Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road?

What would Kansas be like without Langston Hughes, William S. Burroughs, or The Wizard of Oz?  What would Kansas be like without art?  That’s what the blog Imagine Kansas Without Art is considering, in light of Governor Brownback’s order to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission (which, if approved by the state legislature, will go into

Wintertime for the Arts?

As we celebrate the birthdays of Mozart (255th) and Lewis Carroll (179th) amidst threatened cuts to arts funding, we might re-read Yuko Takao’s A Winter Concert (1995; English translation, 1997).  Rendered in thin dark lines on a white background, mice walk to a concert.  As the pianist begins to play, colored pointillist shapes rise from

The Record

The Record: Contemporary ART and VINYL, edited by Trevor Schoonmaker (Duke University Press, 2010), is both beautifully produced and delightful to read.  Meditate on the photographs of phonograph-inspired art, or on the dozen or so brief essays, which are – to a person – all interesting.  No kidding.  I often just skip around in a book like

The Picture Book Is Dead; Long Live the Picture Book

The New York Times reports a rise in visual illiteracy among parents.  Only, that’s not quite the way the article puts it: instead, it notes that parents are pushing their children to read “big-kid” books earlier, steering them away from picture books, on the grounds that picture books are somehow lesser or easier.  As a

A Is for Art: Stephen T. Johnson’s Abstract Alphabet

Part children’s book and part lesson in twentieth-century artistic movements, Stephen T. Johnson’s A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet is at the avant-garde of alphabet expressionism. Cubism is here, but the work explores the influence of dada and its children–surrealism, pop art, and conceptual art–and other styles such as abstract expressionism and color field