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The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 12-JAN 13

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DEC 12-JAN 13 Issue

Dress Trope

November 16, 2012

Dear Irving,

Maybe the attached will do for a response to your set of questions. My difficulty in responding item by item has to do with the fact that I’m not writing very much about art these days. My forbearance, if that’s what it is, is the result of doubts about whether any sane person reads art criticism these days, and then again whether anyone at all would want to read the kind of criticism I like to write.

I do think that the truly intellectual audience for contemporary art, except for some of the artists themselves, has disappeared. This isn’t the fault of the art so much as that of the handlers––curators, magazine writers, and art historians who have busied themselves with making teachable a lot of phenomena that, if looked at carefully, really aren’t classroom fodder, and some that are all too insistently so.

Best to you, as ever,



Bill Berkson

BILL BERKSON is a poet, critic, and professor emeritus at the San Francisco Art Institute. His most recent book of poetry is Repeat After Me; of critical prose, For the Ordinary Artist.


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 12-JAN 13

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