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Author: Richard

2013 Books Highlighted & 2014 Reading Resolutions

New Year’s eve is here and the Kain family is very sick; a poor coda on an otherwise excellent year.  I am a holdout against the viruses but the only thing anyone is going to drink tonight is Pedialyte.  I’m likely going to take comfort in Alan Furst’s Dark Star whose opening pages are well crafted or continue chugging through the Beatles history Tune In (mixed.)  Somehow it winnowed into my consciousness I didn’t do the blogging I’ve wanted to do this year.  Herewith, my reading highlights this year.

1. The book more people are buying than reading: The Goldfinch.

(Abstract Expressions about) Diebenkorn at the de Young

Monday the 30th is the final day of the de Young’s museum’s Diebenkorn in Berkeley retrospective. In the past I have not much cared for abstract expressionism.  The color field work just seems labored and pious.  Figurative work like William de Kooning overblown to the point of painful, and without much emotional connection.   Jackson Pollack or Sam Francis is fun to look at but not worth too much contemplation (though the latter has a retrospective in Sacramento next year which I’ll probably go to.)

Something about Seawall 1957 – the featured painting on the sides of many buses in San Francisco caught me – this was recognizably the California coast – I’d guess the view from the Great Highway in San Francisco – but beautifully abstract, and expressionist. OK I’m in.

Where’s the Cliff House?