Wed May 13, 2015
Fine Art

For Artist Elaine De Kooning, Painting Was A Verb, Not A Noun

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 1:59 pm

De Kooning made dozens of drawings, sketches and paintings of John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

In New York City in the 1940s, painters Willem de Kooning and his wife, Elaine, were the people you wanted at your dinner party. He was inventing abstract expressionism. She, his former student, was part of that movement, but also painting landscapes and people.

Elaine de Kooning felt that making portraits was like falling in love — "painting a portrait is a concentration on one particular person and no one else will do," she said.

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Tue May 12, 2015

Whitney Museum's New Building Opens Doors (And Walls) To Outside World

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 5:18 pm

The new building's window-lined hallways are in stark contrast to the brutalist design of the Whitney's former home.
Nic Lehoux Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art

The Whitney Museum of American Art has never stayed in one place for long. It has had four different homes in its 84-year history — the latest a $422 million glass-and-steel construction that recently opened in Manhattan's Meatpacking District — and each of those homes speaks to a particular moment in the evolution of American art and museum culture.

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Tue May 12, 2015
Arts & Life

Picasso Painting Breaks Record For Most Expensive Artwork Sold At Auction

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 12:31 am

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Tue May 12, 2015
Pop Culture

Just How Do 'Thomas & Friends' Drive Sodor's Economy?

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 9:14 am

Sir Topham Hatt: benevolent CEO or robber baron?
HIT Entertainment

Is Sir Topham Hatt a robber baron or a paternalistic CEO? Are Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends part of a union? How does anyone make money on the Island of Sodor?

Turns out, these are some of the serious issues that have perplexed more than one grown-up forced to read or watch Thomas & Friends for the umpteenth time with their kids. On the 70th anniversary of the Railway Series, the books by Reverend Wilbert Awdry that spawned the shiny engines, we explore this elaborate train of thought.

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Tue May 12, 2015
The Two-Way

'Unsettling' Lucille Ball Sculpture Will Move To New Home In N.Y.

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 5:19 pm

A bronze sculpture of Lucille Ball is displayed in her hometown of Celoron, N.Y. Since the sculpture was unveiled in 2009, it has been blasted by critics — and now there are plans to move it.
The Post-Journal AP

Instead of being destroyed or altered, the notoriously scary statue of Lucille Ball that graces her hometown in New York will be moved to a new National Comedy Center that's being built nearby.

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Tue May 12, 2015
Author Interviews

Making Art Out Of Bodies: Sally Mann Reflects On Life And Photography

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 4:30 pm

Photographer Sally Mann drives with her greyhound, Honey, in the early 2000s.
Michael S. Williamson Courtesy of Michael S. Williamson

Photographer Sally Mann is fascinated by bodies. In the early 1990s, she became famous — or notorious — for her book Immediate Family, which featured photographs of her young children naked. Critics claimed Mann's work eroticized the children, but Mann says the photos were misinterpreted.

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Tue May 12, 2015
The Salt

Tea Tuesdays: Matcha-maker, Matcha-maker, Make Me Some Tea

Matcha tea powder comes in two grades: ingredient and drinking. The drinking grade comes from the leaves at the top of the tea plant.
Courtesy of Alissa White

Just like flared jeans, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and thighs without a gap, matcha tea powder is in fashion in America.

You can grab a matcha latte at Starbucks. Whole Foods stocks the green tea powder on its shelves. Or now that warm weather is here, maybe you'll order a Matcha Green Tea Blast smoothie from Jamba Juice.

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Tue May 12, 2015
Book Reviews

Myth, Fantasy And Sci-Fi Dovetail In 'Archivist Wasp'

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 3:36 pm

Some of the best (and worst) novels in speculative fiction stick to a basic, tried-and-true approach: Lay out the rules of your imaginary world, then throw your protagonist against those rules. Nicole Kornher-Stace does exactly this, winningly, in her latest novel, Archivist Wasp.

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Tue May 12, 2015
Monkey See

Black Widow, Scarce Resources And High-Stakes Stories

Scarlett Johansson plays Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff in Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
Jay Maidment Marvel

[This post about the plot and characters in Avengers: Age Of Ultron discusses the plot and characters in Avengers: Age Of Ultron.]

We were never going to avoid gender politics with a character named "Black Widow."

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Tue May 12, 2015
Book Reviews

The Artistry Fails In 'Trompe L'Oeil'

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 6:15 pm

Even for the most talented artists, the trompe l'oeil is one of the most difficult techniques to master. The painter has to create three dimensions out of two, constructing an illusion, tricking the eye of the viewer. If it works, the results can be stunning; if it doesn't, the artwork looks forced and confusing.

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