Events   12 October 2017

Paul Chaat Smith to Deliver the Eleventh Annual AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lecture, Dec. 7, 2017

Paul Chaat Smith: Thirteen Months in America

Thursday, December 7, 2017, 6:30 to 8PM

The New School Auditorium, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall, 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011

Entitled “Thirteen Months in America,” Smith’s talk will probe the dilemmas of his curatorial process as he prepared the exhibition, Americans, which is about to open at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. The exhibition examines how all Americans continue to be shaped by their relationship with American Indians.

Smith will discuss how events since the election of November, 2016 have challenged and reshaped many of his long held views about, well, everything. His talk will center on the reality of the new American situation as his exhibition opens on the National Mall. He will discuss his doubts and uncertainties while he completed preparations for the exhibition during a time of monolithic tunnel vision on all sides.

Smith is a Comanche author, essayist, and curator. His books and exhibitions focus on the contemporary landscape of American Indian politics and culture. Smith joined the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in 2001, where he currently serves as Associate Curator. His projects include the NMAI’s history gallery, performance artist James Luna at the 2005 Venice Biennial, Fritz Scholder: Indian/Not Indian (2008), and Brian Jungen: Strange Comfort (2009). With Robert Warrior, he is the author of Like a Hurricane: the Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee (New Press, 1996), a standard text in Native studies and American history courses. His second book, Everything You Know about Indians Is Wrong, was published in 2009 by the University of Minnesota Press, and is now in its second printing. Appointed Critic in Residence three times in galleries in the U.S. and Canada, Smith’s exhibitions and essays have explored the work of Richard Ray Whitman, Baco Ohama, Faye HeavyShield, Shelley Niro, Erica Lord, and Kent Monkman. Smith lives in Washington, D.C. His middle name is pronounced “chot,” and rhymes with hot. He has no college or university degrees.

The AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lecture at The New School is an annual celebration of an exemplary writer whose lecture addresses seminal issues in contemporary art criticism. The lecture is organized by the U.S. chapter of the International Association of Art Critics in partnership with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. The collaboration fuses AICA-USA’s dedication to art criticism as a rigorous discipline with the Vera List Center’s commitment to discourse around the significance of art in responding to some of the most pressing social and political issues of our time. The organizations’ robust partnership is amplified through the Vera List New School Art Collection Writing Awards, an educational program that supports the creative and critical thinking of New School students, inviting them to write about any of the 2,000 works in the University’s art collection with the editorial oversight of a member of the AICA-USA community.

Previous AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lectures at The New School have been delivered by Michael Brenson, Linda Nochlin, Roberta Smith, Holland Cotter, Peter Schjeldahl, Michelle Kuo, Lucy Lippard, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Naomi Beckwith, and Negar Azimi.

29 September 2017

AICA International 50th Congress, Paris, Nov. 13-17

Dear Members,

AICA is pleased to announce that its 50th Congress will take place in Paris, 13-17 November 2017. AICA International convenes a congress in a different country and city every year. AICA/USA members are among the organization’s 5,000 art professionals from some 95 countries, organized into 63 National Sections and an Open Section.

The registration fee is €80/$90 before October 13th and €100/$110 after that date. Attendees hear presentations in the daily sessions, meet colleagues based worldwide, and participate in private receptions (some with food!) at a variety of art institutions. There are special post-congress tours arranged just for us on Friday the 17th.

Please peruse the program, the press release, general information about venues, lodging, and travel, and the registration form.

Judith expects to attend. Please let us know if you will be in Paris as well.

All best,

Judith Stein and Susan Harris, co-presidents, AICA/USA

(FYI: AICA/USA last hosted the event in Los Angeles in 1991, the year of Christo’s Umbrella Project.)

03 May 2017

Mary Hrbacek opening reception at Paris Koh, May 4

Paris Koh Fine Arts, 548 West 28th Street, Suite 328, New York City is pleased to present "The Painted Veil," an exhibition of work by AICA-USA member Mary Hrbacek. It will run May 2-13, 2017 with an opening reception on Thursday, May 4th, from 6-8 pm.

Hrbacek’s new works accentuate carefully analyzed tree forms created with meticulous details and patterns. The artist translates digital color photographs viewed in natural light to disclose hidden intimate human-like figures where undeniable individual gender differences emerge. The unique gestures and personality of each tree image, so reminiscent of humanity, highlight the universal theme of oneness that communicates vulnerability in the face of global ecological strain, while simultaneously expressing their inherent beauty and worth.

Hrbacek has received support from the Carole A. Feuerman Sculpture Foundation, the ESKFF Foundation, and the Helis Foundation. Her drawings are in the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete.

For more information, contact Paris Koh Fine Arts, 548 West 28th Street, Suite 328, New York, NY 10001, 201-724-7077, pariskohfinearts@gmail.com, pkfa.wordpress.com. Gallery Hours: Tues-Fri: 12-6pm, Sat: 12-3pm, Sun & Mon: Closed.

28 March 2017

PAJ Publications announces new titles in Performance Ideas Series

AICA-USA member Bonnie Marranca, Editor and Publisher of PAJ Publications, announces three new titles in its Performance Ideas Series. PAJ Publications extends its long-standing editorial commitment to bringing together the histories of performance in theater and in visual arts. Pocket-size, inexpensive volumes explore performance that crosses boundaries of all live art forms and media.

art is (Speaking Portraits) by George Quasha

"As these spontaneous meditations draw you in, they illuminate the aesthetic in startling ways to show art's connection to society, culture, and the very possibility of being an individual fully present in our moment. An indispensable collection." - Carter Ratcliff, Contributing Editor, Art in America. Seventy artists engaged in art as performance offer their views on what art is in these intimate portraits, accompanied by single-frame images on facing pages. Included: Joan Jonas, Pauline Oliveros, Marina Abramović, Carolee Schneemann, Robert Wilson, Laurie Anderson, Jonah Bokaer, Robert Ashley, Thurston Moore, Gary Hill, Vito Acconci, Archie Shepp, Anthony Braxton, Ann Hamilton, and many more. Features performers, poets, composers, musicians, writers across generations and cultures. George Quasha, artist/poet/musician, is a Guggenheim Fellow whose twenty books include Axial Stones: An Art of Precarious Balance, An Art of Limina, and Glossodelia Attract (preverbs).

Conversations with Meredith Monk by Bonnie Marranca

A richly detailed portrait of the internationally renowned composer, performer, director, and filmmaker, who has helped to shape the new vocabularies of contemporary performance. Monk offers fascinating insights into how she works, the questions she asks herself as an artist, and the deeply held personal views of art practice as spiritual practice. Bonnie Marranca is founding publisher and editor of Publications and PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art. She is the author of Performance Histories, Ecologies of Theatre, and Theatrewritings.

newARTtheatre by Paul David Young

Dialogues with artists focus on the turn by visual artists to the processes and practices associated with theatre, such as the use of actors, dramatic text, and rehearsal techniques. Artists featured: Pablo Helguera, Liz Magic Laser, David Levine, Janet Cardiff, George Bures Miller, Michael Smith, John Jesurun, John Kelly, William Leavitt, Joe Scanlan, Elisabeth Subrin, Gerard Byrne, Alix Pearlstein, Ohad Meromi, Xaviera Simmons. Paul David Young has written for Hyperallergic, Art in America, PAJ, and Bomb.

PAJ has a homepage at MIT Press and is on Facebook. To order, click on the linked titles above or see the entire PAJ Publications catalogue at the Theater Communications Group bookstore.

06 March 2017

Neery Melkonian memorial to take place March 9

A celebration of the life and work of Neery Melkonian will take place at 7:30 PM, March 9, 2017, at the Armenian General Benevolent Union in New York.

Neery Melkonian was a groundbreaking contemporary art curator, critic, writer, and longtime member of AICA-USA. After her sad passing in July 2016, she leaves behind an important legacy of critical discourse and community building among diasporan Middle Eastern and Armenian art and artists.

Neery worked at the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe and at the Bard (College) Center for Curatorial Studies before becoming an independent curator. She stood behind Armenian art and artists throughout her career producing the NK Arts Festival, which supported artists and families of Nagorno-Karabakh, and the Blind Dates Project, which teamed Armenian and Turkish artists in a collaborative exhibition at Pratt Institute. Her endless contributions ranged from producing important symposia of artists and thinkers at Columbia University and the American University of Armenia to curating and writing for the Armenian participation at the Venice Biennale. At the time of her death, she was working on Accented Feminism, a show and catalogue about female Armenian artists, and "art farm", an archive and center for Armenian diasporan art.

To honor her memory, her friends and colleagues will join together to present her work and impact to celebrate and continue her profound vision. The evening will include personal and professional tributes as well as a special screening of AGBU WebTalks which she recorded in the months prior to her passing.

Presenters include Silva Ajemian, Jean Marie Casbarian, Tina Chakarian, Aram Jibilian, Lola Koundakjian and Hrag Vartanian.

RSVP is requested as space is limited. Please contact 212-319-6383 or rsvp@agbu.org.

The Armenian General Benevolent Union is located at 55 East 59th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022-1112.

10 February 2017

The Fluid Edge: Art Criticism in a Divided Era

Detail from Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Talk is Cheap), 1985

The Fluid Edge:
Art Criticism in a Divided Era
A conversation about writing and responsibility

Thursday, February 16, 2017
5:30-7:00 PM
free and open to the public

Location: Alexandre Gallery
4th Floor, 724 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019
https://slought.org/resources/the_fluid_edge

Dear AICA members,

If you'll be in New York for the CAA Conference or are already in the vicinity, please join us for a public program and wine reception on February 16th, 5:30-7:00, at the Alexandre Gallery, a few blocks from the Hilton. Details are below.

All best,

Susan Harris, Judith Stein, AICA co-presidents

# # #

AICA-USA (International Art Critics Association United States), in cooperation with  Slought and with the support of  The Brooklyn Rail and artcritical.com, is pleased to announce "The Fluid Edge: Art Criticism in a Divided Era," the second in a series of conversations about writing and responsibility, on Thursday, February 16, 2017 from 5:30-7:00pm at the Alexandre Gallery, across from Trump Tower. The event will feature Gregory Sholette, Nancy Princenthal, Fran Ilich and Aaron Levy in dialogue, and is free and open to the public.

Ours is a polarized age where institutional structures and social systems are fragile and in flux. In recent years, an array of public programs have explored this new reality, arguing that the figure of the art critic and the role of art criticism is also in a general state of crisis. Among these, AICA's "The Art Critic in a Cold Climate" at Tate Britain and "The Trouble with Criticism" at ICA London (both 2011), the later proposing that this crisis is due in part to the curator having eclipsed the critic as a mediator between artists and publics. More recently, Superscript: Arts Journalism and Criticism in a Digital Age at the Walker Art Center (2015) addressed the current challenges facing cultural criticism and publishing and its reduction to the speed of the internet. 

Resisting the tendency to present art criticism as "in crisis" or "at risk," even in the aftermath of the election, this conversation series instead builds upon remarks by Tom Finkelpearl, commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, at the AICA-USA awards presentations in 2015. Finkelpearl proposed that we re-conceptualize the role of the critic and institution, such that cultural criticism can be understood as a way to build a more inclusive society and give back to communities. Simultaneously writer and organizer, this newly expansive conception positions the critic beyond institutional compliance, towards a closer alignment with a politics of engagement.

Building upon these insights, this conversation proposes a dynamic and fluid set of relationships wherein the art critic is empowered to navigate the political, the digital, and the social. Join us for this conversation and help us negotiate this fluid edge.

"We are perhaps more 'critically predisposed', much bolder and intransigent in our criticism than our ancestors managed to be in their daily lives, but our critique, so to speak, is 'toothless', unable to affect the agenda set for our 'life-political' choices. The unprecedented freedom which our society offers its members has arrived, as Leo Strauss warned a long while ago, together with unprecedented impotence."

-- Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid Modernity (2000)

 

Conversants

Gregory Sholette is a New York-based artist, writer, and activist with Gulf Labor Coalition.  His publications include Delirium & Resistance: Art Activism & the Crisis of Capitalism (May First, Pluto Press, 2007), and Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture (2010). Along with DARKER, his most recent solo exhibition at Station Independent Projects (1/7 - 1/29/2017) his collaborative performance the Precarious Workers Pageant procession premiered in Venice, Italy, 2015. Sholette is a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam, a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program in Critical Theory, Associate the Public Domain program at the Graduate School of Design Harvard University, and an Associate Professor in the Queens College Art Department, CUNY, where he helped establish the new MFA Concentration SPQ (Social Practice Queens).

Nancy Princenthal is a Brooklyn-based writer whose book Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art (Thames and Hudson, 2015) received the 2016 PEN America award for biography. A former Senior Editor of Art in America, she has also contributed to Artforum, Parkett, the Village Voice, and the New York Times. Princenthal is the author of Hannah Wilke (Prestel, 2010), and a co-author of two recent books on women artists. Her essays have appeared in monographs on Shirin Neshat, Doris Salcedo, Robert Mangold and Alfredo Jaar, among many others. She has taught at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; Princeton University; and Yale University, and is currently on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts.

Fran Ilich is a media artist and writer based in New York City. He is the author of several novels and the book-length essay "Otra Narrativa es Posible". He was a fellow at Eyebeam and A Blade of Grass, and created commissions for the New School's Vera List Center for Art and Politics and No Longer Empty. He's a former Editor-at-Large for Sputnik Cultura Digital magazine, a researcher at Centro Multimedia of the National Center of the Arts in Mexico City. He was a Visiting Lecturer at the Literature Department of the University of California San Diego, and has directed seminars on narrative media for the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía in Sevilla. He participated in Berlinale Talent Campus, Transmediale, ARCO, Documenta 12 and 13, EZLN's Festival Mundial de la Digna Rabia among other events. He also has shown at the Walker Art Center, Creative Time's Living as Form, Open Engagement and Bronx Museum.

Aaron Levy is Senior Lecturer in History of Art and English at the University of Pennsylvania, and Executive Director and Senior Curator of Slought. Levy co-organized the US representation at the Venice Biennale for Architecture (2008), and is on the board of AICA-USA.

07 February 2017

Guest Critics in Conversation with AICA-USA Co-President Susan Harris

Portrait of Susan Harris. Pencil on paper by Phong Bui. From a photo by Zack Garlitos.

On Thursday, February 23, 6:30 - 8:30 PM, The Brooklyn Rail will host a conversation with AICA-USA Co-President Susan Harris and David Levi Strauss, author of Words Not Spent Today Buy Smaller Images Tomorrow (Aperture, 2014) and Chair of the graduate program in Art Writing at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

It will take place at The Landing, Industry City, 274 36th Street (Building 2), First Floor, in Brooklyn. Cocktails and light refreshments will be served. This is a private event, RSVP to hq@brooklynrail.org.

Susan Harris, as guest editor for the November 2016 Brooklyn Rail, wrote, "As serious, trained professionals who care deeply about art and artists, and place a high value on the disciplines of art history and art criticism, we regularly reflect on the role of the art writer/critic—what it is today and what it should be in a rapidly changing art world. The number of venues—art journals, publications, and the like—is increasingly small and the demand for penetrating, meaningful art criticism is at an all-time low. The economics, politics, and fashion of art are eclipsing its essential and timeless value as a reflection of the ideas and the soul of our culture. Many of the structures and institutions supporting art have come to regard it in terms of its market rather than aesthetic and intellectual value, with a diminishing concern for criticism, academic or journalistic.

"The AICA-USA board has been engaged in a period of self-examination. We have identified as a priority the reinvigoration of art criticism/writing and the redirection of attention to art and ideas. We are dedicated to highlighting and promoting the good work of our membership and wish to provide venues and platforms for mentoring writers, both young and emerging as well as mid-career and mature ones to encourage future meaningful writing about art."

Read more at the Brooklyn Rail.

06 February 2017

Newsletter from AICA-International

A newsletter devoted to the XLIX AICA Congress in Havana has just been published by AICA-International. Coverage includes the new Vice-Presidents, International Board Members, and Presidents of the national sections, as well as a comprehensive guide to recently published books by AICA members around the world. The link is here:

http://aicainternational.org/en/newsletter2017/

Enjoy, and congratulations to everyone for their accomplishments.

27 December 2016

Tami Katz-Freiman to curate Israeli Pavillion for 2017 Venice Biennale

AICA-USA member Tami Katz-Freiman has been appointed to curate the Israeli Pavilion in the 57th International Art Exhibition (2017), la Biennale di Venezia.

She is working with Gal Weinstein, who was commissioned by the Israel Ministry for Culture and Sport to present Sun Stand Still (2017), a multi-components site-specific installation. This project reflects Weinstein's fascination with the human desire to stop time, potential forms of construction and destruction, and with progress and devastation. Sun Stand Still continues his critical exploration of iconic, mythological, and romantic imagery and symbols from the collective memory of the early Zionist enterprise, which in this case also includes a biblical narrative. The project will examine the blurring of boundaries between organic growth, uncontrollable processes (mold, fire, and smoke), and controlled, civilized practices (agriculture and technology). Each of the five site-specific installations in the pavilion will build upon bodies of work created by the artist over the last decade, so that the entire ensemble will seem to be integrated into a single installation.

Tami Katz-Freiman is an art historian, curator and critic, based in Miami, Florida, where she works as an independent curator of contemporary art.

19 December 2016

Jean Fisher, 1942-2016

by Omar Kholeif

I build my language with rocks
-Édouard Glissant, L’Intention Poétique (1997)

It was Jean Fisher that encouraged me to write. It was Jean Fisher that introduced me to Glissant and who liberated me from the sense of confusion that I had growing up – the shame of being a non-located person, neither Egyptian (where I was born), nor a Westerner (where I lived in exile). Being queer was not being doubly exiled, she believed, but a release into a community. She taught me that creolization was a way to unshackle our thinking, that every stumbling block was also a building block. She explained to me that withdrawing into an imaginary, dimensionless place was a kind of liberation. She encouraged me to think of ourselves as rhizomatic, to believe that we could create our own routes to the people and places that we wanted to love and live with.

Jean Fisher was of course referencing Glissant and Deleuze and Guattari, yet her interest was never in stereotypical subjects. She was obsessed with trickster travellers, something that led to her deep friendship with, and love of, the artist Jimmie Durham. It also informed her affection for other political tricksters such as Francis Alÿs and Emily Jacir, whose work untangles the inherent political structures in their immediate geographies.

This deep-seated interest in art’s relationship to the political in an age of globalization was also manifest in a lifelong practice that was as much activism as it was a form of pedagogical practice – manifest in teaching, her beautiful writing in numerous books,  and in her work as an editor of the post-colonial journal Third Text. Her writings on Ireland led to deep relationships with, and profound literature about, the artists James Coleman and Willie Doherty.

Always conscientious of the polemics of where she located her discourse, Jean constantly questioned the authority of the power structures from which she spoke. In her introduction to Global Visions: Towards a New Internationalism in the Visual Arts, Jean queried the codification of information in an era of accelerating social and political change, critiquing the commodification of previously marginalized narratives, which were becoming subsumed into the newly capitalized art world. She evaluated the concept of multiculturalism and the potent tendency that had emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s of marginalized cultures becoming tokentistically included into the art world narrative. This is of course something that has become all the more relevant today.

Consistently, she begged for the revision of positions. It was this quest for revision that propelled me to study art. I fondly remember sitting on the floor of her office while I would pull dusty books from her library. We talked about Benjamin, about repositories of white and black knowledge, about dust, about auras, about Fanon and duality, about Du Bois and WJT Mitchell, about the construction of race. We cried over the failings of theory to change the world. We cried every time Beirut or Gaza was bombed. We cried. But never was she helpless. She would write emails and letters, and start petitions. Jean Fisher embodied a style of radical will that extended beyond the limits of her physical health, which plagued much of her later life.

Fisher once told me, invoking one of her favorite troubadours, Michel Serres, I do not seek, I find – and only write if I find! Excavate and extrapolate, Fisher always did. She loved Jean Genet and Mahmoud Darwish – after all, she was a prisoner of love, someone who was bound to save all of us from the limits of our own troubled imaginations.

I met Fisher as a student. She took me under her wing immediately. I was lost; I was about to drop out of college because my conservative family had wanted me to study in the field of the sciences. Jean refused to let this happen. She would email me almost every day, asking to read my writings. As she did, I read all of her words, which penetrated the corners of my mind, informing me that art need not simply be a language for the bourgeoisie.

Indeed, in her 2002 essay, "Towards a Metaphysics of Shit," written for Documenta 11, Jean asked: "Can art function as an effective mediator of change or resistance to hegemonic power, or is it doomed to be a decorative and irrelevant footnote to forces more powerful than its capacity to confront?"

This question plagued and propelled me. Over time, she became one of my closest friends. She was my Auntie Jean, and I her nephew, but in reality, she was the mother figure who had always been absent.

Near the end of her life, she informed me that she would like to pack up and move to Hastings to live by the sea, so that she may think and read, free of the burdens of the city. When our friend, the Palestinian artist and writer Kamal Boulata, last visited London, she joked that they would be running away to the Southeast Coast with his wife Lily Farhoud. A life by the sea, I wondered, could only be a metaphor for the cherished writings of Darwish, who would speak of "impatiently waiting for the sea" to return home to his native Palestine, or perhaps of the great poet and painter Etel Adnan who, in her collected writings, informed us that "To look at the sea is to become what one is."

Jean Fisher was a figure who touched us all. She left this world too soon, but in her words and teaching we must find strength to fight and to allow those less fortunate than us the voice and agency to be heard and seen.

Dr. Omar Kholeif is a writer and the Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Jean Fisher's website is jeanfisher.com.

01 December 2016

Announcing the 2016 Art Writing Workshop recipients

AICA-USA is pleased to announce the recipients and mentors for the 2016/2017 Art Writing Workshop, a partnership between AICA/USA and The Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program.The Art Writing Workshop gives practicing writers the opportunity to strengthen their work through one-on-one email and phone consultations with leading art critics. Every year, each of ten senior art critics makes a personal choice from the finalists among scores of applicants. Together, writer and mentor set goals, initiate an in-depth dialogue, and establish a practice through which to address such issues as prose style, organizational structure, and argument. The workshop’s goal is to aid writers who are intent on honing their skills and developing a compelling prose that can describe and question, render complex ideas clearly, and situate art works within their broader contexts.


2016/2017 Writing Workshop Recipients

Margot Bouman (Mentor Carol Diehl)
Claire Breukel (Mentor Edward J. Sullivan)
Sarah Hamill (Mentor Peter Plagens)
Colony Little (Mentor Holland Cotter)
Melissa Mednicov (Mentor Nancy Princenthal)
Zlatan Pobric (Mentor Judith E. Stein)
Sheila Regan (Mentor Rachel Corbett)
Seph Rodney (Mentor Robin Cembalest)
Kristine Ronan (Mentor Stephanie Barron)
Iona Whittaker (Mentor Lilly Wei)


2016/2017 Art Writing Workshop Mentors

Stephanie Barron is Senior Curator and Modern Art Department Head at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Among her groundbreaking exhibitions are Exiles + Émigrés: The Flight of European Artists from Hitler, Made in California 1900-2000, and retrospectives of such artists as artists David Hockney, Ken Price, Maria Nordman, and Sharon Lockhart. Her exhibitions have five times been voted best in the U.S. by AICA/USA and three times by the Art Museum Curators Association. She has twice received the College Art Association’s distinguished award for best museum catalogue.


Robin Cembalest is a journalist and consultant who advises art-world clients on editorial and digital strategy. Previously she was Executive Editor of ARTnews, where she launched the magazine’s web content and social-media feeds. A prolific Instagrammer, she also directs the Niboristas, a mentoring and networking group for young professionals in the art world.


Rachel Corbett is executive editor of Modern Painters and the author of You Must Change Your Life: The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin (September 2016, W.W. Norton). Her writing has also appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, The Art NewspaperNew York Magazine, and others. She lives in Brooklyn.

Holland Cotter is a chief art critic for the New York Times, and winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism and the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award for Art Writing from the College Art Association. He was contributing editor at New York Arts Journal and Art in America. He is a poet, studied Sanskrit, taught South Asian and Islamic art, and writes frequently on the art of disparate histories, and cultures. The California College of Art and the Maryland Institute College of Art have awarded him honorary doctorates.


Carol Diehl is a contributing editor for Art in America and has written for ARTnews, New York, Art & Auction, Art & Antiques, Metropolis, and the New Art Examiner (founding Managing Editor). In 2011 she received a The Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation/Arts Writers Grant for her blog, Art Vent. A former slam poet, Diehl’s work is included in the 1994 National Book Award anthology, Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. She currently teaches a core seminar at SUNY/Albany and is writing a book about Banksy.

Peter Plagens is a painter whose work was the subject of a 2004 traveling retrospective. He was art critic for Newsweek (1989-2003) and currently writes for The Wall Street Journal. Plagens, who has received numerous fellowships, is the author of two books of art criticism, a print novel, an online novel, and the 2014 monograph, Bruce Nauman: The True Artist. He is married to the painter Laurie Fendrich, and their two-person exhibition opens at Sonoma State University in California in February, 2017.

Nancy Princenthal is a former senior writer for Art in America whose book Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art (Thames and Hudson, 2015) received the 2016 PEN America award for biography. She has also contributed to Artforum, Parkett, the Village Voice, and the New York Times. She is the author of Hannah Wilke (Prestel, 2010), a co-author of two recent books on women artists and contributed essays to monographs on Shirin Neshat, Doris Salcedo, Robert Mangold and Alfredo Jaar. She is currently on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts.


Judith E. Stein is author of  Eye of the Sixties, Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art (Farrar, Straus, 2016). For the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts she curated the award-winning I Tell My Heart, The Art of Horace Pippin, which traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A former arts reviewer for NPR’s Fresh Air and Morning Edition, she has written for such publications as Art in America and The New York Times Book Review. She is the recipient of awards from the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and The Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program.


Edward J. Sullivan is the Helen Gould Sheppard Professor of the History of Art at the Institute of Fine Arts & the Department of Art History at New York University He is an independent curator and the author of some thirty books and exhibition catalogues on subjects related to the arts of the Iberian Peninsula, the Caribbean and South America. He has written numerous articles and reviews for journals ranging from Art in America to Art Nexus and has organized exhibitions in museums in Latin America, Europe and the U.S.

Lilly Wei writes frequently on international exhibitions and biennials. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications world-wide and she is a longtime contributor to Art in America and a contributing editor at ARTnews. The author of numerous catalogues and monographs, she has curated exhibitions in the United States, Europe and Asia. Wei lectures frequently and sits on the boards of several not-for-profit art institutions and organizations. She was born in Chengdu, China. 

Art Writing Workshop Program Director Amei Wallach is an art critic and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in the New York TimesArt in AmericaARTnews, the Nation, and Smithsonian. She was on-air arts essayist for the PBS Newshour and chief art critic for Newsday. Her films include Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress and The Tangerine (co-directed with Marion Cajori) and Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Enter Here. She is in production on Americans In Venice, about an explosive moment in the art of the 1960s. She was guest editor for the Brooklyn Rail, has contributed to a dozen books, served two terms as president of AICA/USA, and sits on the board of CEC ArtsLink, fostering international artistic dialogue.

For more information, see the Arts Writers Grant Program.

10 November 2016

Negar Azimi to deliver tenth annual AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lecture

Negar Azimi. Photo: Oliver Chanarin

Negar Azimi delivers the tenth annual AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lecture, presented in a partnership between AICA-USA and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School. It will take place on Monday, November 28, 6:30 to 8:00 PM, in the auditorium at 66 West 12th Street in New York City.

Entitled "Nice One: The Wages of Tokenism," the talk by Bidoun editor Azimi walks through several vignettes hovering in and around the vexed question of token gestures: How do critics make sense of cultural difference? How to grapple with variance in language, experience, form, and format? What role does taste play? What of political histories hovering in the background? Finally, Azimi asks about the cost of arts criticism that "makes nice."

Negar Azimi is a writer and Senior Editor of Bidoun, an award-winning publishing and curatorial initiative with a focus on the Middle East and its diasporas. She is a member of the team of advisors helping curators Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks shape the 2017 Whitney Biennial. She studied International Relations and Biology at Stanford, Politics at Harvard, and Anthropology at Columbia.

Azimi's writing has appeared in Artforum, Frieze, Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, and The Wall Street Journal Magazine among other publications. Azimi was a 2014-2015 Fellow at the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers and is a past winner of the Andy Warhol Foundation's Arts Writers Grant. She sits on the boards of Artists Space in New York and Orhan Pamuk's Museum of Innocence in Istanbul. As a member of the Beirut-based Arab Image Foundation, she is at work on a long-term exhibition project around the late Armenian-Egyptian photographer Van Leo. She is also writing a book about Iran in the 1960s and 70s.

Negar Azimi is delivering the tenth AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lecture at The New School. Previous lecturers have been Michael Brenson, Linda Nochlin, Roberta Smith, Holland Cotter, Peter Schjeldahl, Michelle Kuo, Lucy Lippard, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, and Naomi Beckwith.

The AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lecture at The New School is an annual celebration of an exemplary writer whose lecture addresses seminal issues in contemporary art criticism. The lecture is organized by the U.S. chapter of the International Association of Art Critics in partnership with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. The collaboration fuses AICA-USA's dedication to art criticism as a rigorous discipline with the Vera List Center's commitment to discourse around the significance of art in responding to some of the most pressing social and political issues of our time. The organizations' robust partnership is amplified through the Vera List New School Art Collection Writing Awards, an educational program that supports the creative and critical thinking of New School students, inviting them to write about any of the 2,000 works in the University's art collection with the editorial oversight of a member of the AICA community.

Sponsored by AICA-USA and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.

27 September 2016

Professor positions open at MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology

MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology

Tenure-track Assistant or Associate Professor

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Department of Architecture

Description: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is seeking an individual with an emerging international reputation to join the faculty of its Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT). We seek a colleague who is a practicing artist, designer, curator or creative producer, who has significant experience, knowledge, and accomplishments in the areas of Media, New Visual Practice, and/or Media Performance, who is an artist with strong skills and experience in teaching at the college, university, or art school academic level, and who will be inspired by the broad range of cultural, scientific, and technological disciplines at MIT. This appointment will be a tenure-track position as Assistant or Associate Professor. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is committed to building a culturally diverse educational environment; women, members of the LGBTQ community, and underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Our highly diverse student population includes undergraduates in disciplines ranging from synthetic biology to architecture and creative writing, as well as a thriving graduate program geared to practicing interdisciplinary artists. We are looking for applicants whose artistic practice reflects our interdisciplinary focus – potentially bridging art, science, and technology, or intersecting with emerging directions and methodologies in the sciences (including social and human sciences), or interrogating new technologies (including communication technologies), design, media research, and/or engineering. Demonstrated achievement in the fields of Media, New Visual Practice, and/or Media Performance (which we take to include digital, database, Internet art, responsive/interactive media, performance, or other emerging techno-aesthetic practices) will be a plus. Candidates should be highly articulate in the field of audio/visual culture and other relevant fields and disciplines. Preference will be given to candidates whose projects and intellectual approach engage with visual or auditory media in order to address contemporary social, cultural, and ethical issues in analytical, critical, and/or transformative ways.

ACT is an academic program and hub of critical art practice within the Department of Architecture in MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P). The SA+P also includes the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, the Media Lab, and the Program in Media Arts and Sciences. Headed by distinguished artist-professors, ACT faculty collaborate with colleagues across the Institute and around the world, supported by a dynamic staff, and engaging with ambitious graduate and undergraduate students, visiting artist-lecturers, affiliates, and guests. Through an integrated approach to pedagogy, public event programming, and publication, ACT builds a community of artist-thinkers around the exploration of art’s complex conjunctions with culture and technology. Unlike a traditional art school, a major research university whose cutting-edge research informs and challenges the urgency of our aesthetics and modes of inquiry surrounds the ACT program. The program’s mission is to promote leadership in critical artistic practice, developing art as a vital means of experimenting with new registers of knowledge and new modes of expression; and to question continually what an artistic research and learning environment can be and do.

MIT is committed to building a culturally diverse educational environment; women, members of the LGBTQ community, and underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. EEO

Qualifications: It is anticipated that successful candidates will have an advanced degree in the visual arts, or its equivalent. The successful candidate will be an active artist, designer, curator, or creative producer who understands the political and social relevance of art in a global context and is able to foster artistic production through a variety of media. Capable of leadership in team learning and production contexts, candidates should be able to position their work in relation to art, culture and technology and give evidence of expanding boundaries in their practice. This individual will teach introductory courses in contemporary art and should be prepared to teach in one or more of the program’s first-year foundation courses. In addition, the ideal candidate will be expected to work closely and collegially with other faculty members to develop the activities, educational structure, and methodologies of the program, including the expansion of the Master’s degree program and the development of a trans-disciplinary Bachelor’s degree. The candidate should be open to building bridges to other disciplines, such as (for example) the MIT Sloan School of Management, or the Schools of Science; Engineering; or Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS). It is expected that candidates will be knowledgeable and articulate in historical and contemporary issues of art, visual culture, architecture and related fields, able to coach students on all levels with highly interdisciplinary interests.

In summary, the minimum qualifications for this position are as follows:

  • Master of Fine Arts degree or equivalent

  • Emerging international recognition as a practicing artist, designer, curator or creative producer

  • Experience teaching at the college, university, or art school level

  • Skills, knowledge, and accomplishments in technocultural, technoaesthetic, and/or performative art practices and a strong interest in transdisciplinary collaboration

  • Track record of exhibiting and/or publishing in conventional and non-traditional forums

  • Knowledge of contemporary art practice, art history, art and media theory

Applications should be submitted via Interfolio, at apply.interfolio.com/37146.

Submissions will not be returned to applicant. Email submissions will not be accepted. Included with materials should be:

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • Cover letter discussing how the applicant envisions past and future practices relative to ACT’s mission and institutional context

  • Statement of pedagogical approach and teaching philosophy, summarizing past teaching experience

  • Well-organized selection of artistic work in an easily accessible format (for example: cross-platform website, Adobe pdf, vimeo)

  • Names and contact information for at least four references

  • Other supporting material such as a selection of applicant’s writing (writings, interviews, statements) and critical reviews of applicant’s work by others

The appointment will begin September 2017. There is a suggested application deadline of October 15, 2016 but review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

 

MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology

Tenured Associate or Full Professor, rank commensurate with candidate’s qualifications

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Department of Architecture

 

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is seeking an individual of international standing to join the faculty of its Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT). We seek a colleague who is a practicing artist, designer, curator, or creative producer, who has demonstrated capacity for team building and visionary leadership, who is internationally recognized with strong experience teaching at the college, university, or art school level, who has clear administrative experience (ideally within the context of an institute of higher education), and has the capacity to build bridges between institutions and communities. Successful candidates will be able to articulate how their work participates in the art world, and how it might engage with MIT’s science and technology focus. This appointment will be as a tenured Associate or Full Professor, rank commensurate with candidate’s qualifications. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is committed to building a culturally diverse educational environment; women, members of the LGBTQ community, and underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

 

The successful candidate will have an established practice and internationally-recognized accomplishments in the visual arts, with potential expertise in new media, including digital, database, Internet art, responsive/interactive media, performance, sound or other emerging techno-aesthetic art forms, particularly those that might bridge art, science, and technology or intersect with emerging directions and methodologies in the design, media, and/or engineering. We are particularly interested in candidates with significant administrative abilities who could be inspirational and visionary contributors to ACT’s future, and whose projects and intellectual approaches address contemporary social, cultural, and ethical issues in analytical, critical, and/or transformational ways.

ACT is an academic program and hub of critical art practice within the Department of Architecture in MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P). The SA+P also includes the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, the Media Lab, and the Program in Media Arts and Sciences. Headed by distinguished artist-professors, ACT faculty collaborate with colleagues across the Institute and around the world, supported by a dynamic staff, and engaging with ambitious graduate and undergraduate students, visiting artist-lecturers, affiliates, and guests. Through an integrated approach to pedagogy, public event programming, and publication, ACT builds a community of artist-thinkers around the exploration of art’s complex conjunctions with culture and technology. Unlike a traditional art school, the ACT program is surrounded by a major research university whose cutting-edge research informs and challenges the urgency of our aesthetics and modes of inquiry of inquiry. The program’s mission is to promote leadership in critical artistic practice, developing art as a vital means of experimenting with new registers of knowledge and new modes of expression; and to question continually what an artistic research and learning environment can be and do.

MIT is committed to building a culturally diverse educational environment; women, members of the LGBTQ community, and underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. EEO

Qualifications: The successful candidate will have an advanced degree in design or the visual arts (or fields related to these key forms of cultural production), and be an active and internationally-known artist, designer, curator, or creative producer who is engaged in art, understands its political and social relevance in a global context, and is able to foster artistic production through a variety of media. Candidates should be able to position their work in relation to art, culture and technology and give evidence of expanding boundaries in their practice while achieving an impact in the public realm. This individual will teach introductory and advanced courses in contemporary art, critical theory, and/or experimental media in art production and should be prepared to engage with the design and teaching of the program’s foundation courses as well as tightly focused graduate studios. In addition, the ideal candidate will have significant administrative capabilities that will contribute to further developing the activities, educational structures, and methodologies of the Program in Art, Culture and Technology, including the expansion of the Master’s degree program and the development of a trans-disciplinary Bachelor’s degree. The candidate should be inspirational, inclusive, collegial, professional, and interested in building bridges to other research groups at MIT (for example, the Sloan School of Management, or the Schools of Science; Engineering; or Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences). The candidate will be expected to be knowledgeable and articulate in historical and contemporary issues of art, design, visual culture, architecture and related fields. He or she must be committed to being an active presence at ACT and to working constructively with all facets of the program, with the ability to coach all levels of students who have highly interdisciplinary interests.

In summary, the minimum qualifications for this position are as follows:

  • PhD, MFA, or equivalent;

  • International recognition for a critical practice as an artist, designer, curator, or creative producer;

  • Significant administrative and teaching experience at the college, university or art school level;

  • Extensive knowledge of historical and contemporary issues of art, visual culture, architecture, design, and related fields;

  • Significant track record of exhibiting and/or publishing in both conventional and non-traditional forums;

  • Proven track record of successful collaborative and interdisciplinary projects

  • Experience developing new curriculum or growing academic programs.

Applications should be submitted via Interfolio, at apply.interfolio.com/37349.

Submissions will not be returned to applicant. Email submissions will not be accepted. Included with materials should be:

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • Cover letter discussing how the applicant envisions engaging ACT’s mission and institutional context

  • Statement of pedagogical approach and teaching philosophy with summary of experience

  • Well-organized selection of artistic work, presented in an easily accessible format (for example: cross-platform website, Adobe pdf, vimeo)

  • Names and contact information for at least four references

  • Other supporting material is appreciated such as a selection of applicant’s writing (writings, interviews, statements) and critical reviews of applicant’s work by others

It is hoped that the appointment can begin September 2017. There is a suggested application deadline of October 15, 2016, but review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

13 September 2016

Unfinished Memories: 30 Years of Exit Art launch event at NYU

On September 15, 2016, 5-8 PM, Bobst Library at New York University will celebrate the release of Unfinished Memories: 30 Years of Exit Art, edited by AICA-USA president Susan Harris.

Publisher Steidl Books:

Unfinished Memories: 30 Years of Exit Art is an intimate portrait of an institution that from 1982 to 2012 challenged social, political, aesthetic and curatorial norms. Committed to experimenting at the intersection of disciplines, publications and design, the gallery Exit Art remained steadfast in its mission to provide new possibilities and opportunities for artists, curators and viewers through its expansive historical shows, exhibitions of emerging and under-recognized artists, experimental theatre and performance works, as well as national and international film and video programs.

Conceived by Exit Art’s founders, Jeanette Ingberman and Papo Colo, this volume is a resource on more than 200 exhibitions, events, festivals and programs featuring more than 2,500 artists, presented within the larger context of the art world. More than seventy eyewitness accounts and idiosyncratic recollections from artists, curators, critics and friends create a vivid sense of the exhibitions, performances, screenings, discussions, ideas and people that were part of Exit Art during its three-decade run.

For more information and to RSVP, follow this link.

12 September 2016

Eye of the Sixties event at New York Public Library, Wednesday, September 14

On Wednesday, September 14, 6-8 PM, the New York Public Library will host an event for AICA-USA board member Judith Stein.

In celebration of the publication of Judith E. Stein’s Eye of the Sixties, Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art, the first-ever biography of one of the twentieth century’s most influential and enigmatic art dealers, and of Miles Bellamy’s Serious Bidness, a selection of his dad’s hitherto unpublished letters, artists Mark di Suvero, Alfred Leslie,  Richard Nonas and Rosalyn Drexler join the authors in a conversation about the legacy of Dick Bellamy.

Born to an American father and a Chinese mother, Dick Bellamy (1927-1998) was a poetry-loving beatnik when he arrived in New York in 1950. With the covert support of America’s first celebrity art collectors, Robert and Ethel Scull, he gained his footing just as pop art, minimalism, and conceptual art were taking hold and the art market mushroomed around him. At the fabled Green Gallery (1960-65) on Fifty-Seventh Street, Bellamy launched the careers of Mark di Suvero, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, George Segal, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Lucas Samaras, Robert Morris and Larry Poons among others. A man uninterested in profiting from the sale of art, Bellamy was the first to show Andy Warhol’s pop art, and was a pioneer of “off-site” exhibitions and the new genre of installation art. Based on decades of research and on hundreds of interviews with Bellamy’s artists, friends, colleagues, and lovers, Judith E. Stein’s Eye of the Sixties recovers the lost history of the elusive art dealer.

The event is free but registration is recommended. See the NYPL listing for more information.

12 September 2016

Memorial Reading for Bill Berkson, Wednesday, September 14

Bill Berkson.

Please join The Poetry Project in remembering and honoring the life of poet, art critic, and beloved Poetry Project member Bill Berkson, with Andrew Arnot, Moses Berkson, Alan Bernheimer, Anselm Berrigan, Thomas Devaney, Jarrett Earnest, Larry Fagin, Alex Katz, Vincent Katz, David McKee, Ron Padgett, Robert Storr, Kate Sutton, Anne Waldman, and Lewis Warsh. Bill Berkson moved through life with compassion, grace, and humor. His generous spirit nourished and inspired those around him.

This event will take place at St. Mark's Church-In-The-Bowery, at 131 East 10th Street in New York City. A reception in Parish Hall will start at 7 PM, followed by a reading in the Sanctuary at 8 PM.

AICA-USA remembers Berkson as a friend of the organization and a mentor to many young critics. Please read Judith Stein's tribute.

18 August 2016

Call for candidates, AICA International Congress 2016

During AICA International's upcoming General Assembly, which will take place on Wednesday, 12 October 2016 at the Museo de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba, we will hold elections for the following positions.

Three Vice-Presidents

Three out of the nine posts of Vice-President, with a three-year term, are up for renewal on the usual, annual basis (Article XIII of the Statutes and Article XI of the Regulations). All paid-up Members are eligible to apply to be elected to one of these posts but may only be re-elected after a period of one year has elapsed since s/he last held the post.

The deadline for the receipt of candidates’ applications in the Paris Bureau is Saturday, 17 September 2016. Please send your application to aica.office@gmail.com with a copy to the chair of the Electoral and Membership commission, Marja-Tertuu Kivirinta, at mtkivirinta@mac.com, and to Secretary-General Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton, at mallthorpeguyton@hotmail.com. The candidates should be officially announced at the General Assembly.

Ten International Members

As usual, ten International Members will also be elected to serve on the Administrative Council for a period of one year (Article XIV of the Statutes and Article XI of the Regulations). The International Members are elected annually and may only be re-elected up to three more times, with or without breaks in between. All paid-up Members are eligible to apply to be elected to one of these posts. Candidates as International Member are recommended to announce their candidacy to the President of AICA not later than one month before the General Assembly – Saturday, 17 September 2016 – with a statement outlining their programme and potential availability. The candidates should be officially announced at the General Assembly.

Please send your application to the AICA International office, at aica.office@gmail.com, with a copy to the chair of the Electoral and Membership commission and the Secretary-General, as above.

15 August 2016

Dedalus Foundation announces Senior Fellowship Program

The Dedalus Foundation invites applications to its program of grants in support of art historians, critics, and curators pursuing projects related to painting, sculpture and allied arts from 1940-1970, with a preference shown to Abstract Expressionism. Under this program, fellowships are awarded to writers and scholars who have demonstrated their abilities through previous accomplishments and who are not currently matriculated for academic degrees.

Applicants must be citizens of the United States. Fellowship stipends vary according to the needs of the specific project, with a maximum of $30,000. Applicants need not be affiliated with educational institutions or museums.

Completed applications and supporting letters must be submitted electronically by September 15, 2016.  Announcement of the award will be made by mid-December.

Application guidelines are available at the Dedalus Foundation.

26 July 2016

Barbara Rose reviews Judith Stein’s “Eye of the Sixties” in the New York Times

"I found myself in a footnote as one of 'two college girls who moved in to the apartment above the Hansa Gallery,'" writes Barbara Rose for the New York Times about Eye of the Sixties: Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art by AICA-USA board member Judith E. Stein. "That obscure fact was right, and so was every other detail in the biography of this blithe spirit content to disappear into the shadows while shining a light on the leading experimental artists of his generation."

Eye of the Sixties was published this month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kirkus Reviews calls it "an endearing and illuminating work of biography" and Publishers Weekly praises its "striking level of detail."

06 July 2016

International awards from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, deadline Aug. 1

The Fulbright Scholar Program offers teaching, research or combination teaching and research awards in over 125 countries for the 2017-2018 academic year. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty, administrators as well as for professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and many others.

This year, the Fulbright Scholar Program is offering over 65 awards in the field of Art, including all specializations: Architecture, Art History, Dance, Drama/Theater, Film Studies, Music, as well as the Visual and Performing Arts. Opportunities include:

For additional awards in the field of Art, please visit the discipline highlights webpage. There you will find award highlights and examples of successful projects in the arts, as well as scholar testimonials which highlight the outcomes and benefits associated with completing a Fulbright Scholar grant.

Eligibility factors, detailed application guidelines, and review criteria are available here. You may also wish to register for a webinar or join My Fulbright, a resource for applicants interested in receiving program updates and application tips.  Applicants must be U.S. citizens and the current competition will close on August 1, 2016.

Please contact Beth Anderson at BAnderson@iie.org or any regional program staff for more information or questions about applying.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world.

20 June 2016

In Memoriam, Bill Berkson

Bill Berkson.

With great sadness, AICA-USA announces the death of our colleague and friend, the poet and critic Bill Berkson, who died of a heart attack in San Francisco on June 16, 2016.  He was 76. As a mentor for the AICA-USA Art Writing Workshop, a partnership with The Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program, he gave encouragement and support to many young critics. “My biggest takeaways from Bill,” said Danica Sachs, a 2015-16 mentee, were to “have fun with language and make interesting sentences that are a delight to read; and to stand up for myself during the editorial process. I think he had a tremendous impact on my approach, and I know I'll think about him every time I sit down to write.”

A brilliant writer and great fun to be with, Bill published “Saturday Night: Poems 1960-61” in 1961, the first of his more than 20 collections of poetry. He was associated with the New York School of poets and artists, and collaborated with Frank O’Hara, Ron Padgett, Anne Waldman, Bernadette Mayer and Philip Guston, among others. O’Hara’s biographer Brad Gooch described what Bill was like in 1959: “Berkson was twenty years old and strikingly handsome in a Kennedy way that made him seem even more handsome in the early sixties.  The son of Seymour Berkson, a famous Hearst newspaperman and publisher of the Journal-American, who had recently died, and Eleanor Lambert, a fashion publicist whose provenance was Manhattan’s uptown cafe society, Berkson communicated an unusual mixture of patrician reserve, bohemian curiosity, intelligence, politeness, and brash rudeness.”

He took delight in shocking people with outrageous and unpredictable behavior. When asked to give an example by an interviewer for the Brooklyn Rail, Bill revealed: “When I first met John Ashbery in Paris we were sitting at a table, maybe Café de Flore, just Frank [O’Hara], John, and me, and John sort of leaned in and said, “What really is going on with you two?” And in my best Greta Garbo imitation, I said, “I am a woman in love!” That is something I could do. Actually, I can still do it, because I still think, why not! I like to put all those divisions into question, because most of them are stupid divisions.”

A regular contributor to Artforum and Art in America, Bill was professor emeritus at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he taught art history, critical writing and poetry from 1984 to 2008. His critical writings were collected in “The Sweet Singer of Modernism and Other Art Writings 1985-2003” and “Sudden Address: Selected Lectures 1981-2006.” One of his last essays appeared on June 6th, in which he wrote about “The Phenomenology of Everyday Life, the unbranded brand of impromptu activity, proto-YouTube, beginning around 1960, of documenting anything and everything, the less obviously consequential the better. . .”

Bill is survived by his wife, curator Constance Lewallen; son Moses Berkson and daughter Siobhan O’Hare Mora Lopez, from his first marriage, to Lynn O’Hare Berkson; stepchildren Jonathan Lewallen and Nina Lewallen Hufford; and six grandchildren. Memorial services will be held in San Francisco and New York.

- Judith Stein

Bill Berkson and Philip Guston at Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, January 1979. Courtesy of Bill Berkson.

15 June 2016

Announcing the 2016 AICA Incentive Award For Young Critics

The AICA Incentive Award For Young Critics recognizes emerging voices in art criticism around the world. This year the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) invites art critics to submit an article or a review on any subject (an exhibition, a biennal, a profile of an artist, etc.), which deals with contemporary art produced in South America, Central America and the Caribbean.

AICA’s Awards Commission, with the support of the Cuba Section of AICA and AICA’s Fellowship Fund Commission, is launching the fifth year of the contest. Previous winners include Franck Hermann Ekra (Ivory Coast), Alessandra Simões Paiva (Brazil), Sebastian Baden (Germany) and Lee Sun Young (South Korea).

If the winner is from Cuba, the award will be a stipend of 500 euros. Otherwise, the prize will consist of a round trip to the Cuban capital, Havana, to attend the forthcoming AICA Congress, scheduled to take place between October 11th and October 15th, 2016.

AICA’s Congress in Cuba will include a one-day symposium on the topic of "New Utopias: Art, Memory and Context," hosted by the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, with the participation of leading international art critics and art historians. In addition, the program of the Congress will include panel discussions and visits to art studios, galleries, museums, and art schools. Other venues of the Congress will include Centro Wifredo Lam and Casa de las Américas.


Criteria:

  • Critics must be 35 years old (at the deadline’s date) or younger.
  • The submitted texts should be previously published (in magazines, blogs, websites, books, journals, etc.), but not earlier than the last two years and not later than May 15th 2016.
  • Submissions must be in English or Spanish.
  • The length of the submitted texts should be not less than 2000 words and no more than 5000.
  • Submissions must be sent in doc or docx format.

All submissions must be accompanied by a return e-mail address and a short biographical profile (not longer than 150 words). The deadline for all submissions is July 29th (6 p.m. Paris time), sent to the AICA International Office at aica.office@gmail.com with the subject line “AICA Incentive Award for Young Critics.”

The decision of the international jury, composed of art critics who are members of AICA, will be announced on September 1st 2016. The Award will be presented during the closing ceremony of the Congress on October 15.

For full program of the XLIX AICA Congress in Havana Cuba visit AICA’s website.

- Adriana Almada, Chair of the Awards Commission, AICA

24 May 2016

New Book: New York Studio Conversations by Stephanie Buhmann

New York Studio Conversations: Seventeen Women Talk About Art, recently published by The Green Box, presents a series of sixteen interviews with female artists conducted by art historian and AICA member Stephanie Buhmann. Looking for an approach beyond the mainstream media coverage of the art market, Buhmann visited the artists in their studios and gained insights in this intimate space of artistic practices. All based in New York, the artists represent a wide range of different styles and media.

New York Studio Conversations uncovers their artistic practices and creative approaches as well as philosophy, sources of inspiration, and personal stories. Artists presented in this book include Lisa Ruyter, Kiki Smith, Joyce Kozloff, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Kate Shepherd, Tara Geer, Hermine Ford, Polly Apfelbaum, Kathy Butterly, Kathleen Kucka, Leslie Wayne, Jennifer Riley, Melissa Meyer, Jacqueline Gourevitch, Luisa Rabbia, and Michelle Jaffé.

Book info: 216 pages, 32 illustrations, soft cover, thread bound, published in 2016 by The Green Box, Berlin, ISBN 978-3-941644-83-0, €18.00.

22 May 2016

AICA International Announces 49th Congress in Havana

Update 8/3: From Marek Bartelik, President of AICA-International: "As you most likely know, traveling to Cuba is still only possible through specialized travel agencies. We did some research on what is available and found the American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba offering the most reliable and least expensive travel package. Contact the AFLFC for more information at 212-687-2146 or 212-628-3494, and register here. A preliminary program has been posted on our website.  We will have great speakers this year, several from the United States."

Update 7/20: The preliminary program for the XLIXth Congress in Cuba has been posted on the AICA-International website in 3 languages.

Update 7/6: A comprehensive page of links relating to the Congress is now available at the AICA-International site. Note especially the online registration form and the information concerning hotels with newly renegotiated rates. Pre-registration and early hotel booking are highly recommended. AICA looks forward to welcoming you in Havana!

Update 6/15: AICA Cuba has arranged special accommodation rates with Paradiso, a travel agency in Cuba, partially subsidized by the Centro Nacional de las Artes Plásticas. The hotels list and room rates are now available. Eleven hotels in Havana are offering a package for four nights during the Congress, with reduced rates afterwards. For reservations and more information, please contact the travel agency at eventos1@paradis.artex.cu.

For Immediate Release - PDF Version


XLIXth Congress of AICA, Havana, Cuba, October 11-15, 2016

New Utopias: Art, Memory And Context

We are pleased to inform you that the XLIXth Congress of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) will take place in Havana, Cuba, between October 11-15, 2016. A post-Congress tour outside the Cuban capital will follow, October 16-17.

The Congress, organized by AICA International together with AICA Cuba, is the first in the history of AICA (established in 1950) to be held in Cuba. The Cuban section of AICA was created in the 1986 and reconstituted in 2014.

Congress's main venues will include the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, and the Casa de los Américas, all located in Havana. The opening ceremony will take place at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Arteson the evening of October 11, 2016.

On Thursday October 13, a one-day symposium on the theme “New Utopias: Art, Memory and Context” will be hosted by the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes with the participation of leading art critics and art historians from around the world. Other events will include panel discussions on the past, present and the future of the Havana Biennial and on the history of AICA chapters in the Caribbean, as well as visits to local artists' studios, galleries, museums, and art schools. The full program will be posted on AICA's website by the end of May 2016.

President of AICA International, Marek Bartelik, describes the Congress as a historic event, not only for AICA but the international art community at large, more so because it will take place during the time when Cuba expands cultural and artistic exchange with the United States and other countries. Carlos Acero Ruiz, Chair of AICA's Congress Commission, emphasizes the importance of the Congress for other countries in Central America, and the Caribbean, including his native Dominican Republic. Rubén del Valle Lantarón, President of the National Council of Plastic Arts, underlines that the choice of Cuba as the host country comes in recognition of the accomplishment of Cuban artists, critics and other art professionals, and it also carries responsibilities. David Mateo, President of AICA Cuba, sees the Congress as a unique opportunity to strengthen direct contact and facilitate professional exchange between Cuban critics, curators and researchers and their counterparts in other parts of the world.

During the Congress, AICA will present two of its annual awards, for Distinguished Contribution to Art Criticism (for lifetime achievement) and an Award to Young Critics. The winners will be announced in September 2016.

The International Association of Art Critics (AICA) was officially established as an NGO affiliated with UNESCO in 1950. AICA's membership is committed to the development of international co-operation in the visual arts, to the dissemination of ideas and to cultural development. AICA’s main objectives are to promote art criticism as a discipline and contribute to its methodology, to protect the ethical and professional interests of its membership and defend their rights, and to contribute to mutual understanding of visual aesthetics across cultural boundaries. Lately, the focus is to emphasize the global reach of the association, its cross-cultural ambitions and its interdisciplinary approach. At present there are 63 member nations on five continents, plus an Open Section, representing more than 4,500 art critics.

29 April 2016

AICA-USA Annual Meeting, May 3 at the Jewish Museum

May 3, 2016
12:30-3:30 PM

The Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Avenue (at 92nd Street)
New York, NY 10128

RSVP required: email rsvp@aicausa.org

On Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016, AICA/USA members are invited to the AICA-USA 2016 Annual Meeting. It will take place at the Jewish Museum, where we are invited to a special preview of Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist (1909-1994) that coincides with the Museum's press preview. The AICA-USA program will also include a brief business meeting, a catered lunch, and a discussion, "Latin American Art: A Critical Conversation," moderated by Phyllis Tuchman:

As AICA-USA members become increasingly familiar with art from South America, we take the occasion of the Burle Marx exhibition at the Jewish Museum to consider how our colleagues from South America approach art criticism. We are delighted that Gabriela Rangel, Director of Visual Arts and Chief Curator at the Americas Society, will talk about Burle Marx, the Americas Society, exhibition catalogues she has written on Marta Minujin, Carlos Cruz-Diaz, and Juan Downey, and other relevant matters with Phyllis Tuchman, former AICA-USA president.  Another speaker is to be announced soon.

The specific program schedule for the AICA-USA 2016 Annual Meeting is as follows:


12:30 - 1:30 AICA Preview of Roberto Burle Marx exhibition
1:30 - 2:00 AICA Lunch and Mingling in Auditorium
2:00 - 2:30 AICA-USA Business Meeting
2:30 - 3:30 AICA program in Auditorium
3:30 AICA Event ends

It is essential to RSVP in order to participate in this event. The cost of attendance is compliments of AICA-USA.

08 March 2016

Book Donors Sought For Wafaa Bilal’s 168:01

Via AICA-USA member Kathleen MacQueen: the Art Gallery of Windsor is seeking book donations in conjunction with its presentation of Wafaa Bilal's 168:01.

During the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the College of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad lost their entire library due to looters who set fire to the collection. More than 70,000 books were destroyed. Over thirteen years later, students at the college still have few remnants from which to study.

In 168:01, an installation of an austere white library at the Art Gallery of Windsor serves as both a monument to the staggering cultural losses endured throughout Iraq’s history as well as a platform for its potential rebirth. Comprised of a series of white shelves filled with blank tomes, the library doubles as a system of exchange connecting its physical and virtual visitors in Canada and beyond to the College of Fine Arts in Iraq. Aimed at restoring its lost archives, 168:01 positions viewers as potential donors whose contributions fund or replace educational texts from a list compiled by faculty members. As the installation accrues donations, the white library replaces the blank tomes with books from the faculty wish list, becoming saturated with knowledge. Select donors receive the blank tomes in return for their contribution. At the end of the exhibition, all donated books are to be shipped to the College of Fine Arts, beginning the process of rebuilding.

168:01 - Ways You Can Help

  • Purchase and ship a book directly from our Amazon Wishlist
  • Donate from your personal library
  • Suggest additional titles for our Wishlist
  • Purchase a leftover Kickstarter reward or donate directly through Paypal
  • Connect us with organizations who can help ship the books to Baghdad
  • Keep spreading the word!


How do I send books from 168:01′s Amazon.ca Wishlist?

Easy! Just follow these simple instructions, and keep reading below for more advice on purchasing from Amazon.ca.

 

  1. Visit the Wishlist: http://www.amazon.ca/registry/wishlist/3PKR2LAW73FW6
  2. Add books to your cart (see below for tips)
  3. Check out when you’re ready
  4. Select The Art Gallery of Windsor as your shipping address
  5. Enter your payment


Guidance for Purchasing:


The shopping list has been set up on Amazon.ca in order to minimize shipping and customs duties. Also, each item is set be sent directly to the Art Gallery of Windsor.


If you are purchasing from Amazon.ca directly, our advice is to purchase the cheapest “new” version you can find. Paperbook is generally preferable over hard cover; however, for a book that is likely to get a lot of wear, the purchaser should buy hardcover. Also, for many books which are older, hardcover is generally cheaper than paperback. Use your judgment about whether the price differential justifies what will be additional shipping costs to Iraq.


If you are purchasing through a third-party dealer through Amazon.ca, you should only purchase books with a condition designation of “new” or “like new”. The only exception is if the book is very desirable and there is only a “very good” copy available. Please do not purchase anything in less than “very good” condition.

Frequently, you may come across a notice that the item is “temporarily unavailable”. Don’t be put off by it. Order the book anyway. We believe that Amazon.ca keeps inventories low because most newer publications come from the U.S.


How can I donate books from my personal library?


To start, we ask that you compile a list (preferably in Excel) of the books you would like to donate and email it to Judith at 168h01s@gmail.com. Please make sure to include each book’s:

  1. Title
  2. ISBN number

This allows us to keep track of what we’re receiving and check new titles against our Amazon Wishlist. We will email you instructions for shipping to Windsor, Canada once we’ve received your list.


Ideally, we would like all donations to be sent to Windsor, Canada so they can:

  1. Be part of the 168:01 exhibition at the Art Gallery of Windsor
  2. Be sent to Baghdad in one shipment from Canada


We realize that international shipping costs may be a deterrent for many people. With this in mind, we are planning to set up a collection center in New York, NY in the near future. If you would like to wait to donate until we have officially set this up, feel free to send along your lists and we’ll contact you when we have the information ready.

I am a professor, academic or expert in my artistic specialty - are you open to expanding your Wishlist? I have some suggestions.


Absolutely! Our Wishlist is off to a great start, but is nowhere near as comprehensive as it could be. If you think we are missing some important titles, we welcome you to compile a list of the books you would suggest and email it to Judith at 168h01s@gmail.com. Please make sure to include each book’s:

  1. Academic Department
  2. Title
  3. ISBN number


I missed the Kickstarter! Can I still contribute and get a reward?


Yes!


Approximately 250 of the limited edition artist books from the installation of 168:01 are still available. Each hardcover book is signed personally by me and numbered with its edition. Each book measures 8.5 x 1.25 x 6.25 inches and contains 400 blank pages, along with one page of text describing the project.

Domestic Price (Within the US): $25 (+ $7.50 shipping)


International price: $25 (+ $25 shipping)


Please keep in mind that the 168:01 installation will travel to one additional venue after the Art Gallery of Windsor- book orders will be shipped out from New York after the final exhibition ends. To Purchase via Paypal, please visit: http://wafaabilal.com/168h01s-support/


Can I just send you a monetary donation? What will you do with the funds?


You may! Every penny we receive will be used for 168:01 and the eventual restoration of the library at the College of Fine Arts in Baghdad. We are using the funds from Kickstarter and future donations for things like:

  • Purchasing books from library’s Wishlist and mailing them to the Art Gallery of Windsor
  • Shipping locally donated books to the Art Gallery of Windsor
  • Shipping all of the books to Baghdad after 168:01‘s exhibition period ends
  • Remodeling the interior of the College of Fine Arts’ library to make space for all the new books

To Donate via Paypal, please visit: http://wafaabilal.com/168h01s-support/

07 March 2016

AICA Annual Awards On Hiatus

In the last decade, AICA's annual curator and critics awards have grown in visibility and importance in the arts community. However they create a staggering amount of work for our all-volunteer board. This year, we’re taking a break and we regret there will be no awards. We’ll be evaluating our priorities and will keep you informed.

Susan Harris, President, AICA-USA

29 January 2016

The Fluid Edge: Art Criticism Beyond Compliance


A conversation about the critical disposition of the contemporary art critic and historian

Thursday, February 4, 2016
5:30-7:00pm
free and open to the public

College Art Association Annual Convention
Washington Marriott Wardman Park
Washington 5, Exhibit Level
2660 Woodley Rd NW Washington, DC 20008

https://slought.org/resources/the_fluid_edge


AICA-USA (International Art Critics Association United States), in cooperation with Slought and with the support of The Brooklyn Rail and artcritical.com, is pleased to announce "The Fluid Edge: Art Criticism Beyond Compliance," a conversation about the critical disposition of the contemporary art critic and historian, on Thursday, February 4, 2016 from 5:30-7:00pm at the College Art Association Annual Convention in Washington, DC. It is free and open to the public.

Ours is a digital age where disciplinarity, instructional structures and social systems seem fragile and in flux. In recent years, an array of public programs have explored these disruptions, arguing that the figure of the art critic and the role of art criticism is in a general state of crisis. Among these, AICA's "The Art Critic in a Cold Climate" at Tate Britain and "The Trouble with Criticism" at ICA London (both 2011), the later proposing that this crisis is due in part to the curator having eclipsed the critic as a mediator between artists and publics. More recently, Superscript: Arts Journalism and Criticism in a Digital Age at the Walker Art Center (2015) addressed the current challenges facing cultural criticism and publishing and its reduction to the speed of the internet.

Resisting the tendency to present art criticism as "in crisis" or "at risk," this conversation instead builds upon remarks by Tom Finkelpearl, commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, at the AICA-USA awards presentations in 2015. Reflecting on the inability of cultural institutions to respond to diverse demographics, he proposed that we re-conceptualize the role of the critic and institution, such that cultural criticism can be understood as a way to give back to communities. Simultaneously cultural critic and community organizer, this newly expansive conception positions the critic beyond institutional compliance, towards a closer alignment with diverse communities and publics.

Building upon these insights, this conversation proposes a dynamic and fluid set of relationships wherein the critic is empowered to navigate the digital, the geopolitical, and the social. Join us for this conversation and help us negotiate this fluid edge. Conversants will include Jonathan Katz, queer activist, scholar, and curator; Philip Kennicott, chief Art and Architecture Critic of The Washington Post; Devin Allen, photographer and activist; and moderator Aaron Levy of Slought Foundation at the University of Pennsylvania; with introductory remarks by art critic Judith E. Stein.


Conversants

Jonathan Katz is a queer activist, art historian, educator and writer, and director of the doctoral program in Visual culture studies at State University of New York at Buffalo. He co-curated Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian, 2010) and is the founder of the Harvey Milk Institute.

Aaron Levy is a Senior Lecturer in History of Art and English at the University of Pennsylvania, and Executive Director and Senior Curator of Slought Foundation. Levy co-organized the US representation at the Venice Biennale for Architecture (2008), and is on the board of AICA-USA (International Art Critics Association United States).

Philip Kennicott is the chief Art and Architecture Critic of The Washington Post. Kennicott won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. He has written for the Detroit News and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and is a regular reviewer for Gramophone, and a former contributing editor to The New Republic, among other publications.

Devin Allen (TBC) is a photographer and activist from West Baltimore known for his commanding photographs of the Baltimore uprising. Shared through his personal Instagram account, the photographs went viral and were featured on the cover of TIME. He has had exhibitions at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and Slought, and his work is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

Quote:

"We are perhaps more 'critically predisposed', much bolder and intransigent in our criticism than our ancestors managed to be in their daily lives, but our critique, so to speak, is 'toothless', unable to affect the agenda set for our 'life-political' choices. The unprecedented freedom which our society offers its members has arrived, as Leo Strauss warned a long while ago, together with unprecedented impotence."

-- Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid Modernity (2000)

30 November 2015

2015 Writing Workshop Recipients

The Art Writing Workshop—a partnership between the Arts Writers Grant Program and the International Art Critics Association/USA Section (AICA/USA)—gives practicing writers the opportunity to strengthen their work through one-on-one email and phone consultations with leading art critics. Focusing on the craft of writing, the workshop will use participants’ writing samples as a springboard for an in-depth consideration of such issues as voice, prose style, organizational structure, and argumentation. Ten applicants are chosen to participate each year.

Each selected writer is paired with a senior AICA critic who serves as the workshop leader. Working over the internet and by phone, the workshop leader communicates with the writer: defining goals, evaluating current writing projects, and making substantial suggestions for developing content, argument, and a compelling voice. 

2015 Writing Workshop Recipients

Ellen Mara De Wachter
Ian DeLeón
Sheila Dickinson
Elissa Favero
Nicholas Frank
Sarah Griesbach
Emily Holmes
Christina Martinez
Danica Sachs
Sarah Sharp
Stephen Squibb

2015 Writing Workshop Mentors

Elizabeth Baker was editor of Art in America from 1973 to 2008; she is currently editor-at-large. Before joining Art in America, she was associate editor and then managing editor of Art News. She has taught history of art at Boston University, Wheaton College and the School of Visual Arts , and has written on a wide range of contemporary artists. She is currently working as a freelance writer and editor.

Bill Berkson is a poet, critic and professor emeritus at the San Francisco Art Insittute. He is the author of many books of poetry––most recently, Expect Delays (Coffee House Press, 2014)––and three books of criticism: The Sweet Singer of Modernism, For the Ordinary Artist, and Sudden Address. He is a corresponding editor for Art in America and contributing editor for artcritical. He divides his time between San Francisco and New York.

Robin Cembalest is a journalist and editorial consultant.  She was Executive Editor of ARTnews (1998 - 2015), where she supervised the editorial team, won awards for investigative reporting, and launched the magazine’s web content and social-media feeds. Currently, she advises art-world clients on content strategy and writes for various publications, and is Gallery Club director for Cre8tive YouTH*ink, a creative arts youth-development nonprofit.

Holland Cotter is a chief art critic for the New York Times, and winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism and the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award for Art Writing from the College Art Association. He was contributing editor at New York Arts Journal and Art in America. He is a poet, studied Sanskrit, taught South Asian and Islamic art, and writes frequently on the art disparate histories, and cultures. The California College of Art and the Maryland Institute College of Art have awarded him honorary doctorates.

Eleanor Heartney is a Contributing Editor to Art in America and Artpress. She is author of Art and Today, Postmodernism and Postmodern Heretics and co-author of After the Revolution: Women who Transformed Contemporary Art and The Reckoning: Women Artists in the New Millennium. She has been awarded the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award and the French government’s Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

David Pagel is an art critic who writes for the Los Angeles Times. He is a professor of art theory and criticism at Claremont Graduate University and an adjunct curator at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York. Recent publications include a monograph on Ron Nagle and catalog essays on Justin Bower, Asad Faulwell, and Viola Frey. “Talking Beauty,” a conversation with Joseph Raffael, is forthcoming.

Peter Plagens is a painter showing with the Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York since 1974, and was also art critic for Newsweek (1989-2003). He is the author of two books of art criticism—Sunshine Muse: Art on the West Coast, 1945-70 and Moonlight Blues: An Artist’s Art Criticism—as well as the novel, Time for Robo and the online novel, The Art Critic. His monograph, Bruce Nauman: The True Artist, was published by Phaidon, in May, 2014. He writes the art-review column, “Fine Art,” for The Wall Street Journal.

Nancy Princenthal, a former Senior Editor of Art in America, has contributed to Artforum, Parkett, the Village Voice, and the New York Times. Her books include Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art (Thames and Hudson, 2015), Hannah Wilke (Prestel, 2010), and essays for monographs on Shirin Neshat, Doris Salcedo, Robert Mangold, and Alfredo Jaar. She co-authored books on leading women artists, has taught at Bard College, Princeton University, Yale University, and is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts.

Barry Schwabsky is art critic for The Nation and co-editor of international reviews for Artforum. He is the curator of "Tightrope Walk: Painted Images after Abstraction" at White Cube, London, November 2015-January 2016. His recent books are Words for Art: Criticism, History, Theory, Practice (Sternberg Press, 2014) and a collection of poetry, Trembling Hand Equilibrium (Black Square Editions, 2015); forthcoming is The Perpetual Guest: Art in the Unfinished Present (Verso, 2016).

Susan Snodgrass is a Senior Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Much of her critical writing concerns alternative models of art making, including new genres of public art and contemporary art in post-communist Europe. Her blog, In/Site: Reflections on the Art of Place, explores art and urbanism. She was a Corresponding Editor (1994 – 2013) for Art in America, is co-editor of  ARTMargins Online, and is curating an exhibition the architecture of Ken Isaacs.

2015 Writing Workshop Program Director

Amei Wallach is an art critic and filmmaker. Her articles have appeared in such publications as The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, Smithsonian, Art in America, and The Brooklyn Rail. She was chief art critic for New York Newsday and on-air arts commentator for the PBS MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour.  She directed the documentary Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Enter Here (2013) and co-directed Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress and The Tangerine (2008).  She is making a film on Robert Rauschenberg.

06 November 2015

Naomi Beckwith: Curating the Errant Form

Naomi Beckwith, Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

On Monday, November 9, 2015, 6:30-8:00 PM, Naomi Beckwith willl deliver the ninth annual AICA/USA Distinguished Critic Lecture, presented in a partnership between AICA/USA and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, 12th Street Auditorium, 66 West 12th Street in New York City. Admission is free.

Titled "Curating the Errant Form," Beckwith's talk explores her approach to curating as a problem-solving activity, a way to work through art-historical challenges posed by certain art and artists, as well as her particular investment in using exhibitions to comprehend and apprehend work by artists of African descent and make useful linkages with the broader narrative of Western Art History.

Naomi Beckwith is the Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, following appointments as curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Her numerous exhibitions include 30 Seconds off an Inch at The Studio Museum, focusing on 42 artists of color or inspired by black culture. She has been an early champion of such rising artist as Rashid Johnson, Xaviera Simmons, Sanford Biggers, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. She served on the jury of the 56th Venice Biennale 2015, currently on view.

This is the ninth AICA/USA Distinguished Critic Lecture at The New School, an annual event addressing current issues in the world of art criticism presented in partnership with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. Previous AICA/USA Distinguished Critic lecturers have been Michael Brenson, Linda Nochlin, Roberta Smith, Holland Cotter, Peter Schjeldahl, Michelle Kuo, Lucy Lippard, and Carolyn Christoph-Bakargiev.

AICA was founded in the wake of World War II to protect the openness of global discourse in the arts. There are now chapters in 64 countries currently promoting art criticism and its insights into contemporary culture. AICA/USA, with a nationwide membership, contributes significantly to the current dialogue.

Awards   News   25 April 2015

2014 AICA Awards Winners

ANNUAL ARTS AWARDS TO HONOR ARTISTS, MUSEUMS, CURATORS AND WRITERS

International Art Critics Association of America Announces Winners

April 20, 2015 -- New York:  The International Association of Art Critics/USA announces its 32nd annual awards to honor artists, curators, writers, museums and galleries in recognition of excellence.  The winning projects were nominated and voted on by AICA's 400 active United States-based members to honor outstanding exhibitions and writing of the previous season.  A complete list of first and second-place awards is below and is available atwww.aica.org.

Leading cultural institutions in New York City being recognized include the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum forItalian Futurism, 1909-1944: Reconstructing the UniverseThe Museum of Modern Art for Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs and The Jewish Museum for From the Margins: Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis.

Winning museums located outside New York being honored include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art forPierre Huyghe, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston for Fiber: Sculpture 1960-Present, and the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, for Neo-Impressionism and the Dream of Realities: Painting, Poetry, Music

Among monographic exhibitions receiving first place awards are presentations of Robert GoberKara Walker andRagnar Kjartansson.

Prizing excellence in writing, AICA is proud to recognize Holland Cotter for Best Criticism, Jillian Steinhauer forBest Art Reporting, and Hyperallergic for Best Blog in addition to other noteworthy writers and publications.

The annual awards ceremony will take place in New York City on Monday, June 8th.  Museum curators, artists and critics from around the country will be in attendance.  A select number of seats will be available to the public.  Members of the public may contact info@aicausa.org for more information about attending the event.

 

1) BEST PRESENTATION IN AN ALTERNATIVE VENUE (alternative space, public art, project space, or university gallery)

1st Place

Kara Walker: A Subtlety / Domino Sugar Factory, Brooklyn, NY / Creative Time

2nd Place

Greer Lankton, LOVE ME / Participant Inc., New York, NY

 

2) BEST TIME-BASED FORMAT (performance, video film, sound)

1st Place

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors / Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA

2nd Place

Mary Reid Kelley: Working Objects and Videos / Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz, NY / Curated by Daniel Belasco

 

3) BEST SHOW IN A COMMERCIAL SPACE IN NEW YORK

1st Place

Nancy Grossman: The Edge of Always, Constructions from the 1960s / Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY

2nd Place

Robert Rauschenberg: The Fulton Street Studio, 1953­–54 / Craig F. Starr, New York, NY

 

4) BEST SHOW IN A COMMERCIAL SPACE NATIONALLY

1st Place

Mickalene Thomas: I was born to do great things / Kavi Gupta, Chicago, IL

2nd Place

Hiroshi Sugimoto: Acts of God / Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, CA

 

5) BEST MONOGRAPHIC MUSEUM SHOW IN NEW YORK

1st Place

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs / MoMA New York, NY / Curated by Karl Buchberg   and Jodi Hauptman

2nd Place

Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor / MoMA, New York, NY / Curated by   Ann Temkin

 

6) BEST MONOGRAPHIC MUSEUM SHOW NATIONALLY

1st Place

Pierre Huyghe / Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA / Curated by Jarrett Gregory

2nd Place

Dear Nemesis, Nicole Eisenman / Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis; ICA, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA / Curated by Kelly Shindler

 

7) BEST THEMATIC MUSEUM SHOW IN NEW YORK

1st Place

From the Margins: Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis / The Jewish Museum, New York, NY / Curated by Norman L. Kleeblatt and Stephen Brown

2nd Place

Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe / Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY / Curated by Vivien Greene

 

8) BEST THEMATIC MUSEUM SHOW NATIONALLY

1st Place

Fiber: Sculpture 1960-Present / ICA Boston, Boston, MA / Curated by Jenelle Porter

2nd Place

Neo-Impressionism and the Dream of Realities: Painting, Poetry, Music / The    Phillips Collection, Washington, DC / Curated by Cornelia Homburg

 

9) BEST CRITICISM

1st Place

Holland Cotter / The New York Times

2nd Place

Jed Perl / New York Review of Books / “The Cult of Jeff Koons” and “You Can’t Catch Picasso”

 

10) BEST ART REPORTING

1st Place

Jillian Steinhauer / Hyperallergic

2nd Place

Randy Kennedy / The New York Times

 

11) BEST BLOG

1st Place

Hyperallergic

2nd Place

The Silo by Raphael Rubinstein

20 February 2015

Art Critics’ Websites: Options and Rationales

If you’ve ever thought about creating an online archive of your articles and essays, do join us for this panel which will address the philosophy of archives, and survey the options for both user-friendly software and handholding support.

Panel chair, AICA Board Member Judith Stein;

Panelists Aaron Levy, Director, Slought Foundation; Steve Silverstein, Director of Technology, Authors Guild; Fred Gates, Fred Gates Design; Mimi Cheng, Communications Designer

When: Monday, March 16, 2015, 6:15—7:45 p.m.

Where: Artists Space, 55 Walker Street

Please RSVP to info@aicausa.org. Seating is limited to 80 people, and is on a first-come, first-served basis.

08 January 2015

Art Critics’ Websites Panel: Who, What, Where, When and a little bit of How

Fewer than 20% of AICA/USA members have their own websites, and no two are formatted alike. If you’ve ever thought about creating an online presence for your archived articles and essays, join us for this panel, titled "Art Critics’ Websites: Who, What, Where, When and a little bit of How," which will address both the philosophical and practical aspects of websites for writers.

The panel chair is former AICA/USA co-president Judith Stein.

Panelists include: 

  • Aaron Levy, Slought;
  • Michael Gross, Sr. Staff Attorney, Authors Guild;
  • Fred Gates, Fred Gates Design, NY;
  • Mimi Cheng, communications designer, Night Kitchen, Philadelphia.

If you already have your own website or blog, please confirm that AICA/USA has a record of it by logging into the members only area (box at upper right on home page) and updating your profile if needed.

Please RSVP to info@aicausa.org. Seating is limited to 80 people and is on a first-come, first-served basis. So do RSVP as quickly as you can, and then advise us if you won’t be able to make it.

For those who cannot attend, we are trying to arrange for the panel to be recorded for our Website.

 

Art Critics’ Websites: Who, What, Where, When and a little bit of How

When: Monday, January 26, 2015, 6:15—7:45
Where: Artists Space, 55 Walker Street

13 November 2014

TransCultural Exchange Seeks Proposals for 2016 International Conference

Call For Proposals
TransCultural Exchange is Currently Seeking Proposals for its 2016 International Conference on "Opportunities in the Arts: Expanding Worlds.”

TransCultural Exchange’s international conferences bring artists together with critics, gallery owners, curators, artist-in-residency directors and those working in other fields of interest to artists. Their aim is to advance artistic innovation by helping artists gain the time, funds, inspiration and other means to pursue their goals.


Conference Overview
Traditionally, artists have relied on galleries and dealers to promote their art. They have worked largely within the confines of their discipline and studio walls. However, these constructs are rapidly changing. Today’s global reality has put new pressures on artists to expand their practice abroad, and to seek out new audiences, markets and inspirations. Consequently, more and more artists are managing their own careers, working in new formats and collaborating with people in different disciplines, both here and abroad.

To reflect these changes, TransCultural Exchange invites submissions for presentations at its three-day conference, "Expanding Worlds." The program will offer provocative keynotes, extensive networking with curators, critics and international residency directors, workshops, demonstrations, tours, exhibits, panels, portfolio reviews and more.

Scope of Topics
Picking up where the last conference, "Engaging Minds," left off, the Conference Committee is soliciting presentations that address exciting possibilities for artists to embrace different cultures, mindsets and technologies. For instance, papers might present various international residency programs, offer practical advice (such as resources for funding or managing a studio practice), address social or political interventions or promote collaboration with other disciplines, such as medicine, architecture, conservation and engineering. Presentations on current trends in the arts and new research in other fields are also encouraged. (In the past, papers on topics outside the arts have been among the most popular because they inspire artists to think in new ways.)

Dates: February 25th – 27th, 2016
Location: Boston University, with panels, tours and presentations also at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, among others.

Proposal Deadline: January 10, 2015;  5:00 p.m. EST

For an overview of the Conference, please visit the TransCultural Exchange website
For more information on how to submit a proposal, please see our Submission Guidelines.  

 

28 August 2014

International Awards for Art Criticism

The new annual International Awards for Art Criticism are open to candidates from anywhere in the world, writing in Chinese or English about any contemporary art exhibition held between 1 January and 30 September 2014.

The First Prize consists of a cash award of 50,000 RMB (6,000 Euros) and a fully funded two-week residency in Shanghai or London, in spring 2015.

The two Second Prizes – one each, for an essay in Chinese and in English – will consist of a fully funded travel bursary for a two-week residency in Shanghai or London around the same time.

The Awards aim to support independent critical coverage of contemporary art, away from the immediate pressures of the market, media and private patronage. They seek to stimulate good writing, critical thinking, dialogue and research in China, the UK and wider afield. There is no age limit, and the Awards are open to all. The objectivity of the selection process is underpinned, both by the recognised professionalism of the Chinese and English-speaking jury members and by the strict anonymity of the judging process.


How to apply

Submissions should be no longer than 2,000 words or 1,500 Chinese characters in length and may be accompanied by a maximum of three images, that are cleared for publication, Entries must be submitted as a single PDF file no greater than 4MB - i.e an ‘optimised’ pdf. The entire email should not be more than 5MB. Copyright of all texts must be assigned to the IAAC, regardless of whether or not they have been previously published.

Closing date for entries: 15 October 2014
Enquiries and submissions should be addressed, as follows:

Chinese-language: Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum, 1929 Shibo Dadao, 200120, Shanghai, T: +86 21 61875821, E: IAAC@21msms.com

English-language: School of Fine Art, Royal College of Art, 20 Howie Street, London, SW11 4AS, T: +44 (0)20 7590 4423, E: IAAC@rca.ac.uk

13 August 2014

Job Listings

Goldring Arts Journalism Program: Director

The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University seeks applications for a Director to lead the Goldring Arts Journalism Program, a cross-disciplinary masters degree. The director will be a member of the Newhouse School faculty teaching in a department to be determined and depending on expertise of the selected candidate. The rank is open.

The appointment is a tenure-track or tenured position that begins in January 2015 or June 2015, depending on availability.

Application Deadline: October 1, 2014

Events   12 August 2014

2014 AICA/USA Distinguished Critic Lecture at The New School

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev.

Photo:Marco Ventimiglia/Courtesy The Vera List

2014 AICA/USA Distinguished Critic Lecture at The New School

Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev presents the 2014 AICA/USA Distinguished Critic Lecture at The New School. This is the eighth annual AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lecture at The New School in partnership with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. The program is an annual event addressing current issues in the world of art criticism.

For more information, please visit The Vera List's website

01 August 2014

Job Listings

Tate Liverpool: Senior Curator
 

Application deadline: August 11, 2014, 5 p.m.

News   01 August 2014

Tribute to Christopher French

I’d like to introduce myself as the new president of AICA-USA and, at the same time, take the occasion to express my appreciation and admiration for Christopher French, AICA’s out-going president.

Christopher has, in the brief period of two years, brought AICA into the 21st century, a period he has more than ably learned to navigate. He has created order in a by nature chaotic operation made up of part-time volunteers, many of whom are computer and social-media illiterate, by systematizing record-keeping as well as overseeing the creation of a first-class website and feeding it regularly with fresh observations about recent publications and events.

He has also patiently supplied me with the basic tools for managing the organization, which, through trial and probably many errors, I hope to master.

I’m very much looking forward to working with you all and will be in touch more frequently in the fall. I thank you for your support.

 

All my best, 

Barbara

13 June 2014

Annual Meeting report

Annual Board Meeting Report

The highlight of the June 11 AICA-USA Annual was Nancy Princenthal's lively presentation of her latest book, The Reckoning: Women Artists of the New Millenium (Prestel), which she co-authored with Eleanor Heartney, Helaine Posner, and Sue Scott.  This book expands the considerations of their 2009 After the Revolution: Women Who Transformed Contemporary Art, which has been recently been republished in an expanded form.

Elections for board officers were held, and the board voted for Barbara MacAdam to succeed Christopher French, who was running for reelection.  Treasurer Jill Conner and Secretary Josephine Gear were both relected.

14 May 2014

Call for Proposals: 2015 CAA Conference

Art Critics: Turn That Frown Upside Down!

Call for Proposals: How Should We Train the Next Generation of Art Critics?

Drawing by Henry Samelson @2014

How Should We Train the Next Generation of Art Critics?

2015 Call for Participation

CAA 103rd Annual Conference

New York, New York, February 11-14, 2015

How Should We Train the Next Generation of Art Critics?

In 2003, James Elkins asked, “What happened to art criticism?” Three years later, Raphael Rubinstein commiserated that the field was hopelessly stuck in a “critical mess.” Both critics lamented that the field was shirking its duty to speak in a strong, critical voice. If this indeed characterizes the state of art criticism today, how does the current state of training contribute to the decline of contemporary criticism? More importantly, if criticism is to reconnect with its roots in proactive advocacy and aesthetic judgment, how should we train the next generation of art critics? This panel seeks proposals from art writers and critics of any training or stage of career. Practicing critics are encouraged to share personal narratives, institutional analyses, and/or qualitative or quantitative approaches to the topic. An ideal panel will feature a variety of experiences and will represent emerging, mid, and advanced-career perspectives.

 

Please submit your proposal to
John J. Corso, Oakland University,
corso@oakland.edu

For more information, please visit CAA

18 April 2014

Rackstraw Downes Booksigning

Rackstraw Downes at his easel

Nina Subin, photographer

Book Signing and Reception: April 24, 2014 6-8pm

Nature and Art are Physical: Writings on Art, 1967-2008

Essays by Rackstraw Downes, with an Introduction by John Elderfield

Published by Edgewise Press, New York-Paris-Turin

Paperback / 280 pages

$20.00

Betty Cuningham Gallery

541 West 25th Street

New York, New York 10001

 

Currently on view:

Rackstraw Downes

April 3 - May 3, 2014

Rackstraw Downes, author

MoMA Chief Curator Emeritus and AICA-USA member John Elderfield, contributor

Edgewise Press, publisher

Rackstraw Downes, Farm Buildings Near the Rio Grande: Under the Barn Roof, A.M., 2008, Oil on Canvas, 24 x 90 1/4 inches

16 April 2014

2014 Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program

What: Money for art writing

When: May 21 deadline for submissions

 


2014 Grant Open for Submissions
Deadline: Wednesday, May 21, 2014


www.artswriters.org

The Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program supports writers whose work addresses contemporary visual art through project-based grants, ranging from $5,000 to $50,000, issued directly to twenty individual authors a year. The program was founded in recognition of both the financially precarious situation of arts writers and their indispensable contribution to a vital artistic culture. The Arts Writers Grant Program aims to support the broad spectrum of writing on contemporary visual art, from general-audience criticism to academic scholarship.

Writers who meet the program's eligibility requirements are invited to apply in the following categories:

  • Articles
  • Blogs
  • Books
  • New and Alternative Media
  • Short-Form Writing

The Arts Writers Grant Program honors and encourages writing about art

  • that is rigorous, passionate, eloquent, and precise;
  • that is keenly engaged with the present but is also appreciates the historical;
  • that is neither afraid to take a stand nor content to deliver authoritative pronouncements, but serves rather to pose questions and generate new possibilities for thinking about, seeing, and making art;
  • that is sensitive to both the importance and difficulty of situating aesthetic objects within their broader social and political contexts;
  • that does not dilute or sidestep complex ideas but renders accessible their meaning and value;
  • that creatively challenges the limits of existing conventions without valorizing novelty as an end in itself.

 

For guidelines and additional eligibility requirements, please visit www.artswriters.org/eligibility.html.

And when you apply, consider also applying for the Art Writing Workshop: In partnership with the International Association of Art Critics/USA Section, the Arts Writers Grant Program offers ten select applicants consultations with leading art critics. For more information, please visit www.artswriters.org/writing_workshop.html.

 

15 April 2014

Panel Discussion: Who Can Write About Performance Art?

Ryan McNamara, MEƎM: A STORY BALLET ABOUT THE INTERNET, a Performa Commission for the Performa 13 biennial, 2013. Photograph © Paula Court.

Who Can Write About Performance Art?  Or, how many histories do you need to know to in order to write exciting criticism about art at the axis of dance and visual art, theater and performance, and every iteration in between?

Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 6:30-8:30 pm

Judson Memorial Church

55 Washington Square South

New York City

 

Admission to this event is free, but reservations are required via eventbrite

Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Who Can Write About Performance Art?, Performa’s panel discussion investigating the role of art criticism at the axis of dance, visual art, theater, and performance, will take place Thursday, April 24 at New York City’s Judson Memorial Church.  Panelists Claire Bishop, RoseLee Goldberg, Adrian Heathfield, John Rockwell, Hrag Vartanian, and David Velasco will discuss the different approaches writers can use to convey the immediacy of multi-, inter-, and trans-disciplinary works. Each panelist’s perspective is informed by their diverse experiences in art criticism, which range from international monthly art magazines, daily newspapers and Web sites, to extensive, book-length scholarly publications.

 “The idea for Who Can Write About Performance Art? sprang from conversations with writers and artists about the challenges involved in covering performance. Critics are often specialized in one area, such as dance, but have limited background in visual arts, which might be the starting point of a particular dance composition. It’s an ongoing conversation and an exciting one, especially since we’re looking at increasing numbers of artists working in performance and many more museums presenting them,” commented RoseLee Goldberg, Performa’s Founding Director and Curator.

ABOUT THE PANELISTS

Claire Bishop: Art historian and critic based in the PhD Program in Art History at CUNY Graduate Center, New York. Her books include Radical Museology, or, What’s Contemporary in Museums of Contemporary Art? (2013), Installation Art: A Critical History (2005) and Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship (2012). She is a regular contributor to Artforum.

RoseLee Goldberg: Art historian, critic, and curator whose book Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present (1979) pioneered the study of performance art, Goldberg is Founding Director and Curator of Performa. Former Director of the Royal College of Art Gallery in London and Curator at The Kitchen in New York, she has also authored Performance: Live Art Since 1960 (1998) and Laurie Anderson (2000).  She is a frequent contributor to Artforum and other publications. She has taught at New York University since 1987; in 2006 she was awarded the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Government.

Adrian Heathfield: Writer and curator working across the scenes of live art, performance and dance. Books include Live: Art and Performance( 2004), Out of Now: The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh (2008), and Perform, Repeat, Record (2012), Heathfield co-curated Live Culture (Tate Modern 2003), Performance Matters (2009-14), and numerous durational events in European cities over the last decade.  He is Marie Curie International Fellow at Columbia University, New York and Professor of Performance and Visual Culture at the University of Roehampton, London.

John Rockwell: Began his journalistic career at the Oakland Tribune and the Los Angeles Times; in 1972 he began writing at the New York Times on a wide range of topics that included classical and rock music critic, and dance. He also served as European cultural correspondent and editor of the Sunday Arts and Leisure section. Rockwell left the Times in 2006 to pursue independent projects, including editing of a forthcoming New York Times book about the 1960s. Books include Sinatra: An American Classic (1984), and All American Music: Composition in the Late 20th Century (1997) and with contributions to the New Grove Dictionary of Opera and the Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll.

Hrag Vartanian: Co-founder and editor-in-chief of the award-winning blog Hyperallergic. He has written for numerous publications about performance, online, and street art, and has been guest commentator on Al Jazeera, WNYC, KCRW, and other national and international media outlets. Vartanian has also organized numerous exhibitions, including #TheSocialGraph (2010), an early exploration of the evolving landscape of social media art.

David Velasco: Editor of artforum.com and a frequent contributor to the magazine. For the past five years his writing has frequently addressed issues concerning dance and other forms of performance, focusing artists like Sarah Michelson, Jérôme Bel, Merce Cunningham, Yvonne Rainer, Jamie Isenstein, and A. L. Steiner and A. K. Burns. 

Who Can Write About Performance Art is a presentation of Performa Institute and NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Admission to this event is free, but reservations are required via eventbrite

Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

15 April 2014

Job Bank: NYC Advertising Sales Rep for Flash Art

Flash Art Advertising Sales Representative

Flash Art International is looking for an advertising sales representative based in New York City

Job requirements:

• Minimum two years experience in the fine art and marketing fields

• Intimate knowledge of the dynamics of today’s art industry 

• Established personal and professional network within the art world

Monthly salary plus commissions guaranteed
Please send your résumé to: Gea Politi / geapoliti@gmail.com

08 April 2014

AICA-USA ARTS AWARDS HONOR EXCELLENCE IN ART CRITICISM AND CURATORIAL ACHIEVEMENT

Where: Izhar Patkin Studio, New York

Exhibitions: 18 awards in 9 categories

Writing: 6 awards in 3 categories

When: Monday, May 12; 6-9:30 pm

Contact info@aicausa.org for details on the awards ceremony / dinner

AICA-USA announces its annual Best Show awards for excellence in the conception and realization of exhibitions by galleries, museums, and related cultural institutions.  Eighteen first and second-place winners in nine categories were selected from more than 140 exhibitions nominated by AICA-USA’s national membership of more than 400 critics, curators, and scholars. This year’s diverse group includes Thomas Hirschhorn’s socially interactive “Gramsci Monument” at the Bronx’s Forest Houses Project; the revelatory scholarship demonstrated by the Crocker Art Museum’s “An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle,” and provocative thematic exhibitions like The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s James Turrell retrospective and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s innovative juxtapositions of 19th century fashion and art in “Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity.”

This year AICA-USA expands its commitment to the promotion of excellence in art criticism by introducing awards for outstanding writing in the categories of criticism, blogging, and arts reporting.  Winners selected from over 30 nationwide nominations span the gamut of art writing, from Holland Cotter’s highly personal story of the influences that led him to become an art critic, to the scrappy journalism of the Brooklyn Rail, to the online journalism of Tyler Green and the spirited observations of artist, blogger, and critic Mira Schor.

AICA-USA has presented awards for exhibition excellence for more than 25 years.  This year's award ceremony will take place from 6-9 pm on Monday, May 12, 2014 at the studio of noted New York artist Izhar Patkin. Museum directors, curators, artists and critics from around the country will attend; a select number of seats will be available to the public.  Please contact info@aicausa.org to request additional information or inquire about attending the awards ceremony and dinner.

Special thanks to all AICA-USA members who nominated or voted, and for the expert suggestions of this year's nominating committee: Michael Byron, David Pagel, Susan Snodgrass, Pedro Vélez.

 

AICA EXHIBITION AWARDS WINNERS

Honoring exhibitions opening between January and December 2013

 

1) BEST PRESENTATION IN AN ALTERNATIVE VENUE

1. Alice Aycock Drawings: Some Stories are Worth Repeating, Grey Art Gallery, New York University and Parrish Art Museum, Watermill, NY; traveled to the Santa Barbara Art Museum, Santa Barbara, CA.

2. Thomas Hirschhorn’s Gramsci Monument, Dia Art Foundation, New York, NY and Forest Houses, Bronx, NY.

Winners were selected from the following finalists in this category:

The Compromised Land: Recent Photography and Video from Israel, Neuberger Museum, Purchase, NY.

A Different Kind of Order: The International Center of Photography Triennial, New York.

Judy Pfaff: The Art of Flower Arranging, Azusa Pacific University Art and Design Gallery, Azusa, CA.

Orly Genger: Red, Yellow, Blue, Madison Square Park, New York.

The River Between Us, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Saint Louis and Longue Vue House and Gardens, New Orleans.

 

2) BEST TIME-BASED FORMAT

1. William Kentridge: The Refusal of Time, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

2. Janet Cardiff: The Forty Part Motet, Fuentidueña Chapel, The Cloisters, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Winners were selected from the following finalists in this category:

Isaac Julien: Ten Thousand Waves, Museum of Modern Art, New York.

James Nares's Street, Featuring Thurston Moore, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

T.J. Wilcox: In the Air, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

WS: Paul McCarthy, Park Avenue Armory, New York.

Yang Fudong: Estranged Paradise, Works 1993-2013, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA.

 

3) BEST SHOW IN A COMMERCIAL SPACE IN NEW YORK

1. Ad Reinhardt, David Zwirner Gallery.

2. Painted on 21st Street: Helen Frankenthaler from 1950 to 1959, Gagosian Gallery.

Winners were selected from the following finalists in this category:

Carol Bove: RA, or Why is an orange like a bell?, Maccarone Gallery.

Charline von Heyl, Friedrich Petzel Gallery.

Counter Forms: Tetsumi Kudo, Alina Szapocznikow, Paul Thek, Hannah Wilke, Andrea Rosen Gallery.

Every Inch of My Love: Suzanne McClelland, Team Gallery.

Susana Solano: A meitat de cami - Halfway there, Jack Shainman Gallery.

 

4) BEST SHOW IN A COMMERCIAL SPACE NATIONALLY

1 Roxy Paine: Apparatus, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago.

2 Lari Pittman: From a Late Western Impaerium, Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

Winners were selected from the following finalists in this category:

Charles Garabedian: re:GENERATION, LA Louver, Venice, CA.

Karen Carson, Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica, CA.

Mark Flood: Facebook Farm, Beta Pictoris, Birmingham, AL.

Matt Wedel: Sheep's Head, LA Louver, Venice, CA.

Takashi Murakami: Arhat, Blum and Poe, Los Angeles.

 

5) BEST MONOGRAPHIC MUSEUM SHOW IN NEW YORK

1 Mike Kelley, MoMA PS 1.

2 Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui, Brooklyn Museum.

Winners were selected from the following finalists in this category:

Dorothea Rockburne: Drawing Which Makes Itself, Museum of Modern Art.

Iza Genzken: Retrospective, Museum of Modern Art.

Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes, Museum of Modern Art.

Multiple Occupancy: Eleanor Antin's Selves, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, NY.

Robert Motherwell: Early Collages, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; previously at Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy.

 

6) BEST MONOGRAPHIC MUSEUM SHOW NATIONALLY

1 James Turrell: A Retrospective, Los Angeles County Museum of Art in conjunction with related presentations at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

2 Llyn Foulkes, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; traveled to the New Museum, NY.

Winners were selected from the following finalists in this category:

Halo Amok: A Puppet Installation by Wayne White, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, OK.

Hans Richter: Encounters, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

In the Tower: Kerry James Marshall, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

Nick Cave: Sojourn, Denver Art Museum.

Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent, Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY.

Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color, Renwick Gallery/Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC.

Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey, Nasher Museum, Duke University, Durham, NC; traveled to the Brooklyn Museum, NY.

 

7) BEST THEMATIC MUSEUM SHOW IN NEW YORK

1 Gutai: Splendid Playground, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

2 Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Winners were selected from the following finalists in this category:

The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution, New York Historical Society.

Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500-1800, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Iran Modern, Asia Society.

Photography and the American Civil War, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Silla: Korea's Golden Kingdom, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Soundings: A Contemporary Score, Museum of Modern Art.

 

8) BEST THEMATIC MUSEUM SHOW NATIONALLY

1 An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; traveled to the Grey Art Gallery, New York University.

2 Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909 - 1929: When Art Danced with Music, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

Winners were selected from the following finalists in this category:

“Great and Mighty Things”: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis, Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Over, Under, Next: Experiments in Mixed Media, 1913 to the Present, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC.

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archeology, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

 

*******

AICA ART WRITING AWARDS WINNERS

Honoring writing published between January and December 2013

9) BEST CRITICISM

1 "Finding Poetry on the Page and, Later, on the Canvas, An Art Critic is First Inspired by Words," Holland Cotter, The New York Times

Words For Art: Criticism, History, Theory, Practice, Barry Schwabsky, Sternberg Press

Winners were selected from the following finalists in this category:

9.5 Theses on Art and Class, Ben Davis, Haymarket Books

Isaac Julien: RIOT, Multiple authors; David Frankel, editor, Museum of Modern Art, NY

 

10) BEST ART REPORTING

1 The Brooklyn Rail (online and print editions)

Dealer's Hand: Why are so many people paying so much money for art? Ask David Zwirner, Nick Paumgarten. The New Yorker

Winners were selected from the following finalists in this category:

Jason Foumberg at Newcity, Chicago

Lee Rosenbaum’s Culturegrrl, Fort Lee, NJ

Marcel Duchamp: The Afternoon Interviews, Calvin Tomkins, Badlands Unlimited Press

Mary Louise Schumacher, art / design / architecture critic, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Randy Kennedy, The New York Times

 

11) BEST BLOG

1 Tyler Green, Modern Art Notes (blog and podcasts)

2 Mira Schor, A Year of Positive Thinking

Winners were selected from the following finalists in this category:

Jane Harris, Janestown

John Perreault, Artopia

Raphael Rubinstein, The Silo

Richard Friswell, editor and publisher, artesmagazine.com

05 April 2014

Cervantes Institute Panel Examines the State of European Art Criticism

WHAT: Walking in the Air: Art Criticism in Europe panel discussion about the current state of art criticism in Europe.
WHEN: Sun, Apr 27, 2014, 3-6pm panel 6-7:30pm reception
WHERE: The Cervantes Institute in New York, 211 East 49th Street, New York , NY 10017

Reserve a seat via Eventbrite

AICA International and EUNIC New York members: Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, The Czech Center New York, Spain Culture New York-Consulate General of Spain and the Polish Cultural Institute New York in collaboration with AICA USA present Walking in the Air: Art Criticism in Europe, a panel discussion at the Cervantes Institute, New York City, 3-6pm.

This panel will address the role the of art criticism in Europe, whether it can function within a local geo-cultural context while art becomes an increasingly global commodity, and the role social media plays in making local art criticism globally accessible? The panelists for Walking in the Air are noted scholars and critics from Spain, Finland, Poland and the Czech Republic; moderated by Hyperallergic's co-founder and editor Hrag Vartanian.  The discussion will begin with opening remarks by Marek Bartelik, president of AICA International, and the panel will be followed by a reception from 6-7:30.  A special issue of the Brooklyn Rail devoted to art criticism in Europe and the United States, scheduled for May 2014, will continue topics introduced atthe panel.

About the Participants:

Moderator Hrag Vartanian: Writer, art critic, and curator, he is also editor and co-founder of the influential arts blog Hyperallergic. Vartanian was born in Aleppo, Syria, raised in Toronto, Canada, and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Vartanian has contributed to numerous online and print publications including the Art21 blog, Boldtype, The Brooklyn Rail, Huffington Post, AGBU News Magazine, Ararat Magazine, and NYFA Current. He has guest contributed to Al Jazeera, NPR and WNYC.

Speakers:

Dorota Jarecka (Poland): Art historian, curator and art critic, writing for key Polish magazines and  cooperating with the major Polish daily “Gazeta Wyborcza”. In 2011-2012, she hosted a series of meetings - Krytycy i krytycy (Critics and critics) at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, devoted to the condition of art criticism and the workshop of an art critic. In 2012, she was awarded the Jerzy Stajuda Prize for Art Criticism. In 2012 she co-edited the book entitled Krystiana Robb-Narbutt. Rysunki, przedmioty, pracownia (Krystiana Robb-Narbutt. Drawings, objects, the studio). Member of the Citizens’ Forum for Contemporary Art and the International Association of Art Critics/AICA.

Marja-Terttu Kivirinta (Finland): Art critic, journalist (freelancer 1976–1980, 2009–) and author of non-fiction books. Kivirinta worked as a staff writer for 28 years in the cultural section of the daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat from 1980.  She taught art history and art criticism since 1978 at the University of Theater, University of Helsinki and University of Art and Design in Helsinki. She has published numerous articles on art history and contemporary art as well as worked as a co-editor in editorial boards for a series of non-fiction books. Kivirinta has had several positions of trust; currently she is a member of the Board in AICA-Finland (2010–) and AICA International (2011–). 

Javier Montes (Spain): Writer, translator and art critic living in Madrid. He has lived for extended periods in Equatorial Guinea, Paris, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. In 2007, he received the José María Pereda Prize for his first novel, Los penúltimos and received with Andrés Barba the Anagrama Essay Prize for the book La ceremonia del porno (2007). As a translator he has focused on critical publication and research into the works of Shakespeare: he has published versions of Cymbeline, King Lear and Coriolanus, as well as the essay Shakespeare y la música (2009).

Tomáš Pospiszyl (Czech Republic): Critic, curator and art historian based in Prague, Czech Republic. He writes for the daily newspaper Lidové noviny. He worked as a curator in The National Gallery in Prague (1997-2002), and a research fellow at The Museum of Modern Art in New York (2000) . Since 2003 he teaches at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. His publications include anthology Primary Documents; A Sourcebook for Eastern and Central European Art since the 1950s, which he co-edited with Laura Hoptman (2002). He is a regular contributor for Czech art magazines Umelec, Tyden, A2, Ateliér, Cinepur, and Respekt, and has penned numerous catalogue essays and magazine articles.

For more information: Polish Institute Website

This event is free, but reserverations are required.  Reserve a seat via Eventbrite

Press Contact: Polish Cultural Institute New York: Paulina Bębecka, paulina.bebecka@instytutpolski.org, 212.239.7300 ext. 3011

Organized by AICA International and EUNIC New York members: The Czech Center New York, Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, Spain Culture New York-Consulate General of Spain, and The Polish Cultural Institute New York  in collaboration with AICA-USA and The Cervantes Institute in New York. Media partners: Brooklyn Rail and Hyperallergic.

16 January 2014

Thaw by Jill Conner at Dorsky Curatorial Programs

"Thaw," a group exhibition of artists addressing the changing relationship between nature and humans, opens at Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, Sunday, January 19, 2-5 PM.  Organized by critic and AICA-USA board member Jill Conner, the exhibition juxtaposes work by 11 artists who present diverse points of view through a wide variety of mediums, from videos and photographs depicting site-specific explorations and interventions, to intricate drawings and installations conveying highly personal responses to natural phenomena.

The exhibition, which will remain on view through April 6, is accompanied by an illustrated color brochure with an essay by Conner, who will moderate three public conversations about her project over the course of the exhibition.

Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs is located at 11-03 45th Avenue, Long Island City, NY  11101

T: 718.937.6317  E: info@dorsky.org

Nomadic Landscape, by Blane De St. Croix, 2012

08 January 2014

Aziz + Cucher: Time of the Empress

Aziz + Cucher: Time of the Empress #5, 2012

still from HD digital video animation

AICA-USA member Tami Katz-Freiman has curated a solo exhibition for The Screening Room, a new media exhibition space in Miami's Wynwood Art District.  Katz-Frieman worked with the New York based collaborative team Anthony Aziz and Sammy Cucher to present "Time of the Empress (septet)," an installation of seven flat-screen panels displaying animated drawings of modernist structures in a continuous loop of construction and disintegration that evokes both the Tower of Babel and the ruins of war that the artists experienced firsthand during the 1990s Balkans war.  The exhibition remains on display through March 14, 2014.

Aziz + Cucher: Time of the Empress #5, 2012

still from HD digital video animation

26 December 2013

Job Bank: Faculty and Admin Listings at the California College of the Arts

Image courtesy California College of the Arts

California College of the Arts

5212 Broadway

Oakland, CA 94618

cca.edu

California College of the Arts is seeking applicants for the following faculty and academic administrative positions:

 Application review for all positions will begin in January.

 Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) offers 22 undergraduate and 12 graduate programs in the areas of fine arts, architecture, design, and writing. The college offers BFA, BA, MFA, MA, MBA, BArch, MArch, and MAAD degrees. It has campuses in San Francisco and Oakland, and currently enrolls 1,950 full-time students.

CCA's learning environment encourages collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Theory and practice are equally emphasized. The programs balance studio courses with a rich and relevant curriculum in the humanities and sciences. Diverse cultural perspectives enrich the CCA community, and the college believes that continuing to expand the horizons of students and faculty is essential to achieving our educational objectives. CCA is a growing institution that draws on the Arts and Crafts traditions of the Bay Area and contributes to the region's leadership in the areas of innovation, social entrepreneurship, and creative practice.



The college has made a commitment to playing an active role in the community through project-based learning, public programming, and other industry and community partnerships. CCA students are encouraged to work in an interdisciplinary manner, undertaking projects and collaborations with students in other majors and engaging with outside communities. 

The faculty of 550 includes approximately 150 ranked and tenured faculty as well as part-time working professionals. The energetic and collegial faculty culture of CCA creates an outstanding work environment for teachers and administrators alike.



Noted CCA alumni include the artists Nathan Oliveira, Jules de Balincourt, Robert Arneson, Robert Bechtle, Viola Frey, and Peter Voulkos; the Oscar-winning filmmaker Audrey Marrs; the illustrator Tomie de Paola; the conceptual artists Harrell Fletcher, David Ireland, and Dennis Oppenheim; and the designers Lucille Tenazas, Michael Vanderbyl, and Gary Hutton.


05 December 2013

2013 Art Writers Grants

2013 Art Writers Grants

Congratulations to AICA-USA members Monica Amor, Claudia Calirman, and Robert Berlind for winning awards for excellence in art writing from the Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program.

In its 2013 cycle, the Arts Writers Grant Program awarded a total of $619,000 to twenty writers. Ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 in four categories—articles, blogs, books and short-form writing—these grants support projects addressing both general and specialized art audiences, from scholarly studies to self-published blogs.

Articles
Melissa MessinaMildred Thompson: Making the Invisible Visible (Savannah, GA)
Federico WindhausenNarcisa Hirsch, the Goethe Group, and Argentine Experimental Cinema During the Dirty War (Oakland, CA) 

Blogs
Sharon ButlerTwo Coats of Paint (New York, NY)
Ed FuentesPaint This Desert (Las Vegas, NV) 
Andrew HorwitzArt Criticism for the Post-Material World (Brooklyn, NY) 

Books
Monica AmorGego: Weaving the Space In Between (Philadelphia, PA)
Jennifer BajorekHow to Write a Visual History of Liberation: Photography and Decolonial Imagination in Africa (Brooklyn, NY)
George BakerLateness and Longing: On the Afterlife of Photography (Los Angeles, CA)
Claudia CalirmanA Study from the Margins: Female Practices in Brazil and Chile(New York, NY)
Kellie JonesArt is an Excuse: Conceptual Strategies 1968-1983 (Brooklyn, NY)
Saloni MathurA Fragile Inheritance: Radical Stakes in Contemporary Indian Art(Los Angeles, CA)
Lizabeth Paravisini-GebertTroubled Waters: Ecology and History in 21st-Century Caribbean Art (Poughkeepsie, NY)
Krista ThompsonThe Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice (Evanston, IL)

Short-Form Writing
Andrew Berardini (Los Angeles, CA)
Robert Berlind (New York, NY)
Travis Diehl (Los Angeles, CA)
Travis Jeppesen (Berlin, Germany)
Jennifer Kabat (Margaretville, NY)
Kate Sutton (Nashville, TN) 

The 2014 grants application period opens in April.

05 December 2013

2013 Art Writing Workshop Recipients

2013 Art Writing Workshop Recipients

Meet the participants in the 2013 Art Writing Workshop, a partnership between the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), the Arts Writers Grant Program supported by Creative Capital, and the Warhol Foundation.

Stephanie Cardon, Jamaica Plain, MA

Corrine Fitzpatrick, Brooklyn, NY

Victoria Gannon, Oakland, CA

Daniel Gerwin, Philadelphia, PA

Rebecca Louise Hunter, Philadelphia, PA

Elisabeth Jaquette, Cairo, Egypt

Sarah Pollman, Allston, MA

Genevieve Quick, San Francisco, CA

Amy White, Carrboro NC

They will partner with

Bill Berkson: poet, critic, professor emeritus at the San Francisco Art Institute, and author of some 30 books and pamphlets of poetry. His latest, Expect Delays (Coffee House Press), is due in fall 2014.

Michael Brenson: art critic, art historian, and teacher. Brenson wrote on art for the New York Times from 1982 to 1991.  He is a Getty Scholar and Guggenheim Fellow, a visiting senior critic in the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design’s Department of Fine Arts, and a member of the sculpture faculty in Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. He is writing a biography of David Smith.

Holland Cotter: chief art critic for the New York Times, winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, and recipient of the College Art Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for Art in 2010. 

Barbara A. MacAdam: deputy editor of ARTnews, where she has worked since 1987, after servering as executive editor of Art+Auction (2005-2006). MacAdam has also curated shows at nonprofit spaces and serves on the boards of the International Art Critics Association and the Paris-based Arts Arena.

Peter Plagens: a painter whose work has been shown at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York since 1974, and an art critic for Newsweek (1989-2003). Plagens has had museum surveys of his painting and currently writes for the Wall Street Journal.  He has written two books of art criticism as well as a novel, Time for Robo (Black Heron Press, 1999). Bruce Nauman: The True Artist, will be published by Phaidon in 2014. 

Raphael Rubinstein: this poet and art critic's books include Polychrome Profusion: Selected Art Criticism 1990–2002 (Hard Press Editions, 2004) and The Afterglow of Minor Pop Masterpieces (Make Now Press, 2007).  From 1997 to 2007, he was a senior editor at Art in America, where he continues to be a contributing editor. He is currently professor of critical studies at the University of Houston School of Art.

Barry Schwabsky: art critic for the Nation and coeditor of international reviews for Artforum. Schwabsky's books of poetry include Book Left Open in the Rain (Black Square Editions, 2009) and 12 Abandoned Poems (Kilmog Press, 2010). His most recent book is Words for Art: Criticism, History, Theory, Practice (Sternberg Press, 2013).

Susan Snodgrass: coeditor of ARTMargins Online after serving as a corresponding editor for Art in America (1994–2013). She has taught art history and criticism at DePaul University, Columbia College Chicago, and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is a senior lecturer in both the sculpture department and the New Arts Journalism Program.

Marcia E. Vetrocq: author, editor, educator, and curator, she served as editor-in-chief at Art in America from 2008 to 2011, and has written extensively on modern and contemporary art.  Vetrocq is a past recipient of the Wolfsonian Foundation Senior Fellowship and the Heiskell Visiting Critic Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome.

Lilly Wei: art critic, writer, and independent curator, Wei he contributes to many publications in the United States and abroad and has written for Art in America since 1984. She is a contributing editor at ARTnews, and frequently reports on international biennials and exhibitions.  Her most recent curatorial project is "The Compromised Land: Recent Photography and Video from Israel" at the Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York. 

Art Writing Workshop Program Director Amei Wallach: art critic and filmmaker. Her film, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Enter Here, debuted at Film Forum in New York and received its international premiere at the Moscow Art Biennale this fall. She has written or contributed to a dozen books, and served two terms as president of AICA/USA, the U.S. section of the International Art Critics Association. 

For more information on the recipients and their mentors, please visit Writing Workshop.

05 December 2013

Job Bank: Director, School of Art, Syracuse University

Director, School of Art, Syracuse University

Syracuse University

Call for applications: Director, School of Art

Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2014.

Syracuse University
College of Visual and Performing Arts
102 Shaffer Art Building
Syracuse, NY 13244

vpa.syr.edu

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Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts is in the process of merging its departments of Art and Foundation to create a School of Art and is seeking an accomplished artist/scholar to serve as its first Director. Reporting to the Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the new Director will work alongside faculty in defining, implementing, and sustaining a progressive vision of the study and practice of visual arts in the 21st century.

Building on a 110-year history of excellence and innovation, the new School comprises renowned and highly ranked programs in Art Education, Ceramics, History of Art, Illustration, Jewelry and Metalsmithing, Painting, Printmaking, and Sculpture. In addition, the School offers many of the foundational courses required for BFA degree-seeking students across the College. The School enrolls more than 200 undergraduate majors and 33 graduate students; additionally, its 27 faculty provide course instruction to students outside the major from across the University. The School of Art operates in the context of a tier 1 research university and is housed within the College of Visual and Performing Arts, composed of the departments of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Design, Drama, and Transmedia, as well as the Setnor School of Music.

The Director will have the opportunity to shape and implement the vision of the School in all aspects of teaching, research and service on a local, national, and international level and will guide and advocate for faculty and students. The Director will also work to develop and sustain new programs and collaborative relations across the college, university, and with outside institutions.

Specifically, the Director has overall responsibility for departmental curricula; faculty hiring, supervision, and professional development (promotion and tenure); student welfare and advisement; resource and facilities management; program review; and recruitment, advancement, and public relations.

Qualifications:
– MFA, PhD, or equivalent professional experience
– Distinguished record of creative/scholarly/teaching activities
– Significant administrative experience, ideally in an academic setting
– Deep connections to professional/academic art programs
– Experience developing and sustaining collaborative projects
– Excellent leadership, organizational and communication skills

Syracuse University is a private, coeducational and residential university and plays an integral role in the cultural, social, economic, and educational life of central New York State with close connections to New York City, as well as other major cities in the Northeast. It's full-time, main campus enrollment of 11,000+ undergraduates and 4,000+ graduate students represent the United States, about 100 foreign countries and varied economic and social backgrounds. For more information on the university, please visit www.syr.edu. Syracuse University is an AA/EOE.

Application instructions: Syracuse University has an online application process. For consideration, candidates must complete an online faculty demographic summary at www.sujobopps.com (job #070829). In addition to the online summary, a letter of application, including a curriculum vitae and a list of references, must be attached online. Additional materials may be requested at a later date. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. A fuller description of the position, the Department, and the University can be found at vpa.syr.edu. Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2014.

Sage Search Partners is assisting Syracuse University with this search. Nominations and applications (letter of interest and resume) may be directed, in confidence, to Paula Fazli, Partner;pfazli@sagesearch.com.

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20 November 2013

Contemporary Art Professor, University of Albany, State University of New York

Contemporary Art Professor, University of Albany

Tenure Track: Assistant Professor in Contemporary Art (20th-21st Centuries)

The Department of Art and Art History at the University at Albany, State University of New York, seeks a specialist in Contemporary Art to teach courses in the undergraduate Art History program and the MFA program. Courses will include upper-level undergraduate courses in 20th- and 21st-century art; seminars for undergraduate and graduate students in area of specialty; the introductory Survey of Art in the Western World; and seminars in Contemporary Art and Art Criticism for MFA students.  Teaching experience and secondary teaching area required.  The successful candidate will have an active program of research and is expected to contribute to the academic life of the Department and the wider University.  Global and/or intersectional approaches to research and teaching are strongly preferred.  Applicants must address in their applications their ability to work with and instruct a culturally diverse population.  PhD in Art History or Visual Studies required; degrees must be from a university accredited by the U.S. Department of Education or an internationally recognized accrediting organization.  Please include in the application a cover letter, a statement on teaching and research, CV, and names and addresses of three references.  Applications must be submitted electronically at University of Albany Contemporary Art Professor

Application deadline:  January 7th.

THE UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY IS AN EO/AA/IRCA/ADA EMPLOYER

05 November 2013

Video of Lucy Lippard’s Distinguished Critic Lecture

Lucy Lippard. Changing: On Not Being an Art "Critic" from Vera List Center on Vimeo.

Speaking before an audience of over 400 at the New School's Tishman Auditorium on October 30, Lucy Lippard delivered a forceful outline of her life's work: writing about art, politics, and ecology.  Her October 30 lecture is now available for viewing on Vimeo.

Lucy Lippard 

Photo: Naomi Miller

Addressing the continuing vitality of feminism

Photo: Daniel Larkin

A capacity audience at Tishman auditorium 

Photo: Naomi Miller

05 November 2013

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: ENTER HERE

Emilia and Ilya Kabakov in the studio, 2013

Photo: Jacques De Melo

Ilya Kabakov installing Labyrinth, My Mother’s Album at The Garage, Moscow, 2008

AICA-USA board member Amei Wallach, known for her acclaimed film Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress and The Tangerine, will present her latest documentary, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: ENTER HERE, for its U.S. theatrical premiere at Film Forum in New York City, November 13-26, 2013.

Wallach first met Ilya Kabakov in 1987 as she was researching a five-part series on the effects of perestroika on the arts. In 1996 she published the artist’s first biography: Ilya Kabakov: The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away (Abrams).  In Enter Here she traces the husband-and-wife team Ilya and Emilia Kabakov as they confront their tumultuous Soviet past in the dizzying tumult of post-Soviet Russia.  U.S. citizens for decades, they return to Moscow in 2008, where Ilya Kabakov had long been forbidden to show his work.  There the two prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—to present six concurrent exhibitions in venues that range from alternative spaces to the Pushkin Museum. The film’s dynamic style reveals how Russia’s epic history of revolution and tyranny shaped the deeply personal backstory that animates and drives the Kabakovs’ art projects.

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: ENTER HERE is presented in collaboration with the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.  Presented by Festival "Diaghilev.P.S" and JTI. The film debuted in September 2013 at the Moscow Biennale; its North American premiere at Film Forum coincides with a New York City exhibition of work by the Kabakovs at Pace Gallery’s 57th Street space, on view through December 21, 2013.

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: ENTER HERE (2013, 102 minutes) Directed and produced by Amei Wallach. Ken Kobland, editor and cinematographer. Kipjaz Savoie, co-producer.  Mead Hunt, cinematographer.  With Robert Storr, Dr. Mikhail Piotrovsky, Matthew Jesse Jackson, and Dasha (Daria) Zhukova.

More information about the film, including a link to the trailer, is available at www.kabakovfilm.com.

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov

04 November 2013

Job Listings

Listings in US museums, universities, and cultural institutions

31 October 2013

Lucy Lippard: AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lecture

Lucy Lippard speaks at the New School's Tishman Auditorium, October 30, 2013

photo: Daniel Larkin

Cultural critic, feminist icon, and environmental activist Lucy Lippard delivered the 6th AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lecture before a packed Tishman Auditorium on October 30, describing her love of writing and the evolution of her approach to writing about art, politics, and ecological issues.  Daniel Larkin's report for HyperAllergic, "Why Lucy Lippard Never Gets Writer's Block," can be found here.

28 October 2013

Arthur Danto, January 1, 1924- October 25, 2013

Arthur Danto

photograph by Steve Pyke

Arthur C. Danto, long-time art critic for The Nation, philosophy professor at Columbia University, and prolific author of over 30 books, died Friday, October 25.  The author of “Beyond the Brillo Box” and “After the End of Art,” Danto embraced the stylistic pluralism that sprouted in the 1960s and bloomed throughout the 1970s and 1980s.   A long-time AICA-USA member, Danto’s writing was exceptional for its clarity and for its ability to convey the motives and productions of artists without resorting to purely formal or psychological models.   His New York Times obituary can be found here.

25 October 2013

Theresa Bernstein: A Century in Art

Gail Levin, AICA-USA member and Distinguished Professor at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), has organized a survey of the art of the American artist Theresa Bernstein (1890-2002), who made and exhibited her paintings and drawings in every decade of the twentieth century.  Bernstein's work will be in display at the Sidney Mishkin Gallery at Baruch College, November 7 - December 11, 2013, and at the James Gallery of the City University's Graduate Center. November 12, 2013 - January 18, 2014.

A day-long symposium on Bernstein's work will be held on November 13, 2013, 9:30 am - 5:30 pm.  This symposium, which will include presentations by Levin and guest speakers, is free and open to the public.  The symposium will take place in the Simon Conference Room, 14-220, at Newman Vertical Campus of Baruch College, 55 Lexington Avenue at 25th Street.  Reservations are required.  Symposium schedule and reservation links can be found here.

News   17 October 2013

Ticio Escobar: The Invention of Distance /  La invención de la distancia

Ticio Escobar: The Invention of Distance / La invención de la distancia
(with a preface by Marek Bartelik and an introduction by Adriana Almada; translated by Christina Mac Sweeney)

Co-published by AICA Press, AICA Paraguay, and Fausto Ediciones

Paraguayan author Ticio Escobar has been an incisive commentator on the transformations of contemporary art for more than 30 years.  This bilingual edition inaugurates a series of books by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA International) devoted to recipients of AICA International’s Prize for Distinguished Contribution to Art Criticism.  Click here for a full description of Escobar's book and information on how to order it. 

14 October 2013

Lucy Lippard Distinguished Critic Lecture at the New School

Writer, Curator, and Activist Lucy Lippard will deliver the 6th Annual Distinguished Critic Lecture at the New School Wednesday, October 30, 6:30-8:30 pm.

photo: R. A. Shuff

Please join us at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium on Wednesday, October 30, when writer, curator and activist Lucy Lippard will speak on Changing: On Not Being an Art “Critic.”       

In a talk she describes as “sort of autobiographical,” she will address, “what made me do it, what I try to do,” and the “art events” that formed her: conceptualism, feminism and activism.  Lippard was a founder of the Art Workers Coalition, which was organized in 1966 to seek improved living conditions and exhibition policies for artists. Eleven years later, she helped found the feminist journal Heresies

Her 1966 exhibition “Eccentric Abstraction,” with works by artists such as Bruce Nauman and Eva Hesse, laid the groundwork for an understanding of process art. In 1969, she spread early news of conceptualism with her exhibition, “557,087,” followed by her 1973 book, Six Years.  This show and the book that followed it were the basis for last year’s award-winning Brooklyn Museum exhibition, “Materializing ‘Six Years’: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art,” which included the poster picturing Vietnam War victims of the My Lai massacre, captioned with the text: “Q. And babies? A. And babies.”

“Conceptual Art,” Lippard wrote for the exhibition’s catalogue, “was a kind of laboratory for innovations in the rest of the century. An unconscious international energy emerged from the raw materials of friendship, art history, interdisciplinary readings and a fervor to change the world and the ways artists related to it.”

This is the sixth AICA/USA Distinguished Critic Lecture at The New School, an annual event addressing current issues and exemplary achievements in the world of art criticism. It is a joint presentation of the United States Chapter of International Association of Art Critics (AICA: Association Internationale des Critiques d'Art) in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.

THE AICA-USA DISTINGUISHED CRITIC LECTURE AT THE NEW SCHOOL

6:30-8:00 PM, Wednesday, 30 October, 2013

The New School, Tishman Auditorium

66 West 12th Street, New York City

 

Admission is free and open to the public

17 September 2013

Critic As Artist: 2 New Max Kozloff Exhibitions

Young Man with Sunglasses, Coney Island, 1997

Copyright Max Kozloff, courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery, New York
 
In “Max Kozloff: New York Over the Top,” Steven Kasher Gallery, New York

Award-winning critic, art historian, and AICA-USA member Max Kozloff has written extensively about photography for more than three decades. This fall two exhibitions of Kozloff’s photographs document how personal experience behind the viewfinder shaped an understanding of the photographic aesthetic that he outlined in books like Photography and Fascination (Addison House, 1980) and The Theatre of the Face (Phaidon, 2007).

 Visitors to the Art Institute of Chicago can see “Max Kozloff: Critic and Photographer,” a survey of more that 80 works that traces a career that began with his 1977 exhibition at Holly Solomon Gallery in New York City.  In New York City, Steven Kasher Gallery is presenting “Max Kozloff: New York Over the Top,” a pictorial homage to his home town.

      ·    “Max Kozloff: Critic and Photographer,” Chicago Art Institute

      Saturday, October 5, 2013 – Sunday, January 5, 2014

·    “Max Kozloff: New York Over the Top,” Steven Kasher Gallery, New York

     September 12th – October 11th

Max Kozloff. Child among the "dervishes", West Indian Carnival, Brooklyn, 1993, printed later. Courtesy of the artist and Steven Kasher Gallery, New York.

In “Max Kozloff: Critic and Photographer,” Art Institute of Chicago.

15 September 2013

On-Verge Website Update

A resource for young art critics: On-Verge, an AICA-USA / Cue Foundation collaboration

AICA-USA Board Member Jill Conner has worked with Cue Foundation staff to redesign On-Verge, Cue Foundation's platform for coverage of art and culture by emerging art critics.  This redesign is an extension of AICA-USA's ongoing collaboration with the Cue Foundation on the Young Art Critic Mentorship Program.

14 September 2013

2 articles by Art Writing Workshop participant Sarah Coleman

Portrait (P. Lappat), 1987, from 'Portraits' by Thomas Ruff

Critic Sarah Coleman mentored with AICA-USA Board Member Barbara MacAdam for her 2013 AICA-USA / Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation sponsored Art Writing Workshop residency.  Her work resulted in two articles on the changing nature of photography: "Don't Say Cheese," which appears below, and "End Days," which you can read here.   Congratulations, Sarah!

*****

“Don’t Say Cheese: Why Do the People in Contemporary Art Photographs Look So Blank?” 

The Amanda Smith Gallery isn't in Chelsea. It isn't in Los Angeles, London or Berlin. The town of Johnson City, Texas, where the gallery is located, is an hour's drive from Houston and has a population of under 1,500. It's the kind of homespun place where people greet each other by name, and the art community there (three galleries, one of which opens sporadically) is similarly modest. Yet last March, gallerist Amanda Smith did something fairly radical by contemporary-art standards. She mounted an exhibition called “Smile.”

Why are contemporary-art photographs so devoid of smiles? In many cases it's not just an absence of joy; rather, it appears to be a total lack of emotional affect. Walk into a high-end gallery in any major art city today, and--if photographs are on show--you're likely to see images of people wearing blank expressions, almost as if they're reflecting the camera's impassive eye.

Consider recent shows by artists Jitka Hanzlova, Lydia Panas, Lise Sarfati, and last year's Guggenheim retrospective devoted to Dutch art superstar Rineke Dijkstra. Look through Susan Bright's Art Photography Now, which--even in its expanded 2011 edition--features next to no smiles in its 240 pages. Certain successful young photographers--Loretta Lux, Rania Matar, Hellen Van Meene--even pull off what might seem an impossible feat: getting children to display no emotion.

 The style, called deadpan, has become the meme of choice for art photographers today. It signals a cool neutrality that, in some ways, corresponds to the dystopian spirit of our times. "People have not smiled in photographs forever, but it's changed somehow," says Smith. "Now I think there's a zombie-like, disconnected look."

 Susan A. Barnett, a New York photographer who curated Smith's “Smile” show, believes that contemporary art photographers like Dijkstra are building on--and sometimes directly referencing--historical portrait paintings. That's ironic, she says, since photography "was meant to bring a spontaneity to portraiture." She finds the deadpan aesthetic problematic because "when you get a trend like this, it tends to discount whatever it's excluding. There's a judgment that occurs--in this case, saying that the smile is illegitimate. Whereas I think there's room for a myriad of expression."

 How did we get to this point? Historically, emotional affect has had a complex relationship with photography. At different times, technology, fashion and (most improbably) national politics have all affected the way people emote--or decline to do so--in front of the lens. 

*****

At first glance, Thomas Ruff doesn't seem like a trendsetter. Soft-spoken, bearded and pleasantly scruffy around the edges, he shows up for a press preview of his show photograms and ma.r.s. at the David Zwirner gallery in rumpled cords and a glaringly ordinary checkered shirt. Shuffling uneasily, he grasps a plastic water bottle and looks as if he'd rather be elsewhere.

 An art-world chameleon, Ruff has gone through more artistic phases than the decades he's lived through. But in the 1980s, he pioneered a style of portraiture that, for better or worse, began steering fine-art photography toward the blank gaze. 'Portraits,' Ruff's photographs of his fellow-students at the Dusseldorf Art Academy, is as straight and minimalist a series of photographs as its title implies. The head-and-shoulders portraits of young people, taken in flat light, resemble passport photographs or police mug shots in everything but their size. Each image is between six and eight feet high, an arresting, billboard scale that makes the subjects' blank expressions all the more striking.

Between 1981 and 1987, Ruff shot around 60 such portraits, and they had a seismic effect on the art world. The drab, institutional feel was no accident. A student at the time, Ruff was profoundly influenced by what was happening politically in Germany. In particular, the Red Army Faction, a domestic terrorist group somewhat akin to America's Weather Underground, was sowing fear and paranoia. In the 1970s and '80s, the RAF carried out targeted assassinations of politicians and industrialists, creating an atmosphere of terror that resulted in a massive police crackdown.

"Surveillance cameras were everywhere, and you were being watched all the time," Ruff recalled in a 2004 interview. "When I started making the portraits in 1981, my friends and I were very curious about what might happen in 1984, Orwell’s year. Would his ideas come to fruition?"

Ruff had already embraced the deadpan aesthetic in a series of minimalist interiors, under the direction of teachers Bernd and Hilla Becher, who were reviving Germany's Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) movement of the 1930s. He carried the approach over to portraiture. The idea, he said, was to create an "anti-kitsch" representation of young people living in a police state, as if his subjects were defensive victims of enforced documentation. Somewhat ironically, these no-frills portraits were highly directed. "I chose the background, the clothes," he said. "I realized a photograph could be easily manipulated and misinterpreted. The person behind the camera is really controlling it all."

 No doubt, Ruff's portraits might not have had such an impact if they'd been printed at a standard gallery size. But their huge scale couldn't help but draw attention. In the glitzy art-world atmosphere of the 1980s, with megastars like Jeff Koons and Julian Schnabel making millions, Ruff showed that photography could compete. Hungry for the next big thing, the art world embraced Ruff and his deadpan peers from Dusseldorf--artists like Candida Hofer and Andreas Gursky, who had also studied with the Bechers. For the first time, photography was on an equal footing with other artistic media.  

By the 1990s, the aesthetic had spread to Yale, where another group of young photographers was honing its craft. Artists like Katy Grannan, Justine Kurland, and Malerie Marder were studying with Gregory Crewdson and Phillip-Lorca diCorcia in the MFA program, and in different ways, these young women incorporated the blank gaze into their work. In 1999, Crewdson curated a show at Yale called “Another Girl, Another Planet,” featuring the work of Grannan, Kurland, and Marder, among others: it became one of the most talked-about photography exhibitions of the decade. At the same time, Dijkstra was picking up the baton in Europe, making portraits of adolescents that turned a meditative but clinical eye on young people's fragile psyches. 

Interestingly, these young artists had divorced the deadpan gaze from its original context. Ruff's portrait series, made as a specific reaction to a political situation, now bled its aesthetic onto other, disconnected subject areas. In these cases, the subjects' anomie was no longer a shared generational reaction to a political crackdown. Instead, it seemed to express something almost opposite: its young subjects' sense of self-absorption and disengagement from society.

In his 2000 book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell analyzes how trends tend to begin with a “tipping point.” Citing the example of a rash of teen male suicides in Micronesia, he writes that the epidemic "started with a single high-profile suicide--a love triangle involving a charismatic high-born youth and a dramatic scene at a funeral--and soon other boys were committing suicide in precisely the same way, and for reasons that seemed preposterously trivial."

In the case of the blank gaze, the serious photographers who’ve adopted the aesthetic are not trivial, thoughtless copycats. Still, it's intriguing to consider what could have happened if a photographer whose work had more emotional warmth (Roe Ethridge, say, or Steve McCurry) had caused a "tipping point."

*****

Significant as his work was, it would be wrong to ascribe sole authorship of the blank gaze to Thomas Ruff. Few artists are globally influential, and success in the art world depends on many factors, including luck, geography, and individual dealers' tastes. Nevertheless, it does seem that Ruff was at the leading edge of a trend as, perhaps, the first photographer to bring the deadpan aesthetic to contemporary fine-art portraiture. 

 Still, other factors played a part too. Traditionally, the most common directive amateur photographers give their subjects is, "Smile." This pertains across cultures, age groups, and religions. It may be natural that photographers aspiring to art status have shied away from the automatic, often phony smile as expressed in family snapshots and advertising images. "I was trying to make a photographic portrait that didn't look kitschy, or like an ad--in a sense, it was bringing the portrait to point zero," Thomas Ruff told me.

Stripping back those layers of cultural conditioning could indeed be seen as bringing photo-portraiture back to its roots. In the 1840s--point zero for photographic portraiture—the smile was far from the default expression. Cameras and dry plates worked so slowly that exposures could last for minutes, and few people attempted to hold a smile. In this way early photo-portraits resembled their painted counterparts, where sitting for long periods tended to discourage smiling.

 It wasn't until the 1880s, when faster cameras and roll film were invented, that subjects smiling in photographs became commonplace. In 1888, George Eastman marketed the first mass-market camera, the Kodak, with the slogan "You push the button, we do the rest." Eastman Kodak's subsequent campaigns--personified by the Kodak Girl, in her distinctive blue-and-white-striped dress--emphasized fun, leisure, and ease of use. A few years later, the directive "Say cheese" emerged, ensuring bigger, more artificial grins. In 'Smile! A Polemic on Fine Art Portraiture,' Stephanie Dean traces the emergence of this command to British public-school photographers at around 1910.

 In the 1930s, another photographic genre rose to prominence, giving artists something to react against. Under Roosevelt's Farm Security Administration (FSA), a talented group of photographers received funding to create a visual record of the Great Depression. Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Gordon Parks, and Marion Post Wolcott captured dust-bowl misery with visual flair, producing images that straddled journalism and art. Building on the work of pioneers like Lewis Hine and Jessie Tarbox Beals, they established what Cornell Capa later defined as "concerned photography," today often called humanistic photography.

 Although their subjects rarely smiled (force of circumstances having left them scant joy in life), the emotional tone of the FSA work was warm, for it took the viewer's empathy as a given and positioned photography as a vehicle for social change. Later, in the work of documentarians like Helen Levitt and Elliott Erwitt, humor and joy became tangible elements in the images themselves. In the words of W. Eugene Smith, one of the great practitioners of humanistic photography, "What use is having a great depth of field, if there is not an adequate depth of feeling?"

 "In the humanist tradition, high emotion is prized," says Robert Storr, painter, critic, and dean of the Yale Art School. "It's easy to identify with the subject through a direct display of feeling." And perhaps because the high emotion of humanism is always in danger of toppling over into sentimentality, the most influential art photographers of the postwar era--Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Cindy Sherman--eschewed this tone, substituting cynicism, irony, and voyeurism. Getting to the deadpan gaze was a short journey from there.

 Whether you see deadpan as synonymous with blankness, however, is a matter of personal perspective. As viewers, we bring our own psychological weather to the images we consume. To some people, what feels clinical and soulless in the blank gaze is, to others, a welcome reprieve from the superficiality and forced bonhomie of a world where every gesture and expression is a form of social currency.

 "I tend to feel that a smile is off-putting unless you have a personal connection to someone," says Jennifer Blessing, the Guggenheim Museum's senior curator of photography. "It codes to a social superficiality; it's like when someone asks how you are and you say, 'Fine,' and you're not fine at all."

 Last year, Blessing curated the Guggenheim’s Dijkstra retrospective, and she takes issue with the suggestion that the artist’s portraits are affectless. While she admits that some of the work feels more distant to her (a series on Olivier, a young soldier, for example, is "rather opaque" and "hard for me to read," Blessing says), she feels other images are utterly engaging. Dijkstra's beach portraits of adolescents are "heartbreaking," for example, because "the individuals in them haven't yet developed their social masks. As a viewer I know what it's like to be in that position, and it causes an affective, sympathetic response."

 Storr, too, feels the blank gaze is not clinical by default. "It's not like you're looking at something on a slab in the morgue," he says. "You're looking at something without being prompted to have a certain response. You're being asked to step back a bit, but perhaps this allows you to see the images with greater intensity."

 Still, Storr admits it might be time for a change. "The kind of work we're seeing now is developing mannerisms that aren't so interesting. The backlash against it is inevitable, but it's also a measure of how it's changed photography."

 All of which brings us back to the Amanda Smith Gallery and “Smile”--the show that, in its modest way, challenged the deadpan aesthetic. And I wondered, what was the experience in mounting it. What did Smith and Barnett learn?

 "First, that it didn't attract many entries," says Smith with a laugh. Like all of the gallery’s exhibitions, “Smile” was a juried show resulting from a mix of open and solicited submissions. But while the gallery received hundreds of entries for another themed show, “Chair,” it faced a struggle in assembling enough material for “Smile.” "I was hoping there would be more photographs that played on the concept of the smile," Barnett says. "There can be many different emotions behind the expression--you can have a smirk, an ironic smile, a shy smile. But a lot of the pictures that came in were snapshots; the show didn't hit all the notes I wanted." She then adds, "Maybe that says something about the state of photography."

 Indeed, this does seem telling. It implies that even in the age of Instagram, the divide between popular and art photography is still strong--and that even when invited to do so, people have a hard time accepting the smile as legitimate in fine-art portraiture.

 But there may be some signs of thawing. If smiles are hard to come by, there is at least humor in the work of photographers like Gregg Segal, who photographs superheroes and Civil War re-enactors in poignantly out-of-context situations, and Erwin Wurm, whose images are full of visual puns. And, spurred on by the Great Recession, there is a renewed emphasis on humanistic photography. Like their FSA predecessors, "concerned" photographers like Tim Hetherington and Eugene Richards are now having their work shown in the gallery world as well as published in the media.

 Photography has never been just one thing, and with the advent of digital technology, the possibilities for its expansion are endless. It's a big tent, with room inside for a range of expression, and expressions. If the art-photography world is to stay relevant, perhaps it will need to explore different corners of the tent.

 —Sarah Coleman

Portrait, Liverpool, 1999, by Rineke Dijkstra

From 'Poughkeepsie Series', 1999, by Katy Grannan

09 September 2013

Arts Reporters Wanted!

Colorado Public Radio wants you!

Colorado Public Radio is seeking an experienced Arts Reporter to join its Arts Bureau. The Arts Reporter covers all aspects of the CPR arts and culture community and produces content via the mediums of radio and the online arts hub (text, video, social media, still images etc). As a member of the CPR Arts Bureau, the Arts Reporter will work across all three of CPR’s programing services -- News, Classical, and OpenAir.

As a key member of the editorial team, the Arts Reporter focuses on major stories around Colorado arts organizations, artists, and cultural concepts. Work includes producing in-depth feature stories, blog posts, social media feeds, and live events about culture-related events, trends, issues, and ideas. The goal will be to give people a deep understanding of the broad range of arts news, focused primarily on the Denver metro area and important and unique arts activities around the state (summer music festivals, innovative programs, etc.).

The full job description can be seen here.  Contact: Chloe Veltman, Arts Editor at Colorado Public Radio: cveltman@cpr.org

06 September 2013

2 articles by Art Writing Workshop participant Kathleen MacQueen

Installation View, Nancy Spero: From Victimage to Liberation: Works from the 1980s and 1990s, January 2 – February 16, 2013, Galerie Lelong, New York,  Photo: Michael Bodycomb
Art © Estate of Nancy Spero/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY , Courtesy of Galerie Lelong, New York

Critic Kathleen MacQueen mentored with AICA-USA Board Member Lilly Wei for her 2013 AICA-USA / Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation sponsored Art Writing Workshop residency.  Her work resulted in two articles of recent gallery and museum exhibitions: "Nancy Spero: Tell It Slant," which appears below, and "Strange Pilgrims," which you can read here.   Congratulations, Kathleen!

 

"Nancy Spero: Tell It Slant"

 

Are you more drawn to the identity of the artist as trickster?

Leon Golub: Sure. No more Mr. Nice Guy!


Nancy Spero: Emily Dickinson said, “say it at a slant.”

 

Hito Steyerl makes an analogy between the indeterminancy of missing persons and the 1935 thought experiment of Erwin Schrödinger that became the primary means to visualize the “paradoxical superposition” of matter in quantum physics. For Schrödinger, a cat is both dead and alive in a closed box until the box is opened: any potential state as real as any actual state. As Steyerl describes it: “To acknowledge the roll of the observer in actively shaping reality is one of the main achievements of quantum theory. It’s not radiation or poison gas that ultimately decides the fate of the cat, but the fact that it is identified, seen, described, and assessed. Being subject to observation provokes the second death of the cat: the one that ends its state of limbo.”[ii] (...or the second life of the cat, as both are possible.)

Is then the condition of "missing," she contemplates, a state of being both dead and alive? Few accept the death of a loved one without evidence of physical remains – remains that are, as Steyerl notes, both wanted and dreaded – the conditions within Schrödinger’s state of limbo exposed. Steyerl, along with artists Harun Farocki and Rabih Mroué, speaks of poor images – those that “cannot give a comprehensive account of the situation [they are] supposed to represent” but instead reveal “the conditions that brought them into being.”[iii] These are not the kind of images that present quantifiable evidence. But, concedes Steyerl, “if whatever [the poor image] tries to show is obscured, the conditions of its own visibility are plainly visible: it is a subaltern and indeterminate object, excluded from legitimate discourse, from becoming fact, subject to disavowal, indifference, and repression.”[iv]

Since the late 1960s and early 1970s when Nancy Spero created the War Series, Artaud Paintings and Codex Artaud, she strove for the validity of the poor image before its appearance in a new millennial discourse of resistance: the image that is hastily executed and viewed from peripheral vision – “slant” – glanced at rather than observed from a fixed and diagnostic point of view. Her images are mixed, messy, and their relations one to another are indeterminate. They travel historical time in a syncretic blend of eras and cultures. Movement is both a potential and a perpetual condition that promises more than a heroics of absolutism. Spero was, after all, working in the back alleys of the art world, obscured first by the avenues of Abstract Expressionism, then Minimalism and Conceptualism – grand boulevards where the figure had gone missing.

 

When he took my story away from me,


When he said it could never be spoken,


He might as well have cut my tongue out –


Or buried me alive.

 

In 1987, Spero wrote: “For many years when the work was not out, not acknowledged, I was silenced, lost my tongue, so to speak. Women talk but they do not speak in so far as they are, for the most [part], historically silenced.”[v] And so, in the frenetic tantrum of an Antigone determined to speak, she raged against the war in Vietnam, then stuck out her tongue through Artaud’s outcast libations. Spero abandoned oil on canvas – the medium of refinement – in favor of paper – article of the broadside and political pamphlet. She collected her imagery directly from news and popular culture but also from history. From 1973, she worked solely with images of women, collaging them into narratives of oppression and victimization but also of fighting, stomping, dancing, skating, and tumbling across a lively narrative of defiance.

Judith Herman in her seminal study Trauma and Recovery (1992) refused to distinguish between trauma caused by conflict and war and that caused by sexual violence. Spero has consistently and persuasively implicated collusion between these two tongues of domination. And as we see in an exhibition at Galerie Lelong – Nancy Spero, From Victimage to Liberation: Works from the 1980s & 1990s – the artist refused to go underground with her protest. If she weren’t invited onto center stage she would craft her own, keeping the female figure present and active. In Antigone’s Claims (2000), Judith Butler considers the legacy of women’s relation to family and state. Antigone speaks at great risk but is her fate – to be buried alive – any different than the fate decreed by the restrictions on her speech and actions? Is she not, in other words, already dead, her tongue cut out – the restriction against speech akin to being buried alive?

In the small gallery, protest images decry the arrest, mistreatment, and often disappearance of women. In Argentina and South Africa (both from 1981), transcripts from Amnesty International reports typed in all caps on a bulletin typewriter are over-printed with women collapsed, crawling, but also angrily protesting across a solid ground the color of bloodstained earth. In El Salvador (1986) a mother shelters her infant as she runs across the lower quadrant of the sheet while another woman exhausted opens her mouth to the night blue of the paper sky. Repetition of the figures represents the urgency of the messenger but also momentum and multitudes. Desaparecidos – during Argentina’s Dirty War an estimated 30,000 citizens disappeared – this state of limbo, between life and death, has become a prevalent tactic of repression, eliminating as it does the right of habeas corpus.

It is difficult to remain intact through anger and despair and so Spero refused to lock her characters into predictability. In the main gallery, their entrances and exits, pitfalls and ascensions, reiteration and juxtaposition assure a dynamic diversity with complex layers of meaning. Who could pin down the significance of a limbed and tentacled organ menacing a stylized pin-up while Picasso’s bulbous monster stumbles across the open field of Picasso and Frederick’s of Hollywood (1990)? Humor entered Spero’s script, along with reverence and jubilation while retaining always…a sense of endurance. In contradiction to repeated attacks of goddess worship and ahistorical narratives, Spero referenced specific countries, particular women, and documented crimes against women partisans of the resistance movement – the hanging of Masha Bruskina by the Gestapo in 1941 being evident in Invocation (1995). And, yes, she also collapses time offering an extended procession of mourning while Nekhbet, the Egyptian vulture goddess, gives life to the heroine’s memory by recognizing the injustice committed.

In Sophocle’s narrative, Antigone is lead alive into her tomb and closed there in limbo, both dead and alive until the box is opened and it is observed that she has hung herself. In this way, Masha Bruskina can be read as a twentieth-century Antigone, just as Spero infers there will no doubt be more in the twenty-first. But for Spero life and death co-exist without vanquishing one or the other. In the vertical scroll of The Underworld (1997) a naked figure dances jubilantly across a red field. Below her on a checkered plain slither human-headed snakes with protruding tongues while a woman kisses the devil’s ass. Above a gorgon floats across a gold-emblazoned sky that envelopes the figure’s head and upraised arms. The paradoxical superposition of matter is the coexistence of rage with rejoicing; in overcoming the specter of silence…tell it slant.

Kathleen MacQueen

February 7, 2013

 

Nancy Spero
: From Victimage to Liberation: Works from the 1980s & 1990s


Galerie Lelong


528 West 26th Street, NY, NY 10001


January 2-February 16, 2013


John Roberts, “Nancy Spero + Leon Golub” in Everything Magazine 33 (2000), 2-6. Emily Dickinson’s advice was actually to “tell it slant”: Tell all the Truth but tell it slant -- / Success in Circuit lies / Too bright for our infirm Delight / The Truth's superb surprise // As Lightning to the Children eased / With explanation kind / The Truth must dazzle gradually / Or every man be blind –

[ii] Hito Steyerl, “Missing People: Entanglement, Superimposition, and Exhumation as Sites of Indeterminancy” in The Wretched of the Screen (an e-flux journal) (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2012), 139-40.

[iii] Ibid, 256-8. The poor image, in other words, speaks to the conditions of its making, of “the edges, gaps, and rifts of rugged and glossy images, of low-resolution monads left in fractional space, registering their tectonic profile, feeling their bruises, fully confident that the impossible can and indeed will happen.” Hito Steyerl exhibited her video installations at e-flux gallery, 311 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002, from October 4, 2012 - January 5, 2013.

[iv] Ibid, 256.

[v] Nancy Spero, “Substitutes for My Body” in Artforum (March 1988), 103-105.

Installation View, Nancy Spero: From Victimage to Liberation: Works from the 1980s and 1990s, January 2 – February 16, 2013, Galerie Lelong, New York,  Photo: Michael Bodycomb
Art © Estate of Nancy Spero/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY , Courtesy of Galerie Lelong, New York

27 August 2013

Call for Proposals: Visual Activism

Zanele Muholi, Caitlin and I, Boston, 2009; chromogenic print; Collection of Christopher Meany; promised gift to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; © Zanele Muholi

Call for Proposals: Visual Activism

The International Association of Visual Culture (IAVC) invites proposals for its third biennial conference in San Francisco, March 14-16, 2014. 

The conference is centered on the concept of Visual Activism.  How can we better understand the relationships between visual culture and activist practices?  There are ways in which art can take the form of political/social activism and there are also ways in which activism takes specific, and sometimes surprising, visual forms that are not always aligned with or recognizable by art-world frameworks.  How can we engage in conversations about abstract or oblique visual activism, for instance as is demanded in conditions of extreme censorship?  How can we approach the complexity of governmental or commercial ‘visual activism’ to better address hegemonies of visual culture (for example, in advertising and the mass media)?  What becomes of the temporal lag that attends such images, when the politics of visual production are only made legible in retrospect, with historical distance?  How does the past become a form of ‘visual activism’ in the present?  To what degree do forms of visual activism travel, and in what ways are they necessarily grounded in locally specific knowledge and geographically specific spaces?

Presentations should respond to these questions or related topics and may take the form of scholarly papers (20 minutes), artist talks (20 minutes), short performances (5 to 30 minutes), or lighting-round interventions (5 minutes).  Proposals should include a 400-word abstract, links to websites with additional publications or relevant images and information, and a CV. Please send proposals to edu@sfmoma.org (with ‘visual activism’ as the subject line) no later than October 1, 2013.

The conference is convened by Julia Bryan-Wilson (Associate Professor, Modern and Contemporary Art, UC Berkeley), Jennifer A. González (Associate Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture, Contemporary Art, Race and Representation, UC Santa Cruz) and Dominic Willsdon (Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Programs, SFMOMA) and will take place at the Brava Theater Center and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, CA.

Please email edu@sfmoma.org to be added to the mailing list to receive updates about the conference such as registration, the calendar of events and participants.

For information about venues, dates, and times, please check the SFMOMA event page for the conference.  For further information about the International Association of Visual Culture, or to join the IAVC, please click here.

26 August 2013

Barry Schwabsky: Words for Art

Words For Art: Criticism, History, Theory, Practice

Words For Art: Criticism, History, Theory, Practice is AICA-USA member Barry Schwabsky's latest collection of essays.  Schwabsky, art critic for The Nation and an editor for international reviews at Artforum, is a practitioner of what curator James Meyer describes as "a criticism of varied interests and passionate opinions."  The 20 essays and book reviews that comprise Words For Art assess the practices and precepts of a wide range of artists, critics, and historians--from E. H. Gombrich's theory of perception and Walter Benjamin' views on color to the conceptual underpinnings of Mel Bochner's word paintings and the complications of Jack Tworkov's belief in the need for ethics in art.

Words For Art is published by Sternberg Press.  Schwabsky will discuss his new collection of essays with art historian and critic Howard Singerman as part of the 2013 NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1, Sunday, September 22, 1-2 PM.

08 August 2013

“The Arts as Tools of Life” at Trans Cultural Exchange

"The Arts as Tools of Life,"

MIT List Center for the Visual Arts, Boston, Friday, October 11

Friday, October 11 AICA France's President Raphael Cuir, AICA-USA President Christopher French, artist Annette Lemieux, the Secretary General of Platform Marie-Cécile Burnichon, Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts' Director, and AICA France's Treasurer Marc Partouche will meet at MIT's List Center for the Arts to discuss "The Arts as Tools for Life." AICA Board Member and Curator of MIT’s List Visual Art Center João Ribas will serve as moderator.  This roundtable discussion, which is sponsored by the Institut Français, is one of more than 20 panels and 50 presentations included in TransCultural Exchange's 2013 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts.  

For more information, or to register for the conference, please visit TransCultural Exchange.

22 July 2013

Brooklyn Rail: Re: Re-

Robert Kinmont, “8 Natural Handstands,” 1969 / 2009 (detail).  Nine black and white phtographs; courtesy of Alexander and Bonin, New York.  Photo: Bill Orcutt.

AICA-USA member Marcia E. Vetrocq, guest art editor of the July/August Brooklyn Rail, addresses the current artworld penchant for replicas, reconstructions, and re-enactments.  Entitled "Re: Re-," Vetrocq's essay opens with the problematic transfer of the Barnes Collection to new digs in downtown Philadelphia, and segues into this year's recreation of Harald Szeeman's 1969 exhibition "When Attitudes Become Form."  Originally installed in the Kunstalle Bern, newer self resides through November 3 in Venice's Fondazione Prada.  Her invited authors include Keith Sonnier and Lawrence Weiner, two artists who participated in Szeeman's exhibition, and critic Michael Brenson, curators Claudia Calirman and Caroline Jones, and artist Maria Elena Gonzáles.  Each contributes  an essay that enumerates the characterics of vitality and nostaglia inherent to artistic restagings.

Installation view, "When Attitudes Become Form: bern 1969 / Venice 2013.  L-R, works by Eva Hesse, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Gary B. Kuehn, Keith Sonnier, Bill Bollinger.

Foundation Prada, Venice, through November 3, 2013.  Photo: Attilio Maranzano.  Courtesy Fondazione Prada

12 July 2013

Jennifer Gross to the deCordova

Jennifer Gross, Seymour H. Knox Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Yale University Art Gallery, has been named Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts.   While at Yale Gross curated the 2012 exhibition Richard Artschwager! for the Whitney Museum of American Art. Currently on view at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the exhibition will travel to venues in the US and Europe for the next year.  She also researched and organized the AICA-USA award winning exhibition The Societe Anonyme: Modernism for America, which remains on view in Yale's newly expanded galleries through July 14, concluding a multi-year national exhibition tour.  

Prior to her work at Yale Gross served as Curator of Contemporary Art at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (1997-2000), the founding Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art (1994-97), and from 1988-1994 was the Director of Germans von Eck Gallery in New York City.  Gross, who is an AICA-USA member, has worked at Yale since 2000; she will start at the deCordova this fall.

12 July 2013

L.A. Times Axes Arts Reporter

The Los Angeles Times' dismissal of arts reporter Jori Finkel has raised eybrows and ire in the Southern California visual arts community.  Finkel, who has been with the Times for 3 years, received her notice June 28 as part of staff cutbacks as the paper is offered for sale by its parent Tribune Company.  Fifteen SoCal museum directors, including James Cuno, Jeffrey Deitch, Michael Govan, and Ann Philbin, sent a letter to Times editor Davan Maharaj protesting the paper's elimination of arts reporting.  The letter, attached to an online petition, can be seen here.

Exhibitions   07 June 2013

Review: Bernadette Corporation, 2000 Wasted Years, ICA London, by Pac Pobric

Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years Installation view, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK

27 March 2013 - 9 June 2013

Photography Mark Blower

Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years Installation view, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK

27 March 2013 - 9 June 2013

Photography Mark Blower

Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years Installation view, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK

27 March 2013 - 9 June 2013

Photography Mark Blower

Frustrations with capitalism are nothing new, nor are there truly any new ideas about how to productively express them. Tensions come to a head every now and again, and the Occupy Wall Street movement and the American Tea Party demonstrations are just the latest in a long line of public expressions of anxiety. They reprised well-established ideas, ranging from liberal criticisms of unethical banking practices to conservative fears about the size of government. That each movement emerged almost simultaneously at a time of economic crisis is no coincidence. Despite coming from seemingly separate political directions, the bottom line for each was impatience with the status quo.

The Bernadette Corporation, no doubt, was born of similar frustrations. Formed by a group of artists in 1994 involved in New York City's club scene, their work has mostly relied on playful anarchist critiques of culture’s role in capitalism. Their first retrospective, held at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), London, after traveling over from the Artist’s Institute in New York, relies essentially on that narrative: "AGAINST ALL SYSTEMS" is happily scrawled on a first floor gallery wall, clearly announcing the group's position. Around the corner, a trailer for their 2003 film Get Rid of Yourself takes documentary footage of violent protests and pairs it with the intense, pulsating score from the 2010 film Inception, valorizing the activism. In an upstairs gallery, a series of posters chronicles the group's political activities from the 1990s to the present.

Is this art or propaganda? The differences between the two are not always obvious, but it is clear that the Bernadette Corporation is less interested in culture than it is in politics. That made the ICA retrospective a failure as an art show. In sum, it read more like a summary of the group's political line, with art placed at its service. That's something of a shame, because that equivalence assumes far too much about the proximity of art and politics, as contemporary art often does. Whether or not art and politics have any affect on one another is a question to be interrogated, rather than an assumption to be taken for granted.

At bottom, the Bernadette Corporation’s art is symptomatic of art's ultimate inability to change the world, even when artists have their heart in the right place. The title of the exhibition, 2000 Wasted Years, does express a sentiment that should make more sense that it does; namely, that our turbulent modern age seems to have passed in vain, with progress beyond capitalism an elusive goal. (This is by no means a new idea: in 1916, in the midst of World War I, Rosa Luxemburg put it succinctly: “Socialism or Barbarism.”) But there are caveats here too. We don’t, for example, necessarily live in a more violent age than our predecessors, nor is poverty is a greater problem than it ever was in the past. Arguably, the worldwide standard of living today is better than it has ever been. There is more than a kernel of truth to the idea that globalization raises the standard of living in otherwise poor nations and cities, and that Nike factories established in Cambodia or Thailand bring much-needed jobs to the world’s poorest.

These are concerns the Bernadette Corporation is unable to address. That much of the group's older work is about fashion speaks to how little there is beneath the surface. It's an aesthetic of postures without any compelling substance. If the work is of any interest, it's on a purely gestural level, insofar as its aims are beyond its means. That impulse is a good one: art needs to have ambitions grander than it can achieve. But art also needs to be aware of its own limits, and be able and willing to constantly investigate and question its own assumptions. On that count, the Bernadette Corporation has little, if any, success. 

--Pac Pobric is an art critic and assistant editor for The Platypus Review.

Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years was organized by Stefan Kalmár and Richard Birkett for Artists Space, in co-production with Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. 
2000 Wasted Years was exhibited  at Artist's Space September 9-December 16, 2012, and at ICA, London March 26 - June 9, 2013. 

Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years Installation view, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK

27 March 2013 - 9 June 2013

Photography Mark Blower

Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years Installation view, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK

27 March 2013 - 9 June 2013

Photography Mark Blower

Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years Installation view, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK

27 March 2013 - 9 June 2013

Photography Mark Blower

Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years Installation view, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK

27 March 2013 - 9 June 2013

Photography Mark Blower

30 April 2013

Review: “Cyprien Gaillard: the Crystal World” at MoMA PS1, by Pac Pobric

Cyprien Gaillard. Artefacts. 2011. HD film transferred to 35 mm, continuous with sound. © Cyprien Gaillard. Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London; Bugada & Cargnel, Paris; and Laura Bartlett Gallery, London

Real Remnants of Fictive Wars IV, 2004.  35 mm film and 35 mm film transferred to dvd; 4:15 min.

Filmed in the Vietnamese jungle, 'RRoFW IV' is a series of five films documenting Cyprien GAILLARD's land art works. Using fire extinguishers, the artist creates clouds of smoke that gradually invade the camera frame and then disappear, absorbed by the lush Vietnamese vegetation. The 35mm camera gives the film a narrative quality, playing furthermore off the aesthetic of Vietnam War films.

Courtesy MoMA PS1

An obvious charge against much recent contemporary art is that it is too nostalgic or tasteful in its embrace of modernism, or that it mines the history of modern art for form but not for content. It's easiest to make this case with the casual trend that comes out of abstract painting (Noam Rappaport's excellent work comes to mind), but it can also be said to recent film and video work, which tends towards beautiful imagery. But what that would mean—for any art to have form by actually lack content—is left unclear, because it's simply an impossible argument to make.  All art has content, but certain artworks are more compelling than others. Only individual pieces succeed or fail, which is to say that a strategy can never be dismissed. The better question is whether it is capable of producing strong work.

As far as film is concerned, Cyprien Gaillard seems to be making the most of the “return” to modernism. That should be especially clear following his show “The Crystal World”, which closed recently at PS1. The scenes of his films are finely organized but never static. Nor do they rely on any unnecessary activity to draw attention to themselves. This isn't to say that they don't demand to be looked at. But they do so through an intelligent handling of drama, even when narratives aren't entirely clear. The strength of Gaillard is basically that he does not shy away from film as a medium that is essentially optical and narrative, which is to say that he relies on the medium's fundamental qualities.  He aims his art directly at our eyes and ears, and this is exactly what brings up the charge against its “modernism.” 

Still, if there's one thing this reading of his work seems to get right, it's that it hews the line of a tendency in recent art has towards nostalgia, even though Gaillard denies this interpretation. What's relevant is that when Gaillard's work falters, nostalgia becomes his weakest suit. A film like Cities of Gold and Mirrors (2009), which relies on a heavy-handed camera filter to endow the film with a “vintage” tint, is simply overburdened by nostalgia to the point of collapse. The visual effect is the same as the one produced by cell phone camera filters, which layer exactly the same “retro” over snapshots and formal pictures alike. With Gaillard, the result is overwrought.

The real question is why, as a device, Gaillard's “nostalgia” or “formalist modernism” so often succeeds, when probably the most obvious aspect of his work is its “anti-modernism.” The three narratives make up the film Desniansky Raion (2007)  a vicious street battle between two Russian gangs; the destruction of a Brutalist housing block in the suburbs of Paris; or the frozen landscape of Stalinist housing units in the post-Soviet bloc—are all symptoms of modernism's failure. No doubt we can all recognize that they are indications of a senseless world, which modern thought—art and philosophy—was supposed to change dramatically and comprehensively for the better.

The answer, of course, is that for all of Gaillard's supposed modernism or anti-modernism, the work being made is new. Despite what is immediately familiar about his art, whether it be nostalgia or pessimism. Gaillard has nevertheless landed on something that is fresh and compelling. Perhaps what his work does best is to prove that any and all approaches to art making can be successful and that there is no such thing as an inherently conservative tool.  What matters most is the effect of its use. 

Pac Pobric is an art critic and assistant editor for The Platypus Review.

Cyprien Gaillard. Cities of Gold and Mirrors. 2009. 16 mm film, color, with sound. 8:52 min. © Cyprien Gaillard. Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London and Laura Bartlett Gallery, London.

26 April 2013

Specific Object Publication of the Year Award

Materializing Six Years: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art, which was recently judged best New York thematic exhibition by AICA-USA members, has received the Specific Object 2012 Publication of the Year Award for its catalogue.

Edited by Catherine Morris, Curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, and independent scholar Vincent Bonin, Materializing Six Years reconsiders Lippard's methodologies for presenting and writing about artworks that were increasingly experimental in conception and materials.

Designed by Margarita Encomienda and published by MIT Press and the Brooklyn Museum, the book also includes a preface by Lippard and a chapter on Lippard’s activism by Julia Bryan-Wilson. 

12 April 2013

Creative Capital | Warhol Arts Writers Grant Program Deadline: Wednesday, May 15

Creative Capital | Warhol Arts Writers Grant Program Deadline: Wednesday, May 15

2013 Grant Open for Submissions
Deadline: Wednesday, May 15, 2013


www.artswriters.org

The Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program supports individual writers whose work addresses contemporary visual art through grants ranging from 3,000 to 50,000 USD, issued directly to individual authors. The first program of its type, it was founded in recognition of both the financially precarious situation of arts writers and their indispensable contribution to a vital artistic culture. The Arts Writers Grant Program aims to support the broad spectrum of writing on contemporary visual art, from general-audience criticism to academic scholarship.

Writers who meet the program’s eligibility requirements are invited to apply in the following categories:

  • Articles
  • Blogs
  • Books
  • New and Alternative Media
  • Short-Form Writing

Through all its grants, the Arts Writers Grant Program aims to honor and encourage writing about art

  • that is rigorous, passionate, eloquent, and precise;
  • in which a keen engagement with the present is infused with an appreciation of the historical;
  • that is neither afraid to take a stand nor content to deliver authoritative pronouncements, but serves rather to pose questions and generate new possibilities for thinking about, seeing, and making art;
  • that is sensitive to both the importance and difficulty of situating aesthetic objects within their broader social and political contexts;
  • that does not dilute or sidestep complex ideas but renders accessible their meaning and value;
  • that creatively challenges the limits of existing conventions, without valorizing novelty as an end in itself.

 

Due to legal constraints we can only fund U.S. citizens, permanent residents of the United States, and holders of O-1 visas. For guidelines and additional eligibility requirements, please visit www.artswriters.org/eligibility.html.

For news on Arts Writers grantees, follow us on Twitter.

Art Writing Workshop: In partnership with the International Association of Art Critics/USA Section, the Arts Writers Grant Program offers ten select applicants consultations with leading art critics. For more information, please visitwww.artswriters.org/writing_workshop.html.

 

12 April 2013

MoMA PS1 Panel discussion on the changing nature of exhibitions, Sunday, April 21, 2 PM

New York University Museum Studies Program Director and AICA-USA member Bruce Altshuler will moderate a panel discussion about the dramatic changes in exhibition history documented in his new Phaidon publication, Biennials and Beyond: Exhibitions that Made Art History, 1962-2002 at MoMA PS1 on Sunday, April 21, at 2:00 PM.  Joining Altshuler on the panel will be Chus Martínez (Chief Curator of El Museo de Barrio), Peter Nesbett (Senior Specialist for Exhibitions, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage), Christian Rattemeyer (Harvey S. Shipley Miller Associate Curator of Drawings, Museum of Modern Art), and João Ribas (Curator, List Visual Arts Center, MIT and AICA-USA Board Member). 

 Altshuler’s previous publications include The Avant-Garde in Exhibition and Salon to Biennial: Exhibtions that Made Art History, 1863-1959.

 The panel will take place at Sunday, April 21, 2 PM in MoMA PS1’s lobby.  This event is co-hosted by MoMA PS1 and Independent Curators International. For details visit MoMA PS1 events.

03 April 2013

2013 AICA-USA AWARDS at the New York Asia Society

Nayland Blake and presenter Martha Wilson look on as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts curator Betti-Sue Hertz speaks about organizing Nayland Blake: FREE!LOVE!TOOL!BOX!, which won best show in a non-profit or alternative space.

Lynn Gumpert and co-curator Susan Harris won for Toxic Beauty: The Art of Frank Moore, second place in the University Gallery show category.

Art of the Scent curator Chandler Burr looks on while Diller Scofidio + Renfro designer Kumar Atre describes working with Burr to create a visual framework for understanding an aroma-based art form. 

MoMA PS1 curator Christopher Y. Lew's Jack Smith: Normal Love received the first place award for Best Digital, Film, Performance, or Video Exhibit.

Curator Milly Glimcher talks about the challenges of organizing more than 300 art objects into a coherent whole for Happenings: New York, 1958-1963, first place winner in the New York Gallery Show category.

Hirshhorn Museum assistant curator Mika Yoshitake won second place in the Best National Gallery category for Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-Ha, which opened at Blum and Poe in Los Angeles before traveling to the Barbara Gladstone Gallery in New York.

Mary Leigh Cherry represented the Los Angeles gallery Cherry & Martin on the podium for their first place award in the National Gallery Show category.  Photography into Sculpture, which was based on a 1970 exhibition at MoMA organized by Peter Bunnell, was part of the Pacific Standard Time Initiative.

AICA_USA President Christopher French and cultural journalist Linda Yablonsky exchange stories about their formative circus experiences as Yablonsky takes her turn as awards presenter.

Yablonsky thanks Los Angeles County Museum of Art chief curator Stephanie Barron for all of the trips to LA covering Barron's shows generated.  Barron's Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective was the second place winner for Best Monographic National Museum Exhibit.  This is Barron's third AICA-USA award.

Dana Miller worked 10 years on Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective, which won first place in the Monographic Museum Exhibit category.  The exhibition opened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and is now on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art through June 2.

Curators Catherine Morris and Vincent Bonin, working for the Elizabeth A Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, organized Materializing 'Six Years': Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art, which won first place in the Best New York Thematic Exhibit category.

Curator Kellie Jones speaks about Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980, which she organized for the Hammer Museum as part of the Pacific Standard Time Initiative.  Now Dig This! was voted Best Thematic Exhibit Nationally.  The exhibition, which traveled to MoMA PS1, can next be seen at William College Museum of Art, July 20-December 1.

 

Metropolitan Museum curator Keith Christiansen receives the second place award for The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini, which he organized with Berlin Gemäldegalerie curator Stefan Weppelman.

AICA-USA members presented a special award to the Getty for their 2011 Pacific Standard Time Initiative, which funded and stimulated the development of a panoramic network of exhibitions in Southern California museums, galleries, and alternative spaces. This sprawling 2011 group portrait documented and reclaimed the little-known history of the artists who worked and lived in the greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Region, illuminating the pivotal role they played in shaping the ethos and aesthetics of postwar California and contemporary art and design in the United States.  Getty Foundation Deputy Director Joan Weinstein describes the project as Andrew Perchuk, Deputy Director, Getty Research Institute, and Rani Singh Senior Research Associate at the Getty Research Institute, look on.  PST continues this spring and summer with the Getty exhibition Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in LA.

19 March 2013

AICA-USA Exhibition Award Winners

1st and 2nd place winners in 12 categories, plus as special award

AICA BEST SHOW AWARD WINNERS

 

1) BEST PROJECT IN A PUBLIC SPACE

1.    “Ann Hamilton: the event of a thread,” Park Avenue Armory, New York. 

2.    “Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller: The Murder of Crows,” Park Avenue Armory, New York. 

2) BEST SHOW IN A NON-PROFIT GALLERY OR ALTERNATIVE SPACE

1.    “Mike Kelley: 1954-2012,” Watermill Center, Water Mill, NY.  Harald Falckenberg, curator. 

2.    “Nayland Blake: FREE!LOVE!TOOL!BOX!,” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. Betti-Sue Hertz, curator. 

3) BEST SHOW IN A UNIVERSITY GALLERY

1.    “Société Anonyme: Modernism for America,” Yale University Art Gallery.  Jennifer Gross, curator.

2.    “Toxic Beauty: The Art of Frank Moore,” Grey Art Gallery, New York University.  Susan Harris and Lynn Gumpert, curators.

4) BEST ARCHITECTURE OR DESIGN SHOW

1.    “California Design, 1930–1965: "Living in a Modern Way,” Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Wendy Kaplan and Bobbbye Tigerman, curators.

2.    The Art of Scent: 1889-2012, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.  Chandler Burr, curator.

5) BEST DIGITAL, FILM, PERFORMANCE, or VIDEO EXHIBITION

1.    “Jack Smith: Normal Love,” MOMA PS1.  Christopher Y. Lew, curator.

2.    “Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist's Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets,” Museum of Modern Art, New York Ron Magliozzi, Curator, Department of Film.

6) BEST SHOW IN A COMMERCIAL GALLERY IN NEW YORK

1.    “Happenings: New York, 1958–1963,” Pace Gallery.  Milly Glimcher, curator.

2.    “Georges Braque, Pioneer of Modernism,” Acquavella Galleries. 

7) BEST SHOW IN A COMMERCIAL GALLERY NATIONALLY

1.     “Photography Into Sculpture / The Evolving Photographic Object,” Cherry & Martin, LA.  Based on an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, 1970, organized by Peter Bunnell.

2.    “Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha,” Blum & Poe, Los Angeles. Mika Yoshitake, curator.

8) BEST MONOGRAPHIC MUSEUM SHOW IN NEW YORK

1.    “de Kooning: A Retrospective,” Museum of Modern Art.  John Elderfield, curator.

2.    “Matisse: In Search of True Painting—An Exploration of Matisse’s Painting Process,” Metropolitan Museum of Art. Rebecca Rabinow, curator. Earlier versions of the exhibition: “Matisse: Paires et Séries,” Centre Pompidou, Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Paris.  Cécile Debray, curator, and “Matisse: Fordobling og Variation,” Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen. Dorthe Aagesen, curator.

9) BEST MONOGRAPHIC MUSEUM SHOW NATIONALLY

1.    “Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective,” San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; travels to the Whitney Museum of American Art. Organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Dana Miller, curator.

 2.    “Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective,” Los Angeles County Museum of Art; exhibition travels to the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Stephanie Barron, curator. 

10) BEST THEMATIC MUSEUM SHOW IN NEW YORK

1.    “Materializing ‘Six Years’: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art,” Organized by the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum; Catherine Morris and Vincent Bonin, curators.

2.    “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop,” Metropolitan Museum of Art; travels to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.  Mia Fineman, curator. 

11) BEST THEMATIC MUSEUM SHOW NATIONALLY

1.    “Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980,” Hammer Museum and MoMA PS1, New York. Kellie Jones, curator.

2.    “Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art. Paul Schimmel, curator.

12) BEST HISTORICAL MUSEUM SHOW NATIONALLY

1.    “Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925,” Museum of Modern Art .  Leah Dickerman, curator, with Masha Chlenova, curatorial assistant.

 2.    “The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini,"  Co-organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie.  Keith Christiansen & Stefan Weppelmann, curators. 

SPECIAL AWARD

To the Getty, for its role in organizing the 2011 exhibition Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980, and for initiating and stimulating the development of a panoramic network of exhibitions in Southern California museums, galleries, alternative spaces, schools, and homes.  This sprawling group portrait of a region documented and reclaimed the little-known history of the artists who worked and lived in the greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Region, illuminating the pivotal role they played in shaping the ethos and aesthetics of postwar California.

17 March 2013

Thomas McEvilley,  July 13, 1939-March 2, 2013

Thomas McEvilley

Image via McPherson & Company

 

Thomas McEvilley died on March 2, and his passing suggests a declarative coda to the aesthetic issues of the 1980s and 1990s--which McEvilley criticized as much as championed.  AICA-USA member Raphael Rubinstein's appreciation of McEvilley wide-ranging talents, posted on The Silo, begins:

"Like so many other great art critics before him (and, let’s hope, like more to follow), Tom McEvilley, who died March 2, 2013, stumbled into art criticism from other intellectual territory.  In his case, it wasn’t poetry in the Baudelaire-Apollinaire-O’Hara line, or philosophy like Arthur Danto, but classical philology.  One of the many admirable qualities of Tom’s criticism was the fact that he rarely, if ever, reminded his readers of his considerable classical training.  Indeed, I suspect that most of them had no idea of his academic background until, during the last decade of his life, he again took up his early passions in The Shape of Ancient Thought (a book arguing for the influence of Eastern—Indian, Persian—thought on Greek religion and philosophy, and hence on the entire development of Western culture) and translations of Greek poetry. Like that other renegade philologist Friedrich Nietzsche, Tom loved challenging his society’s most fundamental assumptions." 

Read the rest of Rubinstein's article at The Silo

28 February 2013

Publication Opportunity

The Richard MacDonald Studio is looking for two to three well-educated art book authors/critics for essays on figurative art and sculpture to publish in an art book featuring the sculptor, Richard MacDonald. The goal of the book is to celebrate over thirty years of devotion to the human form in movement, as well as to educate and inspire a new generation of figurative artists.

The proposed essay would be approximately 1500-2000 words to be completed by June 1, 2013.

Please contact info@aicausa.org if interested.

Exhibitions   26 February 2013

Review: Dan Flavin and Donald Judd at David Zwirner Gallery

Installation view, Dan Flavin and Donald Judd, David Zwirner, New York, 2013.
Photo by Tim Nighswander/IMAGING4ART © 2013 Stephen Flavin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; courtesy of David Zwirner, New York/London.

On February 15th the David Zwirner Gallery opened its new building on West 20th Street with Dan Flavin and Donald Judd. This exhibition pairs Flavin’s the European Couples (1966-71) with a modular, untitled aluminum sculpture made by Judd in 1991.  The early careers of these artists, contemporaries and good friends, took place in the industrial bohemia that was once located in New York City’s SoHo district.  There, artists grappled with the physical limitations of studios that had been converted from light industrial spaces. Many began to move their work into the streets and on rooftops, replacing the “spatter-and-daub” marks of Abstract Expressionism with Minimalism, a reductive style of large installations that focused on the deconstruction of barriers. 

Both Judd and Flavin studied art history at Columbia University in 1957, the year before Mies van der Rohe completed the Seagram Building on Park Avenue in New York City.  Twenty years earlier Bauhaus artist Werner Drewes taught painting at Columbia before continuing at Washington University, Saint Louis in 1946. In 1936 Drewes, along with Josef Albers, co-founded the American Abstract Artists group.  Eclipsed during the height of Abstract Expressionism, the group later involved contemporaries of Judd and Flavin such as Sol Le Witt, Robert Ryman and Robert Smithson.  Through its influence modularity, surface, landscape and autonomy became significant metaphors for a younger generation of artists.

By the end of 1960, Systems Theory functioned as a lens to view postwar society, and the aesthetic conversations in art schools continued to focus on painterly expressionism as well as Bauhaus philosophy.  Donald Judd expanded the reach of Minimalist art further through the venue of art criticism, arguing strongly against Michael Fried’s assertion that Minimalism was theatre. One of Judd’s conclusions was that art should directly engage its surroundings, whether an interior space or a landscape.  The sculptures featured in Dan Flavin and Donald Judd reveal the tension that each sculpture exerts upon an interior space, with the repetitive exchange of geometric right angles ricocheting throughout the exhibition, suggesting more rather than less. 

Part of Flavin’s the European Couples was previously exhibited at Dia in 1995.  The David Zwirner Gallery brings each component of this work together throughout three rooms, complemented by a related suite of drawings.  While corners within the exhibition space serve as sites for these 8-foot square light sculptures, the overall theme of “couples” is amplified when Flavin’s work frames the merger of two juxtaposing walls before the surfaces gradually subside beneath bright light. Constantin Brancusi’s The Kiss (1908) is strongly referenced throughout as architectural walls merge together at 90-degrees, similar to the horizontal connection seen in Brancusi’s two square-shaped figures. 

Untitled (to Katharina and Christoph) for instance, appears in the left corner of the first room, resonating shades of green, while Untitled (to Karen and Walther) emits blue from a corner directly opposite.  Shades of red and pink diffuse throughout juxtaposing corners before the piece unfolds with a yellow-lit sculpture that is followed by four more in white.  Flavin’s use of light relinquishes the perception of line in favor of spatial sensation. Judd’s hollow cubes, set within an adjacent room, release themselves from perceived limitations as small circular and cubic beams placed inside each component creates an illusion of moving space.   Both sculptors echoed the anti-war atmosphere of the late 60s that continued well throughout the 20th century, with Donald Judd’s essay Never Again War from 1991 that was first published in German.

The gallery’s new building by Selldorf Architects, featuring a stoic concrete exterior that appears flush with the windows, along with a clean-boxed interior, harkens back to mid-century buildings constructed in Bauhaus or International Styles, providing a perfect foil for art that is focused on redefining spatial impressions. Dan Flavin and Donald Judd revives a dialogue rich with historic context, evoking a time when both artists sought to navigate past the confusion of Abstract Expressionism’s decline, placing their art within a larger continuum.

 

Jill Conner is the New York Editor of Whitehot Magazine and an AICA-USA board member

untitled (to Christina and Bruno), 1966-71 yellow fluorescent light 8 ft. (244 cm) square across a corner
Photo by Stephan Wyckoff © 2013 Stephen Flavin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; courtesy of David Zwirner, New York/London.

David Zwirner, New York
537 West 20th Street
Photo by Jason Schmidt

25 February 2013

Claudia Calirman wins Arvey Book Award

"Brazilian Art Under Dictatorship" wins Arvey Book Award

AICA-USA member Claudia Calirman's book "Brazilian Art under Dictatorship: Antonio Manuel, Artur Barrio, and Cildo Meireles" has received the Twelfth Annual Arvey Book Award for best book of the year from the Association of Latin American Art (ALAA).

 The Association of Latin American Art, which is an affiliate of the College Art Association, presented their award to Calirman in February 2013 at the annual meeting of the College Art Association in New York City.

 Claudia Calirman is assistant professor in the Department of Art & Music at the City University of New York. Her expertise is in Latin American art, modern art, contemporary art and curatorial studies. She has lectured on the collections of MoMA, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and was the 2008-09 Leman Visiting Scholar of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) at Harvard University.

08 February 2013

AICA-USA Exhibition Award Nominations

The Board of AICA-USA is pleased to announce the list of exhibitions nominated for our upcoming exhibition awards ceremony, an annual event honoring excellence in curatorial achievement. 

Nominees for the best exhibitions opening in the United States cultural institutions between July 2011 & December 2012 were proposed by AICA-USA members, whose research and opinions resulted in a selection of 84 exhibitions across 12 categories.  Their final ballots will determine which exhibitions will receive awards at our annual AICA-USA Awards Ceremony, which will be held in New York City in early April.

 

AICA AWARD NOMINATIONS

 

1) BEST PROJECT IN A PUBLIC SPACE

Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller: The Murder of Crows, Park Avenue Armory, New York.  

Ann Hamilton: The Event of a Thread, Park Avenue Armory, New York.  

Light and Landscape, Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, NY. Nora Lawrence, curator.

Tatzu Nishi: Discovering Columbus, Columbus Circle, New York City Public Art Fund.

Krysztof Wodiczko: Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection, Union Square Park, New York. More Art and Gallery Lelong, organizers.

 

2) BEST SHOW IN A NON-PROFIT GALLERY OR ALTERNATIVE SPACE

Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years, Artists Space, New York Stefan Kalmár and Richard Birkett, curators.

Nayland Blake: FREE!LOVE!TOOL!BOX!, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. Betti-Sue Hertz, curator.

Vaginal Davis: HAG–small, contemporary, haggard, Participant, Inc., New York.

Mike Kelley: 1954-2012, Water Mill Center, Water Mill, NY. Harald Falckenberg, curator.

Machine Wilderness: Re-Envisioning Art, Technology & Nature, 516 Arts, the Albuquerque Museum and other NM venues. Suzanne Sbarge, executive producer.

Painters Painting, The Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center, Atlanta. Stuart Horodner, curator.  

Un-Natural, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. Scott Canty, curator.

EJay Weiss: 9/11 Elegies: 2001-2011, Narthex Gallery, St Peter’s Church, New York.  

 

3) BEST SHOW IN A UNIVERSITY GALLERY

Patricia Cronin: All Is Not Lost, 
Newcomb Art Gallery, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. Charles Lovell, curator.

Amy Cutler, Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara. Laura Steward and Janet Dees, curators.  Organized for ADAM at UCSB by Elyse Gonzalez.

Tony Feher, Des Moines Art Museum and Blaffer Art Museum.  Claudia Schmuckli, curator.

Liza Lou: Let the Light In, Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art, Savannah, GA.  Erin Dziedzic, curator. 

Shinohara Pops! The Avant-Garde Road, Tokyo/New York, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, State University of New York, New Paltz. Hiroko Ikegami and Reiko Tomii, curators.

Société Anonyme: Modernism for America, Yale University Art Gallery.  Jennifer Gross, curator.

Soto: Paris and Beyond, 1950-1970, Grey Art Gallery, New York University.  Estrellita B. Brodsky, curator.

Toxic Beauty: The Art of Frank Moore, Grey Art Gallery, New York University.  Susan Harris and Lynn Gumpert, curators. 

 

4) BEST ARCHITECTURE OR DESIGN SHOW

The Art of Scent, Museum of Art and Design, New York.  Chandler Burr, curator.

California Design, 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Wendy Kaplan, curator.

Doris Duke's Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art, Museum of Art and Design, New York.  Donald Albrecht and Tom Mellins, curators.

Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851-1939, Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, MO and Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. Jason T. Busch and Catherine L. Futter, curators.

 

5) BEST DIGITAL, FILM, PERFORMANCE, or VIDEO EXHIBITION

"Song 1" by Doug Aitken, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC. Kerry Brougher, Curator.

Oskar Fischinger: Space Light Art – A Film Environment, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Chrissie Iles, curator, in association with Cindy Keefer.

I Feel Your Pain by Liz Magic Laser, Presented at SVA Theater, New York, as part of Performa 11.  RoseLee Goldberg, curator.

Sharon Lockhart | Noa Eshkol, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Traveled to the Jewish Museum, New York. Stephanie Barron and Britt Salvesen, curators.

Steve McQueen, Art Institute of Chicago. Co-organized by the Art Institute of Chicago and the Schaulager, Basel, Switzerland. James Rondeau, curator. 

Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist's Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets, Museum of Modern Art, New York. Ron Magliozzi, Curator.

Jack Smith: Normal Love, MOMA PS. Christopher Y. Lew, curator.

Bill Viola: Liber Insularum, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami. Roc Laseca, curator.

 

6) BEST SHOW IN A COMMERCIAL GALLERY IN NEW YORK

Georges Braque, Pioneer of Modernism, Acquavella Galleries.

Lesley Dill: Faith & the Devil, George Adams Gallery.

Leonardo Drew, Sikkema Jenkins.

Gelitin, Greene Naftali.

Happenings: Performance Art in New York, 1958–1963, Pace Gallery.  Milly Glimcher, curator.

Nicholas Krushenick: A Survey, Gary Snyder Gallery.

Rodney McMillian: Prospect Ave., Maccarone.

A Visual Essay on Gutai, Hauser & Wirth. Midori Nishizawa, curator.

 

7) BEST SHOW IN A COMMERCIAL GALLERY NATIONALLY

Samantha Fields: Be Careful What You Wish For, Western Project, Los Angeles.

Helen Rebekah Garber: Spells, Spires and Other Delicate Business, Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles.

Jiha Moon: Detourist, Saltworks, Atlanta. 

Photography Into Sculpture, Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles.

Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles. Mika Yoshitake, curator. 

Sub-Pop, Cardwell Jimmerson, Culver City, CA.

 

8) BEST MONOGRAPHIC MUSEUM SHOW IN NEW YORK

George Bellows, Metropolitan Museum.  Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and the Royal Academy, London.  Traveled to The Metropolitan Museum, New York.  Charles Brock and Barbara Weinberg, curators.

John Chamberlain: Choices, Guggenheim Museum.  Susan Davidson, curator. 

de Kooning: A Retrospective, Museum of Modern Art.  John Elderfield, curator.

Matisse: In Search of True Painting—An Exploration of Matisse’s Painting Process, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Rebecca Rabinow, curator. Earlier versions of the exhibition were presented at the Centre Pompidou, Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne and the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

Picasso Black and White, Guggenheim Museum.  Carmen Giménez, curator.

Cindy Sherman, Museum of Modern Art.   Eva Respini and Lucy Gallun, curators. 

Sarah Sze: Infinite Line, The Asia Society.  Miwako Tezuka, curator.

Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe, Co-organized by the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles and the Brooklyn Museum, New York.  Eugenia Tsai and Lisa Milandri, curators. 

 

9) BEST MONOGRAPHIC MUSEUM SHOW NATIONALLY

Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; travels to the Whitney Museum of American Art. Organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Dana Miller, curator.

Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA.  Exhibition traveled to the Fort Worth Art Museum and The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC.  Sarah C. Bancroft, curator.

Jack Goldstein X 10,000, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA.  Philipp Kaiser, curator.

Nancy Grossman: Tough Life Diary, Tang Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga, NY.  Ian Berry, curator.

John Mellencamp: Nothing Like I Planned, Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, TN.  Renee White, Curator.

Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Exhibition travels to the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Stephanie Barron, curator.

Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN.  Exhibition travels to five US venues, 2013-2014. Katie Delmez, curator.

 

10) BEST THEMATIC MUSEUM SHOW IN NEW YORK

Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop, Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Exhibition travels to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.  Mia Fineman, curator.

Materializing ‘Six Years’: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art, Brooklyn Museum.  Catherine Morris and Vincent Bonin, curators.

The Sexuality Spectrum, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion Museum.  Laura Kruger, curator.

Sinister Pop and Dark and Deadpan: Pop in TV and the Movies, Whitney Museum of American Art. Donna De Salvo and Scott Rothkopf; Chrissie Iles and Jay Sanders, curators. 

Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde, Museum of Modern Art.  Doryun Chong and Nancy Lim, curators.

The Ungovernables: 2012 New Museum Triennial, New Museum.  Eugenie Joo and Ryan Inouye, curators.

 

11) BEST THEMATIC MUSEUM SHOW NATIONALLY

Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.  Paul Schimmel, curator.

Drawing Surrealism, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Exhibition travels to the Morgan Library, New York. Leslie Jones, curator.

Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. Philipp Kaiser and Miwon Kwon, curators.

Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN.  Mark Scala, curator.

In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States, Co-organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City. Ilene Susan Fort, and Tere Arcq, curators.

More Real? Art in the Age of Truthiness, Site Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM in partnership with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Elizabeth Armstrong, curator.

Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and MOMA PS1, New York. Kellie Jones, curator.

Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Valerie Cassell Oliver, curator.

Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics: The Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  Cindi Strauss, curator.

 

12) BEST HISTORICAL MUSEUM SHOW NATIONALLY

Bernini: Sculpting in Clay, Co-organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth.  Ian Wardropper, Anthony Sigel, and C. D. Dickerson III, curators.

Edouard Vuillard: A Painter and His Muses, 1890-1940, The Jewish Museum, New York. Norman Kleeblatt, curator, in consultation with Stephen Brown.

‘The English Prize: The Capture of the Westmorland, an Episode of the Grand Tour,’ Co-organized by the Yale Center For British Art, New Haven, CT and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, in association with the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid and the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology, University of Oxford. Scott Wilcox and María Dolores Sánchez-Jáuregui Alpañés, curators.

'For I am the Black Jaguar': Shamanic Visionary Experience in Ancient American Art, Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University, Atlanta. Rebecca Stone, curator.

Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925, Museum of Modern Art.  Leah Dickerman, curator, with Masha Chlenova, curatorial assistant.

Masterworks in Metal, Ink, and Silk from the Suzhou Museum, San Diego Museum of Art. Suzanne Cahill, curator.

The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini, Co-organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie.  Keith Christiansen & Stefan Weppelman, curators.

 

*******

 

Exhibitions   06 February 2013

Arnold Mesches: A Life’s Work

Arnold Mesches, Anomie 2001: Coney, 1997
80 1/4 x 94 3/4 inches
acryllic on canvas
Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art

Arnold Mesches, Shock and Awe 23, 2012
acrylic on canvas
80 x 104 inches

Arnold Mesches, The Plaza Preacher, 1945
oil on canvas
30 x 24 inches

Kim Levin, prominent art critic past president of both AICA International and AICA-USA,  has organized Arnold Mesches: A Life’s Work, a retrospective exhibition commemorating the 90th birthday of American artist Arnold Mesches. The exhibition, which runs at the Miami Dade College Museum of Art + Design from February 14 to May 4, 2013, features over 65 works from some of the 14 series Mesches has produced during his career, including his Anomie series, inspired by his reading of Kim Levin’s essay, “The Agony and The Anomie.” The long arc of Mesches’ approach to political, social and historical issues is crystallized in this painting series and the numerous others included in this exhibition.

A 280-page book authored by Levin, and with essays by critic, artist, and AICA-USA member Robert Storr, AICA-USA member and art historian Peter Selz, and curator Lowery Sims will be published by the Cement House and distributed by the University Press of Florida. 

 

02 February 2013

AICA-USA at CAA, NYC

1. AICA-USA’s annual panel at the 2013 College Art Association Conference is titled 
”Art Criticism and Social Media.”  It will be held on Wednesday, February 13, 12:30-2 PM in the 2nd Floor Regent Parlor of New York’s Hilton Hotel.

The panel is chaired by Phyllis Tuchman, AICA-USA board member and independent critic. Panelists include

·      Sarah Douglas, New York Observer

·      Lindsay Pollock, Art in America

·      Walter Robinson, AICA-USA member and independent artist

·      Barry Schwabsky, AICA-USA board member, poet and critic for The Nation and Artforum

 

2. On Friday, February 15, 12:30-2 PM, AICA-USA board member and Brooklyn Rail publisher Phong Bui will be among the panelists for the Brooklyn Rail's panel, "Meta Mentors: Double Duty."  This session will look at artists who take on other art-related professions such as gallerist, curator, and writer, and have explored a variety of methods and platforms to assure that the perspective of the artist maintains a vital role in the contemporary discourse.  This session will take place in the Murray Hill Suite, 2nd Floor at the New York Hilton.

SESSION CHAIRS
Niku Kashef, California State University, Northridge
Timothy Nolan, independent artist

SESSION PANELISTS
Phong Bui, the Brooklyn Rail
David Brody, Maryland Institute College of Art
Christopher Joy, Gorky’s Granddaughter
Austin Thomas, Pocket Utopia
Amelia Winger-BearskinArt Art Zine and Vanderbilt University

 

3. On Friday February 15, 2:30-5:00 PM, artist, writer, and AICA member Mira Schor will participate in the Annual Artists’ Interviews, taking place in ARTspace during the 2013 Annual Conference in New York. This session will be the thirteenth installment of the popular series, which features two major practicing artists in back-to-back interviews. The talks will be held in the Murray Hill Suite, 2nd Floor at the New York Hilton. Stuart Horodner, artistic director of Atlanta’s Contemporary Art Center, will interview Schor. 

18 January 2013

2012 Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Grant Recipients

 

 

The Joan Mitchell Foundation has announced grant awards of $25,000 to twenty-five sculptors and painters.

 

Olive Ayhens, Brooklyn, NY 

Conrad Bakker, Urbana, IL

Rachel Berwick, Killingworth, CT

Katherine Bradford, Brooklyn, NY

Melissa Brown, Brooklyn, NY

Scott Davis, Rockland, ME

Abigail DeVille, Fort Lee, NJ

Yvonne Estrada, Brooklyn, NY

Lauren Gallaspy, Salt Lake City, UT

Jeffrey Gibson, Hudson, NY

Joel Handorff, New York, NY

Nancy Hom, San Francisco, CA

Martin Kersels, Sierra Madre, CA  

Judith Linhares, New York, NY

Anissa Mack, Brooklyn, NY

Noelle Mason, Tampa, FL

Sarah McKenzie, Boulder, CO

Meleko Mokgosi, New York, NY

Darryl Montana, New Orleans, LA

Ralph Pugay, Portland, OR

Peter Saul, Germantown, NY

Gary Stephan, New York, NY

Keith Tallett, Paauilo, HI

Leslie Wayne, New York, NY

Sherri Lynn Wood, Oakland, CA
 

 

17 January 2013

Four Houses, Some Buildings, and Other Spaces

“Four Houses, Some Buildings and Other Spaces” opens January 29, 6-8 pm

“Four Houses, Some Buildings and Other Spaces,” organized by AICA-USA member Berta Sichel, will be on view at 80 WSE January 29 – March 16.  The exhibition explores the bonds between architecture and history, delving into the complex relationship between ruins, memories, and the social and cultural implications of place.

The 10 artists in the exhibition—European, North American, and Latin American—revisit the history of monuments, houses, municipal buildings – sites that were once hallmarks or centers of production but have become forgotten or abandoned areas within contemporary landscapes. For these artists, revisiting buildings that once held a special significance challenges both the imagination and the interpretation of memory.

Exhibitions   14 January 2013

The Lustigs: A Cover Story

Alvin Lustig and Elaine Lustig Cohen created a distinctive body of design work that melded the ideas of European modernism with a uniquely American approach to graphic design. In partnership with the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota, AIGA, the professional association for design, presents “The Lustigs: A Cover Story”—an exhibition in New York which includes nearly 500 of their book, magazine and catalog covers designed and illustrated between 1933 and 1961.

Alvin Lustig was best known for provocative book covers and jackets and is renowned for a variety of design breakthroughs in graphic, furniture, interior, product and architectural design. He was a writer, design critic, and an educator at Black Mountain and Yale. He designed advertisements, showrooms, apartments, retail stores, and ran his own type shop in Los Angeles. Elaine Lustig Cohen married and worked with him after their marriage in 1948, though not as a designer. When he died at age 40, she inherited the studio, emerging among her male counterparts as an exemplar of contemporary graphic design and typography.

Lustig was posthumously honored with the prestigious AIGA Medal in 1993, and Lustig Cohen was honored with the AIGA Medal in 2011. Although each has been recognized with individual exhibitions, this retrospective is the first in which their work has been shown together.

AIGA National Design Center Gallery
164 Fifth Avenue (between 21st and 22nd Streets) 

New York, NY 10010 
[map]

(212) 807-1990

Gallery Hours:
Monday through Thursday: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Friday: 11:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.


AIGA is also hosting an event in conjunction with the exhibition: A Conversation with Elaine Lustig Cohen and Steven Heller, co-chair of the School of Visual Arts MFA Design and author/editor of over 150 books on design, will take place Thursday, January 17, 2013 from 6:30 to 8:00pm at the Museum of Arts and Design. Tickets can be purchased here.

News   30 December 2012

Sculptural Yet Sensible

Farshid Moussavi’s first building in the United States, the ­34,000 square foot Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art, is a four-story hexagon clad in mirrored stainless steel panels.  Photo: Dean Kaufman /courtesy MOCA Cleveland

Titled “Sculptural Yet Sensible,” Julie Iovine’s December 27 Wall Street Journal article provides a succinct survey of mid-sized museum projects completed in 2012.  Iovine compares and contrasts the relative merits of Zaha Hadid’s Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, East Lansing (AICA member Michael Rush, director), Farshid Moussavi’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, and Herzog & de Meuron’s Parrish Art Museum (AICA member Terrie Sultan, director). 

Designed by Zaha Hadid, the 46,000 square foot Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, continues Hadid’s emphasis on contrasting angularities, this time in pleated stainless steel, glass, and concrete. Photo: Paul Warchol

Situated on a fourteen-acre site, Herzog & de Meuron’s Parrish Museum of Art is a long, horizontal structure consisting of two parallel wings running the length of the 34,000 square foot building.  Photo: Matthu Placek

News   17 December 2012

Irving Sandler, Guest Art Editor for The Brooklyn Rail

Brooklyn Rail, December 2012-January 2013 issue.

“Art Criticism Today”

Publisher Phong Bui invited renowned art critic, historian, and AICA Board Member Irving Sandler to serve as Guest Art Editor for the December-January issue of The Brooklyn Rail. Sandler in turn has invited nearly 50 critics to assess the current state of art criticism. Their responses, which run the gamut of style, subject matter, and rhetoric, make an effective group portrait of the state of art criticism today.

Portrait of Irving Sandler. Pencil on paper by Phong Bui.

News   16 December 2012

Art & Architecture Quarterly/East End

Builder Bill Koral and architectural photographer Jeff Heatley have launched Art & Architecture Quarterly/East End (aaqeastend.com), an on-line quarterly forum for information and discussion about the art, architecture, and historic preservation of the east end of Long Island.

The first installment, which will be augmented with weekly updates, features articles and photographic portfolios about the new Parrish Art Museum, the design for the never-realized Jackson Pollock Museum, exhibitions by Wade Guyton and James Welling, and the 19th century Shinnecock Hills “Art Village.”

Art & Architecture Quarterly/East End anticipates February 10, May 10, and August 10 issues. Writers and critics wishing to submit ideas, articles or reviews (including art, architecture and books) for consideration should contact editors@aaqeastend.com.

For additional information on Art & Architecture Quarterly/East End, contact Jeff Heatley, Managing Editor, at jeff@aaqeastend.com

Exhibitions   News   11 December 2012

Yale University Art Gallery Renovation

The architectural trinity that is Yale University Art Gallery: Louis Kahn’s 1953 gridded modernist box, at far left; center, the gothic revivalism of Egerton Swartout’s 1928 Old Yale Art Gallery; at right, Peter Bonnett Wight’s 1866 Street Hall, which was the Art Gallery’s original home.

Harmonizing three buildings built between the mid-1800s and the mid-1900s is no mean feat, especially when each displays a dramatically different architectural sensibility but is intended to harmonize a voluminous collection of more than 200,000 objects spanning centuries and encompassing numerous cultures.  Yale University Art Gallery Director Jock Reynolds, working with Ennead Architects Management Principal Duncan Hazard and Design Principal Richard Olcott, has succeeded in pulling off this one-of-a-kind trifecta.

Budgeted at $135 million, the project effectively increases the museum’s territory from 1 1/2 buildings to three.  The 1953 Louis Kahn building has been renovated, its interior spaces redefined; Egerton Swartout’s 1928 Old Yale Art Gallery building, once divided between the Art Gallery and Art History Department, is now completely given over to the display of art.  Finally, Peter Bonnett Wight’s 1866 Street Hall has been completely revamped, restoring Yale University Art Gallery’s original home to a functioning museum. 

The new galleries afford the Art Gallery plenty of room to show off more than 1100 recent acquisitions, including an entire gallery given over to highlights of the Indo-Pacific Art collection of Thomas Jaffe (a promised gift of over 600 sculptures, ceremonial objects, and fabrics) and another gallery featuring aspects of the museum’s similarly sized collection of African Art.  Nearly every other existing gallery has seen changes or refinements, a process overseen by chief curator Laurence Kanter.  These range from completely rethinking decorative schemes in the European painting galleries, to inserting a recent donation, Martin Johnson Heade’s extraordinary Two Hummingbirds with Their Young, to punctuate the new American painting and sculpture galleries.  The Modern and Contemporary Galleries boast a number of gifts and purchases that reflect director Reynolds first-hand knowledge of west coast artists (Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, William Wiley, Robert Hudson) and Yale University’s deep bench of prominent alumni artists (Dawoud Bey, Chuck Close, Richard Serra, and Jessica Stockholder, to name but a few).

The renovation has added 29,000 square feet of exhibition space; roughly 4,000 square feet comprise the temporary exhibition galleries added onto the Old Yale Art Gallery building.  The strongly lateral, open plan main gallery takes advantage of its rooftop location, with filtered natural light augmenting incandescent spots and floods. The gallery’s inaugural exhibition, “Société Anonyme: Modernism for America,” is a standout in its own right.  Organized by curator of modern and contemporary art Jennifer Gross, and coming home to Yale after a national tour, the exhibition includes works by more than 100 artists and is a must for anyone interested in the connections between American and European modernism fomented by Société founders Katherine S. Dreier, Marcel Duchamp, and Man Ray.

Complaints?  I have a few minor grumbles.  The Kahn and Old Yale building designs are inward-looking, affording few opportunities for art to be seen in natural light, although the restoration of glass-wall accessibility to one large gallery in the Kahn building and the luminosity of the skylit Street Hall and Old Yale exhibition galleries partially mitigates this.  And, as might be expected with any unification of divergent architectural styles, deciphering the layout is no easy task.  While it can be disorienting to plot your location, visitors can chart their visits around the large elevators that mark each building.  In any case, trying to take in this museum’s abundance in one visit is a feat that even the fastest speed walker would find difficult.  Return visits are the order of the day, and easy on the pocketbook, since the Yale University Art Gallery does not charge an admission fee.

—Christopher French

The new American 19th century gallery in Street Hall boasts an abundance of filtered natural light to animate its period details. © Elizabeth Felicella, 2012.

One of the American decorative arts galleries, seen from the new elevator that now forms the core of Street Hall.  The cast iron support column was revealed during restoration and retained as the gallery’s central element. © Elizabeth Felicella, 2012

Southern exterior elevation (L-R: Kahn Building, Old Yale Art Gallery Building, Street Hall).  © Ennead Architects

Indo-Pacific Galleries. © Elizabeth Felicella, 2012

Sol Lewitt wall drawing and Gothic columns flank the restored Yellin Gates. © Elizabeth Felicella, 2012

“Société Anonyme” in the the new special exhibition galleries. © Elizabeth Felicella, 2012

Videos   05 December 2012

Eric Fischl Video Interview

On July 19 Terrie Sultan, Parrish Art Museum director and AICA-USA member, interviewed artist Eric Fischl to inaugurate the 2012 Southampton Arts Summer Conference.  Welcomed by Robert Reeves, introduced by Scott Sandell: interview begins at the 8:00 mark. Produced by Suzanna Filip: filmed by John Colella, Nicholas LaRousse and Ryan Famulari; edited by Catherine Zimmermann. © 2012

Awards   05 December 2012

2012 Art Writing Workshop Recipients

The Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant

AICA-USA, in partnership with The Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2012 Art Writing Workshop, a program that encourages practicing writers the opportunity to strengthen their excellence in art criticism through one-on-one consultations with leading practitioners in the field.

 

This year’s recipients:

Ingrid Chu, Brooklyn, NY

Sarah Coleman, New York, NY

Julia Cooke, New York, NY

Daniel Glendening, Portland, OR

Rachel Hooper, Houston, TX

Gwenael Kerlidou, Brooklyn, NY

Andrea Kirsh, Philadelphia, PA

Adam Kleinman, Bayside , NY

Kathleen MacQueen, New York, NY

Catherine Wagley, Los Angeles, CA

 

To read more about The Art Writing Workshop, click here.

News   07 November 2012

Jacques Dupin, Art Scholar and Poet, 1927-2012

Jacques Dupin, 1927-2012

Poet, Critic, and art dealer, Jacques Dupin died on October 27 in Paris.  Dupin was one of the directors of the Paris Galerie Maeght, and was a multi-generational influence on American poets and authors, from John Ashbery to Paul Auster.  In addition to more than twenty volumes of poetry and a seminal early monograph on Alberto Giacometti, Dupin authored Juan Miró’s official, 10-volume biography, and was the curator of Miró’s 1987 Guggenheim Museum retrospective.

News   04 November 2012

The 45th AICA International Congress in Zürich, Switzerland, July 2012

L—R: Brita Polzer, AICA Switzerland; Eveline Suter, AICA Switzerland; Edward Rubin, AICA-USA; Leva Astahovska, Pro Helvitica, Latvia; Gulnar Akisheva, AICA Kazakhstan; Gulaim Zhumabekova (purple jacket), AICA Kazakhstan; Samuel Herzog, President, AICA Switzerland; Eva Khachatryan, AICA Armenia; Werner Egli; Elona Lubyte, Vice-President, AICA Lithuania; Claudia Jolles , Vice-President, AICA Switzerland; Malene Vest Hansen, President, AICA Denmark; Lena Eriksson, AICA Switzerland (Crouching).  (photo: Edward Rubin)

Atrium of the Central Building of the University of Zurich.  The Congress sessions convened daily in the building’s lecture hall. (photo: Christopher French)

Day 3 ends with a tour of works by Klaus Lutz at Haus Konstruktiv.
L—R: Marja-Terttu Kivirinta, AICA Finland; Lisbeth Rebollo Gonçalves; President, AICA Brazil (back to camera); Malene Vest Hansen, President, AICA Denmark; Marek Bartelik, President, AICA International; Christian Chambert, President, AICA Sweden; Adriana Almada, President, AICA Paraguay; Haus Konstruktiv curator; Patrick Schaefer, member, AICA Switzerland, congress panel coordinator; Henry Meyric Hughes, AICA UK. (photo: Edward Rubin)

AICA international executive bureau.
L—R: Brane Kovic, Anne-Claude Morice, Marek Bartelik, Efi Strousa (photo: Edward Rubin)

Keynote speaker Kim Levin’s topic was “Talking Trash: Byproducts From the Disposable Century.” (photo: Christopher French)

The 45 AICA International Congress was held in Zürich. July 10-12.  Our Swiss hosts arranged an alpine hiking expedition before the Congress convened in the central hall of the University of Zürich, and concluded each day’s events with visits to Zürich’s galleries, museums, and public artworks.  Speakers responded to the theme “Writing With an Accent” with presentations that ranged from philosophical to poetic, political to psychological.  The photographs that follow convey the diversity of the Congress as well as the generous hospitality of the AICA Schweis team.  For more extensive documentation, including additional photographs and presentation podcasts, please visit the AICA Switzerland website.

The 46th AICA International Congress will be held in Košice, Slovakia, September 23-28, 2013. Titled “White Places, Black Holes,” it is open to all AICA members in good standing.
The Congress will take place in conjunction with the celebration of Košice as European Capital of Culture and will also feature an optional side trip to visit Bratislava’s museums and galleries.

South African Nomusa Makhubu presented “I Will Not Say Discourse.” (photo: Edward Rubin)

Emil Sennewald, a German writer living in Paris, questioned, “Do the Limits of My Language Mean the Limits of My World?” (photo: Edward Rubin)

Marja-Terttu Kirivinta, Finland (photo: Edward Rubin)

Swiss Critic Annemarie Monteil received the Art Critics Prize. (photo: Christopher French)

At the close of the 45th Congress, attendees boarded the train for Kassel, Germany to test their criticality against the sprawling installations of Documenta 13. Here, Kassel Mayor Bertram Hilgen greets AICA International Board Members at a reception held at the Brothers Grimm Museum.
L—R: Efi Strousa, AICA Executive Bureau; Alban Martínez Gueryraud, AICA Paraguay; Marie Luise Syring, AICA Germany; Nillofur Farrukh, President, AICA Pakistan; Christian Chambert, President, AICA Sweden; Kassel Mayor Bertram Hilgen; Carlos Acero Ruiz, AICA Dominican Republic; Marcel Bartelik, President, AICA International, Brane Kovic, AICA Executive Bureau; Edward Rubin, AICA-USA (photo: Christopher French)

Events   Videos   25 October 2012

2012 AICA-USA Distinguished Critic Lecture

Michelle Kuo, "The Critic as Outsider"

Thursday, October 25, 2012, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School

66 West 12th Street, New York  10011

212.229.2436
vlc@newschool.edu

News   03 June 2012

AICA-USA Member David Craven: In Memorium

The following obituary was compiled by the deceased’s family and submitted by Patricia Mathews, professor of art history at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, and a member of the CAA Board of Directors.

David Lee Craven, distinguished professor of art history at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, passed away on February 11, 2012. He was 60 years old. Craven was beloved by all who knew him for his passionate dedication to writing, lecturing, and teaching art history. He is recognized by his peers as one of the most informed and incisive art historians in the world, a leading scholar in twentieth-century art from Latin America, post-1945 art in the United States, and the critical theory and methodology of art history and visual culture. His ten books and over 150 articles have appeared in twenty-five different countries and been translated into fifteen different languages. Craven’s close friend and fellow professor at the University of New Mexico, Susanne Baackmann, recalled his “generous spirit” and remembered that “his love for life and work, two concepts that were synonymous in his mind, was as intense as it was infectious.” He had taught at New Mexico since 1993 and was affiliated with the university’s Latin American and Iberian Institute.

To read the rest of David Craven's Obituary please visit the CAA Wesite here.

Headquartered in New York, AICA-USA's membership comprises over 400 critics, curators, scholars, and art historians working throughout the United States.

AICA PARTNERS WITH CREATIVE CAPITAL | ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION ARTS WRITERS GRANT PROGRAM

FOUNDED IN 1989 AT THE INITIATIVE OF AICA

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