This week: Don’t miss Biss, a new Proust translation, Park Avenue antiques & more from the world of culture.
The Prisoner, by Marcel Proust, translated by Carol Clark (Penguin Classics): The first English translation of Marcel Proust’s massive seven-volume novel, À la Recherche du Temps Perdu (1913–27), was completed in the 1920s, right alongside the French-language publication of the later books in the series. C. K. Scott Moncrieff took some liberties with the translation, including his rendering of the title: Remembrance of Things Past. Though the first edition was considered a masterpiece of translation for its understanding of Proust’s life and times, English-speaking Proust enthusiasts have been waiting for a more literal version with which to compare nuances. Copyright conflicts have delayed the 2002 British translation, with its more “accurate” title, In Search of Lost Time, from reaching American bookshelves, but the volumes (each by a different translator) are now being released one at a time. The Prisoner, translated by Carol Clark and released last week, is the fifth installment and the first in the “Albertine cycle.” The semi-autobiographical narrator falls deeply—and possessively—in love with a woman and keeps her imprisoned in his apartment, buying her extravagant gifts and slowly destroying his life and hers. Clark’s translation of The Prisoner brings clarity to this expansive, virtuosic work about love, loneliness, time, and memory. —HN
“Manifesto: 50 Years On” at the Bowery Gallery (through January 26) and panel discussion (January 26, 4 p.m.): The history of artist-run cooperative galleries in New York is long and storied. Initially conceived in the early 1950s as alternatives to the aesthetically conservative and highly commercial uptown gallery system, East Tenth Street co-ops such as the illustrious Tanager and Hansa galleries were run on shoestring budgets, but they became incubators of avant-garde talent and were quickly some of the most important exhibition spaces in the city. The original co-ops experienced an unfortunate decline in the 1960s with the rise of Pop Art and ideological art, but soon thereafter others of a kindred spirit began to arise in their wake. One such second-wave collective was the Bowery Gallery, founded by eighteen young artists in 1969 with the goal of returning to first principles of formalist and perceptual painting. The new organization has been a lasting success: this month, the Bowery Gallery is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary with a celebratory exhibition of current and past “associate” members. This Saturday, it is also holding a free and public panel discussion on the history and current state of the collective, titled “Art Making and Community: A Conversation Among Bowery Artists.” Be sure to stop by. —AS
“Jonathan Biss, Piano,” at Carnegie Hall (January 24): The pianist Jonathan Biss is among the generation of younger concert pianists to return some intimacy to their instrument and a sense for the actual meaning of piano—soft—in pianoforte. The challenge for Biss has been to translate his sensitive intimism to larger halls. This Thursday he returns to the greatest stage with a solo recital in the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. Replacing the scheduled performance by Leif Ove Andsnes, who had to withdraw from recent touring due to an elbow injury, Biss will perform three Beethoven sonatas from consecutive stages in the composer’s career, concluding with the No. 29 in B-flat Major, Op. 106, “Hammerklavier.” Through the piece, whose title is the German word for the early “hammer-keyboard,” Biss will seek out his own balance of piano and forte. —JP
“The Winter Show,” at the Park Avenue Armory (through January 27): The Winter Antiques Show (now rebranded merely “The Winter Show”) comes but once a year. It ends this Saturday, so make your way to the Park Avenue Armory to see highlights such as Thomas Hudson’s Portrait of Joseph van Aken, The Drapery Painter (ca. 1745) at the booth of Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd. —BR
From the Editors: “Tilting at Windmills: An Interview with James Panero,” by Michael J. Pearce. A conversation about the state of art and art criticism in anticipation of The Representational Art Conference 2019.
From the archive: “Wordless secrets: the cinema of Ingmar Bergman,” by Jeremy Murray-Brown (April 1994). A review of Images: My Life in Film by Ingmar Bergman.
From the current issue:“The man behind ‘Messiah,’ ” by John Check. A review of Handel in London: The Making of a Genius by Jane Glover.