New Criterion

A magazine that publishes articles, notes and comment on cultural life in America. Publishes contributions from poets, authors, public policy scholars, humanities lecturers, and critics. Includes poetry, arts criticism, and commentary. Departments in thea

Articles from Vol. 17, No. 5, January

An Era without Honor
On the eve of President Clinton's lawyers' presentation of his defense before the House Judiciary Committee, the indefatigable White House media operation circulated to other media outlets a discovery by The Los Angeles Times that the committee's chairman,...
Concert Note
Juana Zayas, at Seton Hall University, New Jersey The Cuban-born pianist Juana Zayas was eleven years old when she graduated from the Peyrellade Conservatory in Havana. She studied at the Paris Conservatoire where she took first prize in both piano...
Duchamp & Cornell
The most striking thing about the exhibition "Joseph Cornell/Marcel Duchamp ... in resonance" is its catalogue.(1) Expertly designed and lavishly illustrated, it contains photographic reproductions that are almost as good as being there. The book's...
Edward Said's "Orientalism" Revisited
Early in 1998, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney staged an exhibition entitled "Orientalism: From Delacroix to Klee." It contained 124 paintings and 50 photographs, most of which were produced by European artists in the nineteenth century...
Exhibition Note
"Bob Thompson" at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. September 25, 1998-January 3, 1999 For some years, promises of a full-scale Bob Thompson exhibit tantalized those of us interested in the work of this talented, self-destructive, and...
Jackson Pollock & the New York School
The American artist with any pretensions to total seriousness suffers still from his dependency upon what the School of Paris, Klee, Kandinsky, and Mondrian accumulated before 1935.... All excellence seems to flow still from that vivacious, unbelievable...
Josef Pieper: Leisure and Its Discontents
The first principle of all action is leisure. Both are required, but leisure is better than occupation and is its end; and therefore the question must be asked, what ought we to do when at leisure? --Aristotle, Politics The poore, the foule,...
Le Nozze Di Susanna
The greatness in great art lies in its flexibility. Many things can entertain or even stimulate within the narrow confines of a particular context, but great works of art--be they paintings or plays, sculptures or symphonies--transcend limitations....
Liberalism and the Law
Before there was a law under the American Constitution, there was an argument about the law. It was an argument, that is, about the ends of the law, and the framework of a lawful government. This was, of course, the argument over the Constitution,...
Light: Clarence H. White's Photographs
But his real subject is light, I realize, as I turn the pages of this old book of Clarence White's photographs I've come across by chance, here, looking around this large rambling house, packed with art and books, on a rainy summer...
Notes & Comments: January 1999
Good and bad news at CUNY At a time when most of the news coming out of academia is depressing or worse, we were heartened to learn that the City University of New York has won a small victory in its efforts to restore standards at its community...
The Unknown Matisse A Life of Henri Matisse: The Early Years, 1869-1908
With the second volume of John Richardson's great Picasso biography already out, it was only a matter of time before Matisse (1869-1954.) received equal treatment. Hilary Spurling--a London-based theater critic, literary editor, book reviewer, and...
Two at City Opera
The New York City Opera continues its year-long season with a varied combination of revivals of past productions and eight new stagings under the artistic direction of Paul Kellogg, now in his second year as General and Artistic Director. One revival...