What is known with certainty about an artist’s life story can undoubtedly shed the light of understanding on his or her achievements and legacy. But what happens when authoritative historical documents, personal letters, photos, diaries and other materials have not been consulted or are scarce or even non-existent?
Edward M. Gómez
Edward M. Gómez is a graphic designer, critic, arts journalist, and author or co-author of numerous books about art and design subjects, including Le dictionnaire de la civilisation japonaise, Yes: Yoko Ono, and The Art of Adolf Wölfli: St. Adolf-Giant-Creation. He has written for the New York Times, Art in America, the Brooklyn Rail, Salon, Reforma (Mexico), the Japan Times (Japan), and other publications. Edward is the senior editor of Raw Vision, the London-based, international, outsider-art magazine. He is based in New York and London.
Takesada Matsutani’s Art of Expressive Textures and Ambiguous Blobs
NISHINOMIYA, Japan — Looking back at modernism’s multifaceted history — all those styles, manifesto-driven movements and “-isms,” which forever changed how artists, critics and viewers would look at and think about art — one is reminded that among its fundamental tenets was a call to search out the new, strive for originality and dare to bust traditions.
From Ireland, Photographer Doug DuBois’s Images of Fading Youth
“Youth is wasted on the young” is one of those clever-sounding, achingly wistful quips that have been attributed to various wags of assorted times and places, including the Irish writers Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw.
In Martha Wilson’s New Photo Works, Feminism Meets the Absurd
What do women want?
Jean Dubuffet and Art Brut in the US: A Historical Moment Re-examined
What if canonical art history had been written not by academics but by art’s makers themselves? Who would have been included in such a history, and who would have been left out?
Naoto Nakagawa’s Art of Seeing and Being
Aristotelians and logical positivists alike have had a field day speculating about the related phenomena of sight, perception, and truth, but what about the revelations one may glean through the unsinkable, old-fashioned medium of elastic, luminous paint?
Daisy Craddock’s Pastel Drawings: If Landscapes Could Talk
If a dollop of paint or a chunk of stone could talk, might it reveal just how much it enjoyed having been scraped across a canvas by a Joan Mitchell or picked at by the masterful, form-seeking hands of an Isamu Noguchi?
In 1970s Japan, a New Art of Experiments, Edgy Photos, and Big Ideas
There are certain exhibitions in which some or many of the works on display are so interesting, provocative or well-made that they somehow manage to surmount whatever restrictive or overwrought critical-theoretical trappings their organizers have erected around them, defying the analytical filters through which they are meant to be considered and understood.
Through a Lens, Inquisitively: Modern Photo Visions, of and from Japan
Most photographs of real-life events tend to be documentary by nature, but the kind of photographic image-making that makes a point of approaching its subjects with an “objective” viewpoint and a for-posterity sense of purpose — can such photos ever convey a truly neutral position vis-à-vis their subjects?
It’s Only Rock’n’Roll, But They Like It: New Books from Robert Christgau and Jessica Hopper
Recently, Time Out New York’s “Word on the Street” column offered this overheard snippet: “She’s never had sex and she doesn’t do drugs but she really loves rock’n’roll.”
A Chelsea Double Feature: Paper Meets Clay on “Homeground’s” Turf
One of New York’s great resources is its daunting abundance of commercial galleries, which provide encounters with an endless parade of new and old art forms from around the world.
Tokyo, Mon Amour: The City in Photos, as Monster and Muse
In East Asia, sprawling, dynamic, constantly changing Tokyo has a long history as a seductive subject and muse for innovative camera artists, but that tradition and the remarkable, often unexpected images it has produced are still not so widely known in the West outside a relatively small but growing community of collectors, curators and photography buffs.