Essays

Post image for Performance Artists Use Stand-Up Tropes, but Not For Laughs

LOS ANGELES — There’s nothing funny about art. Writing art criticism is a serious endeavor. But at some point, the performance of professionalism in the art world just started to feel like one big joke.

Continue Reading →
Post image for ‘Black Mirror’ Punishes and Rewards Passive Viewing

The show is a patchwork of guilt and fascination: even as it prompts us to renounce the passivity of watching, its success as a television series requires our complicity.

Continue Reading →
Post image for Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Immortal Black Life

Often, I consider what people will make of my notebooks after I am dead.

Continue Reading →
Post image for Who Are the Rightful Owners of Artifacts of Oppression?

Imagine this: boxes of family photos, wood carvings, landscape paintings, handmade jewelry, and other items being put up for auction.

Continue Reading →

Essays

Missing Jane Farver

by Martha Buskirk on May 4, 2015

Post image for Missing Jane Farver

BOSTON — The news of Jane Farver’s death on April 29 came as a complete shock.

Continue Reading →
Post image for The Mythic Scale of History and Labor at Spiral Jetty

ROZEL POINT, Utah — Beginning with childhood visits to the American Museum of Natural History and continuing with excursions to study rock formations throughout his adult life, Robert Smithson cultivated a lifelong obsession with natural (and human) history that explicitly informed his artwork, including the Spiral Jetty, his most well-known piece.

Continue Reading →
Post image for Six Pioneering Feminist Artists Conquer New York

With recent statistics showing that only 31% of the solo exhibitions at NYC galleries are devoted to women, it comes as a pleasant surprise that over a two-month period this spring there are several exhibitions simultaneously showcasing the work of second-generation feminist artists.

Continue Reading →
Post image for Reflections on a Weekend Devoted to Socially Engaged Art

BRISBANE, Australia — On the flight between Pittsburgh and Detroit, I felt art’s potential: Open Engagement 2015’s socially engaged projects had responded to the national discourse on social and racial justice.

Continue Reading →
Post image for How the Identity Politics of ‘Empire’ Play Out on Its Walls

Not 10 minutes into the pilot episode of Fox’s TV drama Empire, Kehinde Wiley’s bright yellow portrait “Prince Albert, Prince Consort of Queen Victoria” looms into view above the dining room table where the men of the Lyon family are gathered.

Continue Reading →
Post image for Language Is Not Colorless: The Amazing Writing of Sawako Nakayasu

Since the beginning of this century a number of poets of Asian descent have published books that have helped redefine the field of study known as Asian American poetry, while challenging the various received definitions of what constitutes avant-garde or innovative writing.

Continue Reading →