Monday, April 20, 2009

Holland Cotter awarded 2009's Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.

Art writer Holland Cotter has been awarded 2009's Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.

From the Pulitzer site:
The 2009 Pulitzer Prize for criticism has been "awarded to Holland Cotter of The New York Times for his wide ranging reviews of art, from Manhattan to China, marked by acute observation, luminous writing and dramatic storytelling."

Sun Zhijun/Dunhuang Academy
"Inside Mogaoku’s caves: A fifth-century painted Buddha, sprinkled with desert dust."

Holland Cotter's article from July 2008, entitled Buddha's Caves , is a nice introduction to his writing:

"Mogaoku is charmed ground. In late spring and early summer the air is fragrant, the sky a lambent blue, the desert oceanically serene. And there is the art and the soaked-in atmosphere of devotion. The place leaves strong and alluring memories in the memories of visitors; in its caretakers it inspires lifelong loyalty."

Gregg Chadwick
Sketchbook Image of "Bernini and the Birth of Baroque Portrait Sculpture" at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
pencil and wash in bound volume 10/21/08

For those of us in California, Holland Cotter's review of the Getty Museum's exhibition of Bernini's portrait sculptures was required reading:

Bernini "adhered to the Renaissance model of the artist as polymath. In addition to being a sculptor, painter and draftsman, he had a major career as an architect; was a poet, playwright and stage designer; and still found time for a scandalous love life.

"Like other successful artists of his day Bernini was both a master and a servant, a celebrity and a functionary. He could be innovative to the point of sacrilege — one thinks of his orgasmic St. Teresa, or the crazed immensity of the baldacchino over the tomb of St. Peter in the Vatican — yet his invention was almost always at the service of a conservative political and religious elite. He pushed the spiritual potential of art in radical directions but was a propagandist for hire to the Church Triumphant."

Photo: Monica Almeida/The New York Times
An installation view of "Bernini and the Birth of Baroque Portrait Sculpture" at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
(Both Monica Almeida and I were attracted to the same view of Bernini's portrait of his mistress Costanza Bonarelli with Cardinal Scipione Borghese looming beyond.)

The New York Times page for Holland Cotter:
Holland Cotter in the New York Times

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