Essays

Post image for Seeing Past Portland’s Whiteness

LOS ANGELES — I didn’t mean for my trip to Portland to have such a focus on race.

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Post image for Thinking About Art Practice and the Role of Compromise

What happens when an artist’s inclinations towards her/his work conflict with her/his ability to sell and keep making it?

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Post image for The Line Is a Circle: Painting at the Threshold

I was born in 1983. Just shy of my 31st birthday, it occurred to me that somewhere after 1984 — virtually my entire lifetime — painting disappears almost entirely from most books on contemporary art history.

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Post image for Thomas McEvilley: And Autumnstruck We Would Not Hear the Song

Everyone talks about working outside the box but most of us don’t even know what box we’re boxed in by so we box ourselves in all the more. The work of Thomas McEvilley not only shows the imaginary fly the way out of actual fly bottles but also shows that preposterous insect how to get back in.

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Post image for The Scientific Artist: On Reading Michel Houellebecq

I can think of no better way to frame a brief introduction to Houellebecq’s work (still largely unfamiliar to Americans) than to structure it around a tension between analysis and lyricism.

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Post image for The Museum of Modern Art as Muse

If the howlings this week surrounding the fate of the American Folk Art Museum building are any indication, a low-stakes outrage has gripped the culture pages of virtually every newspaper and magazine in America.

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Post image for Context and Silence: On the Art Writings of Eva Hesse and Cady Noland

How important is it to control one’s image, to have mastery over one’s oeuvre? As a female artist, to allow one’s life and work to merge is risky. It is a softness.

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Post image for What Does It Mean to Be a Cultural Disrupter?

Coverage of the visual arts in the New York Times hit a new low last weekend in its Arts & Leisure feature, “The Disrupters,” a roundup of interviews with “people who broke the rules” during 2013, “a year of cultural upheaval.”

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Post image for The Vilification of Banksy’s Success

Banksy’s month-long New York residency might as well have been entitled, ‘The Banksy rehabilitation program.’ In coming to New York, the artist wasn’t simply courting a new American audience. He sought to rehabilitate his image with his former fans — Brits like me — whose interest tapered off long ago.

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EssaysWeekend

The Pursuit of Art, 2013

by Thomas Micchelli on December 28, 2013

Post image for The Pursuit of Art, 2013

Memories fade. That’s the one good reason, as far as I can see, to compile an end-of-year list. It’s sometimes startling to retrace what attracted my attention over the course of a year; it is also instructive to determine where such a miscellany of shows fits in with ongoing areas of interest, and which ones, in hindsight, merited the time it took to review them.

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