berlin, Germany, celebrated it's 26th season.Quite an accomplishment! 21 international companies representing 14 countries performed on several stages throughout Berlin. 'Tanz im August' and its current artistic director, Virve Sutinen, celebrated again the world of dance with well known companies and newly discovered dancers and choreographers during a two week long festival.


Fig Tree

Wintering Over

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/07/2014
Italians bundle up and bury their fig trees to endure harsh winters. Or keep them in pots to bring indoors. As did my grandmother back in Brooklyn.


Are Humans Becoming Stupider

IQ Scores Have Declined 14 Points Since the 19th Century

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Opinion
By: David Zaig - 09/09/2014
The reason why humans are getting stupider is because we think we are immutable. In the grand scheme of things, we are as primitive as an amoeba trying to build a brain. Some think our brain has reached its peak. Evolution is either too slow or becoming ineffective. Now we are on our own.


Unexamined Life Isn't Worth Living

But Not By IQ Tests

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Opinion
By: Stephen Rifkin - 09/09/2014
Schools used to assign children to classes based on their IQ test scores. Then schools decided it was better for children to be in heterogeneous, or mixed IQ, classes. They would get a better feel for life because many people are not so fast. Now experts may be reconsidering. It is one of the truisms of fashion, and there are intellectual fashions, too, that they change. Here Rifkin again rebuts Zaig.


Table of Silence for 9/11

Barefoot in Memorial at Lincoln Center Plaza

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Dance
By: Susan Hall - 09/11/2014
The procession is silent, the dancers barefoot circle the fountain at the center of the Lincoln Center Plaza. Carrying plates, they could be the apostles going to the Last Supper. Gestures range from perfectly ordinary steps taken on an ordinary September Day to arms twisted in anguish. Three flutes and three singers, whose voices were magnified by horns, paraded and intermingled with the dancers.


Beef and Boards Announces Season

Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis

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Theatre
By: Melissa Hall - 09/13/2014
Our Indianapolis contributor and ATCA member, Melissa Hall, is set for another season of dinnert theatre at Beef and Boards. The company is note for lavishly staged productions of popular musicals. As well as decent roast beef.


Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis

Launching 2014-2015 Season

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Theatre
By: Melissa Hall - 09/13/2014
This season the Phoenix Theatre is presenting the various ways we laugh. Humor is how we manage to get through the tragedies and absurdities of life. They've put together a lineup of stories featuring a rich variety of comedic styles.


Road Kill

I Read the News Today Oh Boy

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/13/2014
The Globe today read. The driver of a tractor trailer was killed when his vehicle flipped over onto the median on Route 128 near Lexington, State Police said.


Il Pane Degliangeli, Offering of the Angels: Paintings and Tapestries of the Uffizi Gallery

On View at Savannah’s Telfair Museums Through March 31

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 03/07/2013
The venerable Ufizzi Museum in Florence has tarnished its reputation by packaging works from storage and sending them to four out of the mainstream American museums. We viewed the final destination of the revenue generating tour at the Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah, Georgia.


ArtsEmerson Announces 2013-2014 Program

Fourth Season Starts September 17

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Theatre
By: Emerson - 04/12/2013
ArtsEmerson announces the first half of its fourth theatre season, beginning in the fall of 2013. This announcement covers productions into January of 2014, with more winter/spring productions to be announced later. Tickets for these productions go on sale to ArtsEmerson members on April 12, and to the general public on May 3.


Izhar Patkin: The Wandering Veil

Vast Installation at Mass MoCA on View for a Year

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 12/05/2013
Building Five of Mass MoCA is one of the largest and most magnificent spaces for contemporary art in North America. It is always fascinating to see how artists respond to the daunting challenge. Izhar Patkin: The Wandering Veil is now on view for the coming year.


WAM Theatre Announces 2014 Season

Focus on Women and Girls

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Theatre
By: WAM - 02/25/2014
WAM Theatre’s Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven announces highlights of the 2014 season. The Berkshire-based professional theatre company will celebrate its fifth anniversary with plays readings, special events, panel discussions, and educational programs that focus on women artists and stories of women


Emotional Impact: American Figurative Expressionism

April Kingsley's Catalogue for Michigan State University

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/19/2014
While curator of Kresge Art Museum at Michigan State University from 1999 to 2011 April Kingsley had the resources and inspiration to collect works by the undervalued and poorly understood artists of the Figurative Expressionist movement. It was widely felt among artists that there would be a return to the figure informed by but diverging from abstract expressionism. Aspects of this experimentation occurred with little or no direct communication in New York, Provincetown, Boston, and the Bay Area of San Francisco. This book fails to present a cohesive overview of those complex developments.


Japanese Architect Tadao Ando: A Portrait

Pritzker Prize Winner Designed Clark Art Institute Expansion

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Architecture
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/28/2014
Initially the 72-year-old Japanese architect, Tadao Ando, trained to be a professional boxer. When he became interested in architecture he read books and traveled extensively to see works by modern masters. In 1970 he returned from travel and field research to establish his firm. In 1995 he won the Pritzker Prize the most prestigious in the field. Followed by a film crew we tagged along when he surveyed his now completed design for the Clark Art Institute.


Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith

Special Exhibition for The Clark Art Institute

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/03/2014
As a part of its expansion and renovation, taking advantage of appropriately scaled new special exhibition space, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Insitute is progressing beyond its tradition roots by showcasing modern and contemporary art. Currently there is Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith. In August the museum will feature Make It New master works of American modernism from the National Gallery.


Hungary

Gyor, Budapest and Szentendre

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Travel
By: Zeren Earls - 07/14/2014
Since freeing itself from communism in 1990, Hungary has blossomed into a westernized country. Gyor and Szentendre are charming small towns with a variety of cafes, restaurants, craft and sweet shops. The capital Budapest on the Danube is a beautiful city with great monuments, fashionable avenues, elegant shops, and a vibrant night life.


Re-Introducing The Rhino Horn Group

Evolved from Figurative Expressionism

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Fine Arts
By: Adam Zucker - 07/24/2014
When Pop Art dominated the art world and mass-media a group of New York expressionists said no thanks. The primal, raucous, and confrontational approach to painting exhibited by the group’s members kept the emotional impact of Figurative Expressionism alive. However, aesthetic tradition was less important than the moral obligation of depicting the reality that the artists perceived. This put the Rhino Horn artists at odds with many of the mainstream artists that had turned away from expressionism and humanist art.


Ann Hamilton Bangs on a Can

Paper Sounding Premieres at Mass MoCA

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/30/2014
With just four rehearsal sessions in less than a week installatin artist, Ann Hamilton, returned to Mass MoCA to create a piece for some thirty individuals "Paper Sounding" as a part of the annual Bang on a Can festival. The spontaneous and lively work was co directed by Mark Stewart and David Cossin. The performance was our introducton to an area of the vast Building Six which the museum hopes soon to develop. We spoke with Hamilton about the significance of paper in her practice.


More Than a Basic Wine Course

Wine Made Simple

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Food
By: Philip S. Kampe - 08/10/2014
This is a basic wine course that will help you to understand wine. There are Saturday afternoon tastings at Nejaimes’s wines in both Lenox and Stockbridge and Spirited Wines in Lenox. Your local shop in West Stockbridge, Housatonic, Adams, North Adams or Williamstown may do the same.


September Song

Reaping What We Sow

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/30/2014
Arma virumque cano.


Defining an Artist

Honorific vs. Generic

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Opinion
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/30/2014
Anyone who hangs a few pictures in a coffee shop is a self proclaimed artist or photographer. Is anyone who makes art an artist? Does posting comments to Facebook make one a critic? Does posting snap shots of your cat or kids qualify as art? Despite decades as a successful commercial and fine arts photographer the Berkshire based Benno Friedman, during an extensive interview, explains why he hestitates to call himself an artist.


Dissent

Reading Hannah Arendt

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/07/2014
I read the news today oh boy About a lucky man who made the grade And though the news was rather sad Well I just had to laugh I saw the photograph He blew his mind out in a car


Weather or Not

Lunch Dates

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/13/2014
Planning lunch dates during an era of global warming.


Gregory Gillespie

Remembering Realist Artist

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Word
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/21/2014
In May of 2000 we were shocked to learn that the leading realist artist Gregory Gillespie hung himself. In hindsight there were clues to his state of mind.


Crystal Bridges in Bentonville Arkansas

All the Museum that Walmart Money Can Buy

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/10/2014
After extensive renovation and expansion the Clark Art Institute reopens this summer. Much is being made of how its Tadeo Ando designed low lying horizontal line and large reflecting pool embrace nature and the background rolling mountain range. The paradigm for architecture set into natural surroundings, however, is the Moshe Safdie design for Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas. It is nestled into a ravine with a series of pontoon "bridges." The museum which opened on 11/11/11 has some 500,000 annual visitors for its controversial collection of American art.


BSO Announces 2014- 2015 Season

Welcomes Andris Nelsons

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Music
By: BSO - 03/06/2014
The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2014-15 season shines a welcoming spotlight on Andris Nelsons as he makes hihighly anticipated debut as BSO Music Director, leading performances that feature an eclectic offering of music and an impressive lineup of guest artists, and presenting programs that illuminate touchstone moments in his life as a musician, from his youngest days as a child in Riga, to his present-day stature as one of the world’s most sought-after conductors. When Mr. Nelsons takes on the title of BSO Music Director in September 2014, at age 35, he will be the youngest conductor to hold that title with the orchestra in over 100 years. The fifteenth music director since the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s founding in 1881, Mr. Nelsons is also the first Latvian-born conductor to assume the post.


Franz West at Mass MoCA and WCMA

From Actionism to the Absurd

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/21/2014
The Austrian artist Franz West (16 February 1947- 25 July 2012). is being featured this summer in the Northern Berkshires. There is a display of several large scale, puffy, pink phallic sculptures at Mass MoCA and a tandem exhibition of works on paper and smaller scale sculptures at Williams College Museum of Art. The artist was widely included in global biennials and museum exhibitions including a retrospective at the Baltimore Museum of Art. We consider West in the milieu of post war artists in Vienna including its outrageous Actionists.


Jamie Wyeth at the MFA

Good Genes

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/22/2014
Outgoing populist and vulgarian, MFA director Malcolm Rogers, has orchestrated yet another celebrity based, crowd pleasing exhibition. The traveling restrospective of paintings by Jamie, a third generation manifestation of the famous Wyeth dynasty, is actually kind of fun. Where the work fits in the canon of the art of our time, however, is another matter.


Jim Hodges at the ICA

Summer in the City

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/23/2014
The artist Jim Hodges came to New York in the 1980s at a time when AIDS was decimating the arts community. Like others of his generation his work responded to a sense of devastation and loss. A retrospecitve of his eclectic conceptual work is on view at Boston's ICA until September 1.