Center-Stage For Tacita Dean

Andrew Dickson writes about an artist unknown to me: ‘It has been a remarkable summer for Tacita Dean in Britain. This versatile, genre-defying artist has enjoyed three concurrent retrospectives at the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Royal Academy, three of the biggest art museums in the UK. It is an honor not merely unusual for an artist still in her mid-fifties, but apparently unprecedented. Although a celebration, these shows also had the feel of a disquisition or investigation: a 360-degree examination of her three-decades-long career, as well as an exploration of the genres of painting codified in the eighteenth century.’

Revisiting PJ Harvey’s “Rid Of Me”

Each week, Pitchfork takes an in-depth look at a significant album from the past, and any record not in its archives is eligible. Here the site revisits PJ Harvey’s monumental album from 1993.

I’d Rather Ride A Rush-Hour Subway Than…

…read another “bombshell story” (the latest is here) about this eternally squabbling Woody Allen/Mia Farrow clan. My friend Hal Rubenstein adds: ‘Please all of you. Buy an island in Fiji and have it out with your weapons of choice but shut up already and stop bugging us with your relentless need to explain, accuse, and exonerate.’

Hunter Astonishes In “The Emperor”

Kathryn Hunter is a unique performer, and it is always a pleasure to see her in person. This month, she is appearing in Brooklyn, under the auspices of Theatre for a New Audience, at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center, in “The Emperor.” It’s an adaptation, by Colin Teevan, of Ryszard Kapuscinski’s account of the court of Ethiopian ruler Haile Selassie, up to his fall from power in 1974. Hunter plays all of Selassie’s courtiers, from his chauffeur to his top Information advisor. Hunter’s voice is a thing of wonder: resonant but not fussy. She has worked out very precise physical details to conjure up each personality, but they never feel over-contrived. Equally important to the impact of the production is Temesgen Zeleke, an Ethiopian musician who accompanies Hunter on the Ethiopian krar lyre and who is occasionally a character in the larger drama. “The Emperor,” which runs 70 minutes, is highly recommended.

Sondheim Quotation Of The Day

‘Marianne, I am a man, and I am 88, and you have to guide me. I don’t necessarily see the world in the way you do.’ That’s Stephen Sondheim, speaking to Marianne Elliott (pictured), whose production of “Company,” in which the main character is Bobbi not Bobby but in which Joanne is still a woman (Patti LuPone!), is about to start up in London. Elliott is interviewed here.

Your Weekend: A Selective Guide

Movies: I’ll leave “The Predator” to you — not for me. I enjoyed Ann Patchett’s novel “Bel Canto” so I suspect I’ll like the movie version, too. TV/Streaming: “Forever, Season” debuts on Amazon Prime as does the movie “On Chesil Beach.” Friday brings us a “Basquiat” documentary on PBS. Music: I have less-than-zero interest in Cher’s “Dancing Queen” — an album of ABBA covers — but I’m sure plenty of other people will disagree. Books: “In Pieces,” the new memoir by Sally Field, looks intriguing. Am re-reading Iris Murdoch’s novel “The Flight from the Enchanter” — wow. Sports: I’m not a Jets fan but their debut this past week was very impressive. Finally: Thinking of the hurricane folks.

Will Hockney Painting Fetch $80 Million?

Christie’s has announced that it will offer David Hockney’s 1972 painting, Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), in its evening post-war and contemporary art sale in New York on 15 November. Should it fetch near its estimate of $80m, it will be the highest auction price ever paid for a work by a living artist by some distance—the current record is held by Jeff Koons, whose Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for $58.4m Christie’s New York in 2013.