Category Archives: Art

Laurie Anderson Flies Lou Reed Drones

More than a half century ago Lou Reed would end the sparsely attended shows by the Velvet Underground by leaning their buzzing guitars against the amps, allowing the pulsing waves of feedback to continue long after the band had left the stage.  Nine years after Lou left for this mortal coil for good, he would […]

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Laurie Anderson Muses Under a Tree

On a splendid summer’s night in the shadow of Rodin’s greatest work, Laurie Anderson sat with her electric CR violin before a laptop before two invited audiences of a couple dozen each last week to tell some stories that cast their usual spell. Live performance in any form is still a rarity as the COVID-19 […]

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Antonio Banderas Becomes Picasso

Smoldering leading man Antonio Banderas takes a big turn Wednesday portraying the second 20th century giant to get the spotlight in the miniseries “Genius: Picasso” (National Geographic, 9 p.m.). Odd that the man who portrayed Zorro and Pancho Villa would play the bald, white-haired artist in a striped sweater, even though the series has provided […]

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Frank Underwood Bares His Knuckles

It’s not like he threw me in front of the Metro train as he did poor Zoe Barnes. But I feel a little bit of what it’s like to be witheringly dismissed by Francis J. Underwood, the ruthless politician at the heart of Netflix’ hit “House of Cards.” It was at the unveiling of a […]

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The Triumph of ‘The Beach’

The last official beach day of the summer is also the last day for “The Beach,” the terrifically popular installation at the National Building Museum by Snarkitecture, which I’m so proud to say is run in part by my stepson Alex Mustonen. I had heard of his idea of following up last year’s popular BiG […]

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Scandinavian Art Standards: Slipping

“Art is anything you can get away with Check this out,” Marshall McLuhan once said. And I think of that quote every time I sense an artist is testing me, needling me, getting to that line. In Oslo recently at the shiny new Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, I got that feeling right away. […]

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When Business Writes History

I expected another benign array of American dates, names and artifacts when the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History opened its new Innovation Wing last week. Zippier display cases, sure. A greater emphasis on interactive materials, well, that’s just what the times demand to wrest kids from staring at their phones. But a wholesale change in […]

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Other Things I’ve Written Lately

Here are some links to some other pieces I’ve written lately: Recalling a local legendary DJ who steered the Soul Train tracks to Annapolis gets some attention in the Smithsonian’s new permanent exhibit. An interview with the ever-sassy Kathy Griffin. Trying to keep up in an occasionally mind-blowing interview with Sebastian Thrun, the guy who […]

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Other Things I’ve Written Lately

Here are some links to some other pieces I’ve written recently: A slave ship found off the coast of South Africa has artifacts that will come to the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture next year. A National Symphony Orchestra violist plays once a year plays an instrument made by her […]

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Uploading the Whole Museum

With a ceremonial click with a foot pedal, the last of the 40,000 items of 2-D art being uploaded for free public use was digitally photographed last week. Starting Jan. 1 the whole of the Smithsonian’s repository of Asian art, the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will be available for […]

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