Raphael Rubinstein is a New York-based poet and art critic whose books include Polychrome Profusion: Selected Art Criticism 1990-2002, The Afterglow of Minor Pop Masterpieces and monographs on Shirley Jaffe, Claude Viallat and Norman Bluhm. In 2006, he edited the anthology Critical Mess: Art Critics on the State of their Practice (Hard Press Editions). His book of micro-narratives The Miraculous was published by Paper Monument in 2014 and has also been been translated into French. In 2015, Granary Books published his experimental long poem A Geniza.
A central focus of Rubinstein's criticism is abstract painting. His influential 2009 Art in America article "Provisional Painting" identified a mode of painting that explores themes of impossibility, negation and the virtues of the unfinished. Another important interest of his is interactions between artists and writers. As well as writing on such exchanges, as a poet Rubinstein has collaborated with numerous artists including Enrico Baj, Shirley Jaffe, Jane Hammond, Elena Berriolo and Trevor Winkfield.
From 1997 to 2007 he was a senior editor at Art in America, where he continues to be a contributing editor. He is currently Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Houston School of Art. In 2002, the French government presented him with the award of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters. In 2010, his blog The Silo won a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation arts writer grant; in 2015 it received a "Best Blog" award from the International Association of Art Critics. Rubinstein's curatorial projects include "Provisional Painting" at Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London, 2011, and "Reinventing Abstraction: New York Painting in the 1980s" at Cheim & Read, New York, in 2013.