Arts History Update for late December 2014

22 Dec

Arts History Update for late December 2014 by David Cummins

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee amassed information on the CIA activities detaining and interrogating prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and other foreign destinations, making its finals judgments on the matter, and released the report to the public. It demonstrates illegal activities by the CIA and the lying its leaders did to Congress, the President, and the public. It also showed that 26 detainees were, after interrogations, released as non-combatants and non-terrorists, some of them even being paid “for their trouble” and this had never been publicly reported. It also demonstrated that the torture interrogations did not in fact yield any useful information toward capturing or killing any terrorists or stopping any future terrorist attempts.

While not good news, it is the truth amid years of deceit, and the American people need to know this. Its public release ends the doubt and choosing sides on what to believe that was so politically orchestrated. The next step is to hold many actors personally accountable and responsible for their conduct in causing illegal activities to occur and in covering them up and lying about them afterward. One hopes that will happen, because unless it happens, this illegal activity will be repeated in the future.

The grousing and other political rhetoric that started immediately after the public release of the report, is just that and should be ignored. Read the report and be shocked or not shocked by “illegal activities by the CIA and the lying its leaders did to Congress, the President, and the public”.


Art in America 1945-1970: Writings From the Age of Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art and Minimalism (ed. Jed Perl, Library of America 2014) hardcover $40 894 pages $29.25 e-book $22.99 highly recommended.


Sarah Thornton, 33 Artists in 3 Acts (W.W. Norton & Co 2014) $19.06 e-book $12.99 at 448 pages

Public Art Archive is a project to put collections of public art online in databases so as to share what’s happening and make them more visitable. Included in the database is Mitsu Overstreet, Regeneration (2008) City of El Paso acrylic painted murals at 200 Raynolds Street, El Paso west of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Medical Sciences Building, Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, and east of University Medical Center of El Paso, El Paso Children’s Hospital, and Texas Tech University Physicians Clinics, on the campus of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso


Movement of the Bruno sculpture to the Texas Tech University College of Architecture has been postponed to late January 2015. If you wish to see it now at its current location, travel to Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard and 66th Street. It’s just east of the rental house on the northeast corner of the intersection.


Garrison Keillor has another book of poems published titled O, What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic and Profound (Grove Press 2013) Texas Tech Library PS3561.E3755 O9. One of them is Thong Song

Thong Song
To people raised in a railroad shack
It is known as your butt crack.
To people who are more verbally deft
It is known as the gluteal cleft.
Either way, it’s at the bottom of your back
Between the one on the right and the one on the left.
Some ladies’ swimwear of slender heft
Displays freely the gluteal cleft.
On this matter, my mind is shut:
Don’t walk around showing off your butt
Please desist at least
Until I am deceased.
Your gluteal cleft, I must insist,
Should be seen by your dermatologist
When treating a rash, or cyst,
And nobody else. No daughter of mine
Wears thongs. That’s the bottom line. ABE Books good condition $3.70 incl s&h


The Turner Prize 2014 went to Duncan Campbell a video maker who presented a nearly one hour pompous harangue masquerading as art. It was the same film he showed on behalf of Scotland at the Venice Biennale. It is somewhat boring, not a good thing for art.


Plagiarism is always a problem on high school and college campuses. One of the ways educators react is to use Turnitin software to assess a document the teacher/professor questions for originality. The program has a database of 337 million student papers, many current and archived web pages from the Internet, and a host of academic publications. The assessment then prints a report that shows similar text in specific locations and the teacher/professor takes the problem from there, usually by showing the report to the student who turned in the questioned document. Want to know more? Kimberly Vardeman will explain and demonstrate the Turnitin software on January 13, 2015 at noon in the Texas Tech University Library Instruction Laboratory Room 150.


Michael Paglia & John Edwards, Texas Abstract: Modern/Contemporary (Fresco Books 2014) 248 pages $57.30 at The authors are both professional art curators so this book promises to be wonderful.

Camille Paglia, Sex Art and American Culture: Essays (20 of them) (Vintage Books 1992) Abe Books good $3.35 incl s&h 337 pages Texas Tech Library E169.12.P33


Chicago, the Third Coast, and Architecture books of interest include:

American Institute of Architects Guide to Chicago (eds. Alice Sinkevitch & Laurie McGovern Petersen, University of Illinois Press 3rd ed. 2014) $25.21 e-book $16.99 – recent buildings by local architects include Studio Gang Architect’s Aqua Tower on the cover and Poetry Foundation by John Ronan Architects – in this excellent guide book. Texas Tech Architecture Library NA735.C4 A43

Jay Pridmore, Building Ideas: An Architectural Guide to the University of Chicago (University of Chicago Press 2013) $18.93 e-book $11.43 – this is an architectural history of the university but it curiously omits the Smart Museum of Art designed and built in 1974 by Chicago born architect Edward Larrabee Barnes

Chicagoisms: The City as Catalyst for Architectural Speculation (ed. Alexander Eisenschmidt, Park Books 2013) $28.34 the book is one of the freshest recent books on architecture in Chicago, one that inspired the Art Institute exhibition of the same name, in which some voices from the book use the essays as frameworks for speculating on Chicago’s future evolution Texas Tech Architecture Library NA735.C4 C44

Planning Chicago (eds. D. Bradford Hunt & Jon B. DeVries, American Planning Association Planners Press 2013) $22.36

Thomas L. Dyja, The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream (Penguin Press 2013) paper $14.23 e-book $7.99


Kurt Beers, 100 Painters of Tomorrow (Thames & Hudson 2014) at 288 pages $42.69 Texas Tech Library ND196.2.B44


Merry Christmas readers


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: