RAPHAEL RUBINSTEIN is a New York-based poet and art critic whose numerous books include Polychrome Profusion: Selected Art Criticism 1990-2002 (Hard Press Editions), The Afterglow of Minor Pop Masterpieces (Make Now) and The Miraculous (Paper Monument). From 1997 to 2007 he was a senior editor at Art in America, where he continues to be a contributing editor.
JUL-AUG 2016 | Fiction
When I started renting movies from Evergreen Video it occupied the second story of a dilapidated building on West Houston Street. On the ground floor was Martin’s Bar and Grill, a tenebrous and seedy drinking establishment that seemed like a relic of some earlier version of downtown Manhattan, even thought at the timethe early 1990sthere were still many such survivals: Italian bakeries, Irish bars, Portuguese groceries, Puerto Rican bodegas, second-hand bookstores run by ash-sprinkled Jewish men who often reminded me of my father, miniscule record stores dedicated to particular genres or eras, boutiques whose stocks of clothes hadn’t been updated since the early 1970s.
MAR 2014 | Art
it was an almost perfect place to be 15 years ago
APR 2012 | Editor's Message
Im sure that sometimes youve asked: Who am I writing for? The answer may have been: for the artist, for the viewing public, for curious collectors, for posterity, for yourself (perhaps in order to understand something otherwise ungraspable about the work). But what happens if you ask: Who am I writing to?
JUL-AUG 2012 | Art
A few days before Holly Zausners exhibition of recent collages and film opened at Postmasters (June 21 August 3), Raphael Rubinstein visited the artist in her New York studio to talk about her work across various media and why she decided to title the show A Small Criminal Enterprise.
DEC 12-JAN 13 | ArtSeen
For too long, perhaps, we art critics have chastised ourselves, honoring the great achievements of the past only to discount the present state of our beleaguered practice. There are many good reasons for this attitude, many high marks of understanding, prescience, influence, and revelation that we can compare to subsequent moments of diminished powers.
APR 2010 | Art
Can the same painting give us difficulty and joie de vivre? If you have ever encountered a painting by Shirley Jaffe, you know the answer to this question.
NOV 2009 | Express
In his review of Eliot Weinbergers Oranges and Peanuts For Sale (September 2009), Michael Sandlin describes Vicente Huidobro, George Oppen and Gu Cheng as obscure long-deceased poets.
OCT 2006 | Poetry
Drunk in the next room screaming/”I’m going blind” every night…
APR-MAY 2003 | Poetry
(four short movements after Max Beckmanns The Argonauts)
JUN-JUL 2003 | Poetry
you've lived like the Argo
NOV 2016 | Critics Page
I’m writing these lines in late September just a few hours after learning that Shirley Jaffe died in Paris at the age of ninety-two. Last week, knowing that she had little time left, I flew to France to see her one last time.
FEB 2013 | ArtSeen
First paradox: that real events produce unreal spaces, i.e., fluid dynamics of various substances, guided by the artist, result in images of sheer fantasy, views onto imaginary landscapes.
JUL-AUG 2012 | ArtSeen
Until this exhibition I had never seen a work by Sven Lukin, an artist who began showing in New York in the early 1960s and was widely recognized at the time for his innovative painting-sculpture hybrids.
SEPT 2012 | ArtSeen
Once a year this poem / will be temporarily transformed / from a self-descriptive exercise / written in the plainest language / into something altogether different
FEB 2010 | ArtSeen
Art that comments on its own medium and art that comments on political events are often assigned to separate categories, attracting different audiences, different kinds of critical responses, different ways of looking.
APR 2010 | ArtSeen
When Jon Gams, proprietor of Hard Press Editions, died on November 7th at the age of 57, the world of independent publishing lost one of its most notable figures. It may take some time, but one day the contribution that Jon made to contemporary art and literature will be more widely recognized.
JUN 2008 | Art
It must have been around 1997 that I was having lunch with Jim Harithas and Norman Bluhm on Mercer Street in SoHo and I described to them an exhibition Id just seen at the Drawing Center.
MAR 2005 | Art
His public is shocked when this abstract painter living on the Côte dAzur paints a series of canvases unlike anything he has ever done before. In contrast to the restrained, geometric compositions for which he is known, these canvases present crudely drawn figures against dark, roughly painted backgrounds.
APR-MAY 2003 | Poetry
Illusion is a gangstergirl the sensitive killers tattoo spelled out