By John Wilmerding
In late August 1859 a spectacular eruption of the northern lights dominated the New England heavens for several days, commented on by newspapers across America and Europe. In the same period Walt Whitman, the great poet of that day, witnessed what he described as a "year of comets and meteors transient and strange." For those who saw these astronomical phenomena the experience was indelible. It was a major stimulus to artists and writers at the time.
By Joshua Barone
It’s not English. But the playful and vibrant design — four red letters arranged in a square, the O tilting to the right — is ubiquitous, and so is its message: “Amor.” This Spanish-language form of Robert Indiana’s famous “Love” sculpture, a 1998 update of his Pop Art classic, will be unveiled on Tuesday outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, about a mile from the tourist favorite “Love” on John F. Kennedy Plaza. The sculptures will be bookends to Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where Pope Francis is expected to celebrate Mass with an audience of more than a million on Sept. 27.
By Ally Betker
There are many facets of the Whitney Museum’s move downtown that are noteworthy. There’s the Renzo Piano-designed facade, the fact that more of the museum’s permanent collection will see the light of day and the realization that Manhattan’s Meatpacking District has officially been commandeered by the Establishment. On a recent sunny morning, though, with light streaming past the High Line and into the glass jewel box, most of the buzz was taking place inside Untitled, the official eatery of the new Whitney. Helmed by Gramercy Tavern chef Michael Anthony, the restaurant was crawling with front and back of house employees training for opening day on May 1st. Anthony himself was busy instilling his sense of service into the team.
Robert Indiana, the artist famous for his 'LOVE' paintings, escapes to his island home in Maine, where his favorite space is a ceremonial room for Odd Fellows—now home to 24 stuffed giraffes.
By Ken Johnson
[Indiana’s] paintings are gateways between the visual and the verbal, the private and the public, the physical and the metaphysical, and the conscious and the unconscious. Richly ambiguous, they unsettle fixed categories. And they are ravishing to behold.