November 2011

Picturing Mary Magdalene

ART HISTORIANS ARE NOT NECESSARILY the best commentators on art. They are primarily researchers: archival sleuths, inquirers, unearthers of fact. Gumshoes, the best of them.  Some can write, many cannot. The discipline draws bookish sorts who are more at home in a library carrel, reading up on the words of some other member of the discipline who needs to be corrected. Or quieted. Or slain. In many respects, the discipline can be thought of as the yeshivot of the art world, a seminary for orthodox secularists trying to puzzle out the path to a better heaven. Continue Reading
Things to Read with Caravaggio in Mind

HASAN NIYAZI, impressario of Three Pipe Problem, had included a list of readings that informed his essay in the previous post, Navigating the Cognitive Philosophy of Michael Fried. I omitted the roster simply to conform more closely to the format of Studio Matters. The audience for this blog are, in the main, other working artists, a critic or two (one of whom comments anonymously), and art history buffs in the finest sense of the word amateur. Professional art historians, a rarified priesthood, tend to prefer talking to each other. Nevertheless, Niyazi’s book shelf holds many fine things, as you already know if you have visited his site. Continue Reading
Navigating the Cognitive Philosophy of Michael Fried

by Hasan Niyazi CARAVAGGIO AND HIS FOLLOWERS IN ROME has arrived at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Those unable to experience the majesty of the Baroque in person are left to ponder the substantial catalogue recently published by Yale University Press. Featuring essays by exhibition organizers and notable scholars of the Baroque, Michael Fried’s contribution,  Notes Toward a Caravaggisti Pictorial Poetics, will be seen by some as riding on the critical success of his 2010 study The Moment of Caravaggio. Continue Reading