Judith H. Dobrzynski
Judith H. Dobrzynski
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Why does contemporary art make for wildly popular blockbusters?
And what are the consequences?

June 19, 2017  •  Aeon

For Americans who love art by the likes of Hans Holbein, Édouard Manet, Georges Braque and Paul Klee, dark times lie ahead. Each one is a brilliant artist, but none is a household name like Claude Monet or Pablo Picasso. After years of declining public arts education, only the most high-profile artists are recognised by the general public, capable of luring people to see their art in museums. And that spells trouble for artists of the past.

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Masterpiece: A Pieta of Unspeakable Grief and Unimaginable Restraint
Enguerrand Quarton's 'Pietà of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon' is considered the greatest artwork of 15th-century France.

June 10, 2017  •  The Wall Street Journal

Standing before the painting known as the "Pietà of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon," visitors to the Louvre witness the heartbreaking moment when the bruised body of Jesus Christ, having been taken down from the cross, has been given to his mother.

It is a common scene, rendered by hundreds of artists in thousands of ways over the centuries, with those by Giotto, Michelangelo and Annibale Carracci among the most renowned. This one, painted by Enguerrand Quarton (c. 1410-1466), would surely be as celebrated had it not been hidden in a dark, provincial chapel, its creator unknown and then disputed, for so long.

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Review: A Panorama of Panoramas
'Eyewitness Views: Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe'

May 17, 2017  •  The Wall Street Journal

Los Angeles

Compared with the earlier glories of Renaissance and Baroque art, and later the high points of the 19th century and Modernism, 18th-century European art generally ranks low among art connoisseurs. The one category that is much loved by the public—those highly detailed, recognizable cityscapes and architectural vistas by Canaletto , Giovanni Paolo Panini and other, mostly Italian, artists—was disdained by the academy. They were dismissed as the postcards of their day, souvenirs for travelers on the Grand Tour.

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Artfully Buttoned Up
Artist Ran Hwang Finds Meaning in Discarded Buttons, Which She Fashions into Mesmerizing Artworks

April 2017  •  Traditional Home

In the hands of Ran Hwang, buttons and straight pins turn into works of art. She painstakingly pounds tens of thousands—even a million—of them into panels to create plum blossoms, phoenixes, the Buddha, Korean rooftops, and other exquisite wall compositions and multimedia installations that are coveted by collectors like Roger Federer, the Brooklyn Museum, and Robert J. Hurst, chairman of the Whitney Museum's executive committee.

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Drinking In the Art: Museums Offer a Growing Banquet for the Senses

March 16, 2017  •  The New York Times

As visitors strolled through a recent display of Madame de Pompadour's coffee grinder, an 1840s Sèvres porcelain coffee set, tea canisters, sugar bowls and other European decorative arts at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the scent of roasted coffee beans arose in one room. Bach's "Coffee" Cantata played in the background.

Not far away, cocoa pods were not only on display but also meant to be touched. In the final gallery, a tasting station offered two kinds of liquid chocolate, one adapted from an Aztec recipe and the other from an 18th-century French formula.

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