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Criticism

Pics ‘n’ Crit: We Saw the 2014 Whitney Biennial

by Corinna Kirsch on March 5, 2014
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This year’s Whitney Biennial is three biennials. That’s a lot of work to see over the next few months, pointing to how the biennial cannot be just one thing: It is both an exhibition and a process.

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Suddenly, Everyone’s Got an Opinion on Hilton Kramer

by Corinna Kirsch on March 28, 2012
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Art critic Hilton Kramer died yesterday, and the responses to his death have been as polemic as his writing. A member of the old guard, Kramer was a modernist who tried, but failed, to grasp important trends in contemporary art; he also successfully identified many of its weaknesses. We admire his strong, provocative voice and fearless finger-wagging at bad taste. His assertion that defining Abstract Expressionism in terms of the artist’s psychological state turned everything to shit and replaced aesthetics with biography (we’re paraphrasing) still rings true.

In hopes of giving the late critic a well-rounded portrait, we've provided links to these essays and our own commentary below:

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Peter Schjeldahl: Polar Bear Runner

by Reid Singer on November 18, 2011
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Peter Schjeldahl’s lecture at The New School was titled “The Critic as Artist,” taken from an essay by Oscar Wilde by the same name. It could have easily been called “The Critic as Rebel,” given the degree to which it reflected the worldview of a self-taught Village Voice homeboy who works at home largely because he can smoke there. A well-behaved, well-dressed sexagenarian, Schjeldahl is a cutting writer and speaker who can’t always resist wielding his talents for making people laugh out loud.

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Do Handjobs And Twitter Go Hand-in-Hand?

by Paddy Johnson on July 12, 2011
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Does the cheer leading required to build social networking communities encourage fan culture and pose a problem to online critics? Flame wars aren’t particularly good for community building, but neither is fawning over substandard art.

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Massive Links! Ai Wei Wei Protest, Piss Christ Destroyed, Critics Blathering About Criticism

by Paddy Johnson on April 18, 2011
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This week: a sit-out for Ai Weiwei, Andres Serrano finally gets a break (inflicted with a hammer), and emerging critic Julia Halperin tries to figure out what “emerging” means. Also, lots of talk about criticism: Tyler Green crowdsources it, Robert Storr describes it as bottom-feeding, and Roberta Smith gives us a vintage review of Serra at the Met that makes us wonder what’s so bad about it after all. Plus, one more link to show you the internet is full of racists.

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