Tag Archives: Susan Sontag


REVERIES—an exhibition of work by the highly influential photographer and filmmaker James Bidgood (try imagining Pierre et Gilles or David LaChapelle without him)—will be up for two more weeks at the Museum of Sex in Manhattan. The show was curated by Lissa Rivera and the artistic director was Serge Becker.

Bidgood’s work is so self-contained that it appears to exist outside of time. Historical referents and views of exteriors hardly impinge at all on his visual world; and yet Bidgood was very much a man of his era. He contributed lush color photographs to magazines such as Muscleboy and The Young Physique during their vogue in the early 1960s. He began work on PINK NARCISSUS in 1963. That year, Jack Smith finished Flaming Creatures and shot Normal Love, Andy Warhol began making films, and Kenneth Anger directed Scorpio Rising; the following year Susan Sontag would publish “Notes on ‘Camp.’ ” 

As the ’60s were happening outside his door, Bidgood was shooting mainly inside, in his cramped Hell’s Kitchen apartment, constantly augmenting and revising his elaborate sets and compositions to approximate the baroque ideal he envisioned. — William E. Jones


Through September 8.

Museum of Sex

233 Fifth Avenue (at 27th Street), New York City.

James Bidgood, from top: Lobster (Jay Garvin), from the series Water Colors, circa early 1960s, digital C-print; Pan (Bobby Kendall), circa late 1960s, digital C-print; Double Image (Kendall), from the series Test Shots, circa early 1960s, digital C-print; Willow Tree (Bruce Kirkman, detail), circa 1965, digital C-print; Street Scene from Pink Narcissus (1971), circa late-1960s; backstage during the filming of Pink Narcissus, contact sheet, circa 1960s; ; Cyclist Sprawled on Tiles in Front of Urinals from Pink Narcissus (Trate Farell), circa mid-1960s; Smoking, Sandcastles (Kendall and Garvin), circa 1960s, digital C-print; Bobby Kendall Seated in Chair Holding Phone, circa mid-1960s; Pearl, Water Colors (Garvin), circa early 1960s; Mythical Woodland, Snake Silhouetted by Moon (Blue Moon), circa late-1960s. Images courtesy and © the artist, ClampArt, New York, and Kelly McKaig.


Forty-two paintings of women by Andy Warhol—including portraits of Gertrude Stein, Ethel Scull, Liza Minnelli, Dolly Parton, Golda Meir, Debbie Harry, Marilyn Monroe, and the artist’s mother Julia Warhola—are now on view at Lévy Gorvy in Manhattan.

In a silver-tin-foil-covered room in the gallery, a selection of Warhol’s 1964–1966 Screen Test shorts will play on a loop. Among the artist’s subjects for these 3-minute films were Yoko Ono, Edie Sedgwick, Marisa Berenson, Barbara Rubin, Amy Taubin, Susan Sontag, Niki de Saint Phalle, Cass Elliott, Donyale Luna, Holly Solomon, Maureen Tucker, and Nico.

“I don’t think I’ve ever met a collector today who is in between, let’s say, 25 to 65 [years old] who will tell me, ‘I won’t collect Warhol,’ and I don’t know that about any other artist… Our great-grandchildren will still be collecting Warhol more than many of the artists that are more pricey today.” — Dominique Lévy


Through June 15.

Lévy Gorvy

909 Madison Avenue (at 73rd Street), New York City.

Andy Warhol, from top: Judy Garland (Multicolor), 1978, acrylic and silkscreen on canvas; Wilhelmina Ross, from the series Ladies and Gentlemen, circa 1974–1975; Triple Mona Lisa, 1964, acrylic and silkscreen on canvas; Kimiko Powers, 1972, acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas; Aretha Franklin, 1986, synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas; Red Jackie, 1964, acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, photograph courtesy Froehlich Collection, Stuttgart. Images © 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Paintings photographed by Tim Nighswander, courtesy Lévy Gorvy.


Considering the work of Virginia WoolfMichel de Montaigne, Roland Barthes, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Georges Perec, Elizabeth Hardwick, Susan Sontag, E.M. Cioran, William Carlos Williams, and Maurice Blanchot, among others, Brian Dillon’s ESSAYISM—“a love letter to belle-lettrists, an account of the indispensable lifelines of reading and writing”—is out now.*


Brian Dillon, Essayism: On Form, Feeling, and Non-Fiction (New York: New York Review Books, 2018).*

Elizabeth Hardwick.


Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Ray Bradbury, Truman Capote, W.E.B. Du Bois, Allen Ginsberg, Ernest Hemingway, Aldous Huxley, Ken Kesey, Norman Mailer, Susan Sontag, Terry Southern, Hunter Thompson, and Gore Vidal were all investigated by the FBI, and edited versions of these files have been collected in a new volume from MIT Press.


Writers Under Surveillance: The FBI Files, edited by JPat Brown, B.C.D. Lipton, Michael Morisy (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2018).

Image credit above: MIT Press.

Below: Hannah Arendt in New York City, 1944. Photograph by Fred Stein.


“I don’t know of any playwright more intuitive, more reliant on taking stuff from the unconscious, and letting that create form.” — Edward Albee on María Irene Fornés

Playwright, director, and educator María Irene Fornés will be celebrated this month with the screening of Michelle Memran’s documentary THE REST I MAKE UP at the Museum of Modern Art, and a twelve-hour marathon of readings from Fornés’ plays at the Public Theater.

“Writing plays is not a way of earning a living but earning a life… Learning how to become intimate with your own imagination is more important than finishing a piece.” — María Irene Fornés

Fornés—one of the most influential writing teachers of contemporary theater, and an advocate of an oblique approach to the blank page—prepared her students by immersing them in voice and movement workshops. She was, in the words of playwright Brooke Berman, a former assistant, “someone who had spent her whole life devoted to capturing the truth of a moment in theatrical space.”

THE REST I MAKE UP features extensive footage of Fornés in Greenwich Village and Havana and Miami—dealing with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease—as well as interviews with friends, family, ex-lovers, and colleagues—Ellen Stewart, John Guare, Constance Congdon, Migdalia Cruz and many more.

“Her work has no precedents, it isn’t derived from anything. She’s the most original of us all.” — Lanford Wilson on Fornés




Thursday, Saturday, and Tuesday,

August 23, 25, and 28, at 7 pm.

Friday, Monday, and Wednesday,

August 24, 27, and 29, at 4:30 pm.

Sunday, August 26, at 1:30 pm.

Museum of Modern Art

11 West 53rd Street, New York City.



Monday, August 27, from noon to midnight.

Public Theater

425 Lafayette Street, New York City.

María Irene Fornés died in October 2018.

Top: Mary Jo Pearson and John O’Keefe in Mud, by María Irene Fornés, at Theater for the New City in 1983.

Above: Scene from The Danube, by Fornés, at American Place Theater in 1984. Stage photographs by Anne Militello.

Below: Fornés (left) with “the love of my life” Susan Sontag.