Blog: Critical Impulse

Classical allusions given a contemporary twist

A survey of Charles Ray’s work illustrates the gradual shift back to figurative sculpture

Exhibition preview of “Charles Ray: Sculpture 1997-2014”, at Kunstmuseum Basel and...

Do artists have a responsibility to engage with social issues?

As an art writer and political organizer concerned with the critique of socially engaged art this question is perennial.

Every person has, physical and mental...

Blog relaunch!

After a two-year hiatus I return to work on this blog, now named Critical Impulse. What started as an assignment four years ago during the...

Claire Bishop’s “Participation and Spectacle: Where Are We Now?”

I include a video of Clare Bishop’s lecture on “Participation and Spectacle: Where Are We Now?” from 2011 Creative Time forum. Readers of her recently...

Art Criticism bibliography: history and crisis

Bibliography

Adorno, Theodor. trans. Henry W. Pickford. “Sexual Taboos and the Law Today,” in Critical Models: Interventions and Catchwords. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Art...

Marxism and Art: basic readings

Background readings:

(* = priority)

– * Susan Buck-Morss, response to the October journal Visual Culture Questionnaire (1996) – * Robert Pippin, “On Critical Theory: A short...

A Ginormous experiment haunts the MCA

The Hypocrites: Frankenstein at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago is a ginormous experiment. Chicago’s avant-garde director Sean Graney reanimates a 200-year-old novel,...

1000 words on Manet’s The Mocking of Christ (1865)

On view at the Art Institute of Chicago, alongside other mid-19th century paintings, one of only two religious paintings in Edouard Manet’s whole career,...
Art will not go gentle into economic blight

Originally published at F Newsmagazine in March 2009.

The state of Art Fairs, as Art Chicago approaches

With spring in Chicago come the big regional art fairs....

Notes on Adorno: Aesthetic Theory: Subject-Object chapter

Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) was the leading figure of the Frankfurt school of critical theory. This book, published posthumously, was not intended to be published...





Art Criticism

Critical evaluation, analysis, and research on contemporary political art works.

Beuys’ Concept of Social Sculpture and Relational Art Practices Today

“Best of Chicago Art Magazine” re-post. Originally appeared in Chicago Art Criticism on 2/28/10

German artist Joseph Beuys’s work appears unfathomable: his entire oeuvre engaged...

Theories Are Sometimes Inverted Images: Beuys’s Concept of Social Sculpture (Part II)

Originally published in 2010 at Chicago Art Criticism.

We will once again depart with the idea that Joseph Beuys’s work appears unfathomable.

Looking at images of...

Jeremy Deller’s Battle with History and Art

Originally published in 2010 at Chicago Art Criticism.

Turner prize-winning artist, Jeremy Deller, installed his traveling project, It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq, at the Museum...

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