Joseph Haske's Scrolling Images

I FIRST SAW JOSEPH HASKE’S PAINTING nine years ago at Sears Payton in New York. I have been following his exhibitions ever since. The simplicity of his imagery, conveyed through richly developed surfaces, apppealed to me. Surface quality is, quite possibly, the most difficult aspect of painting. Here was a painter who had husbanded his craft to serve the delicacy of his chosen forms. The loveliest of them allude to natural forms or to the kind of decorative patterning that appears on Buddhist thangkas or in manuscript marginalia. Continue Reading
Artwriting & Anthony Haden-Guest

Tonight, Wednesday the 15th, Anthony Haden-Guest is giving a reading at HP Garcia, a newish gallery in New York’s garment district. Haden-Guest is variously described as a reporter, cartoonist, art critic, poet and socialite. Something tells me that socialite might be the most significant, given the gossipy, insider stuff he has written about the art world. He was, back when Studio 54 was still alive, a champion party-goer. These days, he is the editor of Charles Saachi’s online magazine. That is mostly what anyone needs to know about him. Continue Reading
American Qur'an

IT IS HARD, SOMETIMES, to know whether to cry or curse. Cursing satisfies the soul but a heart-felt expletive is better when it is blurted out loud. It just does not look right in print. A good curse deserves to be said in full, not weakened with bowdlerizing fig leaves: @#$!%!!  Besides, there really are not enough bodily orifices up which Sandow Birk should be advised to stow his Qur’an project. His head. And his promoters’ heads. So I cry instead. Continue Reading
One Artist in Search of a Theory

A reader sent me this listing posted yesterday on Craigslist. It came with the simple word “Yikes!” That is about as eloquent as you can get over a post that is almost too forlorn for words. The listing appeared, appropriately enough, all in lower case. Diminished punctuation suits the pathos of the quest:
performance artist looking for an art theorist to coach me on understanding and articulating the intellectual underpinnings of my work. i am looking for someone who follows current art world trends, ideas, themes and artists, especially the recent interest in performance art.
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THIS IS A SOBERING LABOR DAY. We have seen the employment statistics. Somewhere under the rubble of numbers are artists—semi-employed, underemployed—supporting themselves with every imaginable odd job: a part-time adjunctcy here, another there; waiting tables; house painting; dog walking; carpentry—you name it. Yet institutions of so-called higher learning, keep turning out M.F.A. candidates on the false assumption that a faculty position awaits them. Exploiting popular delusion, Texas Tech University trumpets itself as the first to offer a doctorate in fine art.  Continue Reading