Richard Nilsen

About Richard Nilsen

Richard Nilsen graduated from Guilford College in North Carolina and was the art critic for The Arizona Republic from 1986 to 2012. He was also department head in a two-year college, where he taught photography and art history.

Paul Cezanne: A Loyalty to the World

By |2017-08-13T23:32:14-05:00August 18th, 2017|Categories: Art, Imagination, Modernity|

To see Paul Cezanne only as a seed of Modern art is to misunderstand the magnitude of his accomplishment… Paul Cézanne For nearly a century, we have seen Paul Cezanne through the eyes of his disciples. They have given us the popular and concretized version of who the painter was. A version to [...]

How to Be an American

By |2017-10-07T17:19:01-05:00July 3rd, 2017|Categories: American Republic, Featured, History, Patriotism|

The one thing every American shares is that we are immigrants, and this gives birth to our self-reliance, our willingness to risk tomorrow on faith, and our freedom from many of the cultural straitjackets found back in the Old Country. It’s all there in the art. All either necessary for immigration or fostered by it… [...]

The Decline of High Art & the Other Polarization

By |2019-03-21T11:44:52-05:00June 26th, 2017|Categories: Art, Civil Society, Culture, Film, Music|

High Art is not going away. There are people who require an art of greater complexity than popular culture usually affords them, who hunger for something deeper, more complex, something that reflects the human experience… There is nothing more American than the Three Stooges throwing a pie in the face of a soprano warbling “Voices [...]

“A Conceited Mediocrity”: The Story of Tchaikovsky and Brahms

By |2020-05-07T01:20:44-05:00May 6th, 2017|Categories: Johannes Brahms, Music, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky|

Both Pyotr Tchaikovsky (in 1840) and Johannes Brahms (in 1833) were born on May 7. That little coincidence didn’t help endear Brahms or his music to Tchaikovsky, however, as the Russian called the German a “conceited mediocrity” and “a giftless bastard.” But then one day, the two men met at a dinner and had drinks [...]

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