I first met Al Held as an undergraduate at Yale. I remember seeing him with a group of graduate students playing cards in the Art and Architecture building.
In a survey of the ecstatic New Orleans visionary Sister Gertrude Morgan at the American Folk Art Museum last year, there was a film of her conducting a service in the modest home she had turned into a bright, resplendent chapel. Already elderly, she is dressed like a bride in a simple white dress, her dark, perspiring face deeply lined, her hands rough and gnarled from a lifetime of work.
Meeting me in his studio in mid-August, Banks Violette shook his head: “they talk about a post-studio practice” he mused, “sometimes I wonder if I’m in a ‘post-career’ moment.” In a culture primed to laud, collect, and consume “emerging artists,” Violette may stand as a litmus test of whether all of this attention is a good thing.
The following letters constitute the entire exchange between Bruce Conner and a “Young Artist.” Art on Paper, which sent the letters from a “Young Artist” to Mr. Conner, initiated the project. Both as a matter of public record, and because The Rail believes this exchange is potentially useful to the arts community, we therefore have decided to publish the exchange unedited and in its entirety with the consent of Mr. Conner. (The Rail made a serious effort to secure permission from Art on Paper to publish the letters from the “Young Artist,” but at press time still have not received a response from their staff.)
Wilfried Dickhoff is an independent critic, curator, and publisher who lives in Cologne and New York. He has taught at several art academies in Europe and recently at Princeton University. Currently, he is working on monograph books, e.g. on Albert Oehlen and Rosemarie Trockel, and a new international art magazine, which will be published out of Istanbul.
In the midst of preparations for his new exhibit at the Betty Cuningham Gallery, Philip Pearlstein took the time to sit down with Rail publisher Phong Bui to talk about his life and work at his loft studio in Hells Kitchen, where he and his wife Dorothy have lived since 1982.
The recent assaults on public radio and television in our privatized culture made full use of political jargon that has an ominous history. I noticed particularly the word liberal. Have we forgotten that the Nazis used the word to denounce academics and artists (not to mention scientists, as in their denunciation of liberal biologists, i.e. Darwinians)? These are dangerous times, and they require alertness, because, as Mr. Rumsfeld reminded us, stuff happens. Its not that it cant happen here.