Mistakes? Who, me? I suspect a lot of what I have written is considered mistaken by many. And if I re-read my hundreds of essays and 25 books, I’d certainly find some I no longer agree with. But writing about art is a decidedly subjective endeavor. I’m not an art critic, an adversary of artists. I’m an advocate for the artists who have taught me all that I know about art. I’ve never read something by one of my peers and thought s/he’s mistaken! although I have often disagreed. Whose mistake is that? It’s not the writer’s. We write about what we like, and what we dislike (though after a few years I decided not to waste my time on art I didn’t like and save my attacks for society). Readers can figure out if they are on our wavelength or not and then they can agree with us or not.
After almost six decades of art and other writing, I know that I have sometimes let prejudice overwhelm esthetics. For instance, I wasn’t enthusiastic about Anthony Caro’s work. (It was the one show I missed reviewing for Art International’s New York Letter when I gave birth to my son in 1964.) Years later I looked at his sculpture and decided he was pretty damn good. My dislike of Greenberg and his acolytes had influenced me. (It was mutual; a Greenbergian painter once told me to my face that everything I wrote was “beneath contempt.”)
There is only one thing I can recall (blame old age) that I now know was an absolutely stupid mistake. I don’t remember the exact date, but around 1969 I called Charles Manson a performance artist, in an attempt to be way cooler than I ever was. I’m not even sure (can’t find the original) that I even called Manson a BAD performance artist. What on earth was I thinking? Well, it was a time when I was (I still am) heavy into breaking down the barriers between art and life. Performance art itself made strides in the intervening decades with artists like Suzanne Lacy and Dread Scott bringing art into “life” contexts, or vice versa. I’m always quoting Robert Filliou: “Art is what makes life more interesting than art.” And my own writing is now more about life than about art. Another mistake? Who knows? Who knows anything these crazy days?
Black American Portraits features over two centuries of artworks centering Black artists and subjects.
A love of Black art and history was the bedrock of the friendship between Dell Marie Hamilton and Susan Denker, who had markedly different racial, economic, and generational subject positions.
With what he says is his final museum bow, Fitzpatrick shines a light on the colorful diversity that composes his city.
The question of race — however hidden, however camouflaged by the shouts of the crowds — is a constant theme and an unanswered challenge.
Weisman Museum of Art Presents Highlights From the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection
An exhibition at Pepperdine University in Malibu chronicles the achievements and contributions of African Americans over the last five centuries.
Brink is not a fun book, and it shouldn’t be.
Those who want to visit the museum muse have a surgical, KN95, N95, or KF94 face mask.
The residency program awards 17 visual artists a year of rent-free studio space in New York City. Applications are due by February 15.
This week, another Benin bronze is returned to Nigeria, looking at the Black Arts Movement in the US South, Senegal’s vibrant new architecture, why films are more gray, and much more.
It is precisely Moon’s openness to using any source that makes her work flamboyant, captivating, odd, funny, smart, uncanny, comically monstrous, and unsettling. And, most of all, over the top.
Tensions between resistance to Surrealism as cultural imperialism and the embrace of it as a universalist vision of freedom unfettered run through the show.