William Powhida’s inquisition

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / For a while it looked as though William Powhida might be painting himself into an existential corner. His mission was to sensitize his audience to the hypocritical churn of the art market – to the reality that what made producing something putatively nobler and loftier than money viable was in fact … read more… “William Powhida’s inquisition”

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Art and Film: Mark Asch’s New York

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Rivaled only by Los Angeles among cities celebrated in American cinema, New York deserves its own pointedly knowing and satisfyingly chunky essay on films set there. Now the city has one, in the form of Mark Asch’s New York Movies, the latest volume in Little White Lies Magazine’s Close-Ups series … read more… “Art and Film: Mark Asch’s New York”

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Matthew Miller: Inside the near-perfect black

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Brooklyn-based Matthew Miller, recognized as an extraordinary figurative painter for some time, recently held an open studio in anticipation of a three-person show in Copenhagen. Included among three paintings slated for display is an unusually complex one for him, magnificent in both its solemn, old-world dignity and its cagey, contemporary fusion … read more… “Matthew Miller: Inside the near-perfect black”

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Neue Galerie’s “degenerate” art and Babylon Berlin

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Neue Galerie’s compellingly incisive exhibition, titled “Eclipse of the Sun: Art of the Weimar Republic” and anchored by Georg Grosz’s 1926 painting Eclipse of the Sun, yields an ominously resonant tableau of a post-World War I Germany saturated with angst. Grosz’s busy, quizzical work depicts an aloof and corrupt Paul … read more… “Neue Galerie’s “degenerate” art and Babylon Berlin”

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Art and Film: Tarantino’s glourious layer cake

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s re-imagining of the Sharon Tate story, is among his best films. It is on a par with Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds, emotionally moving as well as intellectually hefty, and everything a black comedy should be: smart and ultimately serious as … read more… “Art and Film: Tarantino’s glourious layer cake”

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Art and Film: Argentina’s haunting precedent

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Argentina’s decade-long “dirty war” (1974–83) during which a right-wing military junta “disappeared” about 30,000 left-wing dissidents – that is, executed them without acknowledgement of their deaths – ended over 35 years ago. Yet Argentina’s outstanding contemporary filmmakers continue to revisit the dirty war. In 2009, there was Juan José Campanella’s … read more… “Art and Film: Argentina’s haunting precedent”

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Art and Film: Robert Frank’s will to believe

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Swiss-American photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank is now 94, which means he has been in the midst what he calls a “natural disaster” – old age – for at least fifteen years. Yet when he was 80, as Gerald Fox trailed him for Fox’s 2005 documentary Leaving Home, Coming Home: … read more… “Art and Film: Robert Frank’s will to believe”

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Art and Film: Joanna Hogg’s sublime deliberation

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / In the autobiographical film The Souvenir, writer-director Joanna Hogg’s fourth and latest feature and a gemlike crystallization of her seamless method, she uses Jean-Honoré Franogard’s eighteenth-century canvas of the same title to set the terms of the budding relationship between Julie, the film’s ingenuous protagonist, and the older Anthony, a … read more… “Art and Film: Joanna Hogg’s sublime deliberation”

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Vintage 1959

By Jonathan Stevenson / At first blush, if you were born in 1959 – two years after Sputnik, just beyond the outer fringe of the baby boom, but before Gen X kicked in – you could be forgiven for feeling a little left out. You’re too young to have felt the thrill of 1960s radical outrage … read more… “Vintage 1959”

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Art and Film: Claire Denis’ cosmic noir

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Claire Denis’ stupefyingly smart film High Life, the first she has directed in English, starts ahead of its main events, without any set-piece exposition, in and around a barren spacecraft inhabited by a father, his baby daughter, and zippered corpses that used to compose the rest of the crew. Robert … read more… “Art and Film: Claire Denis’ cosmic noir”

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