The words of John Yau continue to be read by those who want to know what is going on in contemporary art in New York and beyond.
Artists, collectors, curators, and dealers are all needed for the system to function, but the role of critics is up for grabs.
Who gets remembered and how?
In three recent volumes, artists express nostalgia for the smaller, scrappier New York art world.
“As poets remain unpaid workers there is a perverse comfort in the façade of integrity, promised as resulting from that misfortune, which beckons me to trust their company. The idea of a strategy is still alien to poets.”
Artist Denyse Thomasos, whose semi-abstract paintings evoke an architecture of floating cities, died suddenly yesterday. The cause was an allergic reaction during a diagnostic medical procedure.
This week … insights into Ai Weiwei’s photos, photos of Japan’s gangs, aesthetics of interactive space, William Gibson on cities, fake Guggenheims, superhero costumes, art thefts in Toronto, vintage street art & graffiti spots in New York.
This month’s Brooklyn Rail didn’t just update me on the critical reception of the past months’ art exhibitions, it also kept me well-informed about the state of vegetarian burritos, Indian call centers and the misunderstood G train! The November issue (my copy is elegantly covered in a Jonas Mekas lithograph of a hand cradling a flower bud) is a primer for anyone who hasn’t necessarily seen all of the right shows and read all of the right books for the recent spat of cultural production. Taken as a whole, though, the weighty newsprint publication’s most interesting articles lay in unexpected places and concern unexpected topics.
The war of words between two major New York art critics escalated yesterday when Saltz used his very public Facebook wall to shoot back at Yau for the Brooklyn Rail art editor’s accusation of Saltz being a Koons apologist.
In the newly released edition of the Brooklyn Rail, editor John Yau takes on New York Magazine’s art critic Jerry Saltz and his characterization of America as “big, bright, shiny, colorful, crowd-pleasing, heat-seeking, impeccably produced, polished, popular, expensive, and extroverted—while also being abrasive, creepily sexualized, fussy, twisted, and, let’s face it, ditzy.” Yau asks, “Is this ‘our America?’ Or is this Jerry Saltz shilling for Jeff Koons?”