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Quiz: Mars or Earth?

With a whole-planet comparison, you’d never confuse the two worlds. But from their surfaces, telling them apart is harder than you’d think. Image credit: NASA. Think you can tell the red […]

A Beautiful Mind: Agnes Martin, Minimalism, and the Feminist Voice

“When I think of art, I think of beauty. Beauty is the mystery of life,” minimalist artist Agnes Martin once explained. “It is not in the eye; it is in my mind. In our minds there is awareness of perfection.” In the first comprehensive survey of her art at the Tate Modern, in London, England, the exhibition Agnes Martin strives to guide viewers to that “awareness of perfection” Martin strove to embody in her minimalist, geometrically founded art. Rather than the cold, person-less brand of modernist minimalism, Martin’s work personifies the warm humanity of Buddhist editing down to essentials. At the same time, surveying Martin’s art and thinking allows us to revisit the feminist critiques of minimalism and shows how Martin’s stepping back from the bustle of the New York art scene freed her to find “a beautiful mind” — not just for women, but for everyone.

Can a Classic Museum Really Be Made Modern?

Every new cultural institution hopes for “The Bilbao Effect”—the economic boom the faltering, former industrial city of Bilbao, Spain, enjoyed after the 1997 rise of architect Frank Gehry’s game-changing design […]

Fusion Food

In response to my recent post, “The Bright Side of Globalization,” my friend and colleague Jean Houston sent me an excerpt from her book Jump Time entitled, “Wok and Roll in […]

Isaac Newton at the Tribeca Film Festival

Enter a rapidly changing world where a passionate scientist by the name of Isaac Newton burns political bridges in London, a royal astronomer, Edmond Halley, seeks a powerful formula from […]

Should Germany Save the World?

For those of us who are committed to creating a better world how do we respond to the evil and heinous acts of our violent past? I just got back […]

America the Purple

Looking at the electoral college map, it’s easy to imagine that the U.S. is a sharply divided country. The northeastern and western coastal states are all blue, while a broad […]

Our Furniture—Ourselves?

While flipping through Modern Furniture: 150 Years of Design, I couldn’t help but stop and smile at seeing the same monobloc chair sitting on my backyard deck sitting there on […]