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Report from the Front

Art criticism, sometimes with context, occasional politics. Published in hard copy 2-4 times a year. New shows: "events;" hard copy rates & how to support the online edition: "works."



Bartolomeo Pinelli (1781-1835), Carnival Scene, 1816. Pen and black ink, and watercolor over graphite. Roberta J. M. Olson and Alexander B.V. Johnson. Photography by Janny Chiu.

You didn’t have to shout to get me to the media preview of “City of the Soul: Rome and the Romantics” at the Morgan Library and Museum (through September 11). I adore anything Romantic, but this show wasn’t what I expected—which is not to say that, once I understood how the Morgan defines “Romantic,” I didn’t like it -- a lot.  Read More 

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Simon Denis (Flemish, Antwerp 1755-1813 Naples). View on the Quirinal Hill, Rome. 1800. Oil on paper, laid down on canvas, 11 5/8 x 16 1/8 (29.5 x 41 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Collection, Promised Gift of Wheelock Whitney III, and Purchase, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. McVeigh, by exchange, 2003.
With laudable civic ambition, The Metropolitan Museum of Art evidently feels an insatiable need to supply its regular and potential visitors with an unending stream of “new” exhibitions. Even the Met doesn’t have the money to make all these exhibitions genuinely new, however, in the sense that it can keep staging subject-based exhibitions which rely upon borrowed work as well as work already owned to make whatever point the show is supposed to make. Sometimes, this leads to a show that makes a somewhat different point  Read More 
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