A Guernica For Gotham

Judith Kampfner on the best interpretation in the arts of the 9/11 attacks.

10 years ago, Judith Kampfner, then a reporter for WNYC, New York Public Radio, was given assignments in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 to interview artists and arts institutions about how the tragedy would impact art. At a meeting with Glenn Lowry, head of the Museum of Modern Art, she asked if there might be an equivalent of Picasso's iconic Guernica. He answered that if anyone could respond passionately, then New York City artists - from all genres - could. Now, on the tenth anniversary, she revisits Lowry to ask him who or what he would single out as having commemorated or paid tribute to the destruction of the Twin Towers and its impact. His answer is surprising and leads Kampfner on a quest to talk to an artist whose work was censored, a musician who took ten years to debut his work, a novelist who resents the fact that 9.11 is the elephant in the room that she must tackle and a playwright who was obsessed with the World Trade Center. Interviewees include composer Steve Reich, writer Meg Wolitzer, sculptor Eric Fischl and art critic Arthur Danto.

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Judith Kampfner on the best interpretation in the arts of the 9/11 attacks.

10 years ago, Judith Kampfner, then a reporter for WNYC, New York Public Radio, was given assignments in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 to interview artists and arts institutions about how the tragedy would impact art. At a meeting with Glenn Lowry, head of the Museum of Modern Art, she asked if there might be an equivalent of Picasso's iconic Guernica. He answered that if anyone could respond passionately, then New York City artists - from all genres - could. Now, on the tenth anniversary, she revisits Lowry to ask him who or what he would single out as having commemorated or paid tribute to the destruction of the Twin Towers and its impact. His answer is surprising and leads Kampfner on a quest to talk to an artist whose work was censored, a musician who took ten years to debut his work, a novelist who resents the fact that 9.11 is the elephant in the room that she must tackle and a playwright who was obsessed with the World Trade Center. Interviewees include composer Steve Reich, writer Meg Wolitzer, sculptor Eric Fischl and art critic Arthur Danto.