Gini Alhadeff’s books include The Sun at Midday and Diary of a Djinn. (June 2018)

IN THE REVIEW

Moving Targets

William Eggleston: Los Alamos

an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, February 14–May 28, 2018

Election Eve

by William Eggleston, with a preface by Lloyd Fonvielle
William Eggleston’s photographs provide a primer on how to look at things you’re about to overlook—the inside of an oven, an old blue pick-up truck parked behind a horizontal wisteria vine, a green shower stall, part of a concrete stairway between two white walls, a dog lapping water from a puddle.

Against Seriousness

Alberto Savinio: Self-Portrait as an Owl, 1936

Alberto Savinio

an exhibition at the Center for Italian Modern Art, New York City, October 6, 2017–June 23, 2018
Alberto Savinio, the hidden spring of metaphysical modernism, lives on in his Self-Portrait as an Owl (1936). His face, with its marked eyebrows, dark eyes, thin lips, and air of melancholic diffidence, sketched in swirling feathers, resembles that of his brother, Giorgio de Chirico, who did a pencil drawing of …

NYR DAILY

The Prophets, Angels, & Churches of ‘Armenia!’

Alexander Romance, copied in Rome, 1538–1544

The exclamation mark following the word “Armenia” in the exhibition’s title—curator Helen Evans’s idea—was meant to convey her surprise that Armenian art and culture aren’t studied more or better known. The objects on display range from the fourth to the seventeenth centuries and represent the different regions Armenians inhabited. Armenia was one of the first states to adopt the Christian religion—as early as AD 301—and its history has been defined both by this, its status as an outpost of Eastern Orthodox religion surrounded by Muslim neighbors, and by its role in establishing trade routes from China and India to Western Europe, and from Egypt and the Holy Land to Russia.

The Surrealists’ Dance with the Yup’ik Mask

Yup'ik mask that once belonged to Andre Breton, from Goodnews Bay, Alaska, late nineteenth to early twentieth century

At the Di Donna Galleries, the masks of the Yup’ik, an indigenous people related to the Inuit, seem to float off the dark blue walls where they hang, between paintings by Yves Tanguy and André Masson, Joan Miró and Enrico Donati, Victor Brauner and Wolfgang Paalen—all Surrealists. André Breton and Man Ray had first seen Yup’ik masks in 1935 in Paris at the Galerie Charles Ratton in Paris. But it was Max Ernst who introduced his friends to a trove of them in Manhattan. He was walking down Third Avenue one day when he spotted a spoon from the Northwest Coast in the window of Julius Carlebach’s antiques shop.