Recent links of note:
“Why Not Put Truth on a Pedestal?”
Dave Shiflett, The Wall Street Journal
Confederate monuments have been the topic of the week, and it seems as if every American with access to a keyboard and an Internet connection has shared their (usually tired) thoughts on the matter. Nonetheless, the questions that the controversy raises—cultural, historical, aesthetic, political, etc.— are among the central concerns of The New Criterion. You may expect a response to the matter in these pages in the coming months, but for now, catch Dave Shiflett’s take in The Wall Street Journal on a rarely discussed course of action that one Southern mayor has taken in regards to the monuments that line his city. Richmond’s Levar Stoney has proven a cool-headed steward of his city’s historical memorials, planning to turn them into opportunity for critical discussion by adding new statues of Black and Civil-Rights history to the locales now mostly dominated by those of the Confederacy. Not only does Stoney’s plan aim to hold historical truth above ideological squabbling, it sets a strong precedent and important message that his city will not be run by the whims of whoever seems to be ruling the streets on any particular day.
“Philip Pearlstein on Piero della Francesca”
Philip Pearlstein, Painters on Paintings
A few weeks ago, we noted an entry on the blog Painters on Paintings by David Reed, in which Reed responds to works he had recently seen by the great Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio. This week, on the same online platform, widely celebrated contemporary figurative painter Philip Pearlstein shares his thoughts on and relationship with the Early Renaissance master of space, Piero della Francesca. Though relatively short, Pearlstein’s vignette recounts how Piero encouraged his transition from an abstract expressionist to the modern realist we know him as today. As Pearlstein tells it, Piero’s extraordinarily inventive use of perspective taught the contemporary painter central ideas of space, providing a pictorial grammar of sorts within which Pearlstein has made an incredibly long-lasting, productive, and innovative career.
From our pages:
Adam I. W. Schwartzman