Basquiat’s oeuvre can now be said to constitute a Black male wall of fame, one exploding with markers of the fraught conquests, Pyrrhic victories, and traumatic vicissitudes of Black male being-and-nothingness in America.
From the John Singer Sargent frontal nude painting of McKeller in Boston’s MFA, I’d imagined Thomas as tall and slender. Looking more closely, I can see that even 100 years ago a body like Thomas’s was not accidental.
A selection of some extraordinary essays found in art museum exhibition catalogues across the United States.
Anyone who deliberately damages art in a museum is regarded as under a delusion, either due to mental illness or a failure to perceive the nature of what they’re doing. But in reality, people touch art all of the time.
There are things that I have failed to clue into that continue to make me wince when I think of them. Things that force me to ask “How could I have missed my cues so completely?”
Even if we believe in certain unspoken art criticism criteria that are involuntary but formed and informed by extended looking, nothing can be proved. We can always be wrong.
When I had to do one of the most difficult things in my Artillery career, I felt like I made a huge mistake: I fired my gossip columnist, Mitchell Mulholland.
It’s embarrassing admitting this, but in looking back over my many mistakes operating in the art world, some of my most egregious errors regard the names of the people populating it — how easy it is to get some of them wrong.
I’ve never read something by one of my peers and thought ‘s/he’s mistaken!’ Although I have often disagreed. Whose mistake is that? It’s not the writer’s.
My biggest regret is that I tried a little too hard to fit in when I first began writing art reviews in 1977.
Errors are the focus of this edition, as writers Lucy Lippard, John Yau, Robert Storr, Karen Wilkin, Kimberly Bradley, Tulsa Kinney, and Erin Thompson offer takes on being wrong.
Rosamond S. King, a Brooklyn-based poet, is a TriniGambianAmerican, has been publishing poetry since 1994, and won a Lamda Literary Award in 2018.