“Rosenquist is one of those rare creative people with a talent for friendship, a capacity to be transformed by his work and still harbor a deep, unenvious curiosity about the work of other artists. ‘Rauschenberg always said he never entered his studio with an idea,’ he notes approvingly.”
From Deborah Solomon’s review of painter James Rosenquist’s “amiable and rambling autobiography,” “Painting Below Zero,” in the December 13, 2009 issue of The New York Times Book Review.
“He told me that the depression lifted quite suddenly one day when he was browsing in a bookshop and saw a book about radio comedies in the 1950s.”
From an interview with Nick Hornby by Lucy Kellaway in the September 12/13, 2009 issue of the Financial Times (with Mr. Hornby describing the end of a long period of blockage that preceded his writing both a novel and a screenplay in one year).
I don’t know who first had the idea to have people jump out of airplanes in order to reach (more easily, relatively speaking) the forest fires they were trying to fight. But now I know who first executed the idea. On July 12, 1920, “the completely new science of smokejumping” was born when 28-year-old Earl Cooley stepped out into the air over western Montana. He would do it again and again — and train and supervise many other brave souls — for 22 years.
In its obituary on November 28, 2009, The Economist told Mr. Cooley’s life story, whose “hardscrabble” beginnings in the Bitteroot Mountains formed a man completely at home in the wild, on the ground, working “his patch.” ”The epitome of the old-fashioned ranger,” Mr. Cooley was a natural fit with the Forest Service, and with forests come forest fires. But smokejumping?
Knowing as I do some dear, dear people — including my son, the dearest — who have fought forest fires, The Economist’s description of Mr. Cooley’s motivation rang true: “The jumpers were firefighters first and foremost: young men impatient to get to a fire.” And if jumping gets you there faster …
“My studio looks onto the garden, as for me design is firstly a thinking process and the sense of calm that the garden imbues helps in this process.”
From an interview with Dieter Rams, “one of Germany’s foremost industrial designers,” in the November 14-15, 2009 issue of the Financial Times.
Although the work was panned by a dance critic because it “never feels like a coherent whole,” I found the underlying idea to be compelling and audacious.
The work in question was “8 Views: Fusiform Gyrus,” performed by the Adele Myers and Dancers troupe at Dance New Amsterdam and reviewed by Roslyn Sulcas in The New York Times on June 22, 2009. Referring to the program notes, the review cited the following as Ms. Myers’ inspirations — paintings by Karen Dow, jazz by Ben Wolfe and a structure in the brain called the “fusiform gyrus” involving the transmission of visual images. ”8 Views” was therefore simultaneously visual, aural, kinesthetic and anatomical. Successful or not, the project seemed quite human in its attempt to express what it’s like to do basically anything.
“Her eyesight was so poor when she was a child that until she got glasses she didn’t realize trees had individual leaves. She saw them as masses of color and form, which some critics have suggested was an influence on her later work.”
From Matt Schudel’s obituary of minimalist sculptor Anne Truitt in The Washington Post on December 25, 2004.