intersection 09.21.11

Walking Off the Big Apple

Deb Perelman's Smitten Kitchen, bursts through its tiny NYC footprint (42 square feet), with rocking recipes, mouthwatering photos, and an abundance of engaging guidance.

Indoor Hoops is a just-launched indoor pickup basketball network.
Pick your own location, date, time, done.

We can't recommend Anne Flournoy's The Louise Log highly enough: It's a web series on life in New York as seen through the character of Louise (played by Christine Cook), whose inner voice speaks quietly but insistently, and frequently, and to great comic effect. [Photo: Joe Sorge]

Bloomberg food critic Ryan Sutton has two sites—The Bad Deal and The Price Hike—that help you navigate your dining out and the bottom line.

Budget cuts and increased class sizes are doing a number on city kids. NYC Public School Parents provides a useful forum
to exchange information.

NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen tracks the co-opting of the American mainstream press into the far-less-useful general media in his site PressThink.

Every city avenue and byway should have a blog as useful as Hawthorne Street, a tightly focused site about life on that street
and in Prospect Lefferts.

Style Defined NYC: street style, fashion, emerging designers
and lots of fun to browse.

Some photos courtesy of Shutterstock

Cultural and literary notes, plus self-guided walks, courtesy of Walking Off the Big Apple, a strolling guide to New York City.

A Sense of Place: Reading Willem de Kooning's GOTHAM NEWS

The exhaustive Willem de Kooning retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art boasts nearly two hundred works by the influential postwar artist, so to select only one work out of so many potentially worthy candidates to discuss seems somewhat perverse. Yet, an in-depth look at a particularly hectic mixed media canvas, Gotham News, a work dating from 1955, can begin a stimulating inquiry into multiple facets of the artist's life as well as the social context of making art in New York City in the mid-1950s. Mining the painting for meaning and context becomes something like an archaeological dig, beginning quite literally on the surface of things.

Good for MoMA that Gotham News is best viewed in person, because reproductions cannot convey the textual richness of de Kooning's large and thick brushstrokes. Measuring 69 x 79 inches, the painting presents a busy traffic jam of complementary colors, near accidents between red and green, blue and orange, or black and white. If it could talk, the work would yell. The mottled pink passage near the bottom left suggests the presence of mortal flesh in a world of zigzags and sharp corners.

As a metaphor, and clued by the work's title, Gotham News expresses the busy energy of New Yorkers in their city. But wait! We can read actual text in this painting, courtesy of the bits of newspaper transfers de Kooning applied to wet paint. Begin by directing your attention to the top middle, and look for the upside down and reversed newspaper ad. That's a movie theater notice for Alfred Hitchcock's 1955 movie To Catch a Thief, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Read on. It's like opening an old box in the attic where the fascination comes not with retrieving what's stored in the box but with the crumpled old newspapers used for packaging.


Image: Willem de Kooning (American, born the Netherlands. 1904-1997). Gotham News. 1955. Oil, enamel, charcoal, and newspaper transfer on canvas. 69 x 79" (175.3 x 200.7 cm) Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr. © 2011 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Mulberry Street

recent entries

One Liners, Flickr Pool Picks

Ways to End the Year

The 2019 List of Lists

See all articles in INTERSECTION

Get a daily dose of MUG
right in your Inbox.