From The Economist, a special report on the art market. From The New Criterion, an article on the art world vs. the world of art; and the art market explained: Why the bubble won't pop for Pop. A look at how Warhol is soooo overrated. J. C. Gabel reviews Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol by Tony Scherman and David Dalton (and more and more). Whether making work with moldy bread, melting wax, or Froot Loops screenprinted on massive mirrored boxes, Urs Fischer probes the inner workings of embodied experience and cultural production — reframing both process art and kitsch in turn. It is only through the experience of working that answers may be discovered within the inner logic of an invented reality such as the art of painting. America is re-discovering one of its most underappreciated and misunderstood artists: Norman Rockwell (and more). From The Believer, a special issue on Art 2009, including an article on the disappearance of Ford Beckman. Like a cross between a Dan Brown novel and an Indiana Jones adventure: Italian palace fresco may hide Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece. How do they name Leonardo da Vinci paintings like the Mona Lisa? Mexico is restoring the murals of Diego Rivera, admirer of Lenin, friend of Trotsky and lover of Frida Kahlo. A review of Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo. From TNR, Jed Perl on Bauhaus 1919–1933: Workshops for Modernity, at the MoMA. In preparing a biography of Braque, Alex Danchev explored the meaning of art and its makers, but upon finishing, he faced a much more personal question.
A new issue of h+ Magazine is out. James V. Schall, S.J. on Last Things: How evil is evil? How good is good? The Cult of Chuck Norris: Sean Macaulay analyzes the strange afterlife of the worst actor in action. Why putting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on trial downtown is the right thing for the U.S. — and the city (and if Rudy were still U.S. prosecutor, he’d agree). Why the critics of the KSM trial are wrong: The critics of the KSM trial can't ask for more law and less law at the same time. Lives of the Saints’ blood and gore gave Joyce Gemperlein a love of obits — and an interest in sex. From Esquire, an interview with Alberto Gonzales on the value of torture and Karl Rove's role in the US attorney firings. A review of The Red Book: Liber Novus by C. G. Jung. "My plight is not unique": A roundtable discussion on sexual violence in conflict zones. Chris Lehmann on the tragic tale of Bunky and Barbara Hearst. An interview with Spanish author Javier Marias, the most important intellectual figure that you’ve probably never heard of. Is fanaticism always wrong, or does the cause sometime justify the means? Girls Just Wanna Have Fangs: A look at the unwarranted backlash against fans of the world's most popular vampire-romance series. Who's afraid of world government? Lawrence Wittner investigates. On a scale of 1 to 10 for how dangerous a book is to have on your desk if you have other work to get done, David McCandless's The Visual Miscellaneum would rate about a 9. An interview with Paul Butler, author of Let's Get Free: A Hip Hop Theory of Justice. Notre Dame is betting Brian Kelly is the man who can finally win it all for the Irish.
From Harper's, the intelligence factory: Petra Bartosiewicz on how America makes its enemies disappear. The spending wars: How did military spending become sacrosanct? From Dissent, Michael Signer on the neoconservative pere et fils. James Carroll on the five characteristics that make Dick Cheney the Quintessential American. Howard Fineman on how Ron Paul can save the GOP. Christopher Hitchens on how Sarah Palin's brand of populism is dangerous and deceptive. The poll heard round the world: Could a Tea Party candidate actually win an election? How Ayn Rand would have hated the Tea Partiers. The Existential Martin Eisenstadt: Harding Institute senior fellow and GOP attack dog fights Liberal media claims that he’s not real (and more). Can’t stand a member of Congress and desperately want him or her out of office? There’s a blog for that. From Doublethink, open source democracy: Are bloggers the new government watchdog?; and Jacob Raskin on the rise of the muckraking Right: How conservative bloggers are scooping The New York Times. Washington Times, RIP: The paper’s demise will place a new importance on the conservative blogosphere. Is Politico really "new media"? Just because it’s online doesn’t mean it’s not old-fashioned. Robert Niles on two things the government can do to help journalism. And then came Obama: Snopes’ 25 hottest urban legends gets remarkably political. How can the American electorate be post-racial when even the shading of skin affects decision-making? Jim Sleeper on how time and odds are not on the side of the republic Obama swore to preserve, protect, and defend.
From New English Review, Ibn Warraq on Mozart and Orientalism. Hip-hop, as a culture and a musical genre, moves at lightning speed; keeping up requires an awareness of our expectations and a willingness to revisit our assumptions. A review of Understanding Music: Philosophy and Interpretation by Roger Scruton. A review of Jazz by Gary Giddins and Scott DeVeaux. Sure, it's violent, but can you dance to it?: A British scholar examines abuse narratives in pop music. Placing songs in advertising remains a touchy subject; PopMatters spoke with a few artists whose music has appeared in advertising to find out what motivates them to do what some people claim is “selling out”. John Rockwell reviews Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992 by Tim Lawrence. Composer Jean Sibelius's ties to Nazi Germany come under new scrutiny. Rango, the ancient Sudanese music of healing, is under threat from religious orthodoxy — but the musicians are fighting back. A review of Linthead Stomp: The Creation of Country Music in the Piedmont South by Patrick Huber. A review of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout. What you hear is not a chorus: A look at the truly original thing about "Rapper’s Delight". Rock ‘n’ roll, it seems, does middle-age awfully well; and not just from the gray-haired set who have been there, and who now look back upon it fondly. A review of The Gilded Stage: A Social History of Opera by Daniel Snowman. Nature's Rejects: Jan Swafford on the music of the castrati. Re-Meet the Beatles: A series on the still Fab Four. Why doesn’t listening to modern classical music matter any more?