Search View Archive

Noah Dillon

NOAH DILLON is a writer living and working in New York.

In Conversation with Jonas Mekas

On the occasion of his recent solo exhibition To New York With Love at James Fuentes Gallery, Jonas Mekas, the indefatigable advocate of American independent cinema, graciously took the time out of his busy schedule to meet with the graduate students of the Art Criticism and Writing program at the School of Visual Arts for an in-depth conversation.

In Conversation with George Gittoes

George Gittoes was recently able to set aside some time for an extended conversation with Railpublisher Phong Bui and his students in the MFA Art Criticism and Writing program at the School of Visual Arts, via Skype from Pakistan.

Alchemy & Inquiry

In his 1902 treatise, A General Theory of Magic, Marcel Mauss observed that magicians of every kind have always worked in the wilderness, away from their society. Although the Bronx isn’t exactly the hinterlands, it feels removed from the bustle of SoHo or Chelsea.

NICOLA LÓPEZ Landscape X: Under Construction

In a recent interview with the New Yorker, Italian artist and architect Matteo Pericoli explained his adoration for New York’s fluctuating skyline. The shape of Manhattan, said Pericoli, “is not a fixed thing.


Although Occupy Wall Street continues vestigially, it didn’t last long as a visible media spectacle. Nonetheless, the rapid turnaround rate of New York’s art industry has quickly capitalized on the revolt, accounting for it in collections, projects, and exhibitions at a number of museums and galleries.

Davina Semo

Davina Semo’s sculptures have recently been shown in three concurrent New York exhibitions. Marlborough Chelsea’s extended public art installation, Broadway Morey Boogie, is on view through April. A solo show of the artist’s work, called HOLDING THE BAG, was at Rawson Projects through February 1st, and a two-person show with David Flaugher opened at Greenpoint’s U.S. Blues Gallery February 7th to March 8th.

Anonymous Tantra Paintings

I’m confident that most people’s understanding of India’s medieval Tantric philosophy ends with the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s recent exhibition of beautiful miniature paintings or with a fuzzy, titillated acknowledgment of the Kama Sutra.

The Ferner Paintings

Helmut Federle’s fifth solo exhibition at Peter Blum, The Ferner Paintings, is promoted with an announcement card that excerpts an anecdote from Giorgio Vasari’s The Lives of the Artists (1550), wherein Italy’s great painters were asked by the Pope to prove their skill. Vasari reports that Giotto was judged as the greatest of all the candidates by replying with a perfect freehand drawing of a circle on an otherwise-blank sheet of paper.

Marsden Hartley’s Maine

Is Marsden Hartley's pre-war America great? Though seemingly full of promise and productivity, in civic and art historical terms, the scenes and scapes within his paintings also constitute a world that repressed sexual desire, celebrated extractive industries, and segregated race and class and gender even more harshly than today.


David Shrigley’s recent show at Anton Kern, Signs, relied heavily on language, making pictures out of words or using images as substrates on which text was written. Words were on placards, on cat-shaped canvases, on a bronze gong.

GEORGE GITTOES: Witness to a War

Although my hometown of Austin is well advertised as a bastion of liberalism in Texas, for radical politics of every stripe, one must go to Houston. Here, oil barons, libertarians, Revolutionary Communists, anarchists, organized crime, human traffickers, and other unnameable conspirators have found sanctuary on the third coast.


Connected presents works by five contemporary artists inspired by the gallery’s concurrent exhibition, Anonymous Tantra Paintings. Through the artists included here, Tantra’s medieval Indian tradition touches Modernism’s history.

How to Value Criticism?

I’ve found that Bob Nickas describes criticism best in his recurrent references to “biting the hand that feeds.” I can’t recall admiring a demure piece of criticism.

What We Cannot Speak About We Must Pass Over in Silence

Art manifestos often propose themselves as solutions to aesthetic problems—aping philosophical or religious tracts, mathematical proofs. But the resulting language is typically merely fatuous and should be set as far aside from art as possible, relevant only for the purpose of scholarship.

What is Art?

I have two jobs right now: one is as an assistant and archivist for a highly regarded Minimalist painter, the other is as a copywriter for an online art auction site. Each provides opportunities to examine how arguments for excluding or including art are constructed, from the 1960s through to the present.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

All Issues