Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty by Diane Keaton
A Prayer Journal by Flannery O’Connor, edited and with an introduction by W.A. Sessions
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, directed by Liv Ullmann and performed by the Sydney Theatre Company
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, directed by Gordon Edelstein
Milk a film directed by Gus Van Sant
Chicago a film directed by Rob Marshall, based on the musical by Bob Fosse
Last winter, I came into possession of the papers of an émigré psychiatrist who practiced in New York in the late 1940s and 1950s. The archive included a collection of manila envelopes, around six by ten inches, stuffed with folded sheets of thin paper covered with single-spaced typing: the notes the psychiatrist made after seeing patients (many of them fellow émigrés) in his office. As I studied the sheets with their inky typewriting and 60-year-old paper clips holding them together and leaving rust marks on the surface, my collagist’s imagination began to stir. I began to “see” some version of the collages on view here.
Last spring in Berlin, Peter Doig and Hilton Als co-curated an exhibition of portraits--mostly by young, unrecognized or forgotten artists--a show that included a rare look at the work of the remarkable but little known 20th-century Trinidadian painter Boscoe Holder (1921–2007).
At one point during Blanche’s final mad scene in the Sydney Theater Company’s much discussed revival of Tennessee Williams’s modern-day masterwork, which just concluded its sold-out run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, a woman sitting across the row from me began to sob uncontrollably. Despite her obvious pain, she could not look away from the stage’s brightly lit scene of daytime disaster. One wondered about the source of that spectator’s tears. Was it the sight of Blanche being led to her dark future, her sister Stella’s flush cheeked confusion, or both?