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Posted inArt

What We Talk About When We Talk About Art Online

“Thank you guys for coming,” Alexis Clements said last Thursday night to a small crowd at the Brooklyn Museum largely comprised of women. “Actually, I shouldn’t say ‘guys,’” she interrupted herself, “Thank you all for coming.” That introduction set the tone for a panel that the playwright, performer, and Hyperallergic contributor moderated, called “The Art of Feeling: Contemporary Arts Writing and the Internet.”

Posted inArt

Are We Post–Black Art?

There are so many fault lines between art and politics, navigating them can feel dizzying and often futile. Conversations about identity politics, economics, heritage, corrective curating, and the broader issues of inclusion and exclusion are important but can be a drag on art itself, to the point where it can seem like the work vanishes behind real or imagined social mores. Such was the case with Ken Johnson’s review last fall in the New York Times of MoMA PS1’s Now Dig this! Art & Black Los Angeles 1960–1980 and the debate it engendered. The review spurned a lot of groaning about uninformed opinions and who constitute the “gatekeepers” of the art canon. A petition for the Times to reconcile this “editorial lapse” with its normally higher standard of writing was started as angry voices accumulated, gaining over 1,600 signatures.

Posted inArt

What Is the Labor of Art Writing? (Part 1)

Last Thursday night at Housing Works Bookstore, Occupy Wall Street affinity group Arts & Labor organized a panel of New York art writers to discuss the labor of art criticism. Village Voice and New York Times critic Martha Schwendener opened the round table with the question, “What is the labor of writing?” Schwendener and Arts and Labor proposed a discussion about the working conditions of art criticism in an effort to dispel some prevailing myths, which she framed as power, authority, and allure. She then started things off with an open question to the panel about how they became art critics.

Posted inOpinion

The Art Kids Are Not Alright

Jerry Saltz is like the art world’s hip uncle. But is he getting too curmudgeonly to hang with the kids? In the critic’s recent New York Magazine essay, Saltz calls young artists “Generation Blank” for being not original enough and too digestible by critics — cliche. Meanwhile, other art youth compare GIF size.

Posted inOpinion

How is MoMA’s “Abstract Expressionist New York” Faring Online?

The Museum of Modern Art’s Abstract Expressionist New York: The Big Picture, an ambitious exhibition that (kinda) rethinks the standard narrative of Abstract Expressionism (aka AbEx), has been open since October 3. The show complicates things by reintroducing us to artists not entirely within the AbEx canon, putting old favorites in a new context and shining a spotlight on the people and places of AbEx.

The question is: did MoMA and its curators accomplish their goal? We turn to the internet at large for a look at how people have reacted to the exhibition!

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