Blake Gopnik

Downtime

You Are What You Buy

Phil Collins's video installation shows the lengths we'll go to just for a feeling.

Modern Art, Defined

An exhibition looks at abstraction—the movement that defines 
modern art. By Blake Gopnik

Americana Redux

Sitting in a deluxe meeting room in an office in midtown Manhattan, David Lauren, an executive vice president of the Ralph Lauren Corp. and second son of the famous designer, does something you wouldn't expect of a fashion executive: he reveals that the elegant suit he has on—double-breasted and wide-lapelled in navy-blue wool, worn with a pin-dotted tie—is in fact 20 years old.

Mali's Shattered Shrines

From the moment the followers of Muhammad came roaring out of Arabia, in A.D. 633, they've cherished beautiful things. An exhibition that just closed at the Metropolitan Museum in New York showed how the first Muslims were inspired by glorious works from the Greek-speaking world, and their descendants never stopped being art-friendly.

Musical Chairs

A mix-and-match man breaks items down, then builds them back up.

The Art of Insanity

A new show highlights Van Gogh's savvy, while the latest book makes him sound nuts.

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