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Martha Schwendener

MARTHA SCHWENDENER is an art critic for the New York Times.

Guest Critic

Dear Reader

Much lies before you, so I won’t keep you long except to tell you how this came about. When Phong asked me in mid-December to edit the February issue of ARTSEEN, I thought, that’s impossible.

Ethical Criticism

We have “mastered” aesthetic criticism. Now it’s time for an ethical one

Re: Art Criticism Today

For me, art criticism is in dialogue with art, but also with culture. It is not merely “supporting” or “evaluating” art, but describing how it functions within and as a form of culture.

After Some Advances, A Backslide

The idea of “progress” was widely debunked by critical postmodernism, but it is hard to dispute the fact that some genuine progress has been made for women in the art world.

William Cobbett

Due to unforeseen and unexpected circumstances, I arrived in the 1980s at a boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut. I immediately liked my surroundings. The students were smart and came from all over the world.

Notes on Landscape/Painting/Photography/the Sublime

The Hudson River School painters hiked mountains, climbed trees, and paddled rivers and streams. But the images they produced weren’t made outdoors. Many of them were painted in the Tenth Street Studio Building in Lower Manhattan. By the 1860s, it was like a small landscape-painting factory.

The Ten Best Art Books of 2014

The Rail’s selection of the best art books of 2014.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2020

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