Two weeks ago, when critic Ken Johnson reviewed Michelle Grabner’s current solo exhibition in the New York Times, he fell into a trap. Johnson didn’t like Grabner’s work, which is fine, but rather than breaking it down to understand why he didn’t like it, he resorted to half-baked biographical stereotyping.
Questions About Art Criticism for Three European Critics
On Sunday, April 27, an event jointly organized by AICA International and EUNIC New York will be probing the realities facing art critics in Europe.
Art or Monkey Fart?
For those who need a break from following the news on what has turned out to be a horrific day, we offer this short bit of humor — 2 minutes and 46 seconds of hilarious art satire.
Is There a Case for Including Prices with Art Reviews?
This week, The Stranger‘s art critic, Jen Graves, wrote a blog post titled, “Should We List Prices With Art Reviews?” When I first saw the headline, I had a knee-jerk reaction to the effect of, “No!!”
Let’s All Argue About Digital Art
You’re digital! I’m digital! We’re all digital! No better way to stir the pot than to bring up the post-IRL condition that has us all confused: What does it mean that we spend so much time online? How are artists engaging technology? Everyone’s arguing, from the curmudgeonly Artforum-approved art historian Claire Bishop to curator Lauren Cornell and author Eleanor Heartney. Here’s what they’re saying.
Everyone Has Something to Say About Kate Middleton’s Royal Portrait
As soon as we published Samantha Villenave’s essay “Kate Middleton Portrait Buzz: Art Criticism, Sexism, or Something Else?” (01/11/13), we immediately saw readers respond, particularly on Facebook.
Kate Middleton Portrait Buzz: Art Criticism, Sexism, or Something Else?
VALENCE, France — The internet has its royal panties in a bustle, once again. Today’s unveiling of the portrait of Kate Middleton, or rather the British Duchess of Cambridge, met with gasps of horror, followed by a cascade of sarcastic media and Twitter wit. The subject of much of the outrage and verbal discourse being the pressing matter of whether artist Paul Emsley portrayed the future queen as being pretty enough.
“The Line Into Which I Shall Merge”: Jean Genet Among the Painters
Stendhal on Correggio, Baudelaire on Guys, Zola on Manet, Proust on Moreau. It’s a long-standing practice, French poets and novelists taking up art criticism. In the 20th century, the roster continues: Apollinaire,Breton, Leiris, Malraux, Sartre, Bataille, Bonnefoy, and there’s the French poet-painters: Picabia, Cocteau, Nouet, Jacob.
Stream the Witte de With Center’s Symposium on Independent Art Criticism
Is there such a thing as an independent art criticism? The Rotterdam-based Witte de With Center’s symposium I AM FOR AN ART CRITICISM THAT… tackles that topic and many others in a series of panels and discussions, livestreaming today.
Critical Problems: The New York Times, Race, and Gender
Is it just me, or has art writing hit a little bit of a rough patch lately? Some verbal missteps by New York Times art critic Ken Johnson have triggered accusations of buried racism and sexism.
How (Not) to Write Like an Art Critic
CHICAGO — A friend who was in London recently went to see what was on at the Tate Modern, and at the end of his visit he did something I never do: he went into the gift shop and bought something. “I’ve got something to show you, Philip!” he told me on his return. My heart sank. Was it a set of dinner plates decorated with Hirst’s diamond-encrusted skulls? An Ai Weiwei themed board game? Some other piece of dreadful museum kitsch?
What Is the Labor of Art Writing? (Part 2)
At one point, Arts & Labor member Blithe Riley, who was in the audience at the round table, made a comment about “freaking out a little.” This highlighted the disconnect between the political and social aspirations of Arts & Labor and the general role of art critics for me.