“A long-lapsed wish for art that is both of the moment and genuinely public”

Recently, while preparing my upcoming Washington Square project, I’ve been wondering why MFA-trained artists direct their work so specifically to the art cognoscenti rather than a wider, less art-savvy audience, so I was pleased to see Peter Schjeldahl thinking along the same lines in his recent review of the Met’s Augustus Saint-Gaudens show. After declaring … read more… ““A long-lapsed wish for art that is both of the moment and genuinely public””

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Peter Schjeldahl’s insouciance

In The New York Review of Books, Sanford Schwartz considers Peter Schjeldahl’s unique contribution to art criticism. “Schjeldahl addresses us in a conversational prose that moves from point to point with the speed and ease of some high-tech instrument. He is a writer whose colloquial approach masks both a rather uncolloquial feeling for the tautest … read more… “Peter Schjeldahl’s insouciance”

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Modern Painters licenses critics and shortlists artist-collaborators

In a departure from the usual end-of-year roundups and top 10 lists, Modern Painters invited Peter Schjeldahl, Vince Aletti, Sarah Kent, and Matthew Collings to renew their Art Critics License—a document based on an actual US visa application recently completed by one of their editors. They also put together their third annual short list of … read more… “Modern Painters licenses critics and shortlists artist-collaborators”


Schjeldahl hurts David Bonetti’s feelings

St. Louis Post-Dispatch art critic David Bonetti has just finished reading Seven Days in the Art World, and he isn’t happy. “Rodney Dangerfield ain’t got nothin on me. I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me. At least that’s what The New Yorker’s art critic Peter Schjeldahl implies. In discussing the role of … read more… “Schjeldahl hurts David Bonetti’s feelings”

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Measuring Marlene Dumas

Roberta Smith on Marlene Dumas: “The consistency of this show suggests an artist who settled too early into a style that needs further development. Stasis is disguised by shifting among various charged subjects that communicate gravity in shorthand. Ms. Dumas’s painting is only superficially painterly. The photographic infrastructure is usually too close to the surface, … read more… “Measuring Marlene Dumas”


Miró Miró on the wall

The New Yorker’s Peter Schjeldahl on the Miró show at MoMA: “‘I want to assassinate painting,’ Joan Miró is reported to have said, in 1927. Four years later, the Catalan modern master elaborated, in an interview: ‘I intend to destroy, destroy everything that exists in painting. I have utter contempt for painting.’ (He is quoted, … read more… “Miró Miró on the wall”

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Morandi: “I don’t ask for anything except for a bit of peace which is indispensable for me to work.”

The big Giorgio Morandi survey that opens this week at the Metropolitan Museum features over 100 paintings, drawings, watercolors and etchings. In the New Yorker Peter Schjeldahl writes that painting for Morandi was manual labor, first and last. “For a time, he ground his own pigments. He stretched his own canvases, constantly varying their proportions. … read more… “Morandi: “I don’t ask for anything except for a bit of peace which is indispensable for me to work.””

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Clement Greenberg vs. Harold Rosenberg

In The New Yorker Peter Schjeldahl reports that The Jewish Museum’s chief curator, Norman L. Kleeblatt, has focussed “Action/Abstraction” on the writers, interspersing paintings and sculpture with abundant texts, photographs, and memorabilia. “Film clips display the men’s differently impressive rhetorical panache: Greenberg is incisive and imperious, Rosenberg droll and oracular. (Parallel shots witness Pollock dripping … read more… “Clement Greenberg vs. Harold Rosenberg”

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It’s official: Peter Schjeldahl writes good, er, I mean, well

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute have named Peter Schjeldahl the winner of the 2008 Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing. Established in 2006 to recognize writers who advance public appreciation of visual art in a way that “is grounded in scholarship yet appeals to a broad range of audiences,” the biannual prize … read more… “It’s official: Peter Schjeldahl writes good, er, I mean, well”


Book review: Let’s See

In bookforum, Alan Gilbert reviews Peter Schjeldahl’s new book, Let’s See: Writings on Art from the New Yorker. “What makes Schjeldahl a pleasure to read is that he loves language as much as art. ‘An utterance that sounds good isn’t always right, but one that sounds bad is invariably wrong,’ he asserts in the book’s … read more… “Book review: Let’s See”

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