Recent Writing

Well, it has been quite awhile since I updated this blog, but here are links to recent writing for Oregon ArtsWatch:

Lee Kelly interview 1983

Lee Kelly just turned 85. Through June into mid-July he is showing new work at Elizabeth Leach Gallery. Over a career of almost 60 years Kelly has completed dozens of public and private sculpture commissions. He has major works on the Portland Transit Mall and the Rose Garden in Washington Park. He lives and works on what was a dairy farm in Oregon City. The barn is now a shop/studio. What was pasture land 50 years ago is now reforested and populated with Kelly’s sculpture.

A recent interview is published at Oregon ArtsWatch (

Here’s one from 1983:

Vito Acconci

So, Vito Acconci has died. I had the pleasure of interviewing him in 1982 when he did a large installation at Portland Center for the Visual Arts. He invited me to call him when I was next in NY, so I did, We had coffee in SOHO. He as a very sweet thoughtful guy.

Below is the published interview and also a short review of an installation he did at PCVA in 1975. (Click for a large version.)


Politics after 2,000 years


I just finished this highly readable and insightful book on ancient Rome. Mary Beard doesn’t just talk about emperor after emperor, but provides a broad context for Roman thought and culture.

Some things haven’t changed much in politics over the past two thousand years. She says of the time of the last gasp of the Roman Republic:

For several Roman observers senatorial weakness for bribery was one major factor lying behind their failure: “Rome’s a city for sale and bound to fall as soon as it finds a buyer”, as Jugurtha [a North African ruler] was supposed to have quipped when he left the city. The general incompetence of the governing class was another. For Sallust, that incompetence was a consequence of their narrow elitism and their refusal to recognize talent outside their own small group. …The Senate was dominated by the ancient equivalent of the old boy network.

First century BCE.