Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Flaneur Among the Bouquinistes

Edward Hopper, Automat, 1927

The Millions has a really impressive list of books coming out in the second half of this year, here.

"In her beautiful meander of a book “The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone,” Olivia Laing examines the idea of loneliness, in particular the loneliness of the city dweller, through the works and lives of a number of different artists. She proposes that loneliness is less a state than it is a fixed part of our identity, a tribe one might belong to as much as we might the tribes of queerness or blackness or femaleness. Implicit in her book are two intriguing notions: first, that loneliness, true loneliness, is an especially American trait (or privilege, or curse, depending on who you are); and second, that it is a realm most deeply inhabited, and fluently expressed, by visual artists. Laing includes performers in her study—poignantly, Klaus Nomi, the countertenor and lonesome bird of the late-nineteen-seventies East Village art scene—but spends the majority of her time discussing the acknowledged masters of modern despondency: Edward Hopper, of course, with his crayon-ish greens and reds and neon chiaroscuro; Andy Warhol, isolated and protected by his layers of sartorial artifice; and David Wojnarowicz, the leader of his own crew of lost boys." More in The New Yorker, here.

Another celebrated visual artist, Diane Arbus, is being celebrated by a new biography and a Met Breuer show in New York. A review of both is here.

Birding isn't just for tweedy retirees on coach trips into the country. In my yard, six miles from a center city area, I've ID's 36 species in two years. So imagine what New York must be like.

Speaking of cities, is yours the next Flint?

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