October 2011

Christ and His Opposite?

ONE PROBLEM WITH ART HISTORIANS-TURNED-JOURNALISTS lies in the requirements of journalism. The art pundit must be interesting; no matter if accuracy suffers. Diversion is the name of the game. Elegant and high-minded, to be sure, but diverting nonetheless. And there really is not time, given the copy deadlines of daily or even weekly publications, to do much homework on the subject one wishes to be interesting about. Art history, like art talk across the board, is useful as a higher entertainment.buy Continue Reading
Elizabeth O'Reilly at George Billis Gallery

MODESTY IS NOT CHARACTERISTIC OF CONTEMPORARY CULTURE. Prevailing emphasis on self-assertion, and the pseudo-profundity that fuels it in the visual arts, leaves little room for the quietude and lucidity that are the hallmarks of Elizabeth O’Reilly’s painting. O’Reilly brings to art an intuitive regard for man’s sense of place. It is a sensibility that makes the locks on the Union Street Bridge, spanning Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, a significant aspect of home. Under her eye, urban details can as easily approach the wellsprings of serenity as a Douglas fir on Long Island’s North Fork, where O’Reilly spends her weekends. Continue Reading
Hail, Cristoforo Colombo

COLUMBUS’ SEAFARING ACHIEVEMENT HAS BEEN CELEBRATED in various Western nations for different reasons. Here at home, Columbus Day entered the calendar as a day to celebrate the contribution of immigrants—particularly Italian Catholic ones—to the United States. So, please, folks, let us not pull our skirts back from a magnificent mariner, who first set sail at ten, and the glory—down the centuries—of his explorations. // // The consummate historian Samuel Eliot Morison, in his Pulitzer Prize winning Admiral of the Ocean Sea, describes Columbus this way:
Christopher Columbus, Discoverer of the New World, was first and foremost a sailor.
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