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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Arabesque


Clark Art Institute / Williamstown / Art

Where would we be without our arabesques? In classical dance, the arabesque is practically a logo—a position emblematic of flight, of travel both emotional and existential. In figure skating it’s called a spiral. In art, we know it best as Islamic ornamentation, a self-fulfilling, ever-regenerating curve that suggests life force and infinity. The Clark exhibition looks at the arabesque’s ascendence in both Islamic and European art, and its continuing presence in the world today. —L.J.

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Clark Art Institute 225 South St, Williamstown, MA 01267, USA
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