Weekend Links: The Critic’s Progress

The shortened work week after Victoria Day left me with little time for excess blogging due to the need for too many last-minute gallery visits in preparation for today’s Akimblog deadline. I’ll be sure to link to the post when it goes live next week, but until then it’s not too surprising that the gritty details of artists’ and critics’ working realities are heavy on my mind, and on this weekend’s links.

Anthony Caro with an Anthony Caro on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Source: Huffington Post)

How an Economist Can Also Be an Artist: Art21 Guest Blogger Amy Whitaker shares a brilliant post on Adam Smith’s artistic disposition that I really wish had been around a few weeks back when I was working furiously on an essay discussing labour issues in art. I’ve always had more respect for Smith than most economists, and any description of the man as “an awkward Scottish professor, apparently choked with books and absorbed in abstractions” endears him to me even more.

The Critic as Creative Collaborator: Paddy Johnson at Art Fag City turns her disdain for Anthony Caro’s sculptures on the Met’s rooftop into an interesting discussion of Clement Greenberg’s influence upon Caro’s studio practice. Questions abound as to whether Greenberg’s role was that of creative partner or pedantic puppetmaster, and whether any such relationships exist among today’s artists.

The Art of Saying No (via ArtFagCity): Artist Helena Keeffe rounds out a series of SFMOMA discussions on professional practice with a series of concrete examples of instances where Keeffe turned down invitations to participate in presentation opportunities where artist compensation was inadequate or non-existent. Keeffe’s reasonable approach to galleries and the occasional positive impact her protests have had demonstrate the power artists possess to voice their concerns and gradually change the shittier standard practices out there for the better.

The Life of the Freelance Art Writer: Hyperallergic kicks off what promises to be a fascinating (for me, anyway) series on the art writer’s experience with an introductory post from Lynn Maliszewski. The Brooklyn-based art writer covers the realities of the freelancer’s lifestyle from coffee budget to methodology. In summation, “Being a freelance art writer in New York is as outwardly glamorous as it has ever been; that is, not glamorous at all.”

Questions for Art Critics circa 1966: Andrea Carson bought a bunch of old issues of Canadian Art for two bucks a pop and found an article in the April 1966 issue in which leading artists of the day pose questions to critics. Carson’s post shares all the questions included – some still highly relevant, others not so much.

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