Making Sense of a Movement That Was All About Nonsense: A National Gallery Show Spells Out What Made It Tick
By Blake Gopnik
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 19, 2006; N01
The National Gallery of Art is launching one of the most impressive, significant exhibitions in its history. Here are some suggestions for its proper appreciation:
· Visit wearing pink pajamas, combat boots and your grandmother's bra. (Only men should wear the bra. Women might try their great-uncle's underpants.)
· In front of every seventh picture in the show, make a point of thinking about the abuse images from Abu Ghraib.
· In front of every 13th picture, tell yourself not to think about those images.
· Have a friend take you through the exhibition with your eyes closed. Try to imagine the art, based only on what other visitors are saying.( Collapse )
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Learning the Unruly ABCs of Dada
Crow Lodge of Twenty-five Buffalo Skins
oil on canvas
24 x 29 in. (60.9 x 73.7 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.
A little background: In the 1830s George Catlin, a painter, traveled across the Great Plains in order to document the "manners, customs, and conditions" of the Native American Plains tribes. Under the Ancestral Lands heading, Anthropologist Peter Nabokov describes a fundamental difficulty in discussing Native Americans as a culture-the multiplicity of tribes and cultures to which we refer when we say Native Americans.
Hunting for a Straight Shooter
Maybe I've had Dick Cheney wrong all along.
Maybe he's not maniacally secretive, manipulative with the truth and contemptuous of democratic institutions. Perhaps he's cruelly misunderstood in his heartfelt desire to disseminate information.
It was at the end of his interview with Brit Hume, when Shooter talked about Scooter, that his eagerness to share important facts with the press and public — a well-concealed trait in recent days, years and decades — burst forth. He pronounced himself a Great Declassifier.( Collapse )
For a Dear Museum: Love, Hallmark
It could be a greeting card commercial. A major corporation compiles a stunning multimillion-dollar photography collection and then decides to give it away. Museums around the world covet it, yet the corporation chooses a hometown institution. You can almost hear the music swell as the museum director wipes a tear of gratitude from his eye.( Collapse )
|"Tricycle" by William Eggleston, 1971.|