What Giacometti’s Obsession With the Color Gray Really Meant

When the Sculptor Turned to Painting, His Palette Expressed His Existential Yearnings

The Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) is best-known for his lean, elongated sculptures that grew progressively taller and thinner over the course of his oeuvre. His lesser-known painted portraits, like the sculpted figures, reflect his fascination with the relationship between the human body and space. And, interestingly, that space is typically painted gray. The gray worlds of the portraits are as important as the faces and bodies of Annette, Caroline, Diego, and all of the other relatives, friends, lovers, and acquaintances who appear in Giacometti’s paintings. If we give Giacometti’s …

The Crisis of Fake News Isn’t News At All

Technological Change, Skepticism of Authority, and Relentless Politicization Have Always Undermined the Power of Facts

To be human is to have cognitive bias. And these human biases—and the institutions that benefit from promoting these biases—have fueled the current epidemic of fake news and the rejection …

How African American Spirituals Moved From Cotton Fields to Concert Halls

After the Civil War, Touring Groups of Black College Singers Popularized Slavery-Era Songs, Giving Rise to a New Musical Genre

“Swing low, sweet chariot….” These words are familiar to many Americans, who might sing them in worship, in Sunday school, around campfires, in school, and in community choruses. But …

The Photographer in the Garden

How the Camera Conveys the Ways We Cultivate Nature

Gardens are the birthplace of some of our most enduring myths and creation stories. Many religions posit the idea of a lush, sacred place where humans once dwelt in harmony …

Mesmerized, Baffled, and Smitten by the Magic of Dance

A Veteran L.A. Dance Critic Reflects on Her Passion for the Art Form

My career as a dance critic really began when I was six years old, though I didn’t know it. My mom signed me up to take a creative movement class …

The Play I Had to Write About the Murder That Haunted Me

To Forget Is to Remain Trapped in Purgatory, but Reimagining Horror Can Bring Catharsis

Mary Turner.

That name is forever etched into my memory … into my existence, as an artist, a writer, a woman, a mother, a human being.

On May 19, 1918, …