Perspectives

Perspectives is the Violette de Mazia Foundations online source for intelligent discussion about the arts. Perspectives presents an ever evolving dialogue regarding our experience with the arts and the important role they play in our everyday lives.  Perspectives will offer readers food for thought but the heart of the site is an ongoing engagement with the art experience through reviews, essays, and reflections. Submit a comment on any of our Perspective material and become part of the conversation.

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Feature Title Feature Type Description
Content and Its Discontents Reviews

Artists once sought institutional acceptance. Now they just want to go viral. Is technology destroying the culture industry?

How Did Cool Become Such a Big Deal? Articles

What began as a word evolved into an attitude and then a way of life. Yet a question endures: What makes cool cool?

The Birth of Bad Taste: Why Italian Mannerists like Rosso Fiorentino were Painting’s First Avant-garde. Reviews

It happened in Italy in the early 16th century. The details are sketchy, but the culprits are clear: two Tuscan painters, Rosso and Pontormo.

Reality Hunger: Pasolini's Seductive Utopian Vision Articles

Filmmaker, novelist, polemicist: Everything Pier Paolo Pasolini did, he did as a poet – a strange and brilliantly melancholic poet.

Ives Wins! Reviews

Charles Ives vs. classical music. The insurance tycoon-turned-composer was accused of amateurism and eclecticism. His work prevailed...

The Urge to Strangle - Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs Exhibitions

“In pictures I can only go back over the same ground,” Matisse said in 1945. “Paintings seem to be finished for me.” He turned to decoration.

Carl Van Vechten: The Making of an American Articles

Carl Van Vechten shaped and burnished the legend of Gertrude Stein. Critic, photographer, pansexual partyer extraordinaire – he was Gertrude Stein’s greatest fan, and the most important, too.

Why the Mona Lisa Stands Out Articles

When a work of art is considered great, we may stop thinking about it for ourselves.

What Happens When the Artist Drops Away? The Legacy of Arakawa and Gins Articles

Beauty is momentary in the mind—The fitful tracing of a portal

Neuroaesthetics: Researchers unravel the biology of beauty and art. Articles

Scientists are in search of a neurological explanation for how we experience and produce art. Can neuroscience tell us anything about beauty?.

How Philosophy Makes Progress Articles

An ascendant view holds that while philosophy may pose important questions, progress isn’t possible until science provides answers. That view is wrong...

Epic Fail: ‘The Rise’ and ‘The Up Side of Down’ Reviews

To fail is to be human. So, by all means, fail better. Learn from the experience, embrace it. But what, exactly, does it mean to fail?

The Spirit of Youth - What was so new about Futurism? Exhibitions

The Italian Futurists yelled and screamed about the radically new, but in many ways they simply wanted to go back home.

Despite What You've Been Told, You Aren't 'Left-Brained' or 'Right-Brained' Articles

The brain is more complex than corporate team-building exercises suggest, but the myth is unlikely to die anytime soon. A new two-year study found no evidence that participants had a stronger left or right-sided brain network.

Film as Film - What’s the Point of Movie Criticism? Articles

Why do critics insist on interpreting even masterpieces like Rear Window as if they were little different to plays that simply happen to be screened in cinemas?

One More Time Articles

Why do we listen to our favourite music over and over again? Because repeated sounds work magic in our brains.

Scientism in the Arts and Humanities Articles

Here come the neurothugs, and Roger Scruton is ready for battle. Can neuroscience tell us anything meaningful about the nature and meaning of art?

Is Death Bad for You? Articles

We all believe that death is bad. But why is death bad?

But is it art? On Art: Context, Meaning, and Vandalism Articles

Are Marcel Duchamp's "readymades,"...critical pranks that show how arbitrary is the marriage of object and meaning or intent in traditional artworks?

Illicit Intermissions - Dance and Literature Reviews

Samuel Beckett, a fanatic for stage direction, drew on Eurhythmy, music hall, ballet. He wasn’t alone. For modernists, movement was everything. Where is the equivalent to Adorno on Stravinsky and Schoenberg? Where are the monographs to match those on Cubism, or the modern novel?