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Art In Conversation

Uman with Chris Martin

On a sunny spring day I drove through the Catskill Mountains to visit my friend Uman at her South Pearl Street studio in downtown Albany. Her eight thousand square foot studio building was filled with paintings, drawings, painted objects, mannequins, fabrics, boxes of oil sticks, brushes and paint, and new glass sculptures that had just arrived in crates from San Francisco. Several workers were busy in the woodshop staining and making frames for new paintings. Her friend and studio manager, Joey Perez, helped with myriad details.

Art In Conversation

Senga Nengudi with Amadour

Known for her sand-filled, nylon stockings sculptures and performance works that mark the importance of collaboration, Senga Nengudi champions the importance of documentation and experimentation to build community. This year Nengudi has reached another peak in her illustrious career as the 2023 Nasher Prize Laureate.

Art In Conversation

Liu Xiaodong with Barry Schwabsky

For more than three decades the peripatetic artist, Liu Xiaodong, has roamed far and wide from his base in Beijing to immerse himself, and the viewers of his work, in a world constantly transforming in unpredictable ways. In anticipation of his exhibition Shaanbei at Lisson Gallery, New York, for which I am writing a catalogue essay, I spoke to Liu Xiaodong over Zoom. Marco Betelli, the artist’s studio manager, kindly assisted with translations back and forth between English and Chinese.

Art In Conversation

Sara VanDerBeek with Toby Kamps

At the heart of Sara VanDerBeek's two-dimensional and installation-based work is a fascination with photography's power as a form of mediation—between past and present, original and reproduction, and perception and thought. Her latest exhibition Lace Interlace at The Approach in London draws on her research into the work of early British photographers Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79) and Isabel Agnes Cowper (1826–1911) at that city's Victoria and Albert Museum.

I’ll See You There

I’ve been through a strange liquidation of friends over the course of the pandemic. I don’t think I’m alone, though for others friendships have solidified. I still feel as if I’m navigating the aftershock. Speaking recently with the writer and curator, Fiona Alison Duncan, we both acknowledged losing women friends in particular.

From the Publisher & Artistic Director

Dear Friends and Readers

In Isaiah Berlin’s famous essay “Two Concepts of Liberty,” he sets out his two conditions of negative and positive liberty. In short, negative liberty involves freedom from as a response to the question “what is the area within which the subject—a person or group of persons—is or should be left to do or be what he is able to do or be, without interference by other persons?”

Editor's Message

A Word or Two on Art and Technology

The words we bring to art intend, at best, to translate the perceptual realm into the linguistic, anchoring sensation through definition. But, as we all know, that often doesn’t occur. The well known essay, “International Art English” by Alix Rule and David Levine skewers that premise, as does Tom Wolfe’s The Painted Word (1975) nearly forty years earlier, and a decade before that Susan Sontag’s “Against Interpretation” resisted language’s simulacrum of art. So on, down the line. And yet, words also serve to support, promote, highlight, associate, and adore the art they describe.

Critics Page


Table of Contents

Editor's Message

Publisher's Message




Critics Page








Art Books

In Memoriam

Field Notes

Art and Technology


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2023

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