Writings by David Carrier

Liza Lou at L&M Arts


We all know that beautiful artifacts are grand commodities, and so have to be carefully guarded. But by making her sculptures beautiful and menacing, both at the same time, Lou brings home that contradiction.


Antonie’s Alphabet: Watteau and His World by Jed Perl


I enjoyed every word of this beautifully composed book, a virtuoso performance by a writer at the top of his form, who almost never fails to be totally engaging.


Paintings in Proust: A Visual Companion to “In Search of Lost Time” by Eric Karpeles


Thanks to the very fully annotated correspondence, in 38 volumes, we know a great deal about Marcel Proust’s tastes in visual art. When young he frequented the Louvre, went to the Low Countries and, under the spell of John Ruskin, traveled to see France’s medieval churches. He devoted long essays to Gustave Moreau and Monet,…


Abstract Expressionism: A World Elsewhere curated by David Anfam at Haunch of Venison


We need to understand properly the Americanness of Abstract Expressionism, without treating it either as a triumph of chauvinistic mythmaking or as an episode in the Cold War.


Nick Miller: Truckscapes at the New York Studio School


Just as many Matisse drawings and paintings made in Nice in the 1920s and 30s incorporate a representation of himself making the work of art, so Miller includes images of his working space in his landscapes. The effect is to bring us into the working process.


Night


Nightfall can inspire fascination with the starry sky, optimistic hopes for fulfilled sexual desire, or at least anticipation of sleep. But it can also cause anxiety if you are lonely, which is why van Gogh described The Night Café (1988), at MoMA, as showing a place where “dark forces lurked and suppressed human passions could suddenly explode.”


Katya Mezhibovskaya: Access Excess


Mezhibovskaya’s art is the most devastating commentary on Art Since 1900 and the most original supplement to Duchamp’s ready mades and Danto’s commentary on Brillo Box that I have had the pleasure to discover.


Dara Friedman: Musical


Like the Impressionists, Friedman transfigures the contemporary world. What more could we ask of any artist?


Art Power by Boris Groys


Using few footnotes, this collection of Boris Groys’s essays offers a compulsively original account of contemporary art and the political systems that support it. Educated in the former USSR, now a professor in Germany who also teaches at NYU, he brings to contemporary art theory a highly original perspective. Groys discusses fundamental topics: the nature…


Michael Podro (1931-2008)


Art historians usually feel no need to look back at the history of art history. Michael Podro took a different view. He believed that a way to understand visual art was to look critically at the history of art history. His first book The Manifold in Perception: Theories of Art from Kant to Hildebrand (1972) provides…