Where Have All the Art Writers Gone?

Perhaps you’ve noticed, as we have, that the amount of real estate devoted to the arts in our country’s publications has dwindled significantly in recent years. The arts are often bundled with lifestyles and entertainment these days, which has both obscured and obsficated the purported purpose and mission of art criticism so that the writer, more often than not, has his or her finger on record-breaking activity at auctions JulyCover2.jpgor the latest art-world gossip, rather than curious developments or important flares in the field. Not only is there less space in which to talk about the arts when any serious talking manages to be done, but there are less writers talking about it. And, beyond that, they’re no longer known as they were once known. Who are they? Where are they? What are they doing? 

Although it does not portend to answer these three (admittedly half-sillly) questions, “The Critical Moment:
Abstract Expressionism’s Dueling Duo,” recently published in Humantities, does address a fourth: Where was art criticism in its finest moment? From the article:

“As American modern art reached
its apex in the 1950s through the flowering of Abstract Expressionism, art criticism achieved a glittering purity of
its own—a beautiful high criticism perfectly matched to the period of high art.

The writers who defined the parameters of this criticism were Clement Greenberg (1909-1994) and Harold Rosenberg (1906-1978).”

Click here to read about the “Grapple in the Big Apple” between these two critical opponents. Makes you want to say, those were the days, until you realize you’re turning into your mother, which maybe isn’t the worst thing, but still.



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One thought on “Where Have All the Art Writers Gone?

  1. Diane Edwards

    Not only is there less "real estate" appropriated in magazines and newspapers in general, just try to get anything into the papers about your art happenings in the community. Our local newspaper has a 12 page supplement that comes out on Thursdays that is devoted to "the arts". There’s about 10 pages about the local bands, one to theater and maybe one…scanty one about the visual arts, usually just a listing of the galleries absolutely no indepth reporting whatsoever. And, if you send in an article, it never gets used anyway. Frustrating and maddening, especially in a city which considers itself something of an "art town".