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Letters Volume 30 no 2 October / November 2015

Dear Editor, Although I found the content of NAE of June 1st serious and weighty, it was mainly depressing in terms of the present state of our culture; based as it was on yesterday’s well worn philosophies and art practices, most of which are already much written about and known. It focused on presenting us with a rear view mirror …

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Before Pictures

Douglas Crimp is an important figure in the development of postmodern art theory. He influenced a group of such 1970s artists as Robert Longo, Philip Smith and Cindy Sherman, whom he dubbed the “Pictures Generation.” Crimp made his mark curating a small show in 1977, titled “Pictures” at New York’s Artists Space gallery that has gained iconic status as a …

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The Arts Club of Chicago at 100: Arts and Culture 1916-2016

“The Arts Club of Chicago at 100: Arts and Culture 1916-2016” is not a particularly inviting title but the book itself is. Part institutional biography, part historical reflection, the book offers a thorough—if not particularly critical—history of an esteemed cultural body, its reinventions through the years, and its lasting legacy in Chicago’s art world. The book, edited by Jenine Mileaf, …

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“Yves Klein at the Tate Liverpool”

Upon entering the exhibition space one is immediately struck by the uniqueness of what is being shown. The fabled trademarked IKB (International Klein Blue) is present in abundance. I am told by the attendant that, of the Monochromes 1955 -1961 – rectangular tablets of varying size, support thickness and surface texture, in clear Perspex box frames, Monochrome Green, Untitled [ …

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“Unreal Realms”

Five Outsider Artists at Intuit Gallery Since his work was revealed to the public in the early seventies and rose to worldly acclaim shortly thereafter, Henry Darger has become the rule by which outsider art is measured. “Unreal Realms,” on view at Intuit Gallery, presents a selection of works by five artists, including Darger, and proposes that they are all …

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“Kemang Wa Lehulere: In All My Wildest Dreams”

Clearly the large paned glass windows that rise up from the floor of the Art Institute’s Modern Wing make the front of galleries 182-184 feel like a retail space. Artists who have exhibited here in the past have highlighted this affect, Lucy McKenzie being a prime example. In the current exhibition, South African artist Kemang Wa Lehulere (born Capetown, 1984) …

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Has The Arts Council Betrayed Its Origins?

As Nicholas Serota assumes control of the Arts Council as well as the Tate, we examine the history of this body and test its current policies against its founding principles Serota takes over at the Arts Council this month, 47 years after being employed as a regional arts officer, in what was his first job after university. In those years …

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The Avant-Garde and the Delusion of American Exceptionalism, “Blood-drenched Brushes and Golden Easels”

Three Essays on the Limits of Postmodernism after November 2016 Second Essay: “Blood-drenched Brushes and Golden Easels” Does the art world bear any responsibility for the rise of right-wing nationalism? Prior to Brexit and the 2016 American presidential election, the question could be dismissed with postmodern nonchalance. It can no longer be avoided, especially if France veers to the extreme …

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Energy in Motion

Stephen F. Eisenman sees Causal Connection Between The “Anthropocene” and Abstract Expressionism The decade and a half between 1945 to 1960, the heyday of Abstract Expressionism, may turn out to be the most consequential in the history of the planet. That’s when the human impact on nature became so great that the survival of life itself was threatened. The U.S. dropped …

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