This Week in Culture: Irving Penn Dies, Thom Yorke Performs, and Bill and Bill Take Over Dance


Here are a few of the top arts and cultural news picks of the week:

1. Irving Penn: A Master is Mourned

Irving Penn was considered one of the greats alongside Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton. He changed the way we looked at photography and challenged the manner in which fashion was depicted in the press. His portraits of influential artists and cultural icons are some of the most honest and telling portraits that were made. Discovered and encouraged by legendary Vogue editor Alexander Liberman, Mr. Penn was famous not only for his work with fashion but for his photos of portraiture, food, and indigenous cultures as well.




2. Thom Yorke Performs in LA with Flea!

To all those Radiohead fans, don’t worry, they aren’t broken up. As we well know from his acclaimed 2006 release “The Eraser,” Thom Yorke has a solo career in addition to Radiohead. This week Thom Yorke performed in Los Angeles with his new band, which includes The Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ bassist Flea. They performed songs from “The Eraser” and a number of newer songs yet to be released. For more, check out some of their videos on YouTube and the review from The New York Times.


3. The Dancing of the Two Bills

Whether on the East Coast or the West Coast, it seems that the dance world this week is being dominated by Bills, and both are absolutely worth surrendering to. The first is William Forsyth‘s “Decreation” at BAM which runs until Saturday October 10, 2009. One of the giants of the ballet world and in my opinion one of the few great choreographers who is able to think outside of the box, William Forsyth creates pieces that explore the body and human movement. Visit The New York Times online for more information.


On the west coast is Bill T Jones, one of this country’s great ambassadors of dance who has never been afraid to tackle politics and humanity. His acclaimed piece “Fondly Do We Hope … Fervently Do We Pray” is a deep analysis of Abraham Lincoln, his teachings and legacy, and how they reflect who we are as a nation and a people. “Fondly Do We Hope … Fervently Do We Pray” is performing tonight at the Irvine Barclay Theater in Irvine, California. Visit The LA Times online for more information.


4. Last but not least, a little humor on a gloomy Friday….Seems like Bernie got struck by the Bull! (Pictured above)

Nicholas Coblence is the founder of, a web site dedicated to contemporary Arts and Culture. Nicholas has worked in Fashion and the Arts and presently lives and works in New York City as an Arts Consultant.