Category Archives: Podcasts

Art as Experience is an hour-long conversation between Tom Xenakis and Sheila Blake after their visit to an exhibition, serving as a guide for taking a longer look at art.

The Painter’s Garden

Continuing to explore the theme of Gardens, Sheila and Tom explore how painters created gardens and painted them.  The experience of the gardens, passionately created and tended, and the experience of viewing the painted gardens, now in museums, are related.

Claude Monet, Stanley Spencer, and Gustave Klimt are the gardener-painters discussed, with a digression on the jaw-dropping prices set for Hunter Biden’s novice works, and another brief digression on Giorgio Morandi.

Marsden Hartley, Transcendentalist

In honor of Pride Week, we discuss the paintings, career, and struggles of the American Modernist painter, Marsden Hartley (1877-1943).  We also examine Transcendentalism – the wild spiritual and artistic gift from Ralph Waldo Emerson – and its importance to Hartley’s life and to American art in general.

The Gardens of Greenbelt

Art as Experience continues her exploration of the links between art, society, and gardens with a look at the tiny gardens that can be walked among in the cooperative community of Greenbelt MD, set up as part of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s New Deal.  The backstory of Greenbelt is a mirror of the political issues dividing us today.  Poems by Alice Oswald, Stanley Kunitz, Emily Dickinson, and D.H. Lawrence.

Gardens in Spring

In a week where Sheila Blake is preparing her exhibition at the Foundry Gallery in Washington DC, we are updating a recording of an earlier show from May 2019, in which Tom and Sheila analyze the connections between gardens and art, with a special visit to the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in Washington.

Seeing Differently: the Phillips Collection Reopens

We visit the Phillips Collection, this country’s first modern art museum, which has reopened for its 100th anniversary with an exhibition highlighting the collection’s great diversity. After a year-long closing due to COVID precautions, the museum in Washington DC has reopened to visitors.  In addition to great modernist masters Cezanne, Bonnard, De Kooning, Rothko, etc., the exhibition showcases new acquisitions, highlighting works from their show, cut short last year, titled Riffs and Relations, which explored the work of African American artists in the Modernist tradition.

Cross-Pollination in the Arts

Our second show about artists who create in areas other than the one that has made them a name. Tom and Sheila discuss the paintings and practices of Anthony Dominick Benedetto (better known as Tony Bennett), Bob Dylan, and David Bowie. Sheila looks into the art training of President George Bush.

Artists and Their Mistresses

Sheila and Tom explore the professional, sexual, exploitative, inspirational, cooperative, and ambiguous relations between artists and their models, their lovers, wives, and allies. Discussed today are Pierre and Marthe Bonnard, August Rodin and Gwynn John, Picasso, Lucien Freud and Celia Paul, Francis Bacon and George Dyer, and Suzanne Valadon.

Artist Couples: Program 101

Today, program 101, we discuss artist couples who have been working side by side, in partnership.

We begin with two couples profiled in Intimate Collaborations, by Bibiana Obler:
Wassily Kandinsky & Gabrielle Münter and Hans Arp & Sophie Taeuber.

We then talk about mid-century American artist couples like Kienholz: Ed and Nancy Reddin Kienholz; Cristo and Jeanne-Claude; and Josef and Anni Albers.

Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke and Jane Kenyon.