Your eyes and ears on the world of art and culture. We remind you that 14 years of back issues of eMusings can be found on our archives page.

The New York Times introduces us to the music of composer Gregory Spears and Librettist Greg Pierce. Recently performed in New York at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in the Prototype Festival, the Spears and Pierce opera, "Fellow Travelers", follows a gay couple at the time of McCarthyism as well as the "Lavender Scare", the removal of gay men from government work. The music ranges from wistful to rapturous, with eerie passages and repetitive pulsing. Spears' Requiem was composed for 6 solo voices, pedal harp, medieval troubador harp, viola, recorder, chimes and electric organ. The music brings to mind Stravinsky and Prokofiev, with a touch of Gershwin and an Edgar Allen Poe eeriness.

The Serpentine Gallery in London has given a solo show to Hilma af Klint. Af Klimt is said to have created exceptional abstract art before Malevich, Kandinsky, and Mondrian. Af Klint is quoted as comparing her work to "divine dictation" - "I had no idea what they were supposed to depict". In 2013 she was included in "Pioneers of Abstraction" in Stockholm, which first brought her work to the attention of the public. She is now the earliest artist to be given a one-person show at the Serpentine. She will also be shown this fall at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Hausler Contemporary in Zurich is holding a 2-month show of the light and glass work of James Turrell. Born in Los Angeles and now living in Flagstaff, Turrell is considered the contemporary master of natural and artificial light, with its references to spacial locations.

Victor Estrada is showing 3 large paintings at New York's 80WSE windows gallery. The pictures are titled "Figures in an American Landscape: Lusus naturae". Estrada says, " I see the paint as a material, kind of like mud. It's like a living thing". Two of his paintings are also shown at the 2015 Biennial Awards.

Lovers of fine ceramics will be saddened to hear of the death of Betty Woodman at the age of 87. Woodman was the first living female artist to be given a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was known to expand the vocabulary of ceramics beyond the traditional craft, eventually using textiles, painting and wall reliefs.

Colombia's Black and White Carnival takes place every year between the end of December and the beginning of January. Attracting over 10,000 visitors, the carnival harkens back to Andean, Amazonian, and Pacific cultures. These colorful images from the festivities will give you a close-up view of its fierce energy.

Treat yourself to the stunning portraits of women done by Sofia Bonati. Born in Argentina and now living in the U.K., Bonati uses watercolors, pencils, markers and gouache to create bold patterned depictions of the female form. She comments: "The portraits I draw refelct the complexity and power of women".

London dealer Bernard Jacobson is dedicating 2018 to the UK artist William Tillyer, who will turn 80 next year. Jacobson sees in Tillyer the evolution of Cezanne, Constable and Matisse. The year-long tribute will be broken into five exhibits.

Facing protest petitions from "thousands" of people, the Metropolitan Museum in New York has decided not to remove "Therese Dreaming (1938) by Balthus. Protestors claimed that the Met was "supporting voyeurism and the objectification of children". The Met replied that the painting provided "an opportunity for conversation". In February, 2014, the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany, was forced to cancel an upcoming exhibit of Balthus' work which included nude photographs of an underage young woman. The Museum's Director was afraid of "legal consequences", which he felt would not have been an issue with paintings or drawings.

Even spoken quickly a billion-dollar art collection elicits a gasp. It is now central to the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The new museum bought more than 600 pieces of art for its permanent collection; its curators were given an open-ended imperative to buy "different pieces from different times and civilizations". The Museum itself comprises 55 immaculate white buildings underneath a huge dome. Exhibitions will be changed quarterly. Abu Dhabi's stated goal was to outdo the effect of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

Let's look at some spectacular futurist architecture created for the 21st century. From Kazakhstan to China, from Mongolia to Azerbaijan, these designs are ground-breaking examples of the best of contemporary design.

If you are going to London, you might want to visit the new 2-story extravaganza at 29 Sackville Street. This new gallery is showing JR's installations, sketches, and other eye-popping spectacles. You won't be bored.

Another spectacle worth seeing is Moureaux's "Color of Time" at the Toyama Prefectural Museum. Located on the Japan Sea coast, the Museum's opening ceremony emphasized materials, particularly the new and forefront. You will enter a tunnel of blazing color, utilizing 120,000 numerical figures from 0 to 9, 100 layers of paper, and the blended concepts of mathematics and hues.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2018