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Wednesday, Catching Up

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 30, 2008 03:45 PM

The Fiber Art Center is closing.

Perhaps the most negative review ever.

Former colleague Michael Prager checks in on Jonathan Franzen's recent Grub Street talk.

Baritone Joseph Valone has won Boston Lyric Opera's Stephen Shrestinian Award for Excellence. "This award is presented annually to a member of BLO’s ensemble who has demonstrated exceptional artistic growth and shown great promise for continued professional achievement."

J.D. Salinger did not like "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

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Winners, BSO Concerto Competition

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 30, 2008 03:21 PM

And the winners of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Concerto Competition...

- Sharon High School's Daisy Joo, a junior who plays violin and studies with Jin-Kyung Joen. To win, Joo performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major, first movement.

- Walnut Hill School's JeeHae Ahn, a sophomore pianist who studies with Wha Kyuung Byun. She performed the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3, first movement.

- Trumpeter Nathaniel Meyer (Belmont High School) and flutist Katherine Griffith (Weston High School) won second and third place.

- Honorable mentions: Pianist Mark Galinovsky (Newton South High School), flutist Sarah Shin (Walnut Hill School) violinist Hayato Ishibashi (Walnut Hill School), violinist Oren Ungerleider (Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School), cellist SuJin Lee (Newton South High School), cellist Tavi Ungerleider (Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School), and violinist Ji-Young Park (Walnut Hill School).

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Name Change, Harvard Art Museum

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 30, 2008 06:36 AM

The Harvard University Art Museums are no more. Instead, meet the Harvard Art Museum.

As the Harvard Crimson notes, the museum is clearly hoping folks won't shorten the name, adapting HUAM into HAM.

"The new name, selected because it better expresses the institution’s mission, grows out of an initiative to further unify and integrate the museum’s collections and programs," a press release states. "The Harvard Art Museum will maintain the identity of its three museums, the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, as well as its research centers, among them the Straus Center for Conservation."

“We have been operating as a single entity for over two decades, yet we have a name that does not connote unity,” said Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director. “Along with comprehensive academic and facilities planning, we also needed to evaluate how we could better present ourselves as a united organization with a common mission. Our new name and our new facilities will reflect an interdisciplinary, unified approach to research and teaching and will enable us to open our collections and our resources to more students, scholars, and visitors.”

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Me And Miley Cyrus

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 30, 2008 06:27 AM

Roger's "Friend" Can't Deny

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 29, 2008 11:30 AM

Mindy McCready weeps as she confirms affair with Roger Clemens
BY TERI THOMPSON, MICHAEL O'KEEFFE and NATHANIEL VINTON in New York and CHRISTIAN RED in Nashville
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Tuesday, April 29th 2008, 3:18 AM

Mindy McCready said she couldn't 'refute' anything in the Daily News' exclusive story detailing her long affair with Roger Clemens.

McCready met Clemens when she was 15 and he was already married to wife, Debbie.

Barricaded behind tightly drawn blinds at her Nashville home Monday, country singer Mindy McCready confirmed a long-term affair with embattled pitcher Roger Clemens.

"I cannot refute anything in the story," a tearful but resolute McCready told the Daily News, which broke the story at midnight Sunday.

The News reported that the two met in a Florida karaoke bar when McCready was a 15-year-old aspiring singer and Clemens was a 28-year-old ace for the Red Sox and a married father of two.

"Yes, I have known Roger Clemens for a long time," McCready said, reading from a prepared statement. "He's a kind and caring man. He's also a legendary athlete. The central topic in the debate, however, regards his professional life, not his personal life.

Continue reading...

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Ex. Interview: Replacements Producer Peter Jesperson

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 28, 2008 04:22 PM

Peter Jesperson's list of credits is lengthy. But he'll forever be linked to the Replacements, the late, great Minneapolis-born band that he discovered, managed and helped produce during the 1980s. I wrote him with some questions upon the reissue of the first wave of Replacements records.

As a fan, I have one complaint. Why did we have to wait until 2008 to get these fantastic reissues?

I’d say simply because, collectively, the band and I weren’t ready. You have to have a certain distance to be able to see things clearly. Tommy, in particular, said that he couldn’t have gone back and reviewed old Replacements recordings until recently. It’s been fun but also a very emotional process and a lot of work.

In the new Spin story on the band, there’s mention of your going through 57 archives discs of material. Is there anything else in there you wish we could hear?

The 57 discs comprise literally everything I have so, as you could imagine, there’s tons of it that’s not usable. There are lots of bad or incomplete takes, multiple rough mixes of the same songs, rehearsals where the tape just ran for 45 minutes, etc. and probably half of what’s on those 57 discs is live. There will be a live box or series eventually but I don’t think there’s much more non-live stuff of releasable quality.

What is the biggest myth that exists about the Replacements?

That they were bad live more often than they were good.

Were the Replacements beyond saving?

If you mean when they broke up, who knows? Seems to me that they had run their course and quit while they ahead, so to speak.

What’s your favorite record from your time with the band?

"Let It Be."

What’s your favorite from the Sire years?

"All Shook Down."

Were they really that drunk all the time?

No.

Do you have a biggest regret as it relates to the Replacements?

No, there’s no one thing I can think of. I mean, I can think of a million things I wish I’d done differently or that they’d done differently. But we were who we were – we had certain resources, talents, handicaps, problems, whatever – and we did the best we could with what we had. They were an important band that left their mark and I’m very proud of having been a part of it.

I know you're working on the Sire reissues. Can you at least tease us with a couple revelations/potential bonus tracks on those discs?

The most exciting track for me is the acoustic version of “Can’t Hardly Wait,” which will go on “Tim.” And there’s a great demo of “Talent Show” for “Don’t Tell A Soul.”


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Alina Gotal, Artist

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 28, 2008 12:49 PM

We don't really cover artists at Framingham High School all that well, but hey, here's an easy plug. Alina Gotal, a junior at the school, has won a Gold Key at the national level from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Who has won that award in the past? Andy Warhol, Richard Avedon, Truman Capote, Red Grooms, Robert Indiana, Joyce Carol Oates, Phillip Pearlstein, Sylvia Plath, and Robert Redford. You get the point. It's a big deal.

In early June, Gotal's painting will hang at the Reeves Contemporary Gallery in New York City.

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Roger Clemens, Affair Allegation

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 28, 2008 12:16 PM

I'm not sure I've ever read a stranger paragraph than the following, reprinted from today's Daily News report:

Sources say that when McCready, now 32, and Clemens were together, there was barely any friction between them. The two were known to take lavish trips to Las Vegas and New York. One time, McCready attended a Yankees game at the Stadium and jokingly donned a catcher's mask near the home dugout. During another Big Apple excursion, the two holed up in the trendy SoHo Grand and later partied with Monica Lewinsky and Michael Jordan. McCready, according to a source, even bummed a cigar off His Airness to give to Clemens. There were personal love missives to Clemens hidden in McCready's album liner notes.

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MFA Opening Fenway Doors

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 27, 2008 11:45 AM

The Museum of Fine Arts is opening the doors on the Fens. The story is here. And here's a photo from the old days, when the Evans wing doors were open.

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MFA Opening Fenway Doors

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 27, 2008 11:45 AM

The Museum of Fine Arts is opening the doors on the Fens. The story is here. A graphic is here. And here's a photo from the old days, when the Evans wing doors were open.

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More Sarkin

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 25, 2008 03:14 PM

Friday Reads

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 25, 2008 12:01 PM

Harvard scores a pretty fat gift from a Rockefeller, and a chunk of the money will be used to build three new study centers at the Fogg Art Museum.

Dan Hunter wants you to save the Cultural Facilities Fund. Click here to advocate.

El Greco reviews roll in, including Time's Richard Lacayo and old friend Ken Johnson.

Want to read about Norman Mailer's sex life? Good news. Harvard will have the goods.

More good news. Artie's back.

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Leibovitz Commissions Sarkin

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 24, 2008 05:16 PM

Our hero Jon Sarkin was in Jersey recently visiting his sister, Jane. She's the features editor of Vanity Fair, the woman with a direct line to Suri. So naturally, Annie Leibovitz is on the phone. Jane mentions that her brother, the artist, is in the house. Annie mentions that she might want to have him do some work for her. Well, Jon says, let me talk to her.

The result: Sarkin has been commissioned to paint separate, 20-by-20-inch portraits of the Leibovitz daughters, Sarah, Susan and Samuelle. Now that's a nice gig.

Here's an example of a Sarkin portrait.

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New Huntington Season, And The iPod Shuffle

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 24, 2008 12:22 PM

By Linda Matchan
Globe Staff / April 24, 2008
A play by Richard Goodwin, the Boston-based historian and former speechwriter for President John F. Kennedy, is one of the highlights of the Huntington Theatre Company's 2008-09 season, the first under new artistic director Peter DuBois.

"The Hinge of the World" will play March 6-April 5 at the Huntington's main stage, the Boston University Theatre. It's the American premiere of Goodwin's first play, which is based on the story of Galileo, a devout Catholic whose theories of astronomy 400 years ago were rejected by the church. First produced in England in 2003, the play will be directed by Edward Hall, associate director for London's National Theatre.

Continue reading...

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Gawker And The ART

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 23, 2008 03:52 PM

Now we're big fans of Mike Daisey and Gawker, but a funny thing happened on the way to an item this week. Here, Gawker's Richard Lawson twists his praise of Daisey's current show, "How Theatre Failed America," into an old-fashioned beat down of the American Repertory Theatre. Specifically, he wrote, the ART "dissolved most of its famous company in the early aughts. And (in my opinion) has suffered a downfall in quality since. (Carry the company torch, Steppenwolf!) Daisey, as it would happen, recently had a very negative experience at the ART. Not one that necessarily dealt with corporate control of theatre, but rather with lovable old Christian nuts."

Here's no surprise. Gideon Lester, the ART's acting artistic director, didn't much enjoy Lawson's take.

He told me that he saw Daisey's show Monday night, and chatted with the monologist afterward.

"I think [the show's] really wonderful and he makes a lot of important points about tendencies in the American theater," recounted Lester. "But Mike said to me, afterward, he was not thinking about the ART because the ART does still maintain a resident company and, in fact, the five actors are being featured more prominently now than in the past."

I asked Lawson, via e-mail, how he developed his anti-crush on the ART. Though several exchanges, it became clear he actually didn't know all that much about the company. For example, he saw a play at the ART when he was 14 and "that made me want to do theatre, which I ended up majoring in at Boston College."

A few more e-mails, a bit more detail.

Lawson's parents, he said, do have season tickets to the ART. But he had only seen one show there in the last two years, "bobrauschenbergamerica," and that one wasn't the ART's. (Anne Bogart's SITI Company presented the play.)

To his credit, Lawson repeatedly offered that he was no expert. He also asked not to be be quoted. I told him I felt it was only fair.

"All righty," he wrote back. "If anyone punches me in a dark alley next time I'm in Cambridge, I'll know why.

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2008 Elliot Norton Award Nominations

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 23, 2008 03:30 PM

OUTSTANDING VISITING PRODUCTION
Avenue Q, Broadway Across America
Lucia’s Chapters of Coming Forth by Day, Mabou Mines and Charlestown Working Theater
My Fair Lady, Broadway Across America

OUTSTANDING DESIGN, SMALL/MIDSIZE COMPANY
Eric Levenson (set), Some Men (SpeakEasy Stage Company)
Windsor Newton and Ryan Landry (set), Medea (Gold Dust Orphans)
Cristina Todesco (set), Deb Sullivan (lighting), and Jamie Whoolery (projections), The Clean House (New Repertory Theatre)

OUTSTANDING DESIGN, LARGE COMPANY
Kevin Adams (lighting) and Mic Pool (sound), The 39 Steps (Huntington Theatre Company)
Alexander Dodge (sets), Brendan and Present Laughter (Huntington Theatre Company)
Eugene Lee (set), The Fantasticks (Trinity Repertory Company)

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY
Patti Colombo, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (North Shore Music Theatre)
David Connolly, Zanna, Don’t! (SpeakEasy Stage Company)
Kelli Edwards, The Wild Party (New Repertory Theatre)

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE
Mike Daisey, Monopoly and Invincible Summer (American Repertory Theatre)
Kathy St. George, And Now Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Judy Garland (Tony McLean and Backyard Productions)
Nilaja Sun, No Child ... (American Repertory Theatre)

OUTSTANDING MUSICAL PERFORMANCE
Edward M. Barker, Parade (SpeakEasy Stage Company)
Judy Kaye, Sweeney Todd (Broadway Across America)
Will McGarrahan, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Some Men (SpeakEasy Stage Company) and A Marvelous Party: The Noel Coward Celebration (American Repertory Theatre)
Lisa O’Hare, My Fair Lady (Broadway Across America)

OUTSTANDING NEW SCRIPT
Paul Grellong, Radio Free Emerson (Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre)
Melinda Lopez, Gary (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre)
Ronan Noone, Brendan (Huntington Theatre Company)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR, SMALL/FRINGE COMPANY
Shawn LaCount, Mr. Marmalade (Company One)
David J. Miller, The Kentucky Cycle (Zeitgeist Stage Company/Way Theatre Artists) and Valhalla (Zeitgeist Stage Company)
Jason Southerland and Nancy Curran Willis, Angels in America (Boston Theatre Works)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR, MIDSIZE COMPANY
Paul Daigneault, Parade, Some Men, and Zanna, Don’t! (SpeakEasy Stage Company)
Rick Lombardo, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Wild Party, and The Clean House (New Repertory Theatre) and A Pinter Duet (Downstage @ New Rep)
Charles Towers, A Delicate Balance (Merrimack Repertory Theatre)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR, LARGE COMPANY
Maria Aitken, The 39 Steps (Huntington Theatre Company)
John Doyle, Sweeney Todd (Broadway Across America)
David Wheeler, No Man’s Land (American Repertory Theatre)

OUTSTANDING ACTOR, SMALL/MIDSIZE COMPANY
Johnny Lee Davenport, A House with No Walls (New Repertory Theatre) and Love’s Labour’s Lost (Actors’ Shakespeare Project)
Jack Davidson, A Delicate Balance (Merrimack Repertory Theatre)
Maurice E. Parent, Angels in America (Boston Theatre Works), The Wild Party (New Repertory Theatre), and Some Men (SpeakEasy Stage Company)

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS, SMALL/MIDSIZE COMPANY
Bree Elrod, Angels in America (Boston Theatre Works)
Rachel Harker, A Streetcar Named Desire (New Repertory Theatre), A Pinter Duet (Downstage @ New Rep), and The Cutting (Stoneham Theatre)
Georgia Lyman, The Scene (Lyric Stage Company)

OUTSTANDING ACTOR, LARGE COMPANY
Victor Garber, Present Laughter (Huntington Theatre Company)
John Judd, Shining City (Huntington Theatre Company)
Joe Wilson Jr., All the King’s Men (Trinity Repertory Company)
Max Wright, No Man’s Land (American Repertory Theatre)

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS, LARGE COMPANY
Nancy E. Carroll, Brendan and Present Laughter (Huntington Theatre Company)
Kelli Sawyer, Avenue Q (Broadway Across America)
Anne Scurria, Memory House, All the King’s Men, and Some Things Are Private (Trinity Repertory Company)

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION BY A FRINGE COMPANY
The Bluest Eye, Company One
The Kentucky Cycle, Zeitgeist Stage Company/Way Theatre Artists
Mr. Marmalade, Company One

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION BY A SMALL COMPANY
Angels in America, Boston Theatre Works
Gary, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
A Pinter Duet, Downstage @ New Rep

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION BY A MIDSIZE COMPANY
The Clean House, New Repertory Theatre
Dear Liar, Gloucester Stage Company
A Delicate Balance, Merrimack Repertory Theatre

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION BY A LARGE COMPANY
All the King’s Men, Trinity Repertory Company
Present Laughter, Huntington Theatre Company
No Man’s Land, American Repertory Theatre

OUTSTANDING MUSICAL PRODUCTION
A Marvelous Party: The Noel Coward Celebration, American Repertory Theatre
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, North Shore Music Theatre
Zanna, Don’t!, SpeakEasy Stage Company

NORTON PRIZE FOR SUSTAINED EXCELLENCE
Nicholas J. Martin

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Roy Orbison, Happy Birthday

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 23, 2008 02:16 PM

Met At Movies, Increasing Screenings

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 22, 2008 08:33 PM

Word comes from the Met that it will broadcast 11 operas during the 2008-09 season. The screenings start in September 22 opening night gala, which stars Renée Fleming.

Other broadcasts, all on Saturdays:
October 11, 2008 SALOME
November 8, 2008 DOCTOR ATOMIC
November 22, 2008 LA DAMNATION DE FAUST
December 20, 2008 THAÏS
January 10, 2009 LA RONDINE
January 24, 2009 ORFEO ED EURIDICE
February 7, 2009 LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR
March 7, 2009 MADAMA BUTTERFLY
March 21, 2009 LA SONNAMBULA
May 9, 2009 LA CENERENTOLA

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Train On Shubert Stage, How To

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 22, 2008 03:44 PM

Go here, scroll down on the right side under the "Springtime At BLO" header and click on the purple after "How do you get a train onstage at the Shubert Theatre?"

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Silber Slapped

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 22, 2008 11:36 AM

Bloomberg architecture critic James S. Russell, fresh off his smackdown of Renzo Piano, takes on our own John Silber.

The former Boston University bossman, as you remember, has written a book called "Architecture of the Absurd: How 'Genius' Disfigured a Practical Art." Silber's targets include Frank Gehry and a bunch of other architects who designed buildings across the river, A.K.A. Harvard-owned.

Russell takes it to the street for his critique, writing:

In his book, Silber is coy about showing the 13 million square feet at Boston University built on his watch, so I went up to have a look. The School of Management is a pudgy red-brick lump with cagelike and gratuitous louvers. It could readily be mistaken for a maximum-security prison. Inside, the disheartening maze of hallways sends a clear message: Management is an utterly anonymous enterprise, existing anywhere, aspiring to nothing.

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Clemente

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 21, 2008 08:59 AM

We live in the ESPN age, when even a salami-swinging journeyman can make the nightly highlight reel. With every new "Web gem," baseball's pre-video legends slip further into the background, reduced to choppy, black-and-white clips and the testimonies of bow-tied, PBS-tested talking heads. Sure, grampy tells us Ted Williams and Willie Mays were special. But can we really understand how those players revolutionized the game?

Tonight's one-hour "American Experience" film, "Roberto Clemente," should at least educate those poor Yankees fans who recently booed reliever LaTroy Hawkins out of his No. 21 jersey. Hawkins wanted to honor his hero, Clemente. The Bronx faithful were horrified that anybody might dare model the number once worn by Paul O'Neill, the solid but hardly spectacular former Yankees outfielder (lifetime average: .288). Let's hope a few of the boo birds are watching tonight.

Read rest.

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Russell Gill Plays Bass And Runs Marathons

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 21, 2008 07:29 AM

Russell Gill, a bass player in the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, will run the Boston Marathon later this morning.

"You get to a certain point where you just have to be there," he told the Columbus Dispatch. "If I broke my leg, I swear I'd show up at the starting line with crutches."

This gives me one more reason to at least remind everyone of the connection between extreme sports and symphonic playing. I think about those musicians who push through minor injuries and end up sidelined. Or that story from a couple years ago about the stress James Levine's rigorous rehearsal schedule was putting on his players.

So to the runners, and to the singers at Symphony Hall tomorrow night, I say this: Stretch out, don't hesitate to slap on some BENGAY, and do your best not to pull a hammy.

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Greco Mania!

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 20, 2008 09:11 AM

Harvard's Vogel Take

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 18, 2008 11:47 AM

So I can't actually show you any of the images of the 50 works the Harvard University Art Museums received from the Vogels. HUAM said it still hasn't received them from those wonderful folks at the National Gallery. (The lone image we were provided is republished below.) But thanks to Kasey Wickman, one of our Living/Arts assistants, I can at least provide a list of the items. (Kasey had to type them in because, for some reason, the National Gallery couldn't e-mail a list to Harvard, or us.)

Stephen Antonakos (American, born 1926)
2 Incomplete Squares, 1975,
Pencil and colored pencil on paper
23 x 29 inches

Stephen Antonakos (American, born 1926)
Drawing/Neon for the U. of Mass. (Pink-red incomplete cube), 1978,
Pencil and colored pencil on paper

Stephen Antonakos (American, born 1926)
Drawing/Neon for the U. of Mass. (Blue incomplete squares and incomplete circles on a white), 1978, pencil and colored pencil on paper mounted on board
30 ¼ x 62 ¼ inches (sheet)

Will Barnet (American, born 1911)
Study for The Collectors” (both)”, 1977,
Pencil on paper

Robert Barry (American, born 1936)
Untitled, n.d.,
Acrylic on photograph [on tile(?)]
12 in square tile, framed to 16 ¼ x 16 inches

Robert Barry (American, born 1936)
Untitled, n.d.,
Acrylic on photograph [on tile(?)]
12 inch square tile, framed to 16 ¼ x 16 1/8 inches

Lynda Benglis (American, born 1941)
Untitled, 1967-1968,
Wax and spray paint on wove paper
22 ½ x 30 ½ (.572 x .775) (image and sheet); 24 ½ x 32 (mount)

Lynda Banglis (American, born 1941)
Untitled, 1979,
Acrylic and crayon on pigmented moulded paper
10 x 30 x 25 inches

Lynda Benglis (American, born 1941)
Secret #7, 1975,
Polaroid photo collage
8 3/8 x 31 3/8 inches; 10 x 33 inches (framed)

James Bishop (American, born 1927)
Untitled, 1972,
Oil and crayon on paper
22 x 22 inches

Ronald Bladen (American, born Canada, 1918-1988)
Cathedral Evening (working drawing), 1973,
Graphite on brown paper
17 x 37 ½ inches (irregular)

Ronald Bladen (American, born Canada, 1918-1988)
PB12, Study for Sonar Tide, 1983,
Graphite on tracing paper
17 ¾ x 28 ½ inches

Charles Clough (American, born 1951)
#1 [28 Dec 1979], 1979,
Enamel on offset lithograph
23 x 35 inches (sheet)

Rackstraw Downes (American, born 1939)
New House Lots off Loop 189, Texas City, 1995,
Graphite on two attached sheets of tan paper
12 ½ x 53 ¾ inches

Richard Francisco (American, born 1942)
Hui Neng, 1977,
Balsa wood, canvas, enamel
14 ½ x 9 x 6 ½ inches

Michael Goldberg (American, born 1924)
Tarascon, 1959,
Oil on canvas
52 x 48 inches

Dan Graham (American, born 1942)
Heart Pavilion, 1991-1992
Graphite, ink and gouache on paper
11 7/8 x 8 3/8 inches (.302 x .213)

Dan Graham (American, born 1942)
Exclusion Principle,
Ink on photocopy

Steve Keister (American, born 1949)
Untitled, n.d.,
Wood and plastic [nylon?] wire and light green paint
4 x 5 ½ x 3 ½ inches

Steve Keister (American, born 1949)
Untitled, 1991,
Flashe, chalk, masonite and wood
M9 x 14 x 12 inches (.229 x .356 x .305)

Michael Lucero (American, born 1953)
Untitled (Head of a Horse), 1981-1982,
Glazed ceramic
14 ¼ x 15 x 5 7/8 inches

Robert Mangold (American, born 1937)
Untitled, 1976,
Graphite and acrylic on paper
11 ¾ x 11 ¾ inches

Robert Mangold (American, born 1937)
Untitled (yellow and black), 1996,
Drawing

Richard Nonas (American, born 1936)
Table piece in Two Parts, n.d.,
Steel, 2 pieces
1 3/8 x 1 ½ x 2 ½ inches

Richard Nonas (American, born 1936)
Untitled, 1970,
Broken glass pieces wrapped in cord
9 ¼ x 5 ¾ x ½ inches

Lucio Pozzi (American, born 1935)
21 October, 1972,
Pastel on paper
27 ¼ x 40 7/8 inches (sheet)

Edda Renouf (American, born 1943)
Over There, 1973,
Acrylic on linen
15 ¾ x 15 ¾ (.400 x .400)

Edda Renoud (American, born 1943)
Is-II-Scratched Lines in Rows, 1974,
Incised lines and middle gray pastel chalk on Arches paper and fixative
.327 x .324 (12 7/8 x 12 3/4)

Edda Renouf (American, born 1943)
Is-III-64 Scratched Lines, 1974,
Incised lines and pastel chalk on Arches paper and fixative
.327 x .327 (12 7/8 x 12 7/8)

Edda Renouf (American, born 1943)
Is VII-Twelve Scratched Lines, 1974,
Pastel on Arches paper with fixative
.324 x .330 (12 ¾ x 13)

Judy Rifka (American, born 1945)
Untitled, 1974,
Graphite and acrylic on plywood
48 x 48 inches

David Salle (Americna, born 1952)
Untitled, 1995,
Ink (or litho?) with watercolor on paper
3 7/8 x 3 15/16 inches

Pat Steir (American, born 1940)
Very Pretty Waterfall for Herb and Dorothy, 1996-7,
Oil on canvas
36 x 36 ¼ inches

Daryl Trivieri (American, born 1957)
I Sat and Listened, 1986,
Colored pencil on paper
22 x 30 inches

Richard Tuttle (American, born 1941)
Last Paper Cube Drawing, 1964,
Watercolor (blue) & graphite on bond paper
14 x 11 inches

Richard Tuttle (American, born 1941)
Brown T Extenuation (T in Perspective), 1967,
Watercolor and graphite on newsprint
23 ¾ x 18 inches

Richard Tuttle (American, born 1941)
Pink over Blue, 1969,
Watercolor and ink on paper
12 x 9 inches

Richard Tuttle (American, born 1941)
Rendering of an Idea that Would Be Painted on White Wall, 1970,
Liquitex (brown and green) and graphite on paper
19 ¾ x 16 inches

Richard Tuttle (American, born 1941)
Stacked Color Drawing I-XI, 1971,
Eleven four-color offsets with graphite on newsprint
10 1/8 x 13 ¼ inches

Richard Tuttle (American, born 1941)
Bluebird on Paper, 1991,
Watercolor, felt tip pen, and graphite on paper
8 ½ x 11 inches

Richard Tuttle (American, born 1941)
The Table and a Chair, #30, 1990,
Ink, graphite and watercolor on paper
.356 x .508 (14 x 20)

Richard Tuttle (American, born 1941)
Loose Leaf Notebook Drawings- Box 9, Group 4, 1980-82
Drawing

Richard Tuttle (American, born 1941)
Loose Leaf Notebook Drawings- Box 9, Group 5, 1980-82,
Drawing

Richard Tuttle (American, born 1941)
Loose Leaf notebook Drawings- Box 9, Group 6, 1980-82,
Drawing

Ruth Vollmer (American, 1903(?)-1982)
Reimann’s Pseudosphere, 1970,
Graphite on paper
47 ½ x 23 ½ inches

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A detail from "Tarascon" by Michael Goldberg, which is among 50 works being donated to Harvard. (courtesy of harvard university art museums)

The Rorschach Test

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 18, 2008 06:38 AM

Look, everybody makes mistakes. See.

But reps from Duke University's Nasher Museum of Art were none too pleased to find the name of their director, Kimerly Rorschach, spelled incorrectly on the "Directors' Forward" in the thick catalog for the "El Greco to Velasquez" show that opens Sunday. The show has been co-organized by the Museum of Fine Arts and Nasher, but the catalog was published by MFA Publications.

The catalog spelled her name "Borschach."

Whoops.

The MFA says that it has already corrected the error and that 8,200 of the 10,000 catalogs printed will be a-Ok. But what about the remaining 1,800? Some have already been given out to the press, and others will remain on sale until the fixed copies come in and can replace them.

Not to be outdone, the Nasher's web site did list MFA curator Ronni Baer as "Ronnie" until, well, we called and let them know. Ah, the magic eraser that is the Internet.

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CREDIT
01. St. James (Santiago el Mayor), around 1610–14
El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos), Greek (active in Spain), 1541–1614 Oil on canvas *Museo del Greco, Toledo *Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Soho, And The R.E.M. Post

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 17, 2008 02:51 PM

Matthew Guerrieri, also known as Soho the Dog, offered his classical examples on the R.E.M. revisionist issue.

"Well, my favorite one is Richard Strauss, who used to refuse offers to conduct "Der Rosenkavalier" on the grounds that it was too long, but would volunteer to conduct "Die Frau ohne Schatten," which is even longer. Rachmaninoff apparently ended up hating his c-sharp-minor Prelude. Henri Dutilleux disavowed all of his works prior to his first Piano Sonata, even though a couple of them (particularly the Flute Sonatina) still get played quite a bit.

In the literary world, I know Oscar Wilde was always embarrassed by would-be disciples continuing to adopt Bunthorne-like aesthetic attitudes long after he himself had moved on to more serious efforts.

So what—"Green" was a nightmare? Them's fightin' words, Mike."

Earlier: Philip Glass, and Regrets.

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Thursday Reads

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 17, 2008 10:26 AM

It's worth reading Steve Pearlstein's column on the state of the news industry. He has ideas, a sense of purpose and, perhaps most importantly, faith in you, our loyal readers.

The Washington National Opera has cut nine jobs, including that of former Boston Ballet CFO Richard Johnson.

I'm not sure why USA Today used a picture of the giant baby heads to illustrate a story on museums dealing with the credit crisis, but the story does detail how the Museum of Fine Arts avoided a financial hit.

The Tufts Daily reviews the Institute of Contemporary Art's latest. A Rockport man stumbles upon Spanish royalty. Nomar is back. And here are three things Theo should have done: Traded Hansen. Kept Edgar. And never signed Lugo.

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ICA, To Do Or Not To Do, Public Art

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 16, 2008 03:55 PM

Last July, I blogged about the end of “Vita Brevis,” the public art program founded by Jill Medvedow just after she was hired to run the Institute of Contemporary Art. At the time, the ICA's Deputy Director Paul Bessire said that it was only the Latin term that was being eliminated. Public art, he said, remained a mission at the ICA.

I revisited this after noticing that no public art project is planned by the ICA for 2008. Asking about that, the ICA told me that next up is Krzysztof Wodiczko, whose Bunker Hill Monument Projection was a key part of Vita Brevis's inaugural exhibition in 1998.

“We began discussions with him in 2006 to create the project to follow Art on the Harbor Islands,” Bessire said. “He is developing an interior projection with veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan for an ICA gallery that is planned to open in November 2009. Being able to offer a project of this magnitude over several months, rather than for a few evenings as was the case in 1998, is one of the benefits we enjoy with the expanded facility of the new ICA.”

Okay. That’s true. But isn’t this the first year the ICA hasn’t done a public art project? The answer is yes, if you scan down the list that ranges from Wodiczko’s 1998 project to the “Art on the Harbor Islands” thing from 2007. I also mentioned that the public art projects are free to the public, while an exhibit inside the ICA requires visitors to pay admission.

“We were originally planning to do [Wodiczko’s project] outside but we decided to do it inside because it could be up longer,” said Bessire.

I asked if this was about money.

“Any institution has limited resources and limited staff,” he said. “You have to focus and think about our priorities. We will continue to do work outside when an artist or project comes to us with a project that we think will have a lot of impact.”

Will the ICA continue to do public art projects in the spirit of Vita Brevis?

“Yes, we will continue to be doing public art projects but they won't occur as often as in the past,” he said.

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Royalty, MFA

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 16, 2008 12:07 PM

A few photos from the Museum of Fine Arts gala on April 12. (I couldn't make the party... my tux was being cleaned.)

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Antonio Lopez Garcia and his wife, Maria.


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MFA Director Malcolm Rogers walking in with Her Royal Highness Doña Cristina de Borbón, Infanta of Spain.


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And the princess with her man, Don Iñaki Urdangarín, Duke of Palma.

Credit: Justin Knight Photography

Renzo Piano's Gardner Drawings

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 16, 2008 06:30 AM

If you've ever been around Renzo Piano for, say, 30 seconds, you see how this guy just needs to draw. He has a pencil with him at all times and seems to need to scribble constantly. Turns out he rocked the commission old school when asked to come up with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's new project. Here are a couple of drawings.

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Pollock Or Not Pollock Prof, Award

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 15, 2008 01:34 PM

Ellen Landau, known around these parts as the professor who believed Alex Matter's pictures were Pollocks, has been given the 2007 Patricia and Phillip Frost Essay Award by American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum's scholarly journal.

And guess what... Her piece had nothing to do with the authenticity of a certain set of drip paintings. Landau's article, "Double Consciousness in Mexico: How Philip Guston and Reuben Kadish Painted a Morelian Mural," appeared in the spring 2007 issue of American Art.

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Philip Glass, R.E.M., Regrets,

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 15, 2008 10:55 AM

When I was ruminating on the R.E.M. spin machine, I thought to ask a couple of well informed musicheads for some historical context. In particular, I wanted to know of any examples, in the classical music world, of composers reconsidering or running from the past.

First, Richard Guerin, associate director of Philip Glass's record company, Orange Mountain Music.

Well, of course most composers have the epiphany "I found my voice moment" which by definition alienates them from their previous music.... the Carl Orff effect: "my collected works start with Carmina Burana, I disavow everything which has come before".

Classical composers never did that. Basically everything that Bach, Mozart, Beethoven through the romantics was fair game. What they did was something in the past (akin to film composer's now. I doubt they do much retrospective self-examining).

As a 20th C. phenomenon, artists are conscious of their own legacy. I don't think Mozart was embarrassed by Symphony No. 1. This self-consciousness is probably a result of recordings. However, I just finished Swafford's Ives biography and he continued to embrace most everything he composed (the 114 songs are a mixed bag of quality), but tinkered with almost everything till the end of his life (even way past the point where he knew what he was doing). Of course Stravinsky did the same thing but that was merely for publishing purposes (e.g. change a "flat" to a sharp in a different key"....).

Historically though, I think 19th C. composers only did revisions if they had to for some reason (Wagner making a Paris version of Tannhauser, Verdi making a Paris version of Don Carlos for the premiere, then drasticlaly shortening the opera from 5 Acts to 4 and getting rid of the mandatory Paris ballet music, etc.)

Philip Glass disavows all his "student" pieces (pre-minimalist period) which is most everything he composed before the age of 30. Had Mozart done the same he would have very little music of a "mature" voice. Same for Schubert who died at 33. We've been talking about this recently because we have all these Glass student scores here and want to record them for curiosity's sake, although I'm not sure we will be able to even if we distinguish them as disavowed. My feeling is that someday someone will find them and they will be recorded leaving the only option right now of burning them.

Composer Jennifer Higdon said recently in an interview that she is constantly embarrassed by old pieces, even popular ones, and wishes them out of circulation. My theory on all this, is that it's part of the artistic condition. Artists (usually) create in order to share something about the human experience with others. Sharing something personal usually implies exposing yourself, being vulnerable. It's no wonder that there is a constant desire for them to want to either disavow or re-examine/re-work pieces. Almost every composer I have heard of, from Korngold/Glass/Adams/Ives/Stravinsky has done this openly. Glass doesn't go back to fix old pieces, rather he often re-works musical ideas he likes over into new pieces for which he is often criticized. All this adds up to the imperfection of human beings and their unrealistic desire to do better the next time.

Of course the Serialists infrequently reworked their pieces, but then again they seemed not to care if anyone liked their music anyway.


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Theater Awards Announced

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 15, 2008 09:33 AM

The Independent Reviewers of New England Awards were announced last night at the Boston Center for the Arts.

For a full list, click here.

The quick summary is...

"New Repertory Theatre and Lyric Stage Company of Boston claimed the most awards in the Small Company categories with seven awards each. New Repertory Theatre’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire received six awards. Lyric Stage Company of Boston swept many of the musical award in the Small Company categories. Its production of Man of La Mancha received six awards, including Best Production of a Musical.

In the Large Company categories, the Huntington Theatre Company received six awards, including Best New Play for Brendan and best ensemble for Present Laughter.

Broadway Across America – Boston claimed eight awards, more than any other Large Company, with five IRNEs awarded to the touring production of Sweeney Todd.

North Shore Music Theatre was honored with four awards, including Best Production of a Musical by a Large Theatre for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, a co-production with New Jersey’s Papermill Playhouse and Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars.

The Kenneth A. MacDonnald Award for Theater Excellence was awarded to David Wheeler. Wheeler served as Artistic Director of the Theatre Company of Boston from 1963–75, directing over eighty productions and helping launch the careers of then unknown actors including Paul Benedict, Stockard Channing, Blythe Danner, Robert DeNiro, Robert Duvall, Hector Elizondo, Spalding Gray, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Jon Voight, and James Woods."

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Zander Blog

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 15, 2008 07:48 AM

Wouldn't it be nice if all conductors kept up a blog as they prepared for a concert?

The Boston Philharmonic's Ben Zander charts his rehearsals at NEC as the Philharmonia gets ready for Wednesday's Mahler concert. We'll forgive his calling Danny Katzen "Larry" because the music director is so gracious about letting us inside.

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Kahlil Gibran, Boston sculptor, dies

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 14, 2008 08:05 PM

"I believe talent is a grace. You don't deny it, you don't affirm it. But if you don't work at it, you can lose it. The only sin is in squandering talent."

Story.

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The BSO, Kissin Recording That Never Was

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 13, 2008 06:29 PM

Only a little over a year ago, EMI Classics announced it had signed Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin to a recording contract. Trouble is, a couple months later there was more news involving EMI. A private equity firm took over the company.

How does this impact you, o loyal Boston music lover?

Perhaps, the other night, you wondered why the Boston Symphony Orchestra played a program that, as Globe critic Jeremy Eichler described it, provided a "nagging feeling of déjà vu." As Eichler wrote, "the orchestra played every note of this music just last season, and in fact, this week's final two concerts feature the exact same pairing of works that Bernard Haitink conducted last April and May in Symphony Hall. This is hard to justify, at least on artistic grounds."

Turns out there is an explanation. When the season was planned, the Kissin dates were meant to be recorded for an EMI release. But on April 1, the company sent the BSO a letter explaining that due to the takeover, it will not be recording the performances.

At that point, the BSO felt it couldn't change the program.

"All four concerts were sold out," says Mark Volpe, the BSO's managing director. "Obviously conductors get sick, artists get sick, but if you have a healthy pianist and you’ve advertised this, you can’t go back. That wouldn’t be right.”

Volpe said he wasn't surprised by the EMI pullout. Once the private equity guys took over, he said, the rules changed. A recording needs to make a profit and that's not likely for a Kissin release.

To that end, Volpe revealed that the BSO is likely to put out its first self-release of the James Levine-era later this summer or in the fall. (The BSO isn't counting "Neruda Songs" as a regular release.) The organization plans to use the same model as with its self-released Pops recordings.

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Samuel Beckett, 102

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 13, 2008 01:10 PM

Don't wait to be hunted to hide, that's always been my motto.

If I was dead, I wouldn’t know I was dead. That’s the only thing I have against death. I want to enjoy my death.

We are all born mad. Some remain so.

past moments old dreams back again or fresh like those that pass or things things always and memories I say them as I hear them murmur them in the mud

Better hope deferred than none.

Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time! It's abominable! When! When! One day, is that not enough for you, one day he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day we'll go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day, the same second, is that not enough for you?

all these calculations yes explanations yes the whole story from beginning to end yes completely false yes

Our vulgar perception is not concerned with other than vulgar phenomena.

I pause to record that I feel in extraordinary form. Delirium perhaps.

My mistakes are my life.


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A Far Cry

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 11, 2008 02:50 PM

No conductors need apply
Young and leaderless, A Far Cry is a small string orchestra with big ideas

An hour before a recent concert by the upstart string orchestra A Far Cry, violinist Sharon Cohen stood backstage gazing at the metal box that controlled the stage lights. The issue: The pianist was being blinded by a beam while the violins were in the dark. Cohen started to fiddle with a lever. Violist Frank Shaw hovered nearby. "If you do touch anything," he cautioned, "touch it slowly."

Watching the scene unfold at Phillips Academy's Cochran Chapel in Andover, it might be hard to believe that Shaw and Cohen are members of one of Boston's most promising classical music groups. Until, that is, you took in a performance of A Far Cry.

In just a year, this proudly unconducted string orchestra of a dozen-plus musicians has created a buzz that's stretched from Symphony Hall to New York City. The Boston Symphony Orchestra recently snapped up a cellist from A Far Cry. And next week, when the group embarks on a series of concerts in Quincy, Cambridge, and Brook line, a scout from a major New York management agency will be in the house, watching.

Read on...

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Intra Muros

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 11, 2008 01:21 PM

Christian Viveros-Fauné has returned in the form of an angry letter to the Brooklyn Rail that strangely refers to Tyler Green as "Greene" throughout and ends with the following:

"Oh, and by the way, up yours Greene."

I also get a mention, as Viveros-Fauné writes: "Geoff Edgers, another so-called art journalist from not exactly the center of the art world (Boston) with a lowly opinion of how things are done where they are actually done, emailed me the minute “Christiangate” broke to ask me, quite textually, to give other examples of art world folks who had possible conflicts of interest and to “name names” (his words)."

I did e-mail Viveros-Fauné asking him for comment. But I'm not sure I was looking to play gotcha. I figured, with all the references to Rimbaud and Pound and Kenneth Tynan being tossed around, that Viveros-Fauné could provide me with a few examples of other instances of critics doubling as artists or gallery managers, etc. As I've said repeatedly, I'm a reporter, not a critic, so I appreciate when other, smarter people can offer enlightenment.

I also just wanted to give the guy a chance to speak.

Edward Winkleman.
Earlier: Art Critic, Conflict.

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Nico Muhly On Pulitzer Prize "Abortion"

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 11, 2008 11:56 AM

[Update: Michael Monroe's Weingarten-inspired sonnets need to be reexamined.]

Composer Nico Muhly, whose blog is always fabulous reading, offers his critique of Gene Weingarten's Pulitzer Prize-winning story on onetime busker Joshua Bell.

What I love most about Muhly's critique is how he takes the writer to task not for his view of music, but for his writing. I don't happen to agree with Muhly. I'm a fan of Weingarten's work. But I appreciate his biting take.

Earlier: Nico on BSO's website.

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Vogelled!

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 11, 2008 06:25 AM

I don't ask for a lot from the professionals I work with. No need to hand me a story on a silver platter. Just give me a shot, and be fair. Which is why it can be so hard to compete with Carol Vogel. She obviously has more clout than any other arts reporter in the country, particularly with collectors and curators eager to see their names in her weekly column.

I'm not here to belly-ache about Vogel. I just thought it might be illuminating to follow the anatomy of today's article on the gift made by Herbert and Dorothy Vogel.

It should be noted that Vogel was not alone. The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times also received favorable treatment.

Here's what happened...

Late Wednesday, a spokesman for the Harvard Art Museums called to tell me the Vogels were going to make a generous gift to the HUAM and other museums across the country. There was an embargo on the story until Friday.

I asked if I could speak to the Vogels. Harvard told me everything was being handled by the National Gallery of Art. I called the National Gallery's PR folks Wednesday around 6 p.m. and left a message. I hadn't heard a thing by Thursday mid-morning from the NG so I again called the PR guy there, Steve Konick. Again, nothing. (Just for the record, neither Konick nor Deborah Ziska, the chief press officer, picked up a phone to return my multiple messages during the day.)

At 11:55 a.m. Thursday, Konick sent an e-mail (cc'ing Ziska) to inform me that the Vogels were not available to talk until this weekend.

My response:

"Will they be quoted in any other stories tomorrow, including the NY
Times, Washington Post, etc?"

Reply:

Hello Geoff,

Thank you for your questions. As you can guess, we are not at liberty to
discuss press strategies on this or any other projects. I can provide
you with a list of the works of art that are coming to Cambridge...this
information has not been made public yet. The list is being prepared and
I will send it shortly.

Best,

Steve

And that, my friends, is when I knew I had been Vogelled.

Exhibit A: My story (lacking certain facts) and Vogel's piece (chock-full of quotes from the "unavailable" Vogels).

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A Far Cry, Tease

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 10, 2008 05:03 PM

Tomorrow, a profile of A Far Cry, Boston's proudly unconducted string orchestra. Because we love our blog readers, here's an early look at a slideshow telling the story of the group.

Let us also praise photographer Yoon S. Byun and Lane Turner, who produced the slideshow.

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Antonio López García, Translation

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 10, 2008 04:12 PM

A reader kindly translated the recent Antonio López García interview in El Pais. She cautions me that her translation might not be perfect but I think it's good enough to share.

Here's a link to the interview.

Now our reader's translation:

"Two huge heads look at Antonio López, covered with dust up to the eyebrows, in the forge of Arganda del Rey (Madrid) where his sketches become a bronze reality. They reproduce the face of one of his granddaughter’s , and soon will be decorating the main hall in the Atocha Station in Madrid. The artist, always in his wife’s company, the painter María Moreno, spends his time between this place and his study, where he works on his paintings. There is where he meets with EL PAIS on Monday to talk about his life and his work. And about the retrospective that from the 15 of April will be in the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston.

El Greco, Velázquez y Antonio López. Two masters of the Spanish paintings and of the main representative of the contemporary figurative school will share the space of and important double exhibition on Spanish painting. In the first, more than a hundred works to show the artistic splendour during the reigns of Phillip III and Phillip IV. The second , a retrospective of Antonio López (Tomelloso, Ciudad Real, 1936). He is the artist of figurative realism, of contemporary landscape, the poet of urban solitude.

Question: You will exhibit with El Greco and Velázquez. How was this project proposed to you?
Answer: I don’t know exactly what was their reason. They wanted to complete the exhibition with a contemporary artist and they thought about me. Apparently in my work they saw something that aesthetically and in terms of harmony has something to do with all that. This museum exhibits a donation from New York collectors of figurative art from the XX century in which there is quite a lot of recent Spanish work. They have 12 works of mine in their collection.

Q: Is in any way related to the exhibition programmed by the Reina Sofia, on purpose of the Premio Velázquez de Pintura, (Velázquez’s painting Prize) and which was finally cancelled?A: It has nothing to do with it. The one in Reina Sofia didn’t happen because there was no time to prepare it. I should have had works made after 1993, year when the previous retrospective was on in the Reina Sofia, what is the point in showing the same works in the same place? In Boston will be on show the pieces which are worth showing. I have taken part in the selection, although some of the works, I consider interesting being there won’t be because they have not been lend, the proprietors have done so many time before but not now.

Q: Do you feels sorry for any particular piece that won’t be in the exhibition?A: I don’t want to give names, but the truth is I wish the girl playing in the terrace could be there.

Q: Are there unfinished works?
A: Of course. Also, what does it mean unfinished? Nobody knows. When there is a substance dense enough, the work is finished.

Q: In your house’s cellar, where you keep the unfinished canvas, was the painting which inspired Víctor Erice El Sol del Menbrillo (The Quince Fruit’s Sun, a film).A: It was sold. During the filming, which lasted three months, I made a drawing and a painting. Both were sold. The painting was not finished. The drawing was.

Q: Which are your memories of the film?
A: It was wonderful. A great story about this world. Much better than Picasso’s, done by Henri-Georges Clouzot (El misterio de Picasso, 1956), Picasso’s Mystery.

Q: Have you been tempted by a similar project?
A: There has been something, but once is enough.

Q: It is not the same with the exhibitions abroad, which you have the opportunity to do quite often. Working with a gallery like Marlborough must have influenced your projection abroad.
A: I don’t know. It happened that way. Between 1960 and 1970 I was with Juana Mordó, who programmed everything outside her gallery, in Italy, France, New York. There was no strategy. This has been my “journey”, quite atypical.

Q: Atypical but without ups and downs. Have you ever experienced paralysis?
A: Not that lasted for a long time, no. I am 72 and I have arrived to the studio (atelier) to have the interview directly from the forge. I keep having the same enthusiasm. In the difficult moments, which I have had like everybody, I have always carried on working.

Q: Apparently you have not experienced changes in the way you create.
A: I don’t agree with you. There has been no radical changes, but changes, yes. And many. Do you know which is the artist that has changed most without anybody talking about those changes? Velázquez. One realises when his work is contemplated in a global way. From the dark Seville’s paintings to Las Meninas y Las Hilanderas, those glories of light and colour; one can realise a deep and long way the painter made. People talk about the mutations in Picasso, in Goya, but nobody has changed so much as Velázquez. Without pretending it, only because, in a simple way, life changed him. In my case is the same. Life has to change you. There are changes so deep that only knowing they are true you can value their essence.

Q: Your painting has been welcome by the North American collectors.
A: This has been like you say in New York, this city which I consider is USA and where I exhibit regularly. I first exhibited there in 1965 and then in 1968. In those years Pop was emerging, was the realism that appears in USA in that moment. People was very sensitive to the figurative language, they were interested in comparing the movement Po to the European Realism which I represented in that particular moment. I knew that because of the critics, I never went to NY until 1985. Before I knew the city because I have seen it in a thousand films, but I had never been there.

Q: And at the end you were “in the film”.
A: I didn’t feel that. It didn’t impress me. It seemed small to me. Everything was temporary. Years later when I went back I felt the same, nothing. Maybe I am tired of big cities.

Q: You are not interested …
A: I am fed up. I am interested in Madrid. It is one of my main topics. But I do it out of interest not because I like the city.

Q: It is the main character in your work.
A: It is like the Purgatory for Dante. Big themes are something subjugating for our lives. Madrid is so for me but it could never happen with NY. I don’t know USA but I would like to get to know the small America, that called the deep America, the rural world.

Q: You, being a film lover, are sure to have seen the way this deep America is shown.
A: Of course. From the Western films we started to see that, this view has been shown in the perfectly worked film by the Coen´s , This is no country for the elderly (Sorry, my on translation from the name of the film in Spanish, sometimes they have nothing to do with the original title). The big city was very well presented by the black cinema. The Americans have a big advantage when they picture their cities: their history is very recent, it’s in the XIX and XX. We can’t forget their filming talent, they have not had a previous art, painting or sculpture, which can disorient them. Have a look at Europe in the Neoclassic; going back to the Greek. Americans didn’t have that. That is why they have an art so alive.

Q: Livelier or poorer?
A: It is more direct and in my opinion that is extraordinary for the arts in all its manifestations: painting, sculpture, literature, cinema. Maybe they don’t have sediments and deep roots. That is a great advantage compared to us.

Q: Which contemporary artist are you interested in?
A: I don’t know what is contemporary. It happens that here arrives with great difficulties…

Q: Because how the market works?
A: First USA has to be saturated and when it’s full up, cames out outside.

Q: You haven’t enjoyed much travelling.
A: My generation didn’t travel much because we didn’t need to. We didn’t have the means. My work has stuck me to a particular place. Nevertheless, I travel a lot, I take the underground very often. I think like those who say that knowing a woman very well makes one know women. So, knowing very well one place, in my case Madrid, one knows all places. I have not decided my live, this is how I feel. I have been sort of obedient to something that has made me do things in a particular way. This is the way I feel about it.

Q: Rafael Azcona said that to the greatest and most miserable situations one arrives in a way which doesn’t depend on human decisions.
A: Our generation moved in the space we found. The following generation moved in unlimited spaces. We didn’t. One has to accept whatever ones time brings to those born in it.

Q: Deeply unsatisfied about something?A: Absolutely not. I had a wonderful childhood. I have eaten well, I have worked with pleasure, have met fantastic people and have lived a very free life. What else can I ask for?

Q: Little else. What are you working on?
A: My last outing has been by underground to the Gran Via (one of the main streets in Madrid). I have six views of the place started. From Alcalá to España Square. And now I have to finish the heads I have done for Atocha. They are tree meters high. They are my granddaughter, who is now tree years old and was one when I started. In one she is asleep in the other she is awake. In a month and a half they will be installed in the main hall of the station.

Q: How is progressing the painting on the Royal Family you started more than ten years ago?A: Progressing. I don’t want to treat it like a commission. I want it to be treated in the same way I have worked in my other pieces. I don’t want to rush anything.

Q: That means it is not progressing.
A: I have given myself an ending date, October.

Q: Lets see,…A: Well, I have accomplished more difficult things than that. I gave up smoking in 1993 and never smoked again. I do dream I smoke … The important thing is the result is satisfactory. The collective portrait is a great effort. It has to transmit sincerity and be understood by everybody. They have hardly posed, and it is either my way of working. I have work on it from photographs. Francisco and Julio López and me have worked that way with the sculptures in Valladolid, but the painting language is another. You have to retake a theme treated by photography.

Q: You said that nowadays well done things are not valued …A: Contributions must fulfil contemporary spectations. If it lacks that interest, everything we understand as well done, as mastery, it´s worth nothing.

Q: What expectations are you referring to?
A: It must have a language which contribution is new for the figurative. A picture done now can not be like one done in any other time. It has to have a spiritual, ethic and aesthetic element, a group of things that justify that is done in one moment when one works generally outside this territory. Only there figuration has a space. And naturally, has to be very well done, the same as abstraction has to be well done. There is no talk about the “well done” but about what can surprise. Great art in all times has always needed that the content be deep and the showing of its language be attractive. It doesn’t seem difficult to me, what is needed is that one be allowed to do things (in ones way). If one is kicked from the beginning is no good.

Q: Figuration has not always been well understood.
A: I don’t have the same feeling. My first exhibition was in 1955. Then we were modern, same as the non figurative. The brake from all tradition was done from the abstraction and the figuration. Collectors and gallery owners were the same for both. There has always been misunderstanding. It happened to me, to Barceló, to Picasso. I am fed up of Picasso, and that means nothing.

Q: Fed up of Picasso?
A: Really fed up. I thing he has abused of many things. Everything evolves (changes). I bored me as much as talking of figuration and abstraction.

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BERNARDO PÉREZ

Let Your Chest Hair Free!

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 10, 2008 11:44 AM

Most days, I walk by Chris Muther and we exchange a friendly wave and perhaps chat about current events. He has even contributed to this blog. Sometimes, I wonder what he is thinking. Now I know. Much of his criticism is deserved. My one beef is his take on the sweater vest. When I want to remember Andrew McCarthy, I'll rent "Pretty In Pink."

As for Wesley... Yesterday, having spied his undershirt essay, I immediately took a scissors to my tee and sliced out the visible portion. Today, I'm running free, at least from the waist up. It feels liberating, though I fear what might happen when the weather turns warm.

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Screenprinted Pancakes!

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 9, 2008 03:39 PM

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I'm not sure how you can resist that, this rare appearance from Panic Button, a group from Slovakia that somehow mixes fine art with graphic design, performance, photography and - as you can tell from the poster - food.

There's a lot more at the ongoing Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts. Also on slate for tonight: An art exhibition at the Spingold Theater, opening at 7 p.m., followed by a screening of the documentary "Such Is My Karma" by Grzegorz Pacek. And, at 7:30 in Schwartz Hall, a talk by Minor Threat's Ian MacKaye.

Artnet Editor On Having Own Show Reviewed

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 9, 2008 10:52 AM

Here are a few interesting facts:

- Walter Robinson, the editor of Artnet, is also a painter.
- He currently has an exhibition of his work on display at a Chelsea gallery, Metro Pictures.
- The show received a rave review from Charlie Finch in Artnet.

And when I say rave, note the following graph:

"You are going to hear a lot of balderdash about Walter Robinson’s work as forerunners of John Currin, Karen Kilimnik and others. Don’t believe it: they never heard of these paintings and Robinson’s oeuvre proudly stands on its own, sui generis."

I sent Robinson a question:

"Were you at all concerned that having your own writer review your own work in your magazine would appear to be a conflict?"

Robinson's response:

"I’d do almost anything to get attention from dweebs like you! W"

Okay.

For more of an answer, I called Robinson’s boss, Artnet Worldwide president Bill Fine. He noted, first, that Robinson did not edit the Finch piece. Ben Davis, the magazine’s associate editor, oversaw the review.

"Charlie is a freelance guy and a contributor, but we don’t muzzle him or control him,” said Fine. “I suspect Walter would publish it if it were negative.”

Isn’t it unlikely the review would have been negative?

“I think generally speaking most media in the art field, they’re generally publishing positive things. You wouldn’t see a copy of Art in America or ARTnews with all the negatives. That particular show did very well.”

That’s not the point, I told Fine. Isn’t the idea of conflict not merely that there was no conflict but to remove the appearance of conflict?

Fine then told me that Robinson and Finch had a “difficult relationship” over the years.

“I actually brought Charlie into the company. But I think initially Walter probably fired him two or three times in the early going. You know, Charlie’s a real asset to the company. I think he has a lot of eyeballs. The art business is fairly incestuous anyway. You might find that's the story.”

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Breaking: Valerie Wilder, New Job

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 9, 2008 09:15 AM

When I pressed Valerie Wilder for why she was leaving Boston Ballet - do we ever really believe people leave positions by choice? - she finally let me know that she and her husband were eager to return to Canada. So why didn't you say so before? I asked. Wilder told me didn't want to because there was also a chance she wouldn't go back to Canada, and she didn't want to make it appear as if she hadn't been up front. Now we understand why.

Today, the Australian Ballet announces that Wilder will take over as executive director in June.

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Wednesday Reads

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 9, 2008 06:34 AM

Neil Diamond? Bill Buckner? What's next: Roger LaFrancois appreciation day?

The New York Philharmonic is giving a free concert on Governors Island on July 5. But what's more interesting is the idea that the performance could lead to a permanent summer home in New York. Would that have any impact on Tanglewood?

Adrian Ellis, in a cautionary essay, references the Hartman jade situation at the Museum of Fine Arts. It is one case of several in which "museums serve as accomplices, albeit unwilling, to a sequence of events in which their standing is appropriated for private gain. The lenders who subsequently dispose of their loans may have had this intention all along or their circumstances may simply have altered—force majeure."

I take my daughter skiing.

Check out Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens all jacked up before they were jacked. The images come courtesy of Topps and its giant bomb of a baseball card set from 1992.

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Ray Davies Is Back

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 8, 2008 07:00 AM

Joan Anderman loved Sunday night's show. So did I. And after the gig, I was granted about nine minutes with The Man.

I asked him about the first rock show he went to. He recounted going to a Little Richard, Duane Eddy double bill as a teenager.

"I was amazed at Duane Eddy and his horn section. He sounded exactly like the records. Jim Horn on sax and a great drummer. I also remember a band called The Escorts, who were from Manchester, I think, and they were part of that whole northern movement. The Kinks had played a gig and we went to see them in a club in Manchester. I don’t think they had any success but if you cast a movie to be Merseybeat, they looked like it. They did a song we did, which was a cover of the Coasters song, "I’m A Hog For You."

"See my sister, she married a Canadian serviceman and moved to Canada and sent us all rock records. So we got them before anybody else heard them. Early Elvis Presley. For some reason she sent a few blues records as well. 'Smokestack Lightning' as well."

"But one of the best bands I ever saw when I started out – not the first – was a band called the Cyril Davis All Stars. And on the piano was Nicky Hopkins. Cyril played harmonica and they were the backup band for Sonny Boy Williamson. And Cyril had a classic, seminal single called country line single. That’s why I wanted to work with Nicky Hopkins, who played on lots of Kinks songs."

Knowing Ray has a daughter who is just 11, I asked about whether he has found a way to make sure she appreciates good music.

"Her mother and I separated and she lives in Ireland. I used to go over to Ireland and play r & b, jazz in the car just to brainwash her. Not because it’s a bad intention on her mother’s part. But she’s probably got access to all the normal things – Avril Lavigne – but she’s got her dad who plays Chuck Berry at home. She likes Mr. Chuck. She says, 'Mr. Chuck, is he a nice man?' I said, he’s okay. He’s a great writer. But I wouldn’t want you to meet him. She likes Mr. Chuck and she likes Cajun music."

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Jaime Roark, Leaving MFA

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 7, 2008 11:11 PM

MFA senior designer Jaime Roark is leaving the museum to take a job at the Guggenheim. Roark, who turns 32 on Sunday, worked on, among other exhibitions, "Fashion Show" and the upcoming "El Greco to Velazquez".

"I am mainly curious to learn about how different institutions approach exhibition design, and to explore a long-time curiosity I have had about living in New York City," Roark wrote when I asked why she was leaving. "The availability of resources is unique and I am interested to see how it affects my own design process."

It's also worth noting that her boyfriend, Ben Krone, is an architect who lives in Brooklyn.

I asked Roark for a few MFA highlights...

She said:

"Fashion Show" was a pretty spectacular show to have worked on as a designer, and having that small, direct view into the fashion design world was quite phenomenal. I also loved working on the "Sets, Series, and Suites" show because I thought it was very well curated and I liked the work a lot. And any chance I had to work with Tracey Albainy because she always made me smile.

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My Attempt To Rid Celtics Of "Dancers"

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 7, 2008 09:07 PM

Apparently, my Sunday interview with Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck did not please fans of the Celtics dancers.

Here's a man who would like me to apologize to the aforementioned "dancers."

And here's a "dancer."

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Mark Feeney, Pulitzer

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 7, 2008 06:27 PM

Arts writer Mark Feeney has won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for criticism.

According to Don Aucoin's piece, he won for "10 essays on visual culture that ranged from photography to painting and film."

The Globe has just posted excerpts of some of his stories. On Hopper, for example:

"What Hopper reflects is something quite different, the unheroic loneliness of everyday people, people like you and me: ushers, secretaries, apartment dwellers. The Hemingway hero, another paragon of American individualism, is in control of his apartness. Hopper's people are not. It's imposed on them by the circumstances of life. Their plight reminds us that individualism without ruggedness simply means being alone - alone even when, as in Hopper's "Room in New York," someone else is there.

"E pluribus unum," one out of many, bespeaks a citizenry coming together, uniting into something larger. What haunts the American imagination is the possibility of one lost among many, the individual trapped in his or her own solitude. American society, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in "Democracy in America," "throws [the individual] back forever upon himself alone and threatens in the end to confine him entirely within the solitude of his own heart." What's most American about Hopper is his bearing witness to that threat."

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(Susan Chalifoux/Globe Staff)

Diapergate P.S., Regent Responds

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 7, 2008 06:25 AM

Leland Stein, co-owner of Arlington's Regent Theatre, did not appreciate World Music/CRASHarts founder Maure Aronson's take on the Dan Zanes baby-ticket policy.

To refresh your memory, I asked Aronson about the Regent, and the fact that babies are admitted without a ticket. (As long as they're held by a parent.)

"You can’t compare Dan Zanes, who is a pretty popular performer, with something going on at the Regent," Aronson responded, adding that the Arlington theater is smaller and more community-centered.

Now Stein:

"While I cannot take issue with the fact that the Regent Theatre (500 seats) is smaller than the Somerville, and that we are more community-centered (and proud of it!), the first part of Mr. Aronson's comment is completely without merit. One can certainly compare Dan Zanes with many of the critically-acclaimed, award-winning, nationally-touring family performers we have presented at the Regent including Billy Jonas (N. Carolina), Justin Roberts (Chicago), Cat's Pajamas (Philadelphia), along with the wildly popular SteveSongs and Arlington's own Ben Rudnick & Friends--to name just a few. We have sold all 500 seats and sometimes added a second show for some of these performers and will more often than not get between 200 and 400 people every Saturday (and some Sundays) October through April (for the past seven years)--despite the competition of Saturday morning cartoons, soccer, gymnastics, karate, and Dan Zanes at the Somerville Theater (about 3 miles from the Regent)... .

Furthermore, our typical pricing for our family shows is $6 for kids and seniors; $8 for everyone else (at most $8 and $10)--a fraction of what World Music is charging for Dan Zanes. I'm not faulting Zanes for commanding such a high performance fee, nor Aronson for pricing his shows accordingly--all the more power to them for getting top dollar if some people are willing to pay. But, we're talking quality of entertainment, not quantity of dollars spent to enjoy it, and our family performers provide comparable entertainment value to kids and parents at far less cost. And, one reason we are able to do so is that these performers (who return season after season) are willing to work for a low guarantee and/or split of the proceeds because they appreciate that some parents have limited resources and the value in keeping ticket prices modest, a fact that also brings us to our policy of "Kids 2-and-under FREE if sitting on their grown-up's lap." (There are absolutely no legal issues with this, at least in our case.)"

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Antonio López García, Sneak Peek

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 5, 2008 07:32 PM

My profile of Antonio López García, who I met with when I went to Madrid last month, is up on the Tubes. When you're done, check out the slide show in which I try to explain the man whose enormous bronze heads now adorn the lawn of the Museum of Fine Arts.

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Malkmus Review, Total Heaviosity

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 5, 2008 08:45 AM

From Thursday night, my Malkmus review.

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Dan Zanes, Diapergate Revealed

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 4, 2008 04:15 PM

Turns out that Dan Zanes is not to blame for the no-free-baby policy at the Somerville Theatre. You wanna blame somebody? Try the law, according to Maure Aronson from WorldMusic/CRASHarts, the presenter of the Zanes gigs.

"The theater has an occupancy limit of 899," said Aronson, the organization's founder. "I’m just a renter. Those shows sell out. If 200 people show up with six month olds and there’s an horrific event, god forbid, then what? The regulations are in place for the safety of people. I’m not about to break them."

I told Aronson that at the Regent Theatre, for example, babies are admitted without a ticket. (As long as they're held by a parent.)

"You can’t compare Dan Zanes, who is a pretty popular performer, with something going on at the Regent," he said, adding that the Arlington theater is smaller and more community-centered.

And then Aronson took issue with the whole idea that anybody could criticize Zanes for charging $22 for adults, children, and babies.

"Why would somebody pay $250 on some kind of scalping ticket to see the Jonas Brothers. Why would somebody spend $50 to see "Sesame Street" and not complain about it? But about Dan Zanes, where the ticket is $22, it’s an issue. This is a very affordable ticket for a quality family entertainment experience."

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Grumpy Over Gardner

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 4, 2008 03:25 PM

Those pesky Friends of Historic Mission Hill are not giving up on the Gardner expansion.

In a release sent out today, the organization is urging a "last stand" at next Tuesday's Boston Landmarks Commission Hearing, which is at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Here's our recent story on the issue.

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New Boston Symphony Orchestra Season

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 4, 2008 09:15 AM

By Jeremy Eichler
Globe Staff / April 4, 2008
The Boston Symphony Orchestra continues its recent tradition of presenting opera in concert next season with three performances of Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra" conducted by music director James Levine. It is one of the most ambitious programs of the 128th season, details of which the orchestra announced today.

Levine will conduct a total of nine weeks of subscription concerts, down from 11 this year. In addition to Verdi, he will focus on Mozart, devoting his final two weeks of concerts to a survey of 12 Mozart symphonies, spread over three programs, beginning with No. 1 and ending with No. 41, the "Jupiter" Symphony.

Read on...

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Dan Zanes Takes Diaper Money

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 3, 2008 03:22 PM

So here’s a crazy thing. My sister called up about going to see Dan Zanes at the Somerville Theatre. You know Dan. He’s got that gigantic hair and wears funny-colored suits and sings “Down By The Riverside.” My sister mentions, to the man at the box office, that she’s just had a baby and isn’t it okay for her to bring the girl since she’ll be holding her. Sorry, the man says. That'll be $22. Everybody needs a ticket.

I certainly don’t want to begrudge Mr. Zanes a living. But let us be frank. If he were not doing this Woody Guthrie-meets-Raffi thing, he would probably be playing for 19 people on Thursday night at T.T.’s. Instead, he’s packing in four shows over three days at the Somerville Theatre. And scoring diaper money.

Of course, like any good uncle/reporter, I had to explore this issue for myself. I called the Somerville Theatre and asked the ticket dude if I had to pay for a 12-day-old. Yep. I told him my wife just had a c-section and this would be her first time out since the big day. (Okay, not true, but it seemed like a worthwhile scenario to explore.) He said he would check with a manager. No dice. That baby is going to cost you.

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Antonio López García, Spanish Press + Slideshow

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 3, 2008 11:16 AM

I must confess. I don't know much Spanish. Okay, any Spanish. So this interview in El Pais with Antonio López García, he of the giant baby heads, is not of much use to me. But look... pictures. I can understand those.

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Gardner Expansion

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 2, 2008 03:43 PM

"A dramatic addition proposed for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum by renowned architect Renzo Piano is troubling to some Mission Hill residents, who said it could violate the conditions of the art maven's will.

The plan for a new Piano-designed complex that would be built behind the existing museum was approved unanimously by the Boston Redevelopment Authority's board yesterday. It would contain a performance hall, educational space, a new entrance lobby, museum shop, cafe and kitchen, greenhouse, and other space.

While the Boston Preservation Alliance and a number of groups based in the Fenway neighborhood endorse the expansion, another organization, Friends of Historic Mission Hill, is asking the Boston Landmarks Commission to head off some of the proposed changes, saying they would violate instructions Gardner included in her will to preserve the original museum, which was built in the 15th-century Venetian palazzo style.

"It's like one of the 10 special buildings in the whole city," said Alison Pultinas, who has led the Mission Hill effort. "The intention of the property was a walled palace, monastic on the outside and palatial on the inside. We're concerned about the scale of the project, the authenticity of the museum experience, and changes to how people experience the Palace."

Read story in full.

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More On The High School Drama Festival

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 2, 2008 12:24 PM

The other day, I wrote about the Massachusetts High School Drama Festival and some griping by a Herald blogger. Today, I'm going to post, with permission, a response to one of my e-mails from Michael McGarty, chairman of the Massachusetts High School Drama Guild.

Dear Geoff,

Thanks for emailing us all and letting us know what was occurring on the arts blog.

In order to understand the current issue, you need to understand a bit of history.  The Globe has generously sponsored the final level of the Massachusetts High School Drama Festival since 1954. From then until about five years ago, we worked with the Globe's promotion department which publicized the event.

For years, before each level of the event there would be an article in the Globe either in the Arts or City/Region section listing the performance sites and the participants, and then at the end of the festival an article with pictures listing the winning schools and individual student awards. Also, the Globe ran a ¼ page ad advertising the event. However, over the years it became increasingly difficult for even the promotion department to get coverage from the Arts section especially since the publicity would appear as self promotion for the Globe.

As you stated in your own blog, the arts editors are inundated with requests for coverage on a daily basis. We've been told that given the large number of professional requests for publicity that, unless we had a "hook" for the story, our chances for any publicity were slim. We've therefore concentrated our efforts on local and regional newspapers and the Globe regional editions that are more responsive to carry our information. We also submit to the Globe calendar section but again there is no guarantee that the publicity will be carried.

The MHSDG obviously highly values the longstanding relationship with the Boston Globe that was started over 50 years ago by the Taylor family. Now under the auspices of the Boston Globe Foundation we continue to develop that association to serve our membership.

We welcome your help in getting our message out to the public. You can be assured that we will contact you next year in advance of the event.

Sincerely,
Michael McGarty, Chair MHSDG

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Boston Ballet, 2008-09 Season

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 2, 2008 07:45 AM

Boston Ballet's final season at the Citi Wang Theatre will feature classic story ballets, works by contemporary choreographers, and a tribute to Russian ballet that involves a producing partnership with Boston University.

The 2008-09 season opens with a "Night of Stars" gala on Oct. 10 and closes with a tribute to Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (May 14-17), including the company premiere of Nijinsky's "The Afternoon of a Faun" and the world premiere of Jorma Elo's "Le Sacre du Printemps" - part of a Ballets Russes festival and produced in association with BU.

Other pieces range from "The Sleeping Beauty" (April 23-May 3) and James Kudelka's "Cinderella" (Oct. 16-26) to the company debut of Balanchine's "Jewels" (Feb. 26-March 8) and five ballets by Jirí Kylián (Feb. 12-15), including three company premieres.

Rest of Story.
Boston Ballet press release.

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Rock Revisionism

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 1, 2008 04:37 PM

A pet peeve of mine.

The new record comes out and the veteran band delivers chooses the following talking point. “Hey. The last couple albums really stunk. Finally, we’ve recaptured our glory and made something special.”

Yet when the aforementioned stinkers came into being, what did the boys say? That finally, they got it right. I bring this up as I read the stream of articles featuring R.E.M. I’ve heard “Accelerate,” the new album, and it is good in that simple, straight-forward rock way. But consider these quotes - trapped in time – about albums band members now dismiss.

On 1998’s “Up”
Mike Mills: "Bill's quitting led to the freedom to go in all these weird directions we would never go otherwise, but that we wanted to go in anyway…”

Michael Stipe: "So it was truly an experiment on all levels, and I think we came out of it with something pretty spectacular.”

On 2001’s “Reveal”
Peter Buck: "On the last record, Bill announced he was leaving on the day we began recording, so that obviously changed things for us. All the songs on “Up” were basically pieced together, and a lot of the work was done without us even seeing each other. I'm proud of it, but some of that give-and-take is missing. This time, we went into studios with people we'd worked with, and I think that comes out in the music.

On 2004’s “Around The Sun”
Michael Stipe: "Themes are starting to emerge, and it sounds like it's taking off from the last couple of records into unchartered R.E.M. territory. Kind of primitive and howling. For me, a very exciting trip."

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Giant Heads At The Museum

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 1, 2008 01:30 PM

EXTRA, EXTRA: GIANT BABY HEAD SLIDESHOW.

There are heads, and then there are HEADS. If you drove by the Museum of Fine Arts this morning, you may have wondered why a couple of giant bronze heads were being mounted on the Huntington Avenue lawn. Wonder no more. They are the works of Antonio López García, the little-known Spanish realist artist whose first solo American museum show kicks off at the MFA on April 13. Check out this Sunday's Globe for my profile of the artist.

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Photos by David Ryan

Schnabel, SMFA

Posted by Geoff Edgers April 1, 2008 01:20 PM

Bad boy artist and good boy movie director Julian Schnabel will be honored by the School of the Museum of Fine Arts with its 13th Annual Medal Award. The press release states that the "Medal Award is presented annually to an individual whose work furthers the development and understanding of contemporary art. This year's ceremony and gala fundraising dinner will be held at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), on Monday, May 12. All proceeds from the event benefit student scholarship aid."

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About Exhibitionist Geoff Edgers covers arts news for The Boston Globe..
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