Spurned In Paris, Pinault Opens In Venice

It’s been only a year since Paris declined to build a new museum to house billionaire collector François Pinault’s art collection. Now the collection’s first show is in Venice. “In this astonishingly short span of time, the interior of the palace has been sensitively remodeled, again to a design by Tadao Ando. Alison Gingeras, a brilliant young curator on the staff of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, has put together a breathtaking array of works from Pinault’s collection, a selection that ranges chronologically from Mark Rothko to Jeff Koons. The result is likely to upstage the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, a museum that has long dominated the field of modern art in Venice.”

Time’s 100: Kiki Smith

Kiki, 52, embraces craft, the dreaded C word of the art world. In myriad materials such as glass, fiber and beads (some associated more with amateurs and craft-show practitioners than with professional artists), she has embraced a dizzyingly diverse vocabulary of the demoted, debased and despised—and she makes you like it.

In A Webby World Is There Such A Thing As A Subculture?

As “personal technology creeps deeper into our lives, the gaps narrow – between the daring and the dilettantes, between the rebels and the ready-for-prime-time, between making donations at the door and being on hold with Ticketmaster. We’re all online. The Web’s no longer a fringe medium. The individualists have been blogged, kicking and screaming, into the open. Some artists have traded their obscurity for practical considerations – like survival, and a wider audience. Some have sacrificed their avant-garde cachet for cash. With the so-called underground only a log-on or a picture-phone image away, is it dead, or has it just, inevitably, changed with the times?”

Out Of The Ashes Of Triumph, Coconut Grove Director Struggles To Survive

Arnold Mittelman has run Florida’s Cocnut Grove Playhouse for 21 years. “On April 10, South Florida’s theater community paid homage to the 61-year-old stage veteran. Standing tall in the spotlight at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Mittelman, his blue eyes sparkling, accepted the George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts. By the next morning, though, a very different kind of spotlight began to shine on Mittelman amid revelations that the landmark theater he has run with a single-minded determination is on the brink of ruin.”

Have You Gone Viral Yet? (Everyone’s Doing It)

“The viral is where words, spoof images or film clips, You’ve Been Framed moments, guerilla marketing, cultural subversion and the unsuspecting celebrity all meet – and get spread around the internet community through personal contact. Once it would be nothing more than a text-only joke but, with broadband nearly everywhere and editing software ever more sophisticated, so virals have upped the stakes. The viral email has become such a phenomenon that the ICA is hosting the first exhibition devoted to it…”

Philip Roth At 73

“Roth is more measured than he once was, when notoriety and controversy seemed to dog his every move. In 1959 — before his career had even had a chance to get started — his short story “Defender of the Faith” ignited a firestorm over what Jewish writers should and shouldn’t reveal about their culture… To see Roth now, though — contemplative, elegant, almost professorial, wearing a black V-neck sweater, blue pants and worn brown walking boots, thinning hair brushed back from his prominent forehead — is to recognize just how long ago that was.”

Hispanic American Media Speaks Up

“For those who have closely followed the steady progress of Spanish-language media in the United States, the agenda-making potential of broadcasters and, lately, of radio show hosts, comes as no surprise. ‘Radio is very big now. But when you talk about Spanish-language media in this country, you’re mostly talking about television, and when you talk about television, you are mostly talking about Univision, which means you’re mostly talking about Jorge and María Elena.”

Globalization And The American Indie Film Maker

Some independent American filmmakers are making movies that don’t look American. Is this the beginning of a globalized movie aesthetic? “The idea of national cinema doesn’t make sense the way it used to. I find it frustrating when people expect a certain country to produce a certain kind of cinema. There’s economic and cultural globalization, but also physical mobility. People move around more.”