Fall 2014, Spring 2017, Spring 2020: Barry Schwabsky
Barry Schwabsky is art critic for The Nation and co-editor of international reviews for Artforum and has contributed to such publications as Art in America, Art Press, London Review of Books, and New Left Review. His books include The Widening Circle: Consequences of Modernism in Contemporary Art (Cambridge University Press, 1997), Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting (Phaidon Press, 2002), and Words for Art: Criticism, History, Theory, Practice ( Sternberg Press, 2013). He has taught at Yale University, Goldsmiths College, and New York University, among others, and has been a visiting critic at art schools and universities art departments throughout the US, UK, and Canada. His third collection of poetry, Trembling Hand Equilibrium, will be published this year by Black Square Editions, New York. A collection of his art critical writing is available from Sternberg Press.
Fall 2019: Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe
Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe (born UK, 1945) is a painter and theorist. Gilbert-Rolfe has shown his work in New York and elsewhere since 1970, most recently at Alexander Gray Associates in New York in 2013, and also collaborates with Rebecca Norton as half of Awkward x 2. His written works include Immanence and Contradiction (1986), Beyond Piety (1995), Beauty and the Contemporary Sublime (2000), Frank Gehry, The City and Music (2001). He is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and NEA Fellowships in both painting and criticism, the CAA’s Mather Award for Art Criticism, and a Francis Greenberger Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. Most of his teaching was done at Princeton, Cal Arts, and Art Center College of Design, from which he retired as Professor/Chair Emeritus in 2015.
Spring 2019: David Joselit
David Joselit is an art historian and critic, who received his Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Harvard University in 1995 and A.B. magna cum laude in Fine Arts from Harvard College in 1981. He studied at MIT at the Program in History, Theory and Criticism of Art and Architecture from 1989-1991. He has held several distinguished teaching positions; at Yale, he was a Carnegie Professor and in 2010 he was the Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. He taught in the Department of Art History and Ph.D. Program in Visual Studies at University of California, Irvine from 1995 to 2003. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of Art History at The Graduate Center, CUNY.
Joselit’s recent art criticism has engaged extensively with contemporary painting, notably 'Painting Beside Itself' in October in the Fall of 2009. He has published and co-authored many books including Infinite Regress: Marcel Duchamp 1910–1941 (MIT Press, 1998), American Art Since 1945 (Thames and Hudson, World of Art Series, 2003), Feedback: Television Against Democracy (MIT Press, 2007), and After Art (Princeton University Press, 2012), and he is a contributing author to the second and third editions of Art Since 1900 (Thames and Hudson, 2011 and 2016). He is an editor of the journal October.
Spring 2015, Fall 2018: Nancy Princenthal
Nancy Princenthal is a Brooklyn-based writer whose book Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art (Thames and Hudson, 2015) received the 2016 PEN America award for biography. A former Senior Editor of Art in America, where she remains a Contributing Editor, she has also written for The New York Times, Artforum and The Village Voice. Princenthal is the author of Hannah Wilke (Prestel, 2010), and a co-author of two recent books on women artists. Her essays have appeared in monographs on Shirin Neshat, Doris Salcedo, Robert Mangold and Alfredo Jaar, among many others. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A.), Hunter College (M.A.), and the Whitney Independent Study program, she has taught at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; Princeton University; and Yale University, and is currently on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts.
Spring 2018: Lloyd Wise
Lloyd Wise is a Senior Editor at Artforum. Wise’s four lectures at MICA were ‘Machine Learning’ considering how a mid-century rebellion against the earnestness of Abstract Expressionism led to a revolution in art making and provide an occasion to cast light on our own complex era of AI, automation, and algorithms. ‘Sweet Little Lies’ ask whether expression can be fraudulent. ‘Photoshoprealism’ looks at how digital artifacts are infiltrating the language of painting.‘The LCD Picture Plane’ asks how painting allows us see a “third place” between the virtual, the real, and the body.
Spring 2016, Fall 2017: Jarrett Earnest
Jarrett Earnest is a writer originally from the South who now lives in New York City and teaches at the free experimental art school, BHQFU. In writing, and through courses—“Object Relations”, “Color Feelings”, and “Emotional Formalism”— Earnest seeks and develops a new vocabulary for contemporary art, something more poetic and precise, embracing literature, metaphor, and psychology along with close formal reading.
Earnest’s criticism appears regularly in The Brooklyn Rail, The Village Voice, Art in America, The San Francisco Art Quarterly, Art Practical, among others. He specializes in long-form interviews with artists and writers, including Paul McCarthy, Robert Gober, Carolee Schneemann, Roni Horn, and Richard Tuttle. A conversation with critic Dave Hickey was recently published in SFAQ, conducted when both were residents at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva, Florida. Guest-editor positions include the Fall 2014 Miami Rail (“Toward South Florida Aesthetics”), the February 2015 Brooklyn Rail (“Toward Polyphonic Criticism”), and he co-edited a book of tributes to the poet and critic Bill Berkson titled For Bill, Anything (Pressed Wafer, Brooklyn 2015) with the artist Isabelle Sorrell. In 2015 catalog essays on Anthony McCall (LAC Lugano, CH & MONA, AUS), Josephine Halvorson (SECCA, NC), Anna Betbeze (Luxemborg & Dayan, London), and Betty Tompkins (FUG, NY) were published.
In 2011 Earnest co-founded the year-long art space 1:1 on the lower east side in New York, which was programmed with monthly exhibitions and a robust performance schedule. His most recent exhibition was Young and Evil at the David Zwirner Gallery.
Presently, Earnest is at work on two extended book projects, one with writer Peter Schjeldahl and the other with artist Lisa Yuskavage.
Fall 2016: Alexi Worth
Alexi Worth is a representational painter who is also known for writing about art. His approach to painting, dubbed “Realism with Benefits,” by Roberta Smith of The New York Times, is based entirely on freehand drawing, though it sometimes resembles cartooning or photography. In the early 2000’s, Worth wrote widely for magazines such as The New Yorker, Artforum, and Art in America, on subjects ranging from El Anatsui and Yayoi Kusama to Carroll Dunham and Jackie Saccoccio. Worth has taught at various MFA programs, including Yale, UPenn, and Pratt. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, the architect Erika Belsey, and their two sons.
On the occasion of his being named a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow, asked to make a statement about his work, Worth wrote:
"Victoria’s Secret did a fashion shoot in my neighborhood recently. A crowd gathered, and a forest of single arms rose up, each holding a cell phone. Only one person present--the supermodel-- was NOT a photographer. Twenty years ago, we thought the camera was already ubiquitous. But in fact, we’re living through a new photographic immersion, akin to the first one of the 1850s. For painting, what does this re-immersion mean? More reasons for pessimism of course. More reasons to indulge our favorite fatalist fantasy, that we are living in painting’s dusk, a last twilit hour. What could be more motivating than that?"
Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Fall 2015: Raphael Rubinstein
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 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.
Spring 2014: Ivan Gaskell
Ivan Gaskell is Professor of Cultural History, and of Museum Studies at the Bard Graduate Center, New York City. He mobilizes material culture to address intersections among history, art history, anthropology, and philosophy. He works on the philosophical plane of second order questioning, as well as writing case studies on topics ranging from seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish paintings, to Roman baroque sculpture, Native American baskets, and Congo textiles. Gaskell is the author, editor, or co-editor of eleven books, and has contributed to numerous journals and edited volumes in history, art history, and philosophy. His own book, shortlisted by the CAA in 2002 for their Charles Rufus Morey Award for best book in the history of art, is called Vermeer’s Wager: Speculations on Art History, Theory, and Art Museums and was published in 2000 by Reaktion Books in London.
Spring 2013: Ken Johnson
Ken Johnson grew up in Maine and graduated from Brown University in 1976 with a B.A. in Art. He earned a Masters degree in studio art with a concentration in painting at the State University of New York at Albany in 1977. For the next five years he worked as a technician in the painting department of an art conservation laboratory operated by the New York State Department of Historic Sites in Waterford, NY. In 1983, he started writing art reviews for The Albany Times Union newspaper and for other local publications in the Albany region where he lived from 1977 to 2001 (in Troy from the early 80’s on). In 1987 he began writing articles on contemporary artists for Arts Magazine, and a year later he moved on to Art in America for which he wrote reviews and articles regularly for the next nine years. In 1997 he began writing reviews for The New York Times, and continued to do so until September 2006, when he took a job as the chief art critic for the Boston Globe. After a year in Boston, he returned to New York to write art criticism for The Times. In 2011, his book “Are You Experienced? How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art” was published by Prestel Books.
Fall 2012: Christian Wulffen
Christian Wulffen was born in Germany where he received MFA from the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste (State Academy of Fine Arts) in Stuttgart. He is currently professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art. He taught at the Staatlichen Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart and Freie Hochschule, Metzingen, in Germany. He has lectured in both Germany and the United States. His work has been supported by artistic residencies from the Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg and Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris.
He has a long and distinguished exhibition history. Most recently, he has developed installation exhibitions for the McDonough Museum of Art: How to Improve your English (2007); Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland: ‘It is, It is not’ (2009); Dallas Contemporary: Bridges and Other Constructions (2010-2011); and William Busta Gallery, Cleveland: NSEW (2012). His work has been extensively collected by the Stiftung für Konkrete Kunst, Reutlingen, which has featured his work in a series of exhibitions. The artist is currently represented by Michael Sturm Gallery (Stuttgart) and Bartha Contemporary (London).
Wulffen has recently expanded his professional practice into curating with his Portability and Network, Spaces (Cleveland), which brought together the work of twenty-one European artists who pursue the fluid boundaries between visual art, architecture, and design as well as the relationship of the art to the larger society. These artists, including Wulffen, all engage with the current problem of how to re-invigorate Abstraction, Constructivism, Minimalism, and Conceptual Art in the contemporary environment. Wulffen’s work has been featured in numerous publications, including two monographs: Christian Wulffen (Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern Ruit, 1995), and Christian Wulffen, Zum Beispiel oder Spielen (Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg, 2002). In addition to his artistic and curatorial practice, Wulffen is exploring new pedagogical models, as expressed in visual language(s).
Spring 2012: Stephen Ellis
Stephen Ellis has shown his paintings in numerous galleries in the United and Europe since 1982. Ellis has been associated with a group of American artists, including Jonathan Lasker, Lydia Dona, Terry Winters, David Reed, Philip Taaffe and Christopher Wool, who, beginning in the late seventies, broke through the wall of self-referential formalism theorized by Clement Greenberg and returned abstraction to an engagement with the world.
Ellis has also written extensively about art for magazines including Parkett and Art and America, where he was an associate editor from 1989 through 1992. During the mid-eighties, while living in Cologne, Germany, Ellis wrote some of the earliest overviews in the American art press of the work of Gerhard Richter, Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen. Most recently he has written about the paintings of Giorgio Morandi, Dan Walsh and Alan Uglow.
Since the early 1980s, Ellis has taught graduate and undergraduate courses including painting, drawing, mixed-media practices, color theory, contemporary issues and writing workshops at various art schools and universities including The Cooper Union, SVA, Parsons, The New York Academy of Art, New York University, Bard College and Harvard University. He served as Interim Director of the LeRoy E Hoffberger School in AY 2017-18.
Ellis's painting and graphic work is represented in public and private collections in the United States and Europe. He has been the recipient of awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Two of his paintings are included in Phaidon's recent history of contemporary painting, Painting Today by Tony Godfrey.