Your eyes and ears on the world of art and culture:

Teresita Fernandez has been awarded some of the most prestigious prizes offered: a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award, an NEA grant, and a Guggenheim Fellowship as examples. She is known for large public installations that feature imaginative use of materials and an attention to how we perceive and interpret information. Scroll through the slide show and see why "Drawn Waters" is one of my favorites.

By now you have heard of the Met Costume Gala. Visit this site for a close-up look at some of the more inventive fashions.

Both France and Japan are using railroads to deliver art around the country. In Japan they are advertising a "traveling art gallery" on one of their bullet trains. Individual carriages on the trains are devoted to specific artists and to the idea of traveling. In France, 3M and the Musee d'Orsay have collaborated to show impressionist art projected onto the ceilings of trains. In similar style, London has Art on the Underground and occasionally live performances.

The venerable Met in New York City has been showing Vigee Le Brun, subtitled Woman Artist in Revolutionary France. LeBrun became a member of the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, thanks to the assistance of Marie Antoinette. The Met calls her one of the most important female artists of the 18th century. Another article mentions the remarkable success of this portraitist at a time when women were not even allowed basic academic training. It also goes into some of the nasty misogynistic rumors spread to undermine her achievements.

A survey of the brilliant architecture of Frank Gehry reveals why this master of innovation has so impressed a generation of designers. Be sure to see his designs for the LUMA Foundation in Arles, France, and the Cleveland Clinic Center in Las Vegas, not to mention the Eight Spruce Street highrise in New York City and of course the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

The Founder of the Tokyo studio Nendo admits that he is obsessed with making things. Working with 25 designers and 6 project managers, Oki Sato keeps coming up with ideas for furniture and interiors. Right now Nendo has 400 projects in production, including candy bar wrappers and a shopping mall.

Lavie Tidhar's phophetic new novel imagines humans living in a post-human world. Called Central Station, the novel's title comes from a huge construction that humans must visit, even before they are born, in order to link their past with their future. Tidhar is a World Fantasy award-winning author, who has combined a number of short stories into one throbbing explosive novel.

Arc Gallery in San Francisco has mounted a show called "Chaos" through the end of June. Of the 650 artists who applied, 30 were selected, and 3 received Juror's Awards, including Whitaker for her digital painting on aluminum called "Spillage". A handsome catalog is available.

We have spoken before about the works of Yayoi Kusama and her magnificent obsession with polka dots. Now the Glass House in Connecticut will feature two of her installations. A third, "Infinity Rooms", will be installed in September. Note that in February of 2017, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. will present the first survey of Kusama's Infinity Rooms, along with 60 paintings, sculptures, and archival material.

A fitting tribute to Franz Kafka has been erected in his hometowm of Prague. The mammoth sculpture is composed of 42 layers of stainless steel, 38 of which move. The result is an enigmatic sculpture/portrait of the author, himself the creator of amorphous characters. (Thanks to DM for this.)

Yale University has reopened its Center for British Art in the building originally designed by Louis Kahn. The reimagined Long Gallery, now filled with light as the architect had planned, is part of a $33 million restoration of the Center. Yale's handsome collection includes a group of Constable's Cloud Studio, worth the visit themselves.

The Guardian lets us in on the secret to Alban Berg's Lyric Suite. One of Berg's first uses of the 12-tone scale created by his former teacher Arnold Schoenberg, the Suite pays homage to Berg's affair with Hanna and is full of tempestuous rhythms and dramatic shifts. Additionally, the intials of Berg and Hanna are subtly woven into the music. Berg's pupil called it "A latent opera".

Blount Art Info treats us to some of the gems shown at Frieze New York 2016. The pieces shown here tend to be bold, dramatic, sometimes enigmatic and often provocative, certainly not for the faint of heart.

More than a hundred years ago, the Rok runestone was found on the walls of a Swedish church, twice the height of a man and, with 70 markings, the first piece of writing preserved in Sweden's history. Originally untranslatable, it was later thought to be the story of Kings and battles. Recent studies however feel that it was in fact about a father's love for his son.

In 2012, the late neurologist/philosopher/author Oliver Sacks wrote an extraordinary treatise for the New Yorker magazine entitled "Altered States". The text takes us through the writer's early experiments with hallucinogenic drugs with astonishing frankness, a tribute not only to his relentless examination of the self but also to the courage of his personal journey.

In what is being called a ground-breaking achievement, China has created the first electronic paper made of graphene. The paper is also the lightest and strongest material yet known. Rather than using iridium metal as a base material, the graphene paper is made of carbon. It is said to be 150 stronger than an equivalent weight of steel and is expected to profoundly influence the production of touch screens.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2016