Month: May 2015

What has happened to art criticism?

In his Spiked article, What has happened to art criticism?,  J.J. Charlesworth investigates the decline of art criticism over the past 30 or so odd years.  He misses professional, culturally alert, independent, and historically informed criticism. Criticism has been replaced by what he calls ‘art writing.’  Art writing is that amorphous, subjective, non-judgmental  style one sees everywhere in the art…

‘Works of art may be offensive”

I read this laugh-out-loud piece in the NY Times. The blog post by Jeffrey Kindley is directed toward the college-age population of delicate hothouse plants who require trigger warnings on art and other cultural artifacts.  Columbia university students who found Ovid’s Metamorphosis ‘offensive and triggering’ provide a recent example. Surrounded by Disturbing Art I was triggered…

Tom Hudson

Problems solved in dreams.

I have prophetic dreams, only they NEVER pan out–they’re just memorable dreams. My wife, on the other hand, has insights and flashes that DO pan out. It’s eerie.

Problems are sometimes solved in my dreams. Does that happen to you? Waking up in an eureka! moment when the solution is crystal clear? I attribute this to my penchant for letting things percolate. Some problems, in life and art, take time to work out. As I fall asleep, I reflect on a problem in the hope that its solution will come to me while I sleep. Sometimes this technique works; sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the solution comes to me even when I don’t prime the pump. That happened last night.

I dream of paintings–new paintings–too. When that happens, I rush to the studio to get as much down as I can before I forget about it. I’ve finished paintings while under the impulse of a dream.

In the studio 5/17/15

Yesterday’s session with Taking Note was my 6th, according to my trusty studio journal. It’s coming along–so far so good. With such a simple design, the drawing has to carry the load. Well, that’s true for all my paintings, but in the more complicated ones there are other things that can make or break them, such…


The new Whitney.

The Whitney Museum recently opened its new digs in Chelsea. My first (tiny) apartment in New York was in Chelsea (20th & 8th), of course, that was before Chelsea became an art center. I plan to pay my first visit this summer.

I read a slashing review, A Monument to Tastelessnessby THEODORE DALRYMPLE in the City Journal. Dalrymple is a doctor and an author. I enjoyed his book about Africa, Zanzibar to Timbuktu. The review, subtitled The new Whitney Museum looks like a torture chamber, is scathing. He also excoriates Michael Kimmelman’s piece in the NY Times, A New Whitney, saying, “I have seldom read a piece of criticism in which the fundamental question was avoided in so pusillanimous a fashion.”

As I have yet to visit the museum, I’ll withhold comment. Dalrymple is an incisive thinker. His experience as a doctor to the poorer classes in Africa and Europe infuse his writing with an interesting perspective, although his liberalism is old fashioned by today’s standards, That’s fine by me because so is mine.

Here is a different review–a typical art world fawning-type review–of the new museum.


Tom Hudson

Ah, the Internets!

I don’t prowl youTube often; I’m a reader, not a watcher. But sometimes I do watch vids, of course. Two weeks ago I watched some videos about repairing stone steps and fixing my lawn tractor’s carburetor. They were good; I learned things.

Recently I tired watching videos by so called art experts.  Holy mackerel–what a waste of time! Aren’t ‘experts’ supposed to, you know, know something? I’m pretty jaded but I’m still amazed by how easily some people are impressed by themselves. Some people actually believe that all they have to do is assume an air of authority and–voila!–they’re expert enough to instruct others.

I’m not going to post links because I’m a live and let live type, but seriously, what are they thinking?

Movie review: Nightcrawler

For an artist, Nightcrawler is a fascinating movie. Nightcrawler, released in 2014 and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, is about a bottom feeder, Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal), who discovers the world of crime scene photo-journalism. Bloom, armed with an internet account and google, is an autodidact who envisions himself an entrepreneur. As the movie opens, Bloom uses his…


David Hockney at 77 is still in the game.

In a long, sympathetic article in The Guardian,  Hockney maintains that he is and has always been a workaholic. I have no idea if that’s true, of course, but it seems unlikely. Although I like some of his paintings, his work seems really uneven and strikes me as exhausted. I do like his Rousseau-like landscapes. I also enjoyed his book, Secret Knowledge, and never understood the hoopla surrounding it.