The Easel

14th August 2018

Paradise Is Found Underfoot in These Majestic Persian Textiles

For Persian royalty in the 17th century, bliss was a walled garden with water channels. Carpets, which they took with them when they travelled, adopted garden design motifs. The legendary Wagner carpet, on display in New York for the first time, is a most spectacular example. Its pattern is fabulously detailed, invoking a well-ordered natural world – “a mirror of heaven”.

When a Rock Is a Stone: Finding “Spiral Jetty

An appreciation. Spiral Jetty was built in 1970 by land artist Robert Smithson on the shore of a remote salt lake. Its once pink water has now dried up. “As the jetty coiled leftward into its spiral, I thought of those left-spiraling lightning whelks, gorgeous mollusks … Dante’s pilgrims descend a sinistra — into the funnel of hell. Toward heaven, they ascend a destra, to the right.”

7th August 2018

At the MFA, pastel treasures make a rare appearance

Pastels are a humble art material, frequently used for a preparatory sketch but rarely the star of an exhibition. Their appeal rests on an ability to capture the spontaneity of a moment quickly. Once created the works are fragile as the chalky pigment is not fixed by resin or varnish. Even worse, they are light sensitive – available for showing in low light for just a few months every decade.

Can I Interest You in a Masterpiece?

Jankowski’s much postponed New York show overviews his varied work – video, painting (originals and knock-offs) and sculpture. The humorous use of other artworks is a common theme across these diverse works. “By using other people’s imagery … Jankowski exposes the spark of life that animates great art, and the craving people of all persuasions have to experience its jolt.”

‘Donald Judd: Specific Furniture’ Review: Designs With Purpose

Donald Judd’s boxes embody an impersonal aesthetic. The same approach produced austere pieces of furniture “no more uncomfortable than your average park bench”. Judd though of furniture as part of his art: “Art cannot be imposed upon [architecture and design]. If their nature is seriously considered the art will occur, even art close to art itself.” More images are here