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.

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.

African American Monuments

Sheila and Tom discuss monuments dedicated to African Americans – especially those created by African American Artists, many in Washington DC: among them:

• The African American Civil War Memorial, with its sculpture titled The Spirit of Freedom, by Ed Hamilton,
• the Martin Luther King Memorial, in Washington DC, by Lei Yixin,
• Public Statues of Mary McLeod Bethune, Sojourner Truth (by Artis Lane), and A. Phillip Randolph and Frederick Douglass (both by Ed Dwight)
• Sculptures by Martin Puryear

Cross-Pollination in Painting

A number of musicians, poets, and even politicians have seriously developed as visual artists, usually painters.  Today, Sheila and Tom discuss artists who straddle two worlds, such as poet Elizabeth Bishop, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, poet/novelist Henry Miller, and Winston Churchill. The poem, “The Moose”, by Elizabeth Bishop, is read.

Portraits in America

Sheila examines the history of American Portraiture, from the early colonial self-taught limners, through the virtuosos of the late nineteenth century.  We focus on a family of portrait artists in Richmond, Virginia: Ellis Silvette and his children, and discuss Kehinde Wiley’s exciting and intriguing response to the Confederate monuments of that city.