The Easel

26th September 2023

Pulled from a Field in Albania, a 2,500-Year-Old Statuette Comes to Getty

A cute story. Archaeologists watching an Albanian farmer plough a field after onion harvest noticed a green object (that wasn’t an onion). It turned out to be a solid bronze statuette made in about 500 BCE when the area was a Greek colony. What has caused much excitement – apart from its age – is its high quality craftsmanship, indicating it was likely made in Corinth, an ancient centre of metalworking. And, unusually, the stars of the story are unsung conservators.

19th September 2023

The deadpan precision of Ed Ruscha’s L.A. sensibility

What is it about Ruscha’s word paintings? Their lineage goes back to Picasso and Braque who put advertising text in their collages. Ruscha’s works feature deadpan phrases plucked from the “clamour of American life”. Sometimes, their meaning is so literal, so obvious, that the viewer doubts themselves. Such works are like “billboards that are empty of sentences but have plenty to say.” Little wonder the writer calls Ruscha the “genius of Pop Conceptualism”.

Is Keith Haring’s Art for Everybody?

Haring’s graphics were so effective that, decades later, the style he developed is integral to our visual environment. He saw no fixed meaning in his own work, believing instead that art is inherently social. His immense influence owes much to self-promotion, his egalitarian media – subway drawings, for example – and the “strength” of his line. Says the writer, “ the enormity and impact of Haring’s output is awesome … never boring”. Images are here.