In The Observer Effect: On Contemporary Painting, Schwabsky’s readable and often chirpy essays philosophically examine what painting is and can become through an observer’s encounter.
Art critic Barry Schwabsky’s new book presents a global survey of contemporary landscape painting.
Artists, collectors, curators, and dealers are all needed for the system to function, but the role of critics is up for grabs.
One thing that has bugged critics of Kitaj is that his work can be simultaneously accessible and full of allusions.
In his introductory essay to Vitamin P, a survey of contemporary painting first published by Phaidon in 2002, the poet and critic Barry Schwabsky takes pains to point out the variety of stylistic positions available to a contemporary painter. In doing so, Schwabsky suggests that there is no single identifying characteristic that would disqualify a contemporary painting from critical consideration today. This state of openness was not always the case. In my opinion, however, the receptivity that Schwabsky claims for painting is not actually an accurate characterization of the current situation, where success is generally judged by an artist’s standing in the marketplace.