Rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Van Dyck or Bust
Mary, Lady van Dyck, nee Ruthven (1640)
Anthony van Dyke was a 17th century portrait painter whose chief claim to fame may have been the fact that his oeuvre was overshadowed by the likes of Rubens,Velasquez and Rembrandt-- who were contemporaries. It's like beating the 4 minute mile today. When Roger Bannister succeeded, it was a big deal. Now with his numbers, you might not even win the local meet. Innovation is time bound though genius probably isn't. Rembrandt was sui generis. If you had plucked him out of his era and placed him in Chelsea in the era of Jeff Koons he would undoubtedly have gotten the attention of Larry Gagosian. But the point is, if you missed the Anthony van Dyke: the Anatomy of Portraiture show which closed at The Frick last Sunday, don't feel bad. He was no Rembrandt.
Francis Levy's debut novel, Erotomania: A Romance, was released in August 2008 by Two Dollar Radio.
His short stories, criticism, humor, and poetry have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Village Voice, The East Hampton Star, The Quarterly, Penthouse, Architectural Digest, TV Guide, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, and other publications. One of his Voice humor pieces was anthologized in The Big Book of New American Humor (HarperCollins). He is presently the Co-Director of The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination (philoctetes.org), where he supervises roundtable discussions on topics as varied as “The Psychology of the Modern Nation State” and “Modern Traffic Theory, Behavior, and Imagination”.