Matisse in Paris

“Un artiste ne doit jamais être prisonnier de lui-même, prisonnier d’une manière, prisonnier d’une réputation, prisonnier d’un succès…. Les Goncourts n’ont-ils pas écrit que les artistes japonais de la grande époque changeaient de nom plusieurs fois dans leur vie. J’aime ça: ils voulaient sauvegarder leurs libertés….” —Matisse, in Jazz …

Hamburger Heaven

Claes Oldenburg is, in several important respects, the most appealing artist to have appeared on the New York scene in the last decade. Beside the increasingly constricted concerns of the abstractionists, his zany sculptures and offbeat designs for monuments offer a robust engagement with the world we actually encounter beyond …

Art at the End of Its Tether

The form of art is, to a certain and very large degree, independent, but the artist who creates this form, and the spectator who is enjoying it, are not empty machines, one for creating form and the other for appreciating it. They are living people, with a crystallized psychology representing …

Holes in Moore

To have somehow become the favorite sculptor of the Philistines is not the worst fate that can befall a modern artist. Among its many benefits, it permits a sculptor, who is likely to face immoderate expenses if he works steadily on an ambitious scale, to go on making sculpture. Yet …

Backward and Downward with the Arts

The number of objects now claiming attention in the name of art is past calculating, and the size of the public more or less disposed to glimpse these objects, if not actually to acclaim them, increases at a velocity rivaling that of the population explosion itself. Yet the suspicion persists …

A Visionary Cubist

The strength of the German artistic tradition has always been its graphic rigor. For pure painterly values, for pictorial conceptions that allow finer shades of feeling than the graphic alone can ever fully accommodate, German artists have had to look elsewhere—to Italy or Spain or France or, more recently, the …

The Hartford Retreat

Between the writing of checks and the writing of books there are undoubtedly certain resemblances, and yet the transition from the one to the other is not always achieved without difficulty. Both may require a measure of passion and commitment, but still, the kind of endowment that enables one to …

A Scribble in the Air

The sculpture of this century boasts an amazingly wide repertory of forms and styles—wider, perhaps, than that of any other period in the history of art. Behind much of this profusion, which to the untutored eye looks so arbitrary and bewildering, stands the revolutionary change in sculptural syntax effected by …