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Editorial Archive


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It’s All True
Bruce Conner's retrospective in timely fashion reminds us what an uncompromising, socially critical avant-garde career looks like. More...


A Commitment to Social Justice
Many who knew Arnold Mesches are feeling loss over his recent passing at age 93. Always a painters' painter, his series that drew on his clash with McCarthism. Years later he used the contents of his FBI files to inspire "The FBI Files," which are now even more relevant than when he first created them. More...


Looking Ahead 15 Years
In 2004, James Wood resigned as Director of the Art Institute of Chicago, succeeded by James Cuno, who was succeeded in turn in 2011 by Douglas Druick, who has now been succeeded by James Rondeau. James Yood thanks them all. More...


Remembering Edward Albee
The late playwright Edward Albee is remembered here for his very real struggle for critical acceptance and the good work of his foundation. More...


The Democratic Lens
Richard Speer is both delighted and exasperated by the now ubiquitous presence and use of the smartphone camera. If it has democratized the making and distribution of images, it also obscures and discourages any real sense of standards. More...


VAS Endorses Hillary Clinton
Only one candidate in the upcoming Presidential election begins to meet that principle of positive and capable national leadership. More...


A Lesson on Interconnectivity
David S. Rubin's encounters with Gordon Onslow Ford sparked and then deepened his understanding of interconnectivity. More...


Home Land Security
"Home Land Security" at San Francisco's Presidio is the latest production of the FOR-SITE foundation. It's a compelling setting for an international selection of 18 artists who address the digital-age conflict between security and freedom. More...


Cemeteries and Churches
James Yood takes us through more of his favorite kinds of places that feed his aesthetic hunger. More...


Run Amok
As has happened before, an entrenched aesthetic over time loses its capacity to surprise and becomes formulaic and unconvincing. More...


Ceramics at a Breakthrough Art Fair
The recent Seattle Art Fair was the best ever in this city in terms of both quality and attendance. Matthew Kangas sorts through the vein of ceramics, which represented a whole new generation of talent drawn to the medium. More...


Photographic Matrices
In three recent photography exhibitions, artists and curators have arranged individual portraits in grid formations that bring to mind the photographic matrices common to social networking sites. In each, the works create a unique portrait of a community. More...


Still Sweating it at the Keyboard
James Yood has long practiced art criticism, so he naturally pays attention to its uneasy place at the table of contemporary art. Whether the practice is more about finding fault or providing analysis is the choice of the critic, Yood admits that he tends to root for the artists. More...


Slouching Towards a More Perfect Democracy
In a rare departure from art commentary, DeWitt Cheng reflects on how the reality TV influenced Presidential election shapes up coming out of the two major party conventions. Whatever the outcome, he continues to feel the Bern. More...


Sisyphean Creativity
The distillation of human experience into cathartic forms that we may share in is a key task of creative artists. Richard Speer's experience of a new production of Jean Cocteau's "Parade" expresses the exasperating nature of the eternal struggle towards artistic meaning and integrity. More...


African-American and Native American Haute Couture
A pair of exhibits on the subject of contemporary high fashion are both stunning and inclusive. More...


On Globalization
Globalization was not long ago considered both necessary and desirable, but it has come under attack this political season. The art world offers both a model and metaphor for the significance of globalization as more than merely a force for economic or political progress. More...


Ballad of a Free Man
Krems, Austria is not your normal tourist destination. James Yood heads there this summer for an artist residency program, which is about more than just his own creative work but also the serendipity of interacting with generally like minded creative strangers. More...


Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen
Theo Jansen: "Plastic tubes entered my life in 1990 on a fine September day. Since then, the beach animals have ruled my life. It became an addiction ... The beach animals are forcing me to make them. The animals and I live in symbiosis." More...


The Wisdom of Three Women Artists
The influence on professional curator such as David S. Rubin of the artists encountered is a profoundly important function of the job as well as impacting on a more deeply personal level. Rubin cites the take aways gained from encounters with three major creative women. More...

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