Episode 168: Derek Guthrie

November 16, 2008 · Print This Article

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Derek Guthrie

This week, guest host James Yood and Duncan interview Derek Guthrie, co-founder of the New Art Examiner for an illuminating history lesson.

New Art Examiner was a Chicago-based art magazine. Founded in October 1973 by Derek Guthrie and Jane Addams Allen, its final issue was dated May-June 2002.

At the time of the New Art Examiner ‘s launch, in October 1973, Chicago was “an art backwater.” Artists who wished to be taken seriously left Chicago for New York City, and apart from a few local phenomena, such as the Hairy Who, little attention was given to Chicago art and artists.

Called in Art in America “a stalwart of the Chicago scene,” the New Art Examiner was conceived to counter this bias and was almost the only art magazine to give any attention to Chicago and midwestern artists (Dialogue magazine, which covered midwestern art exclusively, was founded in Detroit in 1978, but it has also ceased publication). Editor Jane Allen, an art historian who studied under Harold Rosenberg at the University of Chicago, was influential in developing new writers who later became significant on the New York scene and encouraged a writing style that was lively, personal, and honestly critical.

Over the next three decades Chicago’s art scene flourished, with new museums, more art dealers, and increased art festivals, galleries, and alternative spaces. Critics asserted that the New Art Examiner “ignored, opposed or belittled” Chicago’s artistic developments, that it was overly politicized, overloaded with jargon, and did not serve the Chicago or midwest arts communities.

The critics and artists who wrote for the New Art Examiner, included Fred Camper, Jan Estep, Ann Wiens, Adam Green (cartoonist), Robert Storr, Carol Diehl, Jerry Saltz, Eleanor Heartney, Carol Squiers, Janet Koplos and Mark Staff Brandl.

New Art Examiner
Derek Guthrie
James Yood
Art Institute of Chicago
Jane Addams Allen
Betsy Baker
University of Chicago
Joshua Taylor
Art News
Blackstone Rangers
Martyl Langsdorf
Museum of Contemporary Art
Ed Paschke
Franz Schulze
Art in America
Lake Forest College
Jack Burnham
Defilement: A Story of the Art World
Proximity magazine Ed Marszewski
James Wood
Illinois Art Council
Michael Bonesteel
Smithsonian Fellowship
Dennis Adrian
Alan Artner
Van Gogh
Jesse Helms
Kathryn Hixson
Eleanor Hartney
Alice Thorson
Robert Storr
Peter Schjeldahl
Joseph Beuys

284 Responses to “Episode 168: Derek Guthrie”

  1. Refreshingly pessimistic. I’d sit in a pub with Guthrie anytime, anywhere, and buy all of the rounds.

    Friends aside, I miss very few things about Chicago; and the New Art Examiner will always represent lost potential. I feel honored to have been published in it.

    Yood: “Fixed mentality.” Rich.

    Guthrie: “Superficial and silly… I love this collapse…” God bless you, Sir.

  2. “Exclusion from information,” necessity of dialogue”, “a culture of the superficial and silly,” “collapse of the short term” — too many great things to quote. I loved this show, wish it was in print and mandatory reading in all art schools. I must say, I learned more from involvement at the New Art Examiner (and thus Derek, Jim, Michael Bonesteel, Alice Thorsen, etc.) than I did in art school. Great great interview Derek, Duncan and Jim!

  3. Duncan, I always feel free to speak whatever I want. Try it sometime -its…refreshing.

    Franz Schulz coined the term imagist to describe the Monster Roster group -Cohen, Goloub Leaf… -who were seen as rebelling against ab ex painting and reintroducing image-

    Blaclklisted! Thank god! Making enemies faster than I can kill em.

    Derek I think your notion of the internet is flat out wrong. As we just saw in this election -as we see here in Chicago with the art blogs -the internet has the capability of having a profound effect on community -also, the archives of any good site are MORE READILY AVAILABLE- than hard copy- Sharkforum was started for two hundred dollars -I’m sure BAS had a similar budget.
    New Art Examiner could be on line, with a world wide presence for almost nothing next week. Online advertising could pay the writers. Give it a print to copy option for those who feel the need for the printed page.

    Sad listening to the anarchy that once prevailed at NAE, and then to know, what happened -I will never forget when the late Donald McFadyen and I wrote an article in the early 90’s and then editor Hixon would not allow the term ‘department head’ to be used -as ‘people would know’ we were discussing the unfortunate influence of certain educators here- boosterism had arrived.

    If Lou Manilow never did anything else for the local community, he did donate the half a million bucks or so for the fatal redesign that spelled the end for what had become a partisan rag, in effect giving them just enough rope to hang themselves.

    I never met Roger Brown either -but thanks to Jim Yood and NAE and comments I made about his work, I was featured (along with Rogers attempts at recreating my work in any number of his insipid folk art paintings- I LOVED IT! … I just hope he had the good sense in the end to be buried in a waterproof casket as I’m sure there’s a line of people waiting to piss on his grave-

    Derek, what these critics you conjur need to do is what we all need to do here: create our own canon of aesthetics here in Chicago -quit being as Peter Schjeldahl described us, “a receptor city”……

  4. jill peterson Says:

    the interview starts at about six minutes in.

  5. jill peterson Says:

    guthrie says he feels sorry for people who grew up with television because the tv speaks but doesn’t ask us to speak back; he says he hears the effect it’s had on language. duncan says, “i grew up with television. it was lovely.” thereby, i think, confirming guthrie’s concern and bringing in mine. duncan’s (and my) generation is so confident that we don’t have to know anything or think about anything or listen to anyone with an attempt to consider their ideas. EVEN WHEN WE’RE INTERVIEWING THEM.

  6. Or, Shark, one could say consensus back-room dealing had by then reasserted itself, the very enemy the Derek-through-Jim NAE had revolted against (the NAE version you are speaking of desired to serve as a handmaiden to that cultural clique-ocrasy , but wasn’t accepted ANYWAY by the consensus).

    I agree fully with Derek’s lambast against small-mindedness, but feel a different word should be chosen. “Boosterism” can even be good, it is simply enthusiastic promotion of oneself, which has served London, LA and now Berlin well (and which I feel the closed Chi circle never did, being simply closed, not really enthusiastic). I think more appropriate would be some sort of descriptions like “bigoted machinations” or “petty close-mindedness.” In short, avaricious provincialism. An enforced absence of critical dialogue, which has not allowed any real, individual formation of identity (what WK calls “canon formation”), thus creating no real critics or international attention for Chi artists, as Derek rightly points out.

    By the way, you can not really talk back to PRINT either, but you can to the web (as this comment displays). One asset you forgot to mention.

  7. is this show called bad at interviewing?

  8. Duncan artist interviewer, does not have interest in art so he interviews himself.

  9. On a side note the winners have been announced for the Podcast Awards that were mentioned some weeks ago.

    Bad at Sports was nominated in the Best Cultural/Arts category but lost to the Goliath that is “This American Life”.

    The list can be read here

  10. The interview was conducted, largely, by James Yood. That had to be the case, inasmuch as he [Yood] possessed the personal connection to the subject and the memory of Chicago lacked [by virtue of age and place of birth] by Mackenzie.

    Having written that, Guthrie needed little prompting: This podcast became Guthrie on Guthrie.

    Agree, or disagree, with Guthrie’s position; but don’t fault the format of this episode.

    The quintessential European critique of America was offered by Alexis de Tocqueville.

    Complaining of, “anti-intellectualism,” bemoaning the, “herd of independent minds,” stating that, “there is no trickle-up, only trickle-down,” Guthrie echoed Tocqueville’s concerns regarding the evolution of a monolithic state underpinned by the progress of equality.

    Here, revisit Episode 12: Michelle Grabner


    It might be the case that Grabner has a friendly relationship with the power structure bemoaned by Kimler, if not also Guthrie; nevertheless, it’s certain that she too has expressed reservations about the development of the “casual” theorist and critic. Why?

    Publishing made possible by the internet has resulted in an [metaphorical] explosion not seen since Gutenberg. Has the quality of writing improved or declined?

    Knitting things together — as in Cuono’s encyclopedic museum, as via the world wide web — has the effect of leveling the distinctions between them.

    Tocqueville: “…there is hardly an important event in the last seven hundred years which has not turned out to be advantageous for equality.”

    Even as the low are lifted, the high are brought down. And control of access to the container is elevated over any unique capacity for production of the contents.

    Any old shit will do — provided the right gallerist, critic and curator arrange to put it in the right place. Isn’t that the lesson?

    If Kimler laments the decline of painting, and Grabner wishes to preserve the academic discourse of theory, Guthrie too seems to want for a — vocal — aristocracy of sorts.

    Not a few people worry about [publicly, here even] expressing a preference for “A,” as opposed to “B,” for fear of being [publicly, here even] labeled anti-this, or anti-that, and ruined through ostracism.

    And so words are not written; writing isn’t read; and Long Cat and Pancake Bunny are better remembered than internet theory. OMGZBBQ@@@!!!

    Not asked of Guthrie: “What did you and/or the Examiner do wrong?”

  11. Derek Guthrie Says:

    I think the most pertaint question is as suggested
    “What did the Examiner do wrong ?’ I seek answers.
    derek guthrie

  12. If I lament the decline of painting, – that would include all that it is-a plastic totality of things theoretical, metaphorical, experiential and so on… -surely not to be confused with trendy philosophical buzzwords -acting as signifiers of conformity and colllusion with academic constructs/institutional power/ extending overall mediocrity in an academically aggressive manner, doing violence to the very meaning of what is ‘painting’.

    I remember the aversion to the as Franz Schulz calls them ‘The Hyde Park Group’ -Paschke /Nutt /Brown/ Wirsum and others -that was palpable at NAE back in the 80’s -funny, looking back they were only in need -as Derek notes, opposition and other points of view…and seem in retrospect even benign all considered in light of what we eventually got stuck with… the academics -and Derek, you by accident or design, brought us Kathryn Hixon apparatchik and apologist for them- and gave her power. Made NAE their mouthpiece. Big mistake.

  13. If I may grossly overgeneralize, I think that too — the handing over or bending over to the consensus clique — was NAE “big mistake.” Not sticking closer to the spirit of Derek and Jane.

  14. Derek Guthrie Says:

    For the record the appointment of Kathryn Hixson
    was nothing to do with do with Derek Guthrie or Jane Addams Allen. The subsequent policees adopted were
    a reversal of what had been the previous “modus vivendi’ of the New Art Examiner.

  15. Yes, that reversal of your spirit was not your fault Derek! A change we well noticed at the time and still rue! Derek, you expressed your and Jane’s spunky audacious spirit well in this interview!

    Paul, please don’t dismiss Derek’s criticism as a “typical European critique of America” (I may have read you wrong); as now both an American and a European, I have often complained about Euro cliche’s of America (and vice-versa)— I don’t see Derek’s thoughts in that way at all. I think he is mostly dead-on about Chicago. Certainly, that “anti-intellectualism” he fought has now been replaced with a strange pseudo-intellectualism, yet it all remains structurally the same with new masters, mistresses: bigoted machinations of those who have petty close-mindedness. An approach stiffling dialogue and having all the negative effects exactly as Derek outlined them, with the added bonus of hypocrisy.

  16. No, of course Derek was out of the picture when the institutionalites took over- and then there went the neighborhood- if one is in need of a visual cue -just look at the UIC suburbanite sprawl that sets as blight upon what was once Maxwell Street –

    And then came the the well scrubbed ‘bigoted machinations’ (what else do they have?) of the homogenized; a regurgitation of 1970’s conceptualism -only with even more of a heightened emphasis on the ‘con’ element. You can still hear the proponents of this ‘movement ‘ now -right here on Bad At Sports -they are the interviews where there are one, or zero responses….where the only thing of interest, is to stand back and marvel at how insipid -not to mention flat out lame-stupid, dumb, some of Robbin Lockett crowd really indeed were and are. And then wonder, how DID Kathryn Hixon and crew manage to abscond with NAE?

  17. Paul Germanos Says:

    Imagine two art objects:

    (1) an oil painting, skillfully rendered;
    (2) a pile of detritus.

    In the case of (1) the object has some intrinsic worth and, by extension, so does said object’s creator: the artist.

    In the case of (2) the object’s value depends wholly upon the theory attached to it. And if the artist who constructed said pile happens to be incapable of articulating said theory [with the word, written or spoken] then the artwork and the artist would have value only via the critic’s recognition and interpretation.

    Some clever person/people committed to the promotion of the appearance of equality, while actually interested in the accrual of power in the institutions of the critic, curator, museum, et al, might tend to prefer (2) to (1).

    Once established, the greatest threat to such a group wouldn’t be found in the ranks of the artists, but rather in other institutions [your name here] that offered up alternative definitions of the good.

    Strong personalities [Kimler, Fitzpatrick, Phillips, Lutes, et al] who produce objects with commodity value: difficult situation.

    Obsequious natures dependent upon continual flattery of the tyranny: priceless.


    “quintessential European critique of America”


    2: the essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form.

  18. Paul, terrific, dead on.

  19. Derek and James both spoke to the conflicts between factions in the Chicago art scene in the 70s and 80s that lingered far too long.

  20. “Obsequious natures dependent upon continual flattery of the tyranny: priceless.” Very funny — and heartbreakingly true — Paul!

    I’m quite aware of that wonderful word ‘quintessence’ and its adjectival form, I just wanted to point out that Derek’s critique is far more than standard Euro fare (which I have to battle almost daily) because it does hit the Chicago nail on the head so exactly. I would use other terminolgy, personally, especially due to the shift from anti-intellectual to oiverblown psedo-intellectual. but I still think he has it quite right in a general, a depressingly repeating, Chicago sense.

  21. “overblown” and “pseudo.” Sheesh, I wish I would use Chris’s wonderful “opportunity to correct” function once in a while.

  22. “Derek and James both spoke to the conflicts between factions in the Chicago art scene in the 70s and 80s that lingered far too long.”

    -a mere prelude considering the academic aggression to come-

  23. Germano notCelant Says:

    Paul, your painting v/s pile idea is at fault because you are assigning value judgements before you make your final judgement. That is not what a disinterested critic would do.

    but ‘accrual of power’ is interesting. Why do people publish magazines, why do they wish to have their art or words in magazines?

  24. Barbara Blades Says:

    As an emerging artist when NAE began publishing, I never saw it as an outsider publication. I was fortunate to have had my work reviewed several times by NAE writers as well as by Franz Schulz and Alan Artner. I felt that the NAE reviews carried as much weight as the newspaper reviews. I think Derek should be happy that the Tribune released him, forcing him and Jane Allen to start the New Art Examiner, where they had the freedom to cover anything they wished. The Trib covers art according to the market. In the eighties when River North was booming, art coverage was important to them. Now, Sam Zell owns the paper and Alan Artner is forced to rate exhibitions with stars. He has no power, contrary to what we all might believe. His coverage is at the whim of the editors. By the way, we should give him credit for not being a booster for any one movement. He gives equal time to any well conceived work, and sees through work that is superficially conceptual.

    Understanding time constraints of the interview, I thought there were omissions of other efforts at good criticism and dialogue in Chicago. There was no mention of John Brunetti’s role in Dialogue Magazine, which also went under. Panel discussions, which were so well attended in the seventies and eighties, fizzled out in the nineties. There was a meeting in the early nineties of all the arts organizations (NAE, the alternative spaces, etc.) to discuss pooling resources to hold panel discussions and lectures, because one organization couldn’t draw a large enough audience. A second meeting was never held. I’m surprised that, excluding a mention of Sharkforum, there was no mention of the movement started by Paul Klein (Artletter), Tony Fitzpatrick, “The Shark” and others to get a dialogue going among artists and to found an artists’ museum that would bypass the power brokers in the museums and art schools. There were good ideas and ambitious plans, inspiring crowds of artists to attend the meetings. Many creative ideas were thrown into the dialogue. After a year or so it all faded away and artists went back to plugging away at their art and their day jobs. Se la vie.

  25. I really don’t know where to start. I had my troubles with a long series of NAE editors, starting withe Derek and finishing with Kathryn Hixon, but this sliming of her is really below you boys. Or at least I THOUGHT it was below you. Maybe not. Well, at least the “official” history of the NAE now includes Alice Thorson, so there’s hope for a reformed version in the future. The decision to produce the magazine in a format its business model could not sustain was Derek’s decision. From that point, the ultimate collapse was inevitable.

    My own favorite moment in the Guthrie interview was when he said he ALWAYS paid the writers. I laughed for a solid half-hour. Is he still on meds? That would explain the transparent lies about Artner. Jesus, for all it’s been decades, is there anybody who doesn’t know the Trib fired Derek and Jane for missing deadlines repeatedly? I remember receiving Derek’s version of the event, complete with hinty-hinty allusions to “politics” and “ideology.” It was all bullshit. If Derek wants to know why, in the middle of a crowded opening, he was given a ten-foot radius of private space, why does he think this was because of ideology and NOT because of his remarkably fugitive sense of personal hygiene?

    OKAY, so beyond smelling bad, lying a lot and stiffing his writers, what was the matter with Derek? That “us against them” bullshit, for all he decries it now, was his stock in trade back then, and hasn’t changed much since.

    And by the way, what’s the matter with YOU guys? At her worst, Hixon’s writing tries to be taken seriously by her peers. If that makes her a little stiff and academic, I don’t mind. I absolutely don;t think she deserves to be crapped on by a provincial blowhard (who’s still settling imaginary scores with the late Roger Brown) like Kimler, and I consider you boys all gutless for failing to stand up for her.

  26. On second thought, I should be clearer about the direction the NAE took in its last few issues, and about its editors. Putting out an art magazine is always a gamble. In the last issues, the editors of the NAE gambled that if they showed what the magazine could be, support might be forthcoming. They lost, but it was worth a try.

    And about Kathryn’s writing: there’s nearly always something to think about in what she writes. That puts her way above the industry average. Whatever a work of art has to do to earn its place in the room, writing has to give you something to think about. She does that.

    Everyone seems agreed that the ridiculous pettiness that passed for local color back in the seventies and even in the eighties was a waste of time and talent. So why does it persist today? And why do you encourage it?

  27. “Everyone seems agreed that the ridiculous pettiness that passed for local color back in the seventies and even in the eighties was a waste of time and talent. So why does it persist today? And why do you encourage it?”

    “If Derek wants to know why, in the middle of a crowded opening, he was given a ten-foot radius of private space, why does he think this was because of ideology and NOT because of his remarkably fugitive sense of personal hygiene?
    OKAY, so beyond smelling bad, lying a lot and stiffing his writers, what was the matter with Derek?”

    Tim Porges Hixon apologist/, consensoriat card holder…..but more relevant here, not smart enough to do much more than shoot himself down with his own argument, so what is it Tim not very bright or just immune to your own hypocrisy -or, do your little rules only apply to those who make you feel threatened?

    Relax Timmy, what is your going rate as an art ‘writer’ -down at the bottom of the ladder even here Chicago…..maybe a nickle a word? Whatever it is, I’m betting I’ve picked up more change off of my studio floor than you ever been compensated for your consensus correct opinion. Though you might try doing a gossip column -you are marginally more adept at coming off like a little bitch.

  28. “On second thought, I should be clearer about the direction the NAE took in its last few issues, and about its editors. Putting out an art magazine is always a gamble. In the last issues, the editors of the NAE gambled that if they showed what the magazine could be, support might be forthcoming. They lost, but it was worth a try.”

    And what precisely was your first thought Tim? Do you mean when you try to lay the blame for the format change, into a slick New York-style publication that came and went, blowing through something like a half million of Lou Manilows dollars in 4 issues – on Derek Guthrie -long gone to the tune of a decade and a half from NAE at the time?…sloppy at best.

    Perhaps you just havent come to terms with the fact that by the time of it demise, NAE had beome a consensoriate tool, populated by hacks like yourself. That it had lost its relevance and that all the redesigns in the world weren’t going to succeed in making a horse out of horseshit.

  29. And one more second thought Tim. Since you are so big and bad and everyone else is so gutless, 2046 West Carroll -why don’t you stop by and share just how deeply offended you are that I called out a leading member of your little clique in person, tough guy.

  30. Apparently I struck a nerve. So here I am being called a hypocrite, which, having undertaken to wrestle a pig, is what I deserve.

    Kathryn deserves better than to have me as her champion, and she deserves better, much better, than to be crapped on by a pig like Wesley.

    So how about it Mark? Is anti-intellectualism only bad if it’s twenty-year-old imaginary anti-intellectualism? Or do you think Wesley the period gasbag is some kind of natural savant?

  31. ooooHoooooooo big bad Timmy! Now, you were a failed artist before you were a failed critic/Kathryn Hixon suck-up right? Thats a hell of a resume…..You have my address -don’t be Tim-id -if you have such a row to hoe with me -by all means come do it in person.

  32. Lets see Tim: Derek smells bad, and I’m a pig….at your going rate of a nickel a word, why don’t you try writing that a few thousand times over……if you can find a taker you can earn your weeks lunch money and write your Opus magnum simultaneously!

  33. Dear Derek///// I listened to your pod piece…you were in a standard Derek mode..you are there to trouble reason….. I really do not think you understand what this market collapse will mean to the vast populations of the world…. there is no bottom, it is the same in the art world in terms of critics and artists do not know what is good, or valid or substantial, there is confusion and hype and ego, quite frankly, I am sick of it all…..and they are lost. There is no talk about art with out talk about power and politics,,,, art is a message, or a cover, an excuse, an alibi, an innocence, a justification, a rationalization,art by it self is the fall guy, it is not innocent….. All this talk is so lame, so self righteous or vain…. where is the authority ?…The situation politically will eventually break down stupidly to war, if not next year, the year after…the resolve is war…. that is the real issue…. if you want to talk about art you must talk about war..as Cezzane said…I no longer wish to not offend people if it means I cannot tell them the truth,,,, Obama was a sham….. look who really paid for his campaign….. look who is getting on board,,,Clinton retreads…. the same meat-heads who set up the Iraq war…..and spent our ass off..set the table for Bush….. one seem-less line of action, as it is now with Bush to Obama…. seem-less…..if you want to talk about art that means something , for certainly you know it has been de-fanged and mollified as a social force…. you must have courage and not be afraid to say what you mean,,,,, no skirting around the issue….. there is a well defined dualism operating in our society today…. there is the story of how are said to be living, operating cleanly, things are ok, kids go to school, we go shopping, eating, drinking, driving in your car , you clothes are clean….. people are nice…. then there is the truth, the Enron truth of things, how the economy is failing, how hard and painful it is to manage one bills, to get some decent health care, to make ends meet, to not feel scared of the cops, wondering what that phone call was, who is at the door, is my kind all-right ….. do we have a future if I loose my job?…. what about the people across the street…. where did they go?…..who the hell is that?…There is a lot of fear and anxiety out there, something the art world should be a barometer on ,,,,, art is so holed up….. so useless, so banal, ….. I am surprised you did not rip the guys\’s head off,.,,,,if you want to be of any assistance at all , just tell the truth to those who would otherwise bull shit us all….. and fuck them,.,.,,the well is poisoned, the glaring contradictions are there for all to see,,,, we no longer live in a republic,,,,what is art’s reaction to that?….a

  34. Dear Derek///// I listened to your pod piece…you were in a standard Derek mode..you are there to trouble reason….. I really do not think you understand what this market collapse will mean to the vast populations of the world…. there is no bottom, it is the same in the art world in terms of critics and artists do not know what is good, or valid or substantial, there is confusion and hype and ego, quite frankly, I am sick of it all…..and they are lost. There is no talk about art with out talk about power and politics,,,, art is a message, or a cover, an excuse, an alibi, an innocence, a justification, a rationalization,art by it self is the fall guy, it is not innocent….. All this talk is so lame, so self righteous or vain…. where is the authority ?…The situation politically will eventually break down stupidly to war, if not next year, the year after…the resolve is war…. that is the real issue…. if you want to talk about art you must talk about war..as Cezzane said…I no longer wish to not offend people if it means I cannot tell them the truth,,,, Obama was a sham….. look who really paid for his campaign….. look who is getting on board,,,Clinton retreads…. the same meat-heads who set up the Iraq war…..and spent our ass off..set the table for Bush….. one seem-less line of action, as it is now with Bush to Obama…. seem-less…..if you want to talk about art that means something , for certainly you know it has been de-fanged and mollified as a social force…. you must have courage and not be afraid to say what you mean,,,,, no skirting around the issue….. there is a well defined dualism operating in our society today…. there is the story of how are said to be living, operating cleanly, things are ok, kids go to school, we go shopping, eating, drinking, driving in your car , you clothes are clean….. people are nice…. then there is the truth, the Enron truth of things, how the economy is failing, how hard and painful it is to manage one bills, to get some decent health care, to make ends meet, to not feel scared of the cops, wondering what that phone call was, who is at the door, is my kind all-right ….. do we have a future if I loose my job?…. what about the people across the street…. where did they go?…..who the hell is that?…There is a lot of fear and anxiety out there, something the art world should be a barometer on ,,,,, art is so holed up….. so useless, so banal, ….. I am surprised you did not rip the guys\’s head off,.,,,,if you want to be of any assistance at all , just tell the truth to those who would otherwise bull shit us all….. and fuck them,.,.,,the well is poisoned, the glaring contradictions are there for all to see,,,, we no longer live in a republic,,,,what is art’s reaction to that?….a

  35. jill peterson Says:

    pseudo-intellectualism- would that include the belief that a mental thesaurus makes a crude thought sophisticated?

  36. “pseudo-intellectualism- would that include the belief that a mental thesaurus makes a crude thought sophisticated?”


  37. Does Derek smell bad now? Apparently your pigginess continues. Been drinking, have you? I remember that part of the act.

  38. Oh, stop it children! Tim, YOU are the one sinking to insults here.

    Yes, I was never paid by NAE either — I voluntarily donated it back, though.

    I, at least, did NOT mean to insult Hixson — she wrote well. I do insist though that in my opinion she was a purposeful part of a bad influence on Chicago — she tended to serve as a handmaiden to the Consensus Clique. Which YOU, btw, did NOT when I knew you as the very good editor of Whitewalls.

    Yet in your comments here and at Sharkforum, you seem to have inverted your stance and are making up for lost time in silly support of a dying club. And the constant “drinking” comments are stale. As I recall you could slam em down too. As could I. Let’s talk substance. Derek, as always, has brought up some extremely interesting topics.

    Let’s stop the “pig” insults. That’s just personal crap. We are talking about real issues here, whether you like Wesley or not, keep your shit together. Kimler is not anti-intellectual, although his enemies like to paint him as such. I know, I talk to him a lot. AND argue with him. He’s hard-headed about quality, brooks no fools and tends to speak too aggressively, but wtf, such is needed.

    As I recall, you, Tim, and I and Buzz, all bemoaned the anti-intellectuality of those days several times when we were discussing together. I just bemoan even greater the lame-brained spouting of memorized jargon that passes as intellectual now even more throughout the artworld. I like real intellectualism, I have to sheepishly admit, — incl. a bunch of stuff you did back in WhiteWalls days —. But differentiation does need to be made.

    I’d like to add a positive point: The NAE was very important, at least up until Hixson (I left Chicago then), as a spot to learn how to write earnest, intelligent but not pseudo-intellectual or overbearingly intellectual texts. I learned from Thorson, Koplos and others how to undo the “verbage-inundation” style I had learned in art history grad school. We owe them A LOT for doing that for many. A mentoring approach that Derek attributes to Jane, and I don’t doubt it, although he can turn a mean phrase too.

    Barbara — you are very correct about all the others who put up a good fight. Thanks for mentioning them. It didn’t bother me that Derek didn’t mention them, it was his interview. A big piece on all these attempts would however be very interesting article or podcast. But the good part is that apparently, at least to some extent, Sharkforum, Bad at Sports, The Art Letter, Proximity are indeed succeeding. Look at the comments here! Until it degenerated into insults, very important dialogue was occurring.

    Wellllllllllll, Derek, welcome back to the little big city both of us left! You seem to have the same effect as before! Amazing and wonderful. Chicago still cannot talk openly, is still usually a one-horse town, the horse just changed (from a ‘minor-league’ Imagist stallion to an even lower Neo-Con nag). You’ve become the elder statesman of Chicago criticism! But still cause arguments…..

  39. Mark,

    Ah, degenerating into insults. Such is the fate of standard English. And yes, I always at least tried to write in standard. What I objected to, and you can call it insulting if you like, is Derek lying about the past. The one good thing about Derek, always, was he would do Anything to keep the paper coming out.He had no business ethics, though, like a lot of old lefties, and it was a pain in the ass dealing with him. And he should stop sliming Alan Artner. It’s all based on lies, and they’re now lies that take way too much explaining to be worth the effort.

    As to whether I ever belonged to, or now belong to some kind of clique, I never had such luck. I always hated the preemptive jargon taught at the SAIC by people I can’t name because, thank God, I can’t remember them any more. Translated french theory was like an imaginary landscape, and not everybody likes learning new things. It can be easier to just learn the words instead. Fighting about that now is like two bald men fighting over a comb that neither one has seen in over twenty years.

    Go ahead and play the Dad role if it suits you, but an apology was in order and the time for it was yesterday.

  40. For once in this conversation Tim you are actually right, an apology is in order: to all of the artists here in Chicago who had everything they had worked for taken from them, so that people like Kirchner with her lieutenants (-Hixon for instance,) could ride roughshod over the scene here, and rewrite and create their fake version of hierarchy/history here, and then inculcate it via the educational institutions so insistently and aggressively, that years later, we have people like Duncan for instance, actually believing their machinations to be the truth. Their will to power.

    *Its all about power Wesley isn’t it?” Kathryn Hixon once told me when I questioned NAE -thus her, partisan stance, how it, she, had become a mouthpiece for a certain faction…the pseudo-intellectuals, with their idiotic, positioning (painters don’t think (unless they are our pals) they are anti-intellectual, and so on and so forth Tim -as you reiterated here -as mantra, Well, fuck you. Perhaps you can get the people whose asses you chose to kiss to let you write their apology to the artists here in Chicago who now must deal with this art world here so decimated and marginalized, due to the wreckage of their past-

  41. Derek Guthrie Says:

    Dear Tim, It is serious when one is called a liar in public. I wil be pleased to meet you in a public forum and confront that accusation. Yes i was committed to the New Art Examiner and I would do anything to keep it going except to tell lies or break the law.

    I will give a lecture in the cultural center on Dec 12th. If you want to present the lies at that time i will give you time and sapce. If you want to meet in private before then I will be pleased to do so.
    I think the well worn cliche about me being an old lefie , (new up to date name terroist) , is a bit thin. It seems to me after a visit to Hull House that Jane Addams had such stupid and ignorant accusations made about her as she beleived in free speech and gave space for Communists and Anacharists to hold meetings there.
    I beleive in free speech , as long as it is not libalous. I think you may have commited libel. i have neither the resources or interst to sue you.I beleive in free speech which is a very American and also in spite of a Queen very Britsih.

  42. Actually I was playing reprimanding teacher. So much for my comedy sense.

    I should apologize to you, Tim? Or who to whom? I don’t get it frankly, and you are being the vicious one here and should apologize to Derek, I feel. I was there — his time, your time, my time etc. — in Chicago — and he and Wesley, in my opinion, are telling the truth (although of course not all of it, that’s not possible as we have individual experiences). Their opinions are very much to the point too : “Chicago who now must deal with this art world here so decimated and marginalized, due to the wreckage of their past” — concise, sad and true.

    I really truly cannot fathom what the fuck is bugging you. I meant what I said about your fine writing and editing earlier, but right now you sound bitter that others don’t share your “official view” of Chicago art history or something.

    I suggest everone go to the Cultural Center on the 12th and argue it out with Derek directly — before an audience. I wish I could be there. Maybe I’ll call in. Or do a Skype video on someones laptop or so.

  43. By the way, Tim, per: the silly “leftist” comment. I am and always have been unrepentantly left. Many of the Consensus Clique you apparently feel a need to defend also claim to be so. So what. I am even a card-carrying member of the left-wing of the Democratic Party, am a member of the Social Party (not Socialist, there is a difference, even if propaganda-eating Americans don’t know it) here in Switzerland. BFD. Are you going to call Derek or me or someone a potential Muslim next, did you learn some other Palin tricks recently. It looks like regime change and the beginning of a change from the corrupt Chi Art regime is harder for some to take than they even can express.

    Go on the 12th. Do your accusations where you have stand up for them.

    Shark, let’s get Derek and some others and do a Sharkforum “Regime Change” panel soon!

  44. My favorite Artner comment: I was discussing “art criticism” in Chicago (which truly needs scare quotes) once years ago with Dennis Adrian. Artner came up. Dennis said “Poor dead thing… and no one has had the good grace to tell him of his passing.”

  45. jill peterson Says:

    from what office are you trying to impeach guthrie for the crimes of stink, drink and pink? none of these should impede an online discussion. pseudo-intellectuals hide behind a cloak of pseudo-science, a frankenstein’s monster that has nothing to do with real science. if this were a discussion among scientists, we would be trying to figure something out together and any disagreements would be investigated with actual interest in finding something. we would be working for something greater than ourselves, a search for truth that includes all pertinent points of view and favors none and noone’s over the goal of common discovery (which is similar to how i understand guthrie’s description of the workings and purpose of the nae). you seem to me to be defending a stance with an eagerness to destroy those who don’t agree. that’s not science, it’s fundamentalism.
    and even here in podunk georgia, we have people willing to get inside guthrie’s radius for the chance to talk to someone who thinks.

  46. Thanks for the reality check, Jill.

  47. Oh for christ’s sake.

    1.) You shouldn’t say you always paid writers when you didn’t.

    2.) It’s a pointless old he-said-he-said, but the reason why the founders of the NAE got canned by the Trib is legendary, and there are two legendary versions in circulation, and one of them is Derek’s and the other is Artner’s. In one of them Derek is let go for reasons never specified that have to do with (lots of eye-rolling here) politics and maybe some (never named) gallerists. Artner is also blamed, though there’s always lots of handwaving and this times’ “maybe I was just keeping his seat warm for him” is consistent. The other version is that deadlines were missed and the Trib looked elsewhere. I have no desire to go to Chicago on December 12: I have a life and things to do elsewhere. If Artner wants to go to this event I assume he’ll go; if not, not. I’ve already made enough of a fool of myself on this topic.

    I’m not bitter, and don’t have an official view of local history or of just about anything. Until I spoke up and engaged the massive vanity and rage of Beige Wesley Kimler, nobody said anything mean to me, and I’m certainly not important enough in the little history we are engaged in rewriting here for anybody to have said anything ABOUT me. No.

    No, Mark, nobody owes me an apology for anything. I should apologize for pointlessly engaging Kimler, whom the rest of you indulge for what seem now obvious reasons. I should also leave Derek well enough alone, let him continue to retail his self-serving version of history, which is hardly different from the self-serving versions of events we all have. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

  48. Concerning all thats happened here in Chicago, all that Tim is trying to justify, I feel I have always been too damned nice when speaking out about the whole rotten group of conniving apparatchiks-and what they pulled here. Mark, I think you sometimes have the same problem I do -we are really far too polite and nice about the whole thing.

  49. And also, i was and am not red-baiting Guthrie, whose politics were never all that clear. all I SAID was that like a lot of old lefties he had limited business ethics. This is lovely. Now Derek’s a martyr and I’m red-baiting scum. ain’t life grand?

  50. Just plain scum as you more than adequately demonstrated here.

    btw Beige? I;m dark grey on the top and white with some blood detritus underneath

  51. jill peterson Says:

    ok tim. that’s getting somewhere. you think guthrie is pushing a story without substance about the paper firing him and allen. as far as i know, and i’m not positive, i think he always asterisks his guesses about the canning with the statement that he was never told by the paper why he was fired. can you provide evidence to the contrary? that would be enlightening.
    and your more confident assertions of limited business ethics, lying and non-payment to writers would be better received with evidence, as they are actual accusations and really require some back-up. it can’t be too hard to let us in on what you know. after all, you wouldn’t accuse him of bad ethics without being convinced yourself. inform the rest of us by providing the information that clued you in.

  52. “Until I spoke up and engaged the massive vanity and rage of Beige Wesley Kimler, nobody said anything mean to me”

    boo hoo! what; a wuss…..

    are you sure Tim that people beng mean to you on BAS is the only thing gone wrong with your pathetic self you want to blame me for?

  53. Okay, Jill,

    I was never once paid on time and often not paid at all when I wrote for the NAE. In the end, I “bought” ads for WhiteWalls with what they owed me. Other writers can report in with what their experiences were like; I’m done trying to speak for others. Mark earlier said he’d been shorted on pay too, but didn’t mind. I didn’t mind either, except I gradually got the impression that some got paid and others didn’t — that was just an impression, though, nothing firm.

    I think we all got used years ago to our canned mythologies about the last three decades of the 20th century in Chicago. The one reliable fact is, we were all a lot younger then.

    I can’t provide evidence about the circumstances of Derek’s departure from the Trib. Everything I ever had was word of mouth, and if the parties closer to the event want to engage with it, that’s up to them. All I SHOULD have said is there’s an alternative version of events, which is, as I understand it, Artner’s version, and in that version the issues had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with competence and punctuality.

    If I have one particular grudge against Derek it’s this: when I wrote for the NAE, they would routinely rewrite editorial copy without consulting the writer AT ALL. Imagine you write a review, and when the paper comes out you open it to find a review that resembles the one you wrote here and there, but begins and ends differently, and is considerably more assaultive than yours was. And it still has your name on it. Like some naked-in-school dream, eh? That was the reality of how the Examiner treated writers. And that wasn’t just when I was a snotnose right out of art school: it continued until the last time I ever wrote anything for the NAE, when Kathryn was the editor, in fact.

  54. By the way, you guys should try to spell her name right. It’s Hixon. Lin Hixson of Goat Island spells her name with that extra s. That’s probably the source of confusion here.

  55. “I can’t provide evidence about the circumstances of Derek’s departure from the Trib. Everything I ever had was word of mouth,”

    is this a PTA meeting in Wassila we are listening in on with its attendant gossip?

  56. circle jerk

  57. Everytime I was rewritten I was contacted, the changes discussed, — the editors were usually right, and I learned from that.

    If they inadvertently were suggesting a change of my opinion, so to speak, by changing some words, we re-altered it together to fit my intended messagem but better written. All the corrections I ever had were indeed VERY few and had to do with conciseness and good clear description. I never wrote for Hixon, though. I do know she violently edited Kimler’s editorial ! (Something editors almost never do, only features and reviews, etc.)

    Ann Morgan And Alice Thorson, were my absolute best “teaching editors,” Koplos my best style model (now she’s my editor at Art in America), Bonesteel and Yood very helpful as well. At least that was my experience. I was never lied to by Derek or any of the editors in any way that I know of. They appologized for non-payment during one of their bad periods (I had been paid everytime before) and so I also took a small ad once, then later just said I’d donate what was owed (something like $ 300.– only) to the “cause.”

    Facts for comparison for those whodon’t know .. critics get paid like shit everwhere, of course. Flash Art is famous for never paying anyone, and only accepting positive reviews of “hot” artists, The “Biggies” pay ridiculously low. ArtForum tells their reveiewers wha to review, and/or thy have to requst permission. NAE was never li that to me in anyway except the low pay).

  58. Actually I thank Tim for his most illuminating participation here. I think it has been invaluable. The innuendos, the smears the gossip….its how his crowd operates. Though he claims no political agenda -a cursory look at who he has written about will dispel that falsehood….he is a consensus clique schill defending a position that is very close to being completely debunked here in Chicago finally-

  59. Hey Derek!
    You are listed on Time Out and some places as at the Cultural Center on Dec. 2, also on Dec. 12. When are you there exactly?
    (Derek Guthrie – “Defilement: A Story of the Art World”)

    (and — uh — once again I apologize for all the typos in my message above — “wha” is “who,” “thy” is “they,” “requst” is “request” etc. Clearly I need a web-comment editor! — I type fast, but like shit, and never correct before I slam the “post” button. The dangers of internet.)

  60. Derek Guthrie Says:

    I am now confused as to when i will give the lecture
    maybe I will have to give it twice. I seek clarification
    derek guthrie

  61. Derek, I am still wanting to hear you discuss how it came to be that NAE ended up becoming a tool of the consensus clique emanating out of UIC.

    I think it would also be of interest to hear from you, what precisely is the nature of your relationship with Ms Hixon today. I personally feel clarification on both of these points would be a good thing in the ongoing struggle for a more diverse and representative art scene here in Chicago.

  62. i heard some great soundbites:

    “discussion doesn’t exist in Chicago”
    “the art world has gone flat”
    – Derek

    “.. basic cantankerousness of Chicago as an art center .. continues today….
    lots of structural emnities…”
    – James Yood

    First i want to say that there IS great discussion about art in Chicago. and I would argue that there are elements that are critical and are not afraid to speak to power. Not many but they exist.

    I think it’s also evident that one solution to the so-called Chicago Problem and its lack of critical dialogue is to continue ahead with our collective efforts in making media. And to make sure more people contribute to the dialogue by creating even more outlets.

    I would also argue that current efforts using web-based and print media will do far more for the arts in Chicago than NAE did. The dissolution of gatekeepers and the rise of the more democratic, professional, and even DIY media provides a wider base of opinion and dialogue re: the various art worlds in Chicago than one or NO art authority.

    Also James. Duncan. I am dumbfounded by your assertations that i am pushing some left wing socialist agenda via Proximity magazine. I may have some more radical lefty opinions printed in Lumpen magazine(!) but we have been very open to all voices/agendas/ideas/opinions/criticism within Proximity’s pages. So please, try reading it more carefully and separate your personal bias from reality.

    That said I want you to be aware of your own efforts at promoting division and McCarthy-ism here in Chill by bandying about that crap. I would like you to provide some critique on the actual publication and the ideas contained within rather than insult or debase it because of my other interests and projects.

    One more thing.

    James I don’t know you, but i imagine you might have some issues with your traditional hegemonic role in covering the arts in our little pond. But before it diminishes further i think it’s time that the actors that support and entrench these “structural emnities” be exposed and shamed.

    Get to work James and use your status and network to improve the quality of the dialogue. Start naming some names. You are not going to lose your job… You are JAMES YOOD! A Critic!

    As Derek said: support discussion.

    ok guys.
    see you all on campus.

  63. Paul Germanos Says:

    A gold coin has value apart from the government stamp applied to it. Conversely, fiat currency has no value apart from government script printed upon it.

    Not only gold coins, but also finely wrought objects are stores of value that survive the regimes in which they are created.

    Conceptual and Neo-Conceptual actors, seeking to remove the commodity value from art, have made of it a fiat currency — dependent wholly upon the imprimatur of a critical regime.

    I haven’t decided that skillfully rendered oil paintings, luxurious tapestries, masterfully carved stones and well-cast bronzes ought to be considered valuable. Nor was I consulted about gold. These are the judgments of History and Economy. Even conceptual artists seeking to “de-commodify” art must begin working from a position that presupposes art’s commodity value.

    Please understand: I don’t believe that piles can’t have value — only that they have no value apart from the interpretation of the artist and/or critic, and the context of the museum or gallery.

    In the case of the hypothetical pile:

    Critic A: “Piles cannot have value.”
    Critic B: “Piles can have value.”

    Both critics have made value judgments “a priori” about all things in the category of piles, based solely upon said things possession of the quality of “pileness.”

    We express valuations simply by choosing: (a) to view, or not view, an art object; (b) to write, or not write, about what was viewed; (c) to read, or not read, what was written.

    + + +

    The point is that even as someone holding large amounts of fiat currency has an interest in the survival of the government that issued said currency, so too someone heavily invested in a certain type of conceptual art has an interest in the survival of said art’s sustaining critical regime.

    + + +

    Artner is not exactly as portrayed, having been critical of both nominally Neo-Imagist and Neo-Conceptual appproaches.

    Friday, May 9, 2008, on Tony Fitzpatrick @ CCC: “The work gives me little to identify with beyond nostalgia, the easy longing for the past that’s better for all of us to resist. Formally, I find the pieces on view overloaded and monotonous.”

    Thursday, February 28, 2008, on Karen Kilimnik @ MCA: “It is art made like a cat sprays to mark territory.”

    + + +

    In the interview [podcast above] it was said that Ed Marszewski had an identifiable political agenda, and that Proximity Magazine was employed to further that agenda.

    In comment #23, above, it’s hinted that Guthrie wanted NAE for the purpose of advancing his own artistic valuations contra the status quo ante.

    In other parts of this website there are comments, in podcast and in text, which suggest that Paul Klein’s interest in a new Chicago museum was not wholly selfless.

    New things happening? Or the gods casting down the titans, taking up their rule, and setting one peculiar intrigue up in place of another…

    + + +

    Selfishly, I am interested in disambiguation: This episode contained both Yood’s mockery of the Tetragrammaton, and Guthrie’s remarks about anti-Semitism, without really making clear how those things ought to be taken…

  64. Hi from the South West of England.

    As an independent publisher striving to develop the critical framework for artists creating work outside the London metropolis, I’ve been inspired and energised by Derek Guthrie’s contribution to the pages of Proof magazine this past year. Derek has often made reference to the arts scene in Chicago, and you guys are living up (down) to the tough picture he’s painted.

    There are many parallels with the arts scene here – and the stench of independent thought is clearly often overwhelming to some.

    But issues of definition, a questioning of boosterism, challenging the critic’s role – these are essential elements for every arts community right now. Without independent publishers (whether online or in print) commissioning reviews, encouraging critics to be bold and ask the tough questions, developing and supporting new writers, who would front this debate?

  65. jill peterson Says:

    jago! still waiting for that copy of proof. need my address again?

  66. jago -the real stench emanates from the corpse of conceptual conformity so ubiquitous in the art world here -at one point and finally, just about finished off. Note the venal histrionics of a last vestige going down on this very thread……

  67. jago!
    I want a copy of Proof too.

  68. jill peterson Says:

    “As an independent publisher [blah blah blah cliche cliche exquisitely clever stink reference]. Without independent publishers [blindly repeated phrases and self-congratulations nothing to do with the conversation] who would front this debate?”

  69. jill peterson Says:

    jago. i was just being silly. i know the offer is rescinded and i don’t really need a copy. but i do need to know if that picasso quote went to print still attributed to someone named pickers.

  70. Michael Workman Says:

    First name Noz? Right?

  71. jill peterson Says:

    waiting to find out. we could try making a wikipedia entry for noz p.

  72. I’ve continued following this thread, and each time I return, I am more drawn to the image that heads the page.

    I take it that the figure in the painting is Derek, alone in a flat and nearly empty environment. (I have seen many contemporary paintings done in a similar style.) It is amusing that the “real” Derek is flipping off the painting and/or himself as he is portrayed. What I find most interesting are the creases in the photo. It has been folded and stowed somewhere for some period of time.

  73. Michael Workman Says:

    Finally just listened to the interview. Guthrie is as much the thoughtful observer I thought he would be, though I have a few questions about his use of the term “professional” with regards to artists, used both as a positive and negative conversely in the course of the discussion.

    So far as Chicago’s treatment of Guthrie is concerned, I sense an echo of the old Catholic homilies, as in the Gospels of Luke: “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown.” It’s of course a critical component of speaking truth to power that the voice of God go unheeded. Calvinists, Presbyterians and all other such Reformationist heterodoxies, take heed. Elder offices, it’s worth noting, and their pastoral role, are distinctive of Presbytery.

    By my calculations, it was a few years after Guthrie moved on from NAE, that Hixon and the magazine were caught up in the Harvard business school-sourced movement of venture philanthropy during which time Lew Manilow gave his $100,000 gift. By his account, Manilow mandated as a proviso to the gift that a financial advisor see appointment to the board, a proviso that Hixon ignored, leading to unregulated expenditure in favor of an editorial-centric management approach. Hixon was vocal amongst staff that Manilow had pledged further gifts, purportedly as “ladder-step” support funds for the purpose of undergirding the nationalization effort of NAE, funds that subsequently went undelivered. A new publisher was hired, with a quorum of the board, who was quickly proven sorely unqualified to contend with the push-pull conflicting interests of the various parties involved that her position demanded. She was summarily dismissed and the warring parties were freed to engage. Local collector Curt Conklin was elected by consensus vote a position as both board member and publisher. Conklin dismissed Hixon, pursued a short-lived begging campaign, focusing primarily on Manilow, and was unsuccessful. At this point, the board was convened and voted in favor of dissolution of the NAE.

    I was the last bookkeeper at the magazine before its dissolution, and at the time of my departure, if I recall correctly, there were nearly $60,000 in unpaid writer’s fees. Whatever assets remain, so far as I am aware, including a sizeable and potentially valuable art collection, remain to this day in the possession of Mr. Conklin.

    With the assistance of other staffers, I placed a complete full run collection of the NAE archives at the Art Institute’s Department of Special Collections, and sold through a subscription service another full run to a Swedish collector, using the funds from the sale to fund a few months of an art magazine I attempted to publish in Chicago, but which has subsequently gone out of service. I hold a very incomplete run of the NAE collection for my own personal use.

    I would be more than happy to match Guthrie’s startup cost of $250, a month, for any interested party willing to replicate the mandate for discussion in any publishing effort, and am willing to offer a full year’s worth of funding in full, in advance. Interested parties may contact me directly at mworkman@bridgeartfair.com.


  74. Michael Workman Says:

    Duncan, I’ll save you a little Googling:

    Mission Statement:

    The Chicago New Art Association, publisher of the New Art Examiner, is a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to examine the definition and transmission of culture in our society; the decision-making processes within museums, schools, and the agencies of patronage which determine the manner in which culture shall be transmitted; the value systems which presently influence the making of art as well as its study in exhibitions and books; and, in particular, the interaction of these factors within the visual arts milieu.

    The guiding philosophy of the Examiner holds that only through the promotion of a more comprehensive and inclusive cultural discourse free from direct commercial and ideological pressures of the marketplace can one gain a better understanding of our culture. Basic to this philosophy is the perception of visual art as one fact of cultural expression and commentary subject to and influenced by political, economic, and social factors. To this end, the Examiner’s project has entailed developing regional criticism and histories by providing a national forum for established and emerging critics and writers from different regions of the country to publish side by side; promoting journalistic reporting on and theoretical analysis of cultural funding and policies as well as private and institutional patronage; and providing an open forum for diverse, and often conflicting, ideas and opinions about art and the issues that affect it.


  75. Michael, always a pleasure to hear from you.

  76. Derek Guthrie Says:

    Dear Michael Workman, I think we had should meet as soon as possible. my phone number is 773 363 3177
    email derekaguthrie@googlemail.com

  77. Actually, Derek is doing his lecture on Dec. 2 – I am organizing it for him (the CHicago Artists’ Coalition) at 6pm. Also, I’m not sure why Prompt is not being mentioned in any of these discussions about the revival in publishing and discourse – we have created something unique and exemplary. Many of you have emailed us to contibute to the next issue but for some reason don’t mention it here in public. Strange.

    Lastly, this forum can be a little more interesting without the demeaning name-calling and partisanship. It’s so dumb.

    Oh, and by the way, I’m moving to Zurich
    in early Jan. Dec. 19 at Packer Schopf I’m having a holiday/goodbye party. I’ll continue managing Prompt from abroad. I hope that some of you can attend.

    Here is the link to Prompt: http://www.caconline.org/default.asp?page=Prompt_Main

    If you haven’t received one, send a 6.5″ x9.5″SASE and we’ll put one in the mail for you. This first issue is free.

    Lecture by Derek Guthrie
    December 2, 6pm
    Chicago Cultural Center, Gates Auditorium
    78 E. Washington St.

    “Defilement: A Story of the Art World”
    British art critic and co-founder of the New Art Examiner, Derek Guthrie will offer insight into the life of that art magazine and his thoughts on the current state of cultural life in Chicago.

  78. Aide from looking in the mirror, no one from The Chicago Artists Coallition should EVER call anyone or anything in the art world here dumb. EVER.

  79. Aside…..that damned correction device!

  80. ThinkArt will be featuring a discussion with Derek Gutherie, Don Rose, and Michael Workman at 7:30 pm, Friday, December 12th at ThinkArt at 1530 N. Paulina Suite F…All are welcome…Look forward to an interesting discussion…


  81. “Duncan artist interviewer, does not have interest in art so he interviews himself.”

    Bob, whether or not Duncan is lousy at his role, I’m not qualified to say, but, I do know Bad at Sports accepts submissions, you should throw your hat in the ring if you can do better, we’d love to hear it!

    Wesley, good to see you back and vocal.

  82. jill peterson Says:

    how can you not be qualified to say if duncan is a good interviewer? you have the chance to listen right here. can’t you discern good interviewing from bad? yet, you think anyone who thinks it’s bad is automatically qualified to do better? i think one could sue a doctor for malpractice while not being nearly as good a doctor.

  83. Paul Germanos Says:

    Olga Stefan –

    You seem to be interested in impeaching the character of some person, or some group of people.

    I have never met you. I have never made an effort to contribute anything to Prompt Magazine.

    Yet, by making your accusation in a manner both vague and public, you have included me in your smear:

    “Many of you have emailed us to contribute to the next issue but for some reason don’t mention it here in public. Strange.”

    Does that not seem catty? Does that not seem mean-spirited? Who are the, “many,” to whom you refer? The reader is left to wonder…

    The following characters, real and imagined, appear in the comments above in the order listed below:

    (01) Patrick Collier
    (02) Mark Staff Brandl
    (03) Wesley Kimler
    (04) Jill Peterson
    (05) Bob Jones
    (06) Christopher Hudgens
    (07) Paul Germanos
    (08) Derek Guthrie
    (09) Barbara Blades
    (10) Tim Porges
    (11) Allan Jirikowic
    (12) Russell Maycumber
    (13) Ed Marszewski
    (14) Kate Jago
    (15) Michael Workman

    All 15 names now have the shadows of cowardice and duplicity cast upon them.

    And then, this:

    “Lastly, this forum can be a little more interesting without the demeaning name-calling and partisanship. It’s so dumb.”

    Do you not see the hypocrisy?

    Prompt and Proximity were both mentioned in the podcast above; only the motives of the publisher of Proximity were called into question by the interlocutors.

  84. Olga. This is a public comments board on the interweb. Have you been there yet? People get all troll-y and hot when they type!

    And Michael. A years funding for a monthly magazine that is well produced, pays its writers, and is meaty may cost well over $350,000.

    Send 10% of that to Proximity, Prompt, Three Walls, Neoteric, Green Lantern and BAS and you can corner the market.

    Just a suggestion.

  85. Hey Wesley why do you think the art scenes here are so decimated and fucked? Just curious.

  86. I totally forgot about your mag Olga. Sorry. See you soon in Switzerland!

    Derek — yes, you’ve got to meet Michael (as well as The Shark). Michael is one of my favorite artworldians, especially in Chicago. Great ideas, works hard, speaks tough, clearly and correctly. Can get enthusiastic too!

    Hi Balzac!

    Jill, I think Duncan did just fine, although he spoke little. Jim too. They stepped back and let Derek tell his story. (I DO appreciate your other comments here, though, Jill!) It was mostly about stuff Duncan knows nothing about. So it was correct to give him his space and time. People complain when he talks too much, and now when he talks too little. Wait and criticize Duncan heavilly when his interview with me comes up soon. He only let me answer one question really, speak about one theory, and I gotta million of em. Besides I just want to torment him for no darn reason.

    Edmar, nice to hear from you. Proximity looks great (I do say so even if I’m contriibuting). Wesley’s interview wat BaS is a must-listen if you missed it. He discussed the “difficulties” with the consensoriat apparatchiks there extensively.

  87. jill peterson Says:

    i’m only playing lawyer ball here, saying we’re all capable of judging if an interview is good, but we’re not all necessarily capable of doing a good one. i just like to call people out on bad logic.

  88. Howdy Mark!

    Jill, I can offer my own amateur opinions of Duncan, Richard, Amanda, Brian, Mark, and the rest (sorry anyone omitted) and their skills, however I have not done what they are doing, I have not a factual basis to critique their skill, so unlike the rest of the internet, I don’t feel it appropriate to piss all over someone’s labor of love without offering something constructive, or putting my own ass on the line.

    Bob may have these credentials, but he has not shown them here. I think the Bad at Sports folks provide a free resource and even when I don’t like it, and there are times, certainly when I don’t, I’m glad it is here.

  89. “Olga Stefan –
    You seem to be interested in impeaching the character of some person, or some group of people.
    I have never met you. I have never made an effort to contribute anything to Prompt Magazine.
    Yet, by making your accusation in a manner both vague and public, you have included me in your smear:”

    Paul, you are taking this far too much to heart. Its the Chicago Artist Coalition with their front person shooting her mouth off here. Shes an idiot, They are awful. End of story.

  90. Paul Germanos Says:

    Maybe it is worse than I thought…

    During the podcast both Proximity Magazine and Prompt Magazine are mentioned. But while they laugh about Ed Marszewski, they are silent about Olga Stefan. Why?

    It turns out that Olga Stefan has, in her own words, organized Guthrie’s lecture at the Chicago Cultural Center.

    Too, it appears that Guthrie might be interested in publication, in Chicago, again, as evidenced by the give-and-take between Michael Workman and Guthrie, above. Workman has expressed dissatisfaction with the existing media.

    So Marszewski is a potential rival while Stefan is for the moment useful?

    Edmar’s and Olga’s indignation, publicly stated, seems real. And it’s as yet unanswered by the guest or host.

    “too much to heart”

    LA looks good this time of year.

  91. ” LA looks good this time of year” I’ll meet you at Versailles on North Venice for the cuban pork/garlic chicken combo-

  92. jill peterson Says:

    balzac. free service? so is abc, cbs and abc. galleries are free too in the sense you’re using the term. and museums on free day. so what? we can’t judge anything unless we pay for it directly? (criticism doesn’t make it disappear, by the way.)
    and what are the credentials necessary to judge an interview? or a painting? or a pile of goo on a gallery floor? or magazines? or newspapers? or tv news? are there certifications for that?

  93. Jill, I believe you are asking, ‘what is the nature of legitimate authority?’

  94. Hi, this is Kathryn.

    I’m a broken record with this speech, but here we go again anyway.

    Everyone take it easy. Shark, don’t call people idiots. Tim, don’t criticize people like a second grader.

    We at Bad at Sports offer this forum as a courtesy to our listeners. It provides a space for feedback and an opportunity for the guest to clarify or defend their statements.

    But if this continues to be a place for libel and a space for insults of a kindergarten-playgroud variety to be hurled at our guests and other members of the art community, then we’ll simply shut this down.

    Conversely, I have seen many esteemed guests, in an attempt to defend themselves, get baited into giving out more information than is necessary. Remember that these comments are often anonymous and do not require a defense, or if so, that discussion is best taken off-line. Also, bear in mind that not only are names of posters not verified, one can simply post using anyone’s name. I could, for example, post this as Hillary Clinton.

    Things got out of control on these forums a year or two ago. We decided we had two options, let it ride or shut it down. There is no moderating this, and we don’t have the resources to censor.

    So police yourselves, be cool, or we’re just going to yank the comment feature at some point.

    MSB, thank you for your efforts to do this already.


  95. Hillary Clinton Says:

    You’d better not even think about posting as me. Got it toots?

  96. William Shakespeare Says:

    Got it.

  97. Thanks Kathryn. Although it has occasionally sunk to some mean depths, this is, however, a GREAT discussion! Exactly what makes BaS great, I feel. Don’t pull the comments.

    Paul, I talked to Derek a long while on the phone. he was simply unaware of a bunch of the publishing/e-publishing going on there in Chicago. As you’ll recall, he lives in the UK (and I in Switzerland), so not everything is in our minds immediately, and Derek has not been all that internet active. He sees all those folks as potential allies in some endeavours — was very excited that tehy exist. I gave him addresses and tel. and he has contacted most of them — and he sought me out too.

    I do wish you guys would lay off the accusations of Edmar and co. as “lefist”. If so, SO THE HELL WHAT. I’ve already openly shouted my political direction. So? You are mouthing, inadvertently I think, standard US right-wing propaganda. The radical right-wing has controlled your media for so long, you even assume their preached beliefs when you don’t believe them. Read a little of George Lakoff on political framing. A little too much “Fox” is in evidence. As if the mere mention that someone might have social considerations is a damnation. The real world is much more complex than that. Hell, e.g., we even have a Conservative Christian SOCIAL party here that does NOT want to legislate morals, but rather fights for a social system out of what they feel are real Christian values. What would call them? Those days of the “L” word as an insult are OVER. We have a liberal president-elect.

  98. jill peterson Says:

    i would never ask “what is the nature of legitimate authority.”
    yes, i think george lakoff would see some framing here. and that’s why i specifically ask about ability to judge quality of art interviews. assuming we need a specialization of the kind balzac suggests is scary. we are all pretty knowledgable about art, so why can’t we judge an art publication interview? really? we need further specialization into art interviewing to say if this interview was good or not? we’re all arguing about art publications here, aren’t we? but our hands are tied when it comes to saying what’s good? all we are concerned with is whether the heart of the speaker is true- that is, politically correct, as in on our team. why do we need to know the political stance of anyone? why can’t we judge on quality? no different at all from the idiots who watch fox news because it’s politically correct, in its conservatism, for its audience. fox watchers obviously are also unqualified to judge quality. or uninterested.

  99. jill peterson Says:

    “I have seen many esteemed guests, in an attempt to defend themselves, get baited into giving out more information than is necessary.”

    bad at sports authority kathryn will decide what information and how much is necessary. no baiting for excess information, people, or our playgroud monitor will put the lid on the sandbox and we’ll all regret it.

    “So police yourselves, be cool, or we’re just going to yank the comment feature at some point.”

    i would say dorky or cheesy in response to that but those are bad words. i better just say this:
    what is the nature of legitimate authority?

  100. I don’t quite get that Edmar is being very criticized here, but lots of people are alluding to it, so maybe I should defend him.

    Ed Marszewski (Edmar) doesn’t really have a dog in Chicago’s art battles. He just wants to see the level of the pond raised. He, with his wife and partner, Rachel, are the geniuses behind Lumpen, the Co-Prosperity Sphere, Versionfest and the perfect-bound Proximity Magazine. I can’t name another other 1 to 5 person team that does anywhere near as much for art, art consciousness and art fun in Chicago as they do. They are egalitarian, optimistic and operate on a shoe string. Every penny they earn (or pick up off the street) goes back into their projects.

    Edmar doesn’t often volunteer that his ‘straight job’ is being a union carpenter – and a fine one. I had the genuine pleasure of working with him (& others) every day for 3 weeks when we installed 50 very oversized works of art by local artists at McCormick Place West.

    I hope those of you who would criticize Edmar have standards as high as his, commitment to art and Chicago as meaningful as his and the passion to follow through as well as he does. I know I don’t.

    I too want to see a healthier art attitude in Chicago. I’ve been working with Derek Guthrie a bit to explore what happened to the New Art Examiner, how it was perceived historically, what was right, what was wrong and whether they could even theoretically be a future in extrapolating from what was to a new publication.

    I introduced Derek to Edmar. One might assume Edmar would feel threatened by the potential rebirth of a local art mag. Not Edmar. His response was “C’mon, let’s talk. No one is making any money at this anyway. If it helps the art scene, it’s good for all of us.”

    That’s Edmar. Giving, generous, passionate, creative and fun. He has my unequivocal support now and in the future. He’s earned it.

    Paul Klein

  101. Jill, so as to not misconstrue, I am meaning, ‘what is the nature of legitimate authority’ -in terms of what makes something true/what is truth?

    which is I felt was the underlying premise of your questioning on several points made earlier – which I found completely reasonable.

  102. jill peterson Says:

    what makes something true? what is truth? ok, i’m not sure i meant to zoom out quite that far though. i feel like art discussions go from micro (personal hurts and ladder climbing) to macro (what is truth), zooming in and out with no stops at regular naked-eye scale. very esoteric and clubby. in fact i’ve heard more comments telling people to stop talking then people actually talking. but maybe that’s me. i want everything to be a new england town hall meeting. me and john mccain sitting in a tree? but i enjoy your comments, shark, and appreciate the dialogue.

  103. I simply like that you seem to be posing the question inherrent in and of what Mortimer Adler might describe as a ‘great idea’ I appreciate the dialog as well.

  104. William Shakespeare Says:

    Jill, authority is the Christopher Hudgens and I are getting together tonight, putting in the administrator password, and changing all the names attributed to each comment. Mix it all up and do an experiment with other people’s comments being associated with your name.

    90% of the discussion is fine. But I just don’t see the need to act like complete amateurs. I mean, Jill, do you find these yo-ugly-and-yo-mamma-dresses-you-funny comments further discussion about art in Chicago?

    Richard Holland once gave me the title of “Desginated Adult of Bad at Sports”, and I take great pride in that title. I consider myself a pro, I contribute to BAS, to Chicago Public Radio and just did my first review for Time Out. So I do find it offensive when people bemoan our second-city status while acting like children.

    My world view is that you either go pro or remain a hack. Some people on this site can say anything because they simply have nothing to lose.

    Anyway, I finally listened to the show while working out and have comments I will post once I’m breathing normally.


  105. Charles Atlas Says:

    Argh! The vision of the Bard working out.

  106. Especially when he’s been dead for 392 years and about 7 months. Not a pretty sight. That’s amusing that you introduced Edmar and Derek, Paul, — I must have almost simultaneously sent their contact info to each other encouraging them to meet. They are certainly “Seeleneverwandschaften” — related in their souls.

  107. There’s a number of things I could comment on, but even this one gets long.

    In the spirit of criticism, I’m going to write an entire post about “Proximity”.

    I’ll try to moderate the comments with my own view. I don’t think Proximity is a leftist magazine, but I do think it toes the progressive party line. I think that’s the confusion.
    I heard a lecture by the guys who wrote “Rebel Sell”, http://www.goodreads.ca/rebelsell/. After hearing that, any self-respecting Starbucks-boycotting liberal will be so disorientated that you spending, not knowing what the hell to buy or boycott any more. You suddenly see people who boycott Starbucks with new eyes, as self-delusional and part of the problem. If you check it out, you’ll see what I’m talking about. I’m at a point where I like my ideas to be questioned, or I want responses to the criticisms about liberalism to be addressed. I say Penn and Teller’s “Bullshit” show about recycling and have waited two years to hear someone explain why they’re wrong. Is recycling really just symbolic? Do we really cause more pollution by having diesel trucks drag paper 100 miles? I don’t know, no one’s talking about it.

    I just had a really refreshing read of “Little Bang”, Audrey Neffenegger (and co’s) literary magazine. It starts with letters to the editor about people trying to re-use hypodermic needles for their houseplants (and failing). I mean, a little humor, a little satire, a little refusal to kowtow to the choir.

    Edmar, you’re not putting out a magazine that says “get out the liberal vote”, but the patchouli feel comes from the feeling of gathering positive energy for all things grassroots, all things community-based, act-global-buy-local. And with the progressive sentiments… well, I mean, “you had me at hello”, and it begs the question of who the audience is.

    And this isn’t just Proximity, I mean, the whole art world is this way and I’m feeling pretty saturated.

    Madeline Grynsztejn introduced Jenny Holzer’s exhibit by saying Holzer’s show was opening at a great time, as it can “get the word out before the election.” So I asked Holzer her if this was her goal, because what Madeline said was pretty loaded. and here is the transcript of her answer.
    “I would make a hard distinction between my personal politics and what’s shown here. In my own life I try to … public citizen/private citizen, but in this show it’s more informative, I’m not grinding an axe one way or another. I don’t think it’s a a neutral show, I’m not saying that, but it is presented in that it is about getting more information for the reader. So yes, it’s getting the word out, but not a slanted getting the word out.”

    Now, who in this room agrees that Holzer doesn’t have a slant? Who thinks she’s just putting facts out there without bias?

    So I don’t think it’s just what we say, I think it’s what we don’t question that shows the audience our cards more than we realize.


  108. And most of the rest of the world outside the artworld is the opposite way. So? That makes ME feel saturated and attacked. Why do US Americans, as it appears to me being both inside and outside that frame, seemingly only refer to left-oriented things as “slanted” as you do here, Kathryn? I often hear that from US Americans about the artworld, as if to be “balanced” one must also necessarily have inclusion of right-wing thought. Yet I seldom hear the contrary about right-wing arenas like ABC, Clear Channel or Fox from their audiences. They too spout accusations of “liberal bias” — this is and was a mantra put into the media by Karl Rove and his likes (earlier as well under Nixon’s “Agnew offensive”), and has seemingly placed itself well in the minds even of the “opposition.” Especially then tying it to cliches of attacks on “hippies” and “old left” etc. I like your attempts to keep the dialogue on track, K, but I have to call you on “absorbed” right-wing propaganda here.

    Interesting reading: http://www.motherjones.com/news/qa/2004/10/10_401.html

  109. jill peterson Says:

    are william shakespeare, k, and kathryn all the same person? the bad at sports adult? 90% of the comments are fine you say. so do we get an A? and congratulations on your pro status.

  110. Over dinner with Robert Hughes the name Jenny Holzer was brought up….Hughes being a gentleman quite unlike The Shark, did refrain from the blunt simplicity of calling ms Holzer an idiot; instead he couched his terms with a certain specificity and, restraint you might appreciate Kathryn, Hughes chose to describe Ms Holzer as an ‘imbecilic’ idiot-(or, an idiotic ‘imbecile’ -I forget which) I also congratulate you on your newfound ‘pro’ status…..bruuuuuuuther!

  111. Ho-hum Holzer.

  112. “. I consider myself a pro, I contribute to BAS, to Chicago Public Radio and just did my first review for Time Out. So I do find it offensive when people bemoan our second-city status while acting like children.”………whew!!!###^%&##!@!!!!! THE BIG TIME HAS ARRIVED!…..talk about proof of Chicago’s second city status- this must be a joke.

    sorry Shakespeare, Kathryn or whoever you are, I’m having my work featured nationally on the Today Show next month-so what?…..it has zero effect on the fact that Chicago is not second city in the art world -its a distant third at best -and to not recognize this speaks to huge amounts of naivete and flat out denial of this basic truth. I happen to think as an artist, that the pursuit of truth, the opportunity to live in truth, is a worth while prerequisite to what I do.

  113. jill peterson Says:

    who are you, The Shark? i think everybody else knows. if i’m wrong, i apologize, i don’t mean to pry. i just want to look up what you do and what you’re going to have on the today show.

  114. A disturbing notion Mr.Guthrie voiced in his interview:

    What he repeatedly referred to as ‘Trickle Down’, that critics and other professional cultural appreciators made art flower in some way…First, if the work hadn’t been done, there’d be nothing to champion or describe…Second, art made at the instigation of said experts and other authorities, is exactly what we don’t need more of…

    So what is Mr.Guthrie proposing exactly? As a critic first and a, self-confessed, closet painter second, I understand why the opinion-maker’s role is so important to him. However, there needs to be something there in the first place before we can talk about it. It can only be ‘Trickle Up’; imagine building a world-class museum without any artwork to put in it…

    Am I misunderstanding it, or is that what he’s saying?

  115. Hey thanks for getting my back Paul.
    Been a bit busy doing our little Select Media festival this week and missed all the fun.

    I want to thank you Kathryn for trying to articulate your distaste for what you think our magazine is about, but I really doubt you actually read a copy.

    We started Proximity because we love this city and we need more media to discuss our activities. We are concerned and have been concerned about the role of cultural workers here for over 15 years.

    Proximity magazine clearly represents a hybrid form of distributing content that affects the various strands of the art worlds here in Chicago and elsewhere. Please open the magazine and see for yourself.

    We will continue to provide opportunities for people to share their critiques and ideas about the art worlds here and beyond. We will also keep on doing everything we can to support the various communities, some that are insular, others that are not, to ensure we can build a better environment for all those interested in making Chicago a great place to live and work. Everyone who contributes has their own bias, their own slant and their own politics and we are open to wide variety and diversity of opinion.
    But all we can do is share those opinions. We cannot do everything some of you may want to see in a magazine. Unless YOU contribute those ideas.

    But that said we also support everyone’s efforts at contributing to the conversations in print, online and on the street. If you want our help. Ask. We will do everything possible to increase the volume of discourse and action. If you need tips, printers, webhosting, a space, some hugs, a beer. drop a line..

  116. Shark,

    I have two questions. Two simple questions I have been wanting to ask for two years.

    1. Please name a critic or curator who strongly dislikes your work, yet you respect tremendously.

    2. Please name a critic or curator who is an advocate of your work, whom you believe to be a part of the wretched gatekeeping force you believe rules Chicago.

    That’s all I ask. Two names.

    I promise if you provide two verifiable examples, I will never say one word against you again.


  117. What I like most about Edmar, and this is entirely selfish, is that he’s (almost entirely) happened in the time that’s passed since I left Chicago. So to me, he’s new. While a lot of what I miss about Chicago is things that are no longer there (Sophie’s, the Coop, the Hopi Altars at the Field Museum), what I don’t miss is the Balkan grudge fests. And sure, I’m as guilty as anyone — on this board, I seem to be the guilty one, as I found it impossible to accept the Derek Guthrie official version of one slice of the past. Fine. Let that go. “Discourse,” Chicago style, is buttkick. Plus it’s a small market for ideas, so a lot of faces get erased from the podium, especialy now that everything’s digital and erasure is so much easier.

    Now, if you’re going to build an arts community, it’s going to have to begin with lots of small, largely symbolic gestures. And the people who make those gestures will run the risk of being treated like idiots and posers by the more established idiots and posers on the scene, and I will not name names here, as I’m done with that. Mocking any attempt to do something new, while clinging bitterly to old wounds and insults is the essence of Chicago: it’s why I left town, because I was sick of being like that and couldn’t change without leaving. My craptastic little exchange with Wesley was a reminder of everything that was deeply fucked about my life there, and not just mine. Wesley, you should have stayed in California. A last piece of unsolicited advice.

  118. Ok, Edmar, your turn.

    Of course I read both issues. I’m not a hack.

    I like many things about Proximity. I don’t think it’s bad at all. Number one, graphically, it’s outstanding. It also has a format that’s snappy, offers quick reads when you want one, is easy to navigate, and touches on interesting things.

    But in issue 1, it was the Nato Thompson interview and “Death to Law: Progressive Public Art in Chicago” from which I began to form that opinion.
    Your first question, “I always say to people that your generation of students from SAIC were very influential in producing/promoting the confusing realm of art/activist work in Chicago.”

    and end with

    “Your current curatorial focus is in looking at local practices in different cities and different regions. Trying to see how those infrastructures or those support networks and their operations themselves become some form of artistic activity that’s new or innovative?”

    In issue two, which is much better than one, you’ve got the PRS piece, where they swap out institutional plaques for their own. “The PRC created political, economic and cultural networks that extended the words and actions of the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas to a working class urban bario of Los Angeles… projects like pirate radio station, food distribution group, solidarity building activities.”

    Are these bad things??? NO! There not bad choices for things to discuss, I’m just saying you had me at hello with progressive grassroots stuff. For me personally, I’ve become exhausted with partisan politics in this country and instead of strengthening my feelings and fortifying my liberalism, I’m… honestly… ready to listen to the other side. I’m ready to listen to Republicans, not because I think they’re right, but because I think we’re never going to get anywhere if we keep writing 48% of the US population as morons and don’t get to the heart of the things that divide us.

    Again, Edmar, I’m not attacking you, I’m just trying to show you where I personally think a progressive vibe is coming from.

    I mean, I’m confused, wouldn’t you want feedback? And that’s great that Paul sticks up for you, and I assure you that one-on-one he does the same, but does that help improve your work? I just saw Olga and told her things I had problems with in “Prompt” and she was fine with feedback.

    I just don’t get it, I’m showing people my novel and when they say they like it, I don’t find that helpful, I push and question until they tell me what they don’t like about it. Then I have something to work with. I mean, a few people are giving you feedback suggesting that there’s a tinge of pink to your journal, so what? Is that so bad? If you said, “look, I keep getting pegged as someone with a liberal agenda, and no matter what I do, and how far I feel like I’m getting from it, I can’t shake it.” Well, then, hell, man, we’ll help you. We’re on your side, we all want you and Olga and all the new media to be successful. But if you just want compliments, then fine, I won’t say anything except what I like about it.


  119. Well Kathryn I guess you’ve spoken your last and I will hold you to your word.

    Though I am disappointed in how he has under achieved and not been part of creating a canon of aesthetics here, letting personal battles compromise his judgment at times -Alan Artner who was quite laudatory about me for a time critically turned completely against me many years ago culminating in a huge rant when I did a show at the MCA. I respect Alan and personally like the man. I thought his article on curators/Franceso Bonami specifically, was absolutely marvelous.

    Lynne Warren who was and is a member still of the power strcture here in Chicago -who was a sworn public enemy of mine in the 80’s has been a champion of my work for many years – as is lisa Wainwright and, after the Decadence exhibition, with the reception my work received so apparently now is Mary Jane Jacobs. All three women have at one time or another been major players in the very flawed power structure that hampers us all here in Chicago.

    Any further questions? I didn’t think so.

  120. abbie hoffman Says:

    Kathryn, it’s pretty easy to explain why proselytizing Repuglicans are obnoxious – besides the fact that you are starting to sound like one.

    Progressives believe that children are born good, warrant nurturing, possess benevolent instincts and are god loving, if they care about god at all.

    Repuglicans believe children are born undisciplined and need to be controlled and god-fearing,

    Progressives believe that all people are good and worthy.

    Republicans believe that only those who accept discipline to correct their defects of birth are good and in exchange for pursuing the disciplined, god-fearing life are entitled to the excessive rewards, benefits and golden parachutes they receive. Correspondingly, minorities, indigent people and those on welfare obviously didn’t buy into the discipline bullshit and deserve no support, no money and certainly no love.

    Repuglicans – listen to that bitch Ms. Pail-in – believe they are entitled and are irresponsibly arrogant. They believe they have the fucking god-given right to impose their will on other countries who do not concur with their myopic opinion – this is known as the Bush Doctrine which your vice presidential candidate never heard of, but she was embraced by the idiots of the right, either because they appreciate her discipline or because they want to fuck her. You and she sort of do look alike, ya know.

    You’re impugning Edmar’s egalitarian non-agenda sure makes you look like a rightwing thug and we both know you’re better than that.

  121. See, that’s exactly my point. Progressives who love and accept everyone, except non-progressives.
    God forbid I dissent, you go ahead and give 25 million to GM. Be my guest.
    Humans are a warring species that can’t help but attack and the new war is partisan. I think the passions against the other side are as simple as that. Humans break into clans, we divide and fight.

    Personally, I’ve voted democrat to the point that I thought Kerry was too conservative and was ready to vote for Kucinich even though he believes in goddamn aliens. That said, your definition of republicanism is overly simplistic. I wish it was that simple.

    But who gives a crap. The point is… hey, let’s get back to the original topic of criticism, eh? Let’s bring this boat full circle.

    Maybe criticism is in jeopardy because as a whole, whether it’s me or you or Edmar or New Art Examiner, maybe we don’t like to be criticized. Maybe when we say we have a thick skin, we’re lying. Maybe we’re at the point where we just don’t want those lines drawn in the sand.

    Today I thought about how funny it would be to make an art criticism spoof where they criticize artists and not the art. It’s just all personal judgments about the way they dress, where they live, if they like good movies. Criticism is touch territory. I saw that documentary about Hunter S. Thompson and the reason he did so great on the campaign trail is that he only did the trail for 1 year. He was willing to burn bridges because he wasn’t planning on sticking around.

    Paul Klein describes highlights things he likes and doesn’t dish on the stuff he doesn’t because if Paul started giving stuff the thumbs down, that would hurt his whole agenda of building unity in this city. Maybe “criticism” is inherently in conflict with “community”. I’ve learned that for myself, I was asked to do a CPR piece about the city’s art budget and the economy. There was NO WAY I was going to take that assignment, just in case the city money actually doesn’t actually do that much towards tourism and the city’s bottom line. I would have done that piece determined to show that money for the arts is well spent. And for that reason I declined.

    Listening to the Guthrie interview, reading between the lines I could see how it all became such a hot mess. If you say a movement is bad, you hurt the artists, the galleries, you say something is good, then it’s boosterism, and as he put it in one point in the interview, “at that point, we had few friends”. Well I’m sure he didn’t! They were writing criticism and raising money at the same time… what a nightmare.

    Lastly… really.. you think I look like Palin! Omigod that’s so nice. She’s nuttier than a fruitcake, but she’s a folksey cutie. It’s an old picture, I’m big as a house now.

  122. Derek Guthrie Says:

    I wonder if it would be a good idea, so that we could all share for this discusion some referance points. I ask who are the succesfull artists that have come through the Chicago system since 1980. What were the crucial and critical steps that made that success possisble.?

  123. I gotta say — wonderful discussion, even though we swear and attack Chicago style! 123 comments! Welcooome Baaaack Derek! Loved your last post Tim. That is the Tim I remember. I didn’t really understand the “trickle down” comments completely either, Derek. Rather than discuss “who’s famouser than who”, first could you launch into that a bit more explicity?
    Kathryn, I don’t find you a closet righty, I hope my point was claer, I just find that certain of your Edmar comments are rather cliched anti-Liberal images and terminology, which was largely consciously planned and planted in the Amnerican mind after the Republicans determined that the media had undermined the VietNam War, thus organized, bought up the media and under Goebbels-like sophisticated activities, primarily by Rove, planted these items. And even US Liberals began to spout them until Howard Dean got Lakoff to preach the shit out of everybody in the Dem Party.

  124. Kathryn -since I am sure you will live up to your word, I expect nothing but your rapt attention -in perfect silence as I further enumerate: my biggest champion here -who is part of the art establishment here in Chicago – is the person who really provided most of the knowledge and insight for this interview -that would be JAMES YOOD. Would you like a list going back to his time at NAE when he has written about/ been a proponent of my work? Why don’t you just call him up and ask him?

    Let see: since you are so snidely condescending in asking for verification -which only decribes your ignorance about who I am-as anyone who knows me friend or foe, knows, I never lie.

    I wii humor your insulting behavior -for which I am not the only recipient here-

    Lynne Warren: the catalog essay from the show I did at the MCA or the three essays for gallery exhibions since then?

    Mark Pascale: drawing exhibition Tom McCormack -catalog.

    Lisa Wainwright :catalog ah…Decadence! exhibition

    James Yood: numerous catalogs, and NAE pieces

    these are people who have been major players here over the years and are but a few of the serious interesting people in the art world here who have supported me-and if you knew much of anything about the scene here, you would be aware of their strong, seemingly tireless (for which I am grateful) support of my work. I will caveat here by saying the exception is Mark Pascale who has written about me very favorably once -and whom I dont really know beyond that.

    I think the degree with which you seem impressed with yourself over being on public radio and ‘beginning’ to write for Time Out !!#$#$%!!@#%^!!! is both amazing, disturbing and revealing. You were smarter on this blog before you started talking Kathryn.

    And you think you are a pro?….Indeed…..at the risk of being gauche, the last big piece I sold -the one destined for the today show, I was paid 50,000.00 to paint. It was the third large scale work I sold last year -along with MANY other smaller works. I have been touted as the best painter here in Chicago, the most exciting, promising, I have been cast down and, villified. I have done good shows and been trashed and poor ones and been praised. I have been gossiped about -on these very pages -being called a drunk -when I haven’t had a drink in come May 15, TWENTY YEARS, I have endured a hundred Tims -screaming out the disapointments of their own lives blaming me, somone they don’t even know. I have had my beautiful little two and a half year old daughter maligned on these pages……I’ve seen it all and you know what? What people like you and the Tims don’t get, is when I speak up, its not so much about me -I do very well here -its for all the people I know and some who I dont know who got fucked by the way things are here; who dont have whatever it is that drives me to speak up and out and TELL THE TRUTH. Tell the truth, work my ass off and consistently improve and gain and accrue mastery as a painter.


    How about this: ACTION SPEAKES LOUDER THAN WORDS./ I am a professional artist with all the dents and dings, high points and lows, triumphs and failures to prove it. I have made my subsistence from making oil paintings and drawings for 25 years here in Chicago and for a period in LA. I am a pro, and frankly Kathryn, either my standards are simply much more stringent than yours, or you are not what you claim to be in any place other than your own version of Fantasy Island.

    Beginning to write for Time Out…..do you honestly think that I or any serious artist in this town gives a shit what ANYONE let alone some beginning writer at Time Out has to say about our work? Do you think Tony Fitz cares or Dawoud Bey?…….get real.

    Like Tim before you I think some of the most interesting and revealing moments on this thread have come about inadvertently. If I was Duncan or Richard, I would be reining you in quickly before you further step in it and sound even more foolish, individually and as a member of BAS.

    To me, your pitch on this thread seemed shrill and wrong, that it was more about you flexing your new found muscles as a,… uhmmmm……. ‘pro’- than it was about anything aesthetic or, intelligent.

    Wesley Kimler

  125. and btw Edmar, I think what you are trying to do, what you have already accomplished is unique, individual and terrific. Whether I agree with it all or not, is not relevant. What is, is that you are not a conformist, that you are obviously approaching what you to with complexity, ingenuity and intelligence. That you have your own thoughtds and speak your own mind.

    Don’t let the bastards get you down.

  126. Paul Germanos Says:

    The number of media outlets has increased; but there has not been a proportional increase in (a) meaningful, (b) original, and (c) local content.

    Already, Chicago-based print and on-line publications share authors and material: It is possible to listen to a Duncan MacKenzie interview at Bad at Sports, and to read a transcript of said interview in Proximity Magazine. Likewise, one can find articles by Nicholas Lampert in both Proximity Magazine and also in Prompt Magazine. Mark Staff Brandl participates here, at Sharkforum, and, again, at Proximity. Etc., etc..

    Ed Marszewski, comment #62, above:
    “current efforts using web-based and print media will do far more for the arts in Chicago than NAE did. The dissolution of gatekeepers and the rise of the more democratic, professional, and even DIY media provides a wider base of opinion,”

    Mark Staff Brandl, comment #97, above:
    “Paul, I talked to Derek a long while on the phone. he was simply unaware of a bunch of the publishing/e-publishing going on there in Chicago. […] I gave him addresses and tel. and he has contacted most of them — and he sought me out too.”

    Is it really the case that more people are being heard? Or, are the same people being heard in more places? It would seem a great challenge to produce some new work of publishing that was truly connected to the City and yet didn’t recycle talent and/or text.

    Michelle Grabner [and I invoke her again because Bad at Sports contains two hours of audio in which she states her own case in her own words] suggested rightly that the health of critical theory might suffer if everyone began their own practice.

    Knocking down the big gate and the big gatekeeper, one might, in time, find another wall rebuilt — with many little gates, and many little gatekeepers. And through such gates no big ideas would pass. Do you want the big ideas? Maybe the time of the “great critic” passed?

    If I understand the time frame correctly: In 2008, at April’s art fairs Ed and Rachael released the first issue of Pro-ximity. And six months later, in October, Olga and the Chicago Artists’ Coalition released the first issue of Pro-mpt. What did the second magazine do that the first did not? What will a third magazine do that the first two have not done?

    Is more publishing good? Or, is it only more (a) meaningful, (b) original, and (c) local content that is good?

    Olga Stefan, comment #77, above:
    “I’m moving to Zurich,”
    “I’ll continue managing Prompt from abroad.”


    In the case of Prompt and the Chicago Artists’ Coalition asking questions becomes especially important as public money from the Illinois Arts Council and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs might be involved. How have CAC funds been spent? In The Reader, Deanna Isaacs reported that: “For $7,500,” Olga Stefan, “hired her husband, Oliver Bosche, to build a new [Chicago Artists’ Coalition] Web site.”


    Where in all of this is the art? I see the social networks, and the ambition, etc.. But the art?

    If you [Ed, Olga, Duncan, etc.] really want more people to write, and more diverse points of view expressed; if you really want to be relevant to Chicago; if you want “change” things for the better:

    (1) – get out there every week and focus on what’s going on in this town; New City is doing it;

    (2) – identify your next issue/episode theme, post a public deadline, make clear your needs [photo or text, review or editorial], specify the address to which these things should be sent;

    (3) – stop recycling content; differentiate.

    Kathryn, comment #121, above:
    “Maybe criticism is in jeopardy because as a whole, whether it’s me or you or Edmar or New Art Examiner, maybe we don’t like to be criticized. Maybe when we say we have a thick skin, we’re lying.”

  127. Shark, I agree with you about Edmar (and could extend that to Michael Workman, you, and others)!
    Paul — wonderful comments.

  128. The more “serious” media outlets we have in Chicago the better it for us locally and in turn nationally…internationally. I’m sure that there are some cross-overs between the different outlets but each outlet still has it’s own distinct voice and direction so I don’t think that’s an important issue.

    The thing that concerns me is that most of the artists and art-related people I come in contact with have never heard of BAS, Proximity, etc. And it’s usually the same old crowd on the comment section here at BAS…though I am very happy to see Wesley Kimler back in the game.

    We have 1000s upon 1000s of artists in Chicago…where are they?

  129. “We have 1000s upon 1000s of artists in Chicago…where are they?”

    Most likely busy trying to make the rent.

  130. I agree with Kathryn-the-Bard,

    “Maybe criticism is in jeopardy because as a whole, whether it’s me or you or Edmar or New Art Examiner, maybe we don’t like to be criticized. Maybe when we say we have a thick skin, we’re lying.”

    BUT — BUT — I must add that this is frequently said about artists (and true), yet almost NEVER said about critics themselves, never ever said about curators, or gallerists. THEY too must be prepared for real discussion. When I wrote a large, full page article in a German-language major newspaper here criticizing (not just complaining, but really analyzing) the current consenus constraints on curators , I meant it also as a compliment to those who go their own way. Some saw that, but two big-shot curators wrote responses which pretty directly said “why didn’t you criticize artists you don’t like, not the structure or power-situation of the artworld.” No shit. Didfn’t even see their assertions as odd. I answered as you can well guess, that I will darn well critcize anything and anybody I chose. And I chose to seldom criticize artists. Everybody else does that. I prefer to bite the hands that feed me. That is, in my opinion, a more important activity at this moment in time, as therein lies the real problem, — and what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  131. Wesley,

    “It’s not about me.” Except when it is, which is.. always. If you’re going to live in truth, you can start there. It’s always about you, and that’s fine.

    I didn’t know you’ve been dry for twenty years. When I knew you, you drank a lot, more or less constantly. Here, you posted a string of enraged abuse, late at night. So I assumed… and was wrong. Apparently the blowhard aspect of your personality remains intact, though, which is too bad.

    Another part of the act that hasn’t changed (along with bragging about recent $ale$) is the angry outsider bit. So, successful as you may be, it’s not enough and not as much as you deserve, and someone is to blame for this, and that person or group would be whom or what? You have some cute name for the group — the Consesoriat, right?

    So what is their consensus?


    Playing games about who has succeeded and who has not is silly, but I’ll go so far as to name two artists who have done well since 1980, though there are many more: Kerry James Marshall and Tom Friedman. That should be enough for your trickle-down game to begin. Go to it.

  132. I didn’t know you’ve been dry for twenty years. When I knew you, you drank a lot, more or less constantly. Here, you posted a string of enraged abuse, late at night. So I assumed… and was wrong. Apparently the blowhard aspect of your personality remains intact, though, which is too bad…..

    ……..still finding a way to use my ancient drinking problem against me aren’t you Tim? How fucking pathetic. Everyone in the art world should note this: -this is the working mentality among a large contingent here, modus operandi. You are a coward Tim. Why don’t you slink back into the hole you crawled out of and worry about your own problems little ms Ann Landers and let me worry about mine?

    “I didn’t know you’ve been dry for twenty years. When I knew you, you drank a lot, more or less constantly.”

    uhhhhhhSo you ASSUMED WRONG Tim….and as far as ‘enraged abuse’ are you joking after the trash talk you just delivered here towards me? You must be kidding….. Look, its not believe it or not, my fault that you are an embittered loser trying to find somone to blame for your plight. I don’t know you, never knew you and am not responsible for your sad situation, or that your parents stuck you with a crap name like ‘Tim’ (which is probably where this whole thing started) where ever you are (obviously not here hence the puffed up cyber bravado.

    Consensoriat -Mark came up with the term -ask your old pal. -I’ll give you a clue though -take a look at who you have written about…….what, a tool.

  133. -the other evening when I was talking to Mark Staff Brandl, we discussed how he once tried to get you to write for sharkforum -when you first delivered up your on-going tirade against me and we took a pass……as Mark noted, I don’t know what happened to this guy but now when you hear him, you just want to smack him. Mark, very perceptive of you-

  134. [I wish I’d posted this before Wesley got his posts up, but having written it I kind of want to publish it, so here:]

    Christ Tim, What’s the point of being so negative? You seek to be provocative when you could be proactive. You’ve taken the role of muckraker. Bad choice.

    Wesley is damned good at defending himself. Why that makes lesser mortals want to challenge him is beyond me. He’ll probably take your bait, but invariably you will be the prey and you will be chomped. “Where is Laertes? At dinner. Not eating, but being eaten.” That’s you. Hardly productive.

    Wesley is a fabulous painter and a brilliant artist. (If you want me to explain the difference and ramifications, I will.) In fact, I’m having difficulty thinking of a better painter right now since Caravaggio or Cezanne. I’m sure there are some, several, many (?), but certainly not the currently fashionable tripe like John Curren, Elizabeth Peyton, or Karen Kilimnick.

    Wesley happens to give a big goddamn about helping his fellow artists, raising consciousness, calling a spade a spade, but always with the agenda of helping others. That it often includes himself too is normal, proper and appropriate. Are you some superior, altruistic saint? Where are you coming from? What are your credentials? What have you done that let’s you pontificate from the same stage Wesley does? What have you done since you left so long ago most here don’t remember you? And please tell me how that gives you the authority to speak about what has changed in the past 20 years that you’ve already proven you know nothing about.

    Tim, I used to like you – a lot. I always enjoyed our conversations, your point of view and your affable quirks. I don’t know where you’ve gone, what you’ve done and why you choose to publicly demean yourself and others.

    What happened?


  135. placeholder

  136. Paul,

    I wasn’t responding to W. Kimler The Painter, who’s not bad, but Cezanne? I see him as a bigger and less interesting version of Amy Sillman, but you think he’s great and that’s fine.

    I was responding to Wesley Kimler The Blowhard, aka “the shark.” I mean, Jesus. Well, okay, he wants to call himself a shark, fine and dandy. But some of the things he and others were saying weren’t true, and some of the things Derek had to say about the history of the NAE weren’t true, and it was my view they were all loading a bit much of it on Kathryn Hixon’s shoulders — more of it than was true, or fair.

    I guess you have some kind of “benefit of clergy” deal going with Wesley, like when he slimes people it’s fine because he’s a genius painter. I don’t get that. That was, apparently, MS Brandl’s problem with me, when he asked me to srite something for his blog and I wrote back in response to some shark nonsense and MSB decided I was too angry and bitter for his universe.

    I am neither angry nor bitter. I don’t think I have to earn the right to speak in the same forum (from the same stage) Wesley does. Not that it’s any big thrill. For someone who likes to hand out shit by the bucket, he’s awfully touchy, don’t you think?

    I didn’t start the Public Demeaning on this string, but I did join in halfway and did my part, and I’m not hugely proud of that. But for you I have one question regarding the NAE and its history: was there ever a time when the policy of one review per ad was not in place?

  137. Poor little Timothy: if you are going to dicuss my work it is probably a good idea that you have a clue as to what it even looks like today. Clearly, you do not.

    Amy Sillman – yes she does a watered down, far less skilled, or interesting version of many of the same things that engaged me over 20 years ago- but of course you would use the comparison to denigrate me, you, a critic of such sterling principle….who would never think of placing principles before personalities -what a joke and a farce. You have a bitch with me, and you will say anything to have it -truth be damned.

    I’ve moved on, obviously, since you clearly have this obsession thing with me going on, you ms Landers have not. The funny thing is I don’t even remember your inconsequential little self- must have made a big impression…..is thats what is really bothering you Timmy?

    Kathryn Hixon: I stand by what I said, its an opinion far from being only mine. I ask Derek once again to make his relationship with Ms Hixon public. I think it would be most useful.

  138. Tim, to answer your question about NAE advertising, I don’t know. Wouldn’t surprise me. Advertising for coverage tends to be damned close to the norm in the journalistic world. They give lip service to fair treatment, but it’s invariably bullshit.

    Yes, Wesley can be short-fused and acerbic. Yes, I frequently find it excessive, but it is a question of style – not content. And perhaps more important for you there vs us here is that we are used to it and dismiss it. There was a period of time where Wesley bore me so many new assholes that I felt perforated. So what? Unfortunately, many of the negative things he said about me were warranted, at least in part. And yes, sometimes his tactics/strength in winning an argument diminishes his co-combatant. Not that you follow football, but if Michael Vick had Wesley Kimler to watch Vick wouldn’t be in jail now.

    Additionally, in the past 2 ½ years Wesley has gotten milder and calmer, and we appreciate him more for it. And like the rest of us, he is a work in progress. But I’m sure glad he’s in Chicago, because his presence makes us better – and that’s pretty much the bottom line.


  139. Heavens, I’m out of date. Well, thanks to the internet, I’m nearly caught up on Kimler, and the new work doesn’t look a thing like Amy Stillman, though whether that’s a good thing I can’t say until I see some in real life, as reproduction hypes the spectacle aspect of them, and there’s an awful lot of that.

  140. Sillman. Damn, my typing sucks.

  141. Inadvertently, Tim through no fault of his own thinking, having more to do with his inherrent pettiness, does manage to stumble upon what for artists, what is the crux of the matter: I don’t know or have anything against Amy Sillman -my friend Tony likes the work- still, one could pick through my work from the mid to late 80’s, eliminate the range, application skill (hands), and ambition and have a best of Sillman before Sillman was Sillman exhibition.

    And then, I moved on as anyone familiar with the work I do today would know.

    My point being, that the entire New York School in all of its recent incarnations has lost more than a step. I think some of this can be attributed to the simple fact that NYC no longer is, what made it the art center back on the 1950s-60’s….there is no cheap affordable studio space, its a total cluster fuck, ambition and celebrity have supplanted seriousness and long dedication, exploration and study…..

    That many things coming out of here have been SUPERIOR to NY -in the case of ms Sillman or Cecily Brown and me -20 years before the fact of their work (- looking at their work is like a time warp for me-) and I am far from the only artist here who has been superior to what is happening in LA or NYC – finally, this year in theater, this truth became a fact as Steppenwolf dominated Broadway and the Tonys- Steppenwolf also has right here in Chicago 3 theater critics of international stature where we in the art world really have none-

    And yet over at the MCA we have Molon importing LA and NYC here for his rock show, ignoring everything here. Hanging Raymond Pettibone and his low skill low brow cartoons for the umteenth time here…..all of this a precursor to the Kilimnk debacle.. Its inexcusable -as is the lack of support for a professional art world here -this includes lack of critics, poor curators (with some exceptions-) crummy support -in fact arrogant indifference from the major collectors here…..

    I see this the function of sharkforum BAS and others -Edmar……we need infrastructure -and we need an out and out revolt -revolution! -we need to boycott some of these institutions until they get their acts together….

    We just elected a new president. He is from Chicago. Steppenwolf -Chicago- ITS OUR TIME. But we must seize the moment and not tolerate the benign neglect to indifference that has hampered our art world for generations, Nor, must we allow the academic institutions to call the shots -thats over just like the art fairs where much institutional art is shown (festivalism) are now crashing to earth.

    Here in Chicago, we artists have an opportunity to change the art world in America, to bring bask seriousness and purpose, technical excellence, long term explorative methodologies -but we must stand up and take control of many of its aspects…we must build our own infrastructure as it is obvious no one is going to do it for us-

  142. Tim get it straight: Sillman looks like me and not on a good day -twenty years after the fact -not, visa versa- Second City mentality rears its unfortunate head once again! sheeeeesh!…..

  143. Look, lets get back to the discussion. I did not come here to talk about me…..this is an unfortunate aspect of who I am -which I do regret -lets focus on what is at hand -my preceeding post is about that- lets talk infrastructure, how we initiate change.

  144. Consensoriat explained:

    Come on — you know damn well what is meant Tim, don’t play befuddled on top of bitter Wesley hater.

    Good points Paul!

    Other than the occasional weird pointless attacks, I’m still really enjoying this discussion.

  145. Jill, btw, I know you’ve tried to get some more philosophical things going here, but we’ve got an intense “regime change is eminent” Chicago thing going here! Sorry, ordinarilly I’d be chiming in on yours. You said you were from Georgia (I think) so you may not know about the Consensus Clique tendencies of the Windy City. I don’t live there anymore either, but have strong contact. Keep posting here (and at Sharkforum.org if you wish) — we’ll discuss with you evenetually!

    Wesley, I think it is no longer of much use to answer Tim. He answers with some real thoughts, then lapses into “weird bitter.”

    When I wrote back to you, Tim, after your attack on WK at SF a few years ago, we had a good exchange, but you DID say to me that you were disappointed and bitter about the artworld, or some such thing. I have the email, but am not checking at the moment. You said it was useless to struggle against the “powers” and I said, well then I’d rather go down in glorious flames than give up. Drop the consensus! Get them out of your brain. They’ve ruined you. They are on the way out anyway. See the light again and look for real quality and activity in Chicago. Edmar, Michael W, BaS, the SHARK (yes!), hell, ME, THAT’s where its at. Listen to Derek again and think about it. Then you could have your old positive look back. The Consensoriat is, in short, those “frienemies” you plodded for who have ruined your perception of art and tried to ruin Chicago. Read my post above. It is light-heartedly written but deadly serious.

    That’s the end of my “witnessing” to Tim. No more comments from me to Tim!

  146. jill peterson Says:

    mr. brandl, thanks for the hospitality and actually this is very interesting. i’m from chicago originally and although i don’t know the scene, chicago politics and art are fascinating. also, jinx buy me a coke, i already went to sharkforum before you wrote that. it’s really good. doesn’t feel like art talk- everything makes sense. the glossary is great.

  147. Hey this thread shows that at least a dozen people care about what is going on in town. And despite the crossover of participants writers etc in the various print and web media i think there are at least 4o other writers who give a hoot, too (at least by my count in our recent contributors list).
    And the hardcore commentary is juicy. i love it!

    So.. to adress a few things:

    Kathryn, soon we will start a project or two that will cover the huge gaps of art coverage in town. We hope to do this in a more timely fashion in between issues and online. And we will continue tweaking the diversity of voices in proximity too.

    Also K, I also appreciate the criticism.
    Just keep in mind that we do support the bourgeois neoliberals and Republican art hoi polloi too!

    And FYI those spreads of objects, studios and artists’ work we print in full color really piss off the hard lefty art elements that we work with.
    No one is ever happy with anything. including myself. So as usual we get hit from all fronts. It’s normal. And i do have thick skin. I just like to defend ourselves when we are derided. No harm in that. And just because my personal interests are in print alongside those of the other couple dozen participants in the mag does not mean Proximity represents my agenda. My main agenda is to merely pay for the thing.

    I apologize for accusing of you of not reading the mag.

    i wish there was an emoticon for hugs.

  148. Derek Guthrie Says:

    In response to the shark’s question requesting information of my relationshipe with Kathryn Hixson.I had no relatioshipe with Kathryn Hixson untill a few days ago when we met for the first time. We had a very pleasant discusion and will meet again. At some point in the last years of the New Art Examiner while it was changing it’s image and focus it was indicated to me by a studied silence that the New Art Examiner did not have any interest in using whatever writing that jane Addams Allen or I could contribut I requested that I should not be put out to grass but we were It is my sense that this issue will never be solved.
    It is also my beleif that Kathryn Hixson has been scapgoated for the demise of the NAE. As far
    as I can undertsand the complexites of the demise
    seems to be tragic. There was a serious conflict
    of values as how an art magaizine should be or structered or focused.
    Unfortunately the question remains as James Elkins has eloguenetly writen ” What has Happened
    to Art Critism?
    When I used the expression “trickle down” I meant that when substantal money adhers to an idea or art it will trickle down to those who do not have money.
    ” Trickle up is an attempt to devolpe art and ideas without money and usual will not trickle up
    through the filters of our existring system.
    There are excepations of course. those excepations have interest. usually called success.

  149. “In fact, I’m having difficulty thinking of a better painter right now since Caravaggio or Cezanne.”

    I don’t know whether to throw up or cry. Since my dog died 2 weeks ago and I have no more tears left, I guess I’ll barf. Thankfully the toilet is industrial size. Jesus.

  150. Good to hear that, Edmar, I was starting to think I’d really ticked you off. I could say more offline.

    And I will follow my own advice and not feel baited to defend myself about the comments made about me.

    As for infrastructure, to plug BAS (since it’s been recommended I be shitcanned), I think it’s really important to compare Volcalo to BAS. Volcalo budget = $400,000 to launch. BAS budget for 168 shows+ <$8,000. That’s NOTHING. It’s 60 minutes of weekly content done with $500 of equipment. Time wise, I did the entire publishing show, with editing, in about 5 hours which included the event. Media production is do-able now. Doing television/video would be just as cheap and easy and you could actually see the art. We have the technology, all that’s needed is the will and the talent. I think that would be a great next step for Chicago art media.

    After researching Chicago’s publishing scene, I think, per capita, our publishing scene is more robust than our visual art scene. We’re truly second in line to New York. It’s a smaller pool because of the language barriers. But in publishing, there’s not revolution in leadership, there’s many strong arms. Marc Smith has 250 people on their feet, going crazy at the Green Mill for POETRY. I mean, whoda thought? Who’s cheering and throwing beer bottles over abstract expressionism in this town? In the literary scene, we have drunken literature in bars, we’ve got first place titles on all sorts of big indy presses (women’s, black, black independent), we lead in academic presses. It’s strong not because of one thing, but the sheer multitude of content makes it strong. As Guthrie said, “discussion”.

    As for overthrowing the power, I don’t know if we’d do any better, frankly. If anyone ever wants a lesson in knowing how you’ll do as an authority figure, try raising some kids. It teaches you very quickly what a shitheel you are once you’ve got all the power.

    To close on NAE, people are bringing up a lot of ancient history. But the living question that remains is “Do publications fail because we don’t have a market for them, or because the content didn’t meet the market need?” If we don’t have a marketplace for discussion, we’re sunk. But if it’s just about serving that market, we have a shot, we just need to understand that market and give them the content they are willing to pay for. Not the content that’s good for them, but the content they want.

  151. you’ve come around. that’s a start.

    Now, work on those edges.

  152. keep it up -edges? what a joke -you’ll find and edge -suddenly.

  153. no no no. edges Wesley. ya know, hard, firm, soft and lost. just trying to help.

  154. Help yourself sound stupid? -I get that. For the sake of argument, the ‘edges’ in my work are extremely complex and varied employing any number of techniques softness of focus, hardness of edge etc…..but since you are such a hotshot painter, lets have full names; lets see the work of the critic…..no? Run out of courage or didn’t have any to begin with? Will then if you don’t have the huevos for that, why not be specific with your complaint; ie name the painting and your problems with the edges in that particular painting- given that gross generalization is modus operandi of the dull mind and I’m sure you wouldn’t want that…..

  155. again, you’re being defensive. it’s ok. just keep drawing, you’ll figure it out.

  156. just keep drawing, you’ll figure it out……..run out of ideas already ‘Steve’? Or maybe you just didnt know what you were talking about to begin with.

    I sure there are plenty of problems in my work, in fact I know it! Like de Kooning said when someone noted one of his followers could paint his best work as well as he could , “but can he make the bad ones?” That is the argument and the opportunity, where they lie. The ‘edges’ ( so stupid) are not one of those problems in the work of a highly problematic painter- as anyone with half a brain that had ever looked at my work would know. Take the stupidity elsewhere, you clearly dont know enough about painting to discuss it- I’m done.

  157. “a highly problematic painter”

    well said. i need to sleep now. Continue with your struggles. i wish you the best.

  158. “a highly problematic painter” as are all painters who are worth a shit. Its what makes them who they are.

    -I’m sure you do need to get to sleep -this is after all about the time you have always signed off on your little sunday night email/blog forays…..

    The devil is in the details-

  159. “But in publishing, there’s not revolution in leadership, there’s many strong arms. Marc Smith has 250 people on their feet, going crazy at the Green Mill for POETRY. I mean, whoda thought? Who’s cheering and throwing beer bottles over abstract expressionism in this town? *

    Yet more revelations coming at us fast and furious… -first we are ‘all pro’ when we are beginning to write for Time Out and now we are going to insult the many serious poets in this town by bringing up poetry slams as what is happen here in terms of poetry. Really. Kathryn, do you even have a clue how serious poets regard poetry slams? -Here I will give you a hint -its kind of like how painters view the guy on stage with a cover band doing Purple Haze while he executes a portrait of Jimi Hendrix with spray paint under a blacklite, within the time parameters of the song -on black velvet.

    For those interested in the poetry scene here in Chicago -sharkforum with our poet in residence Dr.Simone Muench is an excellent source. Simone -whose last book Lamp Black And Ashes was a book of the week pick in the New York Times -where it was hugely reviewed is perhaps the top under 40 poet in Illinois. On NPR she was the peoples choice for poet laureat of the state in recent years- Each week she offers up a new book of poetry that she finds compelling -many of which come from our community.

    Also on sharkforum is Kenneth Clarke -long time brilliant director (now moved on) of The Poetry Center here Ken introduced an amazing program here -first realizing that perhaps the most highly regarded poet in America if not the world -Mark Strand was living and teaching right here in Chicago -in fact winning both a Pulitzer and the Wallace Stevens Award while here -along with being poet laureat of the US…..of course no one in Chicago had thought to have Mark read until Ken came along and put him on the stage at Metro. Ken also started a broadsides program -pairing local visual artists with poets to creat limited edtion prints. Paschke, Tony Fitzpatrick, Vera Klement and myself were all involved with this program -where Ken also reached out to the music community -Lucinda Williams and her father Miller Williams came and read and played here and then retired over to The Sharkpit where a gathering of all disciplines watched theatre by The Hypocrites and revelled late into the night. Billy Corgan, Tortise…any number of musical configurations here were involved with this interdisciplinary program….slightly more interesting than flying beer bottles at the Green Mill-

    Of course Kathryn then breaks her word (boy that was quick!) with her ab-ex reference….let the record show, that in a community that had finally wised up to the foolishness not to mention flat out inaccuracy of throwing that tired, stale tomato at me, Kathryn was the last to get a clue.

    In the future I am going to leave you alone Kathryn to your own devices and spend my time and energy on sharkforum which is not anywhere near as egalitarian as BAS (thank god!) -but I will say and admit….your idea of what criteria it takes to be an art world ‘pro’ and your subsequent conversation shook me…..I honestly feel like you have just made CAC look smart -and thats no mean feat! Nor small accomplishment -I’m sure something is in order to note the moment-

  160. What’s getting lost is that “Professional” and “amateur” are very specific, technical terms.

    A professional is paid for their work, an amateur is not. My father was a filmmaker and he instilled that key difference for me. When I say that I’ve gone pro, I’m simply saying I enjoy gettig paid for my work. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s something.

    For five years, here and on Othergroup, I’ve always had the personal desire for art to be for everyone. My wish is that art and poetry reach the widest possible audience. I’m not saying that’s the only way to look at it, but I’m saying it’s mine, and it’s a long-held belief.

    The poetry slam is not high poetry, but it brings people into the fold who didn’t know that liking poetry was possible. I’m always excited about venues that are approachable and bring in newcomers.

    That’s not everyone’s bag, but it’s mine.

    Shark, you know you’re not going to leave the BAS comments section. I used to waitress and people were always storming out, saying they would never eat here again. Two weeks later they were back wanting a ham sandwich.

    And at the end of the day, Christ, Wesley, let’s just let it go. You don’t give one shit what I think, and vice versa. I’ll ignore your brilliance and you can ingore my ignorance.

    Are you happy now?

    Also- I’ve got to sign off for the week. I have a book deal in the works and have to focus on that. So go attack that sentence, get started on that, and I promise, promise, I’ll say nothing in return.

    Again, it’s all about making you happy at this point, and making the comments section of our little podcast, the very center of the art universe, work for you.


  161. jill peterson Says:

    he’s got a point. sharkforum is kinda awesome.

  162. there is barely no content on sharkforum and it is rarely updated. what’s so kinda awesome about it?

  163. actually you have a something of a fair point -there is plenty of content on sharkforum -but it has not been updated as it should be -and that has been my fault as I have been preoccupied with raising my little girl and trying to maintain a rigorous painting schedual-

    which is also why I havent been here on BAS either -and is why in the future I am going to focus on sharkforum rather than the thankless task of blogging here, as sharkforum is a place where ideas can be put out there and unpacked without all of the dummies, noise/cyberstalkers etc

    In fairness, to MSB, he has continually added content to the site as has Simone Muench -myself, Lynne Warren and others have been remiss in our activity there -this will be remedied in the near future.

  164. In our switch over to the new moveable Type system at Sharkforum.org and to our new site design, comments kept getting eaten! I think that discouraged a lot of people, thinking that they were being edited out or something. I know ’cause I get lots of emails directly as comments on posts. If you’d like to comment on SF, please do so again. We have that corrected now and I’ll argue with you. Also my dissertation, as a “performative” on-line version, which will end in a book and an exhibition/installation has just begun there, so I’d love to have your input, oh BaS listeners!

  165. jill peterson Says:

    I’m a child.

    Kathryn November 24: “What’s getting lost is that “Professional” and “amateur” are very specific, technical terms.

    A professional is paid for their work, an amateur is not. My father was a filmmaker and he instilled that key difference for me. When I say that I’ve gone pro, I’m simply saying I enjoy gettig paid for my work. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s something.”

    Kathryn November 21: “90% of the discussion is fine. But I just don’t see the need to act like complete amateurs. […] My world view is that you either go pro or remain a hack.”

  166. Michael Workman Says:

    I think this may be a personal best for Bad At Sports’ comments section. Is it? 171 comments?

    I’d like to suggest, if I may, that I think this simply demonstrates how important the New Art Examiner was, and how important its spirit continues to be. I think what it did, in providing a space of real integrity for discussion, was that it allowed Chicago and its art culture to “punch above its weight” with the rest of the art critical profession. In my humble opinion, nothing done in publishing since NAE has managed to approach this standard, and I think we’re worse off for its loss. I think it’s important we start by remembering what that discussion meant.

  167. which is why Michael Workman I am holding you to your promise to become a member of The Sharkpack and begin voicing your thoughts on sharkforum -in any way you feel is appropriate.

    Sharkforum is both total anarchy, and, a benevolent dictatorship with The Shark as Supreme Dictator For Life.

  168. Michael Workman Says:

    Wesley, let me count the ways. I too am remiss, and will correct this unfortunate oversight when next I come up for air. It better be soon, I don’t have gills as such just yet.

  169. Just when you think you’re out, they drag you back in, so I guess I need to respond to all these punches.

    I’m not sure why you feel, Wesley, that you need to be a bully to express your opinions. You beat most people into submission not through the strength of your arguments, but through your constant belittling. So, go ahead and swear a little more at me.

    Anyway, the CAC is a service organization – we exist to help artists. 2300 are members. If you don’t find any value in our services, then the CAC is not for you. Saying that the CAC is awful, or whatever Wesley said, is absurd. Your argument has been that the artists that are members are not good, and that it’s a club. Obviously you haven’t really been keeping up, but it doesn’t matter. It’s just not for you. I don’t have the need anymore to convince you of the reasons for our existence.

    The reason we started an art journal (we started planning one year ago) was exactly for the reason that we are all discussing – the lack of real analysis and criticism. Proximity was probably being planned concurrently to Prompt, and coincidentally our names both start with PRO (someone pointed that out in an early post). There was no communication between Edmar and me – it just happened. We both responded to what we saw as a dearth in venues for real analysis. He responded with proximity, and we with Prompt.

    If the two had both been read, really, it would have been obvious what differentiates us. Prompt is really trying to contextualize the visual arts in a much broader societal context, with contributions from writers that are not only cross-disciplinary in their practice, but also are experts in other fields, from anthropology, law, religion, science, architecture, etc. We want to understand how the visual arts impact the rest of our world, not only analyze the success of the work. In upcoming issues, we will have an economist, and other writers, contribute articles that really question received wisdom. Kathryn mentioned this earlier – one’s politics is evident from what he/she does not question. At Prompt, we want to question everything, and try to offer all intelligent and well documented information that offers the most 3-dimensional analysis possible.
    Yes, we both have invited certain “usual suspects” to contribute, and that too I think is a coincidence. It just happens that some are well-respected and we find their work compelling. Our intent is to continue making sure that Prompt is entirely cross-disciplinary and offer diverse opinions and perspectives on the relationship between art and the rest of our culture.

    And I do agree that it will be our continual challenge to differentiate between publications.

    As for Paul’s questioning: I’m not sure what you’re getting at bringing up that old article. Yes, I hired my husband to do the CAC website because I knew that he would charge me less than 1/3 of what that thing would have cost. Deanna, as you know, loves to bring up “controversial” stuff. That really was not that controversial. We all do what we can to save the organization for which we work money. CAR visual arts cost more than $200,000 and has more or less the same features (obviously with a completely different design and purpose).

    Also, regarding the local nature of Prompt and my affiliation with it: Prompt is not only local. We look at how local practices have a global impact. Our goal is to bring Chicago into dialogue with the rest of the world. We will be getting submission from writers who understand the local and global contexts and are able to create parallels.

  170. Fern Shaffer Says:

    I agree with Michael that the New Art Examiner was a major contributor to the art scene in Chicago. When I was working at the Examiner selling Ads and we did not review galleries by the amount of money they spent. I worked with Anne Morgan, editor and that was a very clear policy. The examiner was exciting and controversial, it was talked about, pro and con, it provided a forum that is not happening today. When we went to work for the NAE we did it out of passion and love for what we were doing and money was really never the issue, we knew that this was not a corporation with big salaries. When we wrote reviews or articles it was not for the money. I am surprised how much anger there is by unpaid writers, I do believe they should be paid but they had a choice. I chose to be an artist and I work to support my habit I do not believe that the value of ones art is not related to the money it brings in. That is bullshit. A perfect example for me is Diamen Hurst.
    The NAE/Derek Guthrie has the gift that touches many of us and that is to think and respond to the ideas presented. It touches our passion for something we love and are willing to fight for.

  171. Olga, the strength of my arguments stand on their own, if it all sails over your head as it clearly does, its not my problem.

    As the ex-president of your board Dr Jerry Hausman is a long time friend of mine -and btw is someone who I warned against taking the postion-which was way beneath him in terms of his accomplishments, and which I get the idea he now wishes he had heeded,- I understand that though you have stepped aside as president -Queen -whatever you call yourself/ your title was and is at CAC, you still run it as your little fifedom, to serve you…..not that it matters, a cursory look at the artists involved with CAC only serves to remind that whether it be Prompt, CAC -whatever the name, you can’t make a horse out of horseshit.

    Its the dregs, you are its mouthpiece.

  172. You would be better served not to listen to rumors and repeat everything you hear. Jerry was never the president since I came to the CAC – I never knew him as such. He left the organization because he was the only one to not agree with the CAC undertaking the publishing of Prompt. So keep hurling those “truths”, and keep repeating others’ impressions of me. Obviously you have no direct contact, or ability to really judge me since we don’t know each other (again, 2300 are members, so basically according to you they are all awful – including some of the more important Chicago artists that don’t share your anger against me). If Jerry doesn’t appreciate me, obviously you have to hate me and publicly denounce me, right? You’ve hit your all time best!

  173. woooooo!…..blood in the water, chunks of seal flesh bobbing.

  174. what an insufferable asshole you are kimler.

    it’s ironic however that the one thing that is more garish and insulting than yourself are your own sloppy, ghoulish paintings.

    you’re your own worst joke. go away.

  175. Michael Workman Says:

    Thank you, Fern. Until we see that kind of autonomy to speak clearly again, without the blind spots of an interpolating cultural ideology, Chicago will continue its current slide to an art world backwater. And artists will continue to be stuck as just so much damn cannon fodder, flailing around without any realizable direction on comment boards like this one.

  176. Well Michael -I aggreed with Fern -to a point -art accrues legitimate value -but the prices being paid for Kilimnicks, Currins, Doigs…….are obscene. Thats why a serious art world here with decent prices and serious collectors -with intelligent and strategic (canon creating) curatorial support….could seriously alter the art world -which is in need of change as everything else.

    On to a less pleasant but very serious topic.- Steve aka andrewloughnane.com -go check this clown out -he has taken off the CINCICenterForARTS reference -where he was a clerk -(when first looking at his site when it was up you were left with the impression he must have had a retrospective there! People should go to this site, and take a look at his photo so you will know who he is. This guy had his emails blocked and put in a holding bin for possible legal use due to his stalking a reporter at Time Out. He has come on BAS and made obscene remarks about my two and a half year old daughter. He showed up at Tony Fitz’s Cultural Center Opening and tried to create problems first with me, then -this is a laugh, with Tony. He has been told by his boss at the Art Institute where he schlepps paintings (which btw he is completely untrained and knows nothing about-) that if he keeps harassing artists -stalking people he is going to be fired. One of his favorite things is sending emails discussing his members size -apparently there must be a problem in that department. I have saved several of these gems for possible use by the police-

    We can all hate each other here and fight -but this is a different more serious situation -this guy is a creep -heads up.

  177. Relax kimler You’re simply an arrogant, delusional blowhard.

    I’m tired of reading your annoying repetitive drivel here (I’ll bet I’m not alone). Go back to your pathetic ezine and rant away there. Quite simply, the only reason I chimed in to begin with was Klein’s comment about your work. Sorry, it made me physically ill.

  178. ……………”leave the poor guy alone?’………sure Andrew –

  179. Calm down little fish.

    Perhaps that birdhouse/garage you live in is starting to get to you.

    Sorry Richard, I’ll leave the delusional narcissist alone for now.

  180. “birdhouse/garage…..another dead give away…….just forget the phrases you come up with and then repeat? Pull yourself together dirtbag. Look wannabe -you are so cool and so tough, if you are not who I claim you are -put your name here……won’t ever be nervy enough to do that will you coward? Such a man!

  181. Jeez Us Kreist “Steve,” you are being as big an asshole as possible and baiting Wesley.

    Just ignore it, Wesley. This whole thing with “Steve” has happened repeatedly. Just refuse to answer. Let this thing get back to Derek and the NAE, or else just end here. The next podcast is up with Winkelman, and has some very interesting perceptions that would intrigue you WK, so fuck this weird spit fight guy and go on to other stuff. I know it is hard to stop when being personally (and rather idiotically) attacked, but now it has all gotten too far away from Derek’s really concrete compaints about Chicago.

  182. You are right Mark, of course; -its a little hard to ignore this idiot ‘Steve’-when this is the guy who was making lewd comments about my daughter on this very site several months ago- as you note, repeatedly, but still lets move on -I believe I’ve shined the light on the cockroach.

  183. I think we worked at the NAE the same time, or overlapped, Fern, right? I hope you are doing well. I’d like this discussion to end with her fine statement above:

    “The NAE/Derek Guthrie has the gift that touches many of us and that is to think and respond to the ideas presented. It touches our passion for something we love and are willing to fight for.”

  184. Well Mark -I cannot let you have the last word here -despite the drag that it is being me at times with the ensuing controversy, the krill, the crapola….we did get somewhere, what Fern had to say did have merit -and Derek’s original vision for NAE did as well….while this has all been going on I have reached out to several people in the art world here to start contributing to sharkforum -Vincent Dermody and Michael Workman- I am sure other names are to follow-…lets begin an attempt to create a contemporary version of NAE with BAS, SHARKFORUM and others, -let a thousand flowers bloom.

    If I have been harsh on organizations, individuals CAC /both Kathryns -its not personal -with a shark it never is….its about disposing of what is not essential, keeping the environment clean and doing away with old constructs that never worked and only stand in the way now.

  185. Stephen lee Says:

    Dear Chicago,

    Derek asked me to contribute to the blog by discussing my experiences as a student at SAIC at around the time New Art Examiner moved to Washington. My experiences quietly echo many of the issues Derek talks of. We were young and dumb and easy to beat up. Some of it was banal, but rather than have you all glaze over as I rant, here’s one event that I particularly value. Ed Kienholz came to my studio in the Glasshack at SAIC, had a chat and bought some sculpture. I didn’t think much of this at the time, other than he was a fascinating person and I needed the cash. I since realise that I received quite an important education in that 15-minute meeting. Having written criticism myself I’m now more capable of defining things. It means that the work was underwritten not by a curator, nor an administrator, educator, not by arts council criteria, university research criteria, nor even an art critic but by a highly significant artistic sensibility. The focus on sensibility positioned my work outside of any of the motives and ambitions of those controlling the art scene and sealed my exit from Chicago.

    In the Bad at Sports interview with Derek I’d like to comment on his use of the word de-professionalism in relation to the current state of the art world. This sounds straight-forward and direct but I think it needs unpacking a bit further. I assume Derek, you are positioning your’s and Jane’s publishing as a professional endeavour against the anti-intellectualism of Imagism in Chicago. Dialogue between the role of the amateur and that of the professional has been and remains a key avant guard strategy. I’m sure the portrait of Dr. Gachet by ‘the loser’, Van Gogh would have been considered amateurish by many. Manet was also considered laughably amateurish in his use of large areas of flat paint. My point is that it was the interplay between the codes of the pseud technical professionalism of the Academy with the codes of amateurish art that made the work critically important.

    Furthermore I am also troubled by DG’s notion that there is no trickle up in the art world, again this sounds convincing and authoritative in as much as we have all been indoctrinated by the language of Mrs. Thatcher’s economic policy, these terms have resonance in our ears like a second nature. Are we to assume then, that the position of the professional critic is close to that of the petty bourgeois shop-keeper? Where the critic in his corner-store gets to refuse some people who come hoping for credit. This cultural position tends to keep in place both the proletariat, looking for credit and the silver spoon culture it seeks to preserve. Trickle up does occur when an artist writes criticism and defines his own position. St. Ive’s modernism is a good model in this respect and more recently Art and Language have achieved this. I think that art students need to understand and define the complexity of notions of the professional and the amateur as a critical dynamic.

  186. Criticism is, historically, a profession without professionals. Having professionalized art and thus made it better than ever before, forward-thinking academies like SAIC are now professionalizing criticism.

    I am not bitter about this. I welcome it. As Wesley says, let a thousand flowers bloom. The schools that hand out degrees in criticism will be forced to publish the work of the critics they produce, and it will be better than nothing. The various university galleries have now taken the place once held by the alternative spaces, and university critics and journals will take the place once filled by the alternative arts press — by the NAE. That’s already a done deal.

    As far as literary and social criticism go, that’s how things have been for decades. You have your NYRB and Bookforum and whatnot, but they’re supported by a foundation of subvened academic journals. The same will go for art criticism, and that’s where your renaissance of criticism will come from; whether you think that’s trickle up or trickle down is beside the point.

    The future of the Gulfstream/MiamiBasel art world will be determined by forces outside it, as is only fair: by what Obama, Brown and the other heads of state decide to do about the speculative derivatives that have done for our economy what five years of unlimited coke and steroids would do for professional sports.

    It’s hard to tell art students right now what they need to understand, given how catastrophically the professional worlds to which they might hope to belong stand to change, and soon.

    I would tell them that as Diogenes says, in the house of the rich man there is no place to spit but in his face. If you choose to swallow instead, you have to understand that as both an ethical and a career decision. Diogenes would never have made it through a Chicago winter.

    A final bit of quotation, from Kerrigan’s “The world of Pio Baroja” — “Lacking imagination, Aviraneta was forced to live the life of a fictional character amid the irritation of daily living, dependent always on the chance opportunity to act as he pleased, crossing paths and words with aggressive competitors who filled precisely the space he craved to fill.” That, dear art and criticism students, has been my life, and it will be yours, professional or not. Enjoy.

  187. Tim, this is a really good post. There is a bunch of good stuff in it.

    I do think they only know how to swallow which oddly enough to a shark, is offensive -and from where much my anger derives -its a paradox.

  188. Great posts Stephen, Shark and Tim.

  189. Fern Shaffer Says:

    Mark, I think we did work together at the NAE and I ran into to you a various openings at that time if you would like you can email me fjshaffer@sbcglobal.net.

    I think that chicago could possibly take a leadership role in the arts at this time. We sent a man to the white house and may have the Oplymic games here. We are in the spotlight right now and a publication about art and critism might take off.

  190. jill peterson Says:

    “I think that chicago could possibly take a leadership role in the arts at this time. We sent a man to the white house and may have the Oplymic games here. We are in the spotlight right now and a publication about art and critism might take off.”
    i don’t understand the goal. to be successful? to steer art making? to steer art buying? to steer art conversation? to feel confident at dinner next to new york art folk? to get invited?

  191. Jill, to signal the end of the hegemony of one-line gimmickry, art known as ‘festivalism’. ‘neo conceptualism -etc and begin to introduce more serious methodologies than the simple goal of impressing your dept head who then might manuever you in an exhibition. At the ‘right’ place with the ‘right’ people.

    To embrace methodologies of expermentalists-long careers in the arts where people GET BETTER -the idea of OLD MASTERS…..

    To consider art that isn’t about bling at Art Basil Miami -but rather is art that strives to address the human condition- art that stands against, is the enemy of the people in the sense of what is cathartic-

    To recover some of the bohemian intellectualism that informed art during the time American artists became a force in the world.Something -that has been usurped by the homogenity of the suburbanites-come institutionalites.

    To re-install artists as the apex predators of the art world -where we decide, the aesthetic criteria -not, curators ie (librarians) not, art dealers working in the anachronistic system where they reieve 50% of the proceeds and at least here in Chicago, for what? See a lot of career building going on? And last of all not critics -though obviously artists should and can work closer with this group -with the idea, we are the sharks, they are the pilot fish/hanger-ons……hoping for a free meal, derived from the scraps of what we must kill.

  192. jill peterson Says:

    that came off snotty but sincerely- i know it’s a little remedial, but

    A. what do art critics mean to do? and

    B. how does “taking off” fit in? (other than making A possible, or is that the only advantage to being financially successful or popular- whatever taking off means)

  193. Doesn’t public Chicago have better things to do than swan after a sports festival (and let’s face it folks, this is yet another instance in which, if we’re keeping that kind of score, Chicago is not the second, but the third choice, if that)?

    When I visit Chicago now (from Virginia, where I live, for now) what I see is a place that’s nearly lost its cheap-rent industrial-ruin attractiveness. I feel like some alienated enemy of progress, as there’s hardly a corner of the city that hasn’t been greened and gentrified and made into Greater Evanston.

    That means whatever happens next won’t be as much a product of an american arte povera as what happened before. What else it means, I don’;t know.

    My own $0.02 about what makes Chicago distinct among american art towns is its schools: it’s SAIC — the Biggest. Fucking. Art. School. Ever. And UIC, AKA Circle, smaller, yes, but smarter. The bigness you hate versus the smartness you hate even more. But to me, that’s art Chicago: the place that, while able to support (for a while) both a commercial scene and its alternative shadow, while being dominated by one huge educational institution. That’s what was and what is yet to come, whether the coming economic horror is a “corrective” or a genuine no-fooling depression.

    Anyhoo, this has been great, but we’re all moving over to Winkleman’s discussion next door, which is also great. Sorry about the hissy fit and thanks for your patience.

  194. Well Tim not so generous -but, probably the best you can muster up.

    As for we are all moving over to Winklemans…..there are 13 comments- 13. Including your relaps into vile art-speak, mannered and obtuse……you know thats why I do like critics like Jed Perl and Robert Hughes -where the focus is on clear thing/exchange of ideas not on, trading current buzz words/signifiers all in the apparent name of appearing intellectual…..its just so lame and such a product of the intitutions you mention-

    Which, btw, is where the other disconnect is in what you claim. The artists here who are getting attention -or the most attention are not by any means all institutionalites in fact it may be weighted in the other direction-….Tony Fitz….Kerry James has quit UIC and pretty much denounced it -me, the Zhou Brothers -even someone like Dzine…the artists who are wielding influence here are not what or who you think they are – there is a movement towards individualism here that you seem unaware of -and in my case attacking of -when you werent even familiar with what it is that I do.

    In fact, your actions towards me could be best described as demonstrating contempt prior to investigation: ie as in being pre-judical. As in prejudice, as in intellectual bigotry hence, ignorance.

    Your commentary on the state of Chicago/its gentrification is somewhat more fair and accurate -but not completely true -my studio is down on the west end of Fulton Market perhaps twenty blocks from where I first started out here twenty five years ago. Its industrial down here and only zoned for that purpose……I have cerainly had no finer space in all of the time I have been here-……and yet, who can deny that Division Street, North Avenue, Wicker Park….much has been lost -Maxwell Street….

    I still think this is a great city to work in -its just not a great art world here -for many of the reasons we have all discussed. Is change possible? I always believe in the idea of social psychiatry and that with recopgnition comes the possibility for change.

  195. Derek Guthrie Says:

    To quote from Picasso an artist who also wrote” What do you think an artist is?An imbecile who only has eyes if a painter or ears if if he is an musican , or a lyre at every level of his heart if he is an poet or even a boxer is he just his muscles? iOn the contrary he is at the same time a political being constantly alive to every heartrendering ,fiery, or happy events to which he responds to in every way.How it be possible to feel no interest in other people by virtuue of ivory indifferance,to detach
    yourself from the life they conspiciousely brting you? No painting is not done to decorate apartments;it is an instrument of war for attack or defence against the enemy.
    This quote was printed as part of the Ist editoral
    of the New Art examiner Vol 1 No ! October 1974 and will be reycled in my forthcoming lecture “Defilement, a story of the Art World” at 6 pmin the cultural center on Decemember 2ed.

  196. Thanks Derek -kind of perfect./

  197. Artspeak? I was talking about value systems in conflict. People talk about that all the time, and damn few artsy people do. Sounds to me like you judged me and my ideas (not mine, really, as much as Velthius’) without reading or thinking.

    Velthius is a sociologist, like Ranciere and Bourdieu; the current last word in French theory. Why this stuff bugs you I have no idea. It’s harmless and useful. Perl and Hughes… well, um, okay. Hughes is just a small shred of the blowhard he once was, though — no better than Jerry Salz, now. You should like Schjeldahl. He’s all standard english and loves painting. He loves Currin, though, among other painters, so I guess he’s verboten in sharkland.

  198. Yea, Schjeldahl…… the Currin thing (he likes Kilimnick too) it is a deal breaker…….the current last word in French theory…,again…..when will the final last word come?

  199. Actually…I am eating French theory right now -crispy duck confit -while looking through a catalog of exquisite paintings by the great London School painter Leon Kossoff -I bet Derek has seen many of these works…..

  200. Derek Guthrie Says:

    yes I have

  201. Kossoff is superior To Auerbach…..in fact out of all the great painting to be found from the London School….I think he is in many ways, the most sublime.

    I have seen many of them myself as LA Louver shows Kossoff and handles his estate.

  202. Michael Workman Says:

    Totally out of context, of course, but a great quote from a Xerox uncovered and referenced by Lynne Warren on Sharkforum:

    “…the city’s rich people, unlike their counterparts in California, have always kept a close eye on the eastern establishment and eastern ways. They send their kids to eastern prep schools. They swoon in the presence of eastern art professionals, artists as well as art intellectuals. They rarely forsake the lakefront to venture west of Halsted Street where Mayor Daley’s [père, of course] real Chicago spreads for a light-year. Chicago’s patrons—whether the Art Institute’s Gentiles or the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Jews—are totally devoted to Chicago at the level of their business and commercial interests, but forever envious of the culture of the Atlantic seaboard. Hence, when supporting the arts in Chicago, their impulse is to go national, not native. The better collectors have bought most of what they own in New York…”.

    She notes this piece of writing was from 1976, and wonders what happened to those who sought to navigate the choppy waters that this piece of writing evidences as Chicago culture. She broods on Derek in this context.

    I think some new energy, a long view of the culture, some devotion to real intelligence and art engagement, mixed with resources dragged kicking and screaming from the city’s elite, could cause a big bang here in the Midwest with real prospects for a new, constantly trickling universe. If that wouldn’t be nice, I don’t know what is.

  203. Amen.

  204. Derek Guthrie Says:

    Michael this of course is a famous anomymous document that Lyhne has made known. I woner who wrote it ? It is some gravitas given the key position that Lynne has occupied for many tears as a curator at the Museum of Contemopary Art.

  205. Lynne is the best curator in Chicago, and also the most knowledgable when it comes to Chicago.

  206. While we are on the topic of Michael Workman’s posing of Lynne’s posting of an anonymous and dead on observation: and so what happens to Chicago artists in this equation?

    Two things: emerging artists are given precedence over professional artists here (though one could and should ask, what exactly do they have to emerge into?)

    And, a very small group of people decide which Chicago artists will be given continual museum access……this access has nothing to do with quality but rather, if you are in the circle of say, The Society For Contemporary Arts -M. Curator-lite (aka James Rondeau’s) coterie.

    How many Chicago artists are given serious museum level attention if, they are not part of the Kirchner/ Rhona Hoffman/Manilow/Ghez soiree? The answer is very few -and most of those who have, have probably had the good fortune to have Lynne Warren behind them.

    Solution? Simple: the artists of Chicago should organize a boycott of both institutions -and be serious about it -take out ads in the major art rags saying why we are doing so-

    A long time ago 17 artists did just this in NYC -the irrascibles -and changed the art world forever. We can do this.

  207. jill peterson Says:

    union yes!

  208. Union? I don’t know about that Jill, but I am talking about people gutting-up and realizing that keeping quite is exactly what the James Rondeau’s of the art world want us to do -so that he can fill the very few walls that will be allocated to Chicago art in the ‘new wing’ with his pal Judith Kirchner’s artists. This, is a simple fact.

    I want artists here to quit rolling over, and demand better for themselves.

  209. jill peterson Says:

    i’ve been wondering about that new wing. seems umseemly.

  210. Bottom line: if the artists here in Chicago stood up and told the institutions here, NO MORE! We are going to boycott you until the museums here begin to treat us like LAMOCA LA County, MoMA,The Whitney, treat the artists in their respective communities, creating canon and serious discourse with whats going on in both LA and NYC..until we get that here in Chicago, we are done. And we are going to pool our money together, buy magazine space and nationally advertise that we are done….there would be results.


  211. Michael Workman Says:

    Chicago society=gentry envy. Too rich (no pun intended). Explains the gangster fetish, and the presence of that godawful Chicago Social magazine.

    Anybody who’s in Miami next week, come by and say hello. Represent! (Although we only have a few Chicago galleries), we’re definitely going to have some fun down there this year.

  212. I just listened to Derek’s interview. The most important thing he said has not inspired much discussion: that the printed page is more infulential than e-publishing. (Exceptions I found are Kathrine in 151 and Fern in 199; I might have missed others.)

    Derek argued that the reason for the printed page’s greater effectiveness is that it is more permanent. I agree. In the end, the internet is not much more than dots on our screens.

    But there is an even more important factor: the internet is like the “landfill” Derek says the art world has become. Anything and everything exists there. There is nothing rare about a website, there is nothing rare about a series of comments like this one, there are billions of them. There is no “good, better, and best”.

    Printed publications are rare, and for that reason also they generate more respect than dots on the screen.

    It does not matter that the reason for rareness of the printed page is the difference between the cost of publishing on paper and publishing on the internet. It is just a matter of fact that people give more respect to stuff that is not common.

    Frankly, there is a lot of junk in this thread that must be waded through to get the good stuff. Editors and publishers gain respect when they do that for the readers, as they must because it costs too much to print every damn whim on paper and because they will lose readership if they fail to sort out the good from the junk. I am absolutely amazed at how tolerant of crap the internet is. The “Information Highway” is the archetype of litter gone wild.

    I am not rejecting the internet, not at all. (I run a few sites of my own and create them with text editors.) I am just willing to put it into its proper place, a place that is not as high up the food chain as the printed word.

    By today’s standards of what is important, this may sound like the statement of a “loser”. I think it is a statement about reality.


  213. Paul Germanos Says:

    Good books are good by virtue of their goodness — not by virtue of their bookness.

    No? The next time that you purchase groceries, look at the publications on display near any American supermarket counter: newspapers, magazines and books.

    They all cater to the very basest sorts; and they all have editors. National Enquirer? Dean Koontz? Hustler, perhaps? Indeed.

    “there is nothing rare about a series of comments like this one,”

    Please, provide a link to one other similarly frank and lengthy conversation about contemporary art [late-2008] in Chicago.

    No, sir, this exchange of comments in text is/was rare. And the long-form audio documentation offered by BaS is quite precious. Thank you, and good day.

  214. exactly Paul -just as good contemporary painting is good by its goodness, not contingent on a before and after criteria of meeting up with Clement Greenberg- as Mr. Link rather perfectly demonstrates-

    Blogging is a messy affair, it does have the down side of extraneous dialog which can either add color, humor and offer a sense of conflation, or, which can begin bad and devolve into the kind of inane trash one would expect from an obsessed fan wanting nothing so much as attention from his hero.

    I think one easy solution would be to insist that all people use their full, real names -or that their real names be readily available somewhere on the site- for those who need to post anonymously, perhaps there should be a panel that accepts or rejects their need to do so based upon merit.

  215. jill peterson Says:

    online articles are more permanent in the sense that they don’t get lost. i can always search for an article online even if i’m not home or i don’t remember exactly who published it or when. and much easier to share and there’s almost always someone willing to talk about it for an extended time rather than the one-shot, no-response letter to the editor.
    i just can’t see that being the most important thing he’s said, considering he’s just learning about online publishing. it’s the one thing we know better than he does.

  216. This has been a good argument/discussion -but the problem is Paul, that any number of these discussion have taken place -here, Paul Klein’s Artletter -sharkforum…

    All of which brings us back to a question I asked earlier in this discussion; what is the nature of legitimate authority? What makes something true?…To go further, is there such a thing as a masterpiece, or is everything subjective and only a matter of opinion?

    Is one man’s meat really, another man’s poison? I don’t believe that- I think there are of course masterpieces -just as, I think its fair to say that in concrete terms of inimitable reality, the Chicago art world is at this point, an embarrassing disaster…….don’t believe me? Think the MCA is a great building that draws people here? Does anyone regard it as an architectural masterpiece?

    Action speaks louder than words, with the recognition that concrete reality is what it is, unique, inimitable, universal, we can perceive that our little bit of it in terms of the Chicago art world, is inadequate, that we need change here in Chicago.

  217. Shark, meeting Clement Greenberg is a fact, not a criterion. Look the word up. While you are there, check out the difference between the singular and plural forms. Or get a good editor to do it all for you and your prose will improve with no effort on your part. If I were editing your statement, I might suggest that you just come out and say you think my paintings stink – a more direct approach that might serve the reader better than your poorly chosen words contrived in a twisted fashion to merely suggest same. And if the Chicago art world is a disaster, I’d be interested in your take on how that differentiates it from the larger art world.

    Paul, you are quite right. There are many bad publications. Derek’s point (and mine) is about the difference in potential for influence, not that every printed publication has influence. Blogs have their place and I have respect for them, or I would not bother to comment on this one or theothers I contriubte to. But it is starry eyed to think they will replace printed publications. Especially those connected to art, which by its nature is elitist. That said, when my baser self is hungry for stimulation, I love the Enquirer (and Star) and have never found a web site that satisfies those instincts as well as the supermarket rags.

    Jill, the inverse of one of your statements is that Derek knows publishing better than we do (notice I include myself). That’s why I pay attention to him. Maybe you should too.

    Look, I have written successful commercial software, been system administrator for unix networks, built computer labs for my former university, taught computer imaging, and done other stuff that cause some to label me a propeller-head. I am not biased against dots on the screen, but I know them well. The medium has limits.


  218. And I said and meant criteria John- as you seem to argue the facts of hard copy and your meeting Greenberg as paradigmatic…..

  219. To get back to Derek and the NAE. I’d like to point out what we all owe to Jane Addams Allen.

    I am often asked if I miss Chicago. I have to answer, “which one”?
    When you speak of the music, the literature, the little bars, any place Tony Fitzpatrick would hang out, the Mexican neighborhoods, the African-American cultural influence, just plain walking down the streets at night, Wrigley Field, — and so on — the cities whole history going back to things like Hull House — then I would have to answer “Yes, I do.”

    But the small, crabby, consensus clique-ed, keep-quiet-and-keep-in-your-place, one-horse, small pond, back-stabbing, ANTI-meritocratic artworld?!!!! No way in hell.

    My point — Jane was a highly skilled recall or echo of the virtues of that first Chicago, including things like her ancestor’s work. Morals and individuality, in short. We owe her for that when she attempted, with Derek, to bring some real discussion to the other small-minded “artworld” (artpond) Chicago.

  220. jill peterson Says:

    uh, john link, i said the one thing he doesn’t know better than we do is computer and online stuff. which he doesn’t. and i only said that to argue your point that his point about online publishing was his most important point. i meant that i wouldn’t out of an hour of talk, choose his weakest area for his most important point as you did. thanks for the tip, though. maybe i will listen to him. or maybe i should anyway. school marm pants.

  221. You know what I just thought about the other day… anyone remember “Coterie”, from the Gallery 400 gang? They put out one issue and never explained why they didn’t put out another. They did a c.2,000 word review of a gallery exhibit that closed 6 months previously. It was all very strange, the writing was so complicated I couldn’t get through more two paragraphs. That was attempt #947 to replace the NAE.

    Print is wonderful. Print is the best. Having print AND web is ideal. But … if you’re been reading the news the last few years and weeks you may have noticed that the print industry is tanking. Newspapers are in crisis, New York Times is firing 1,000, Time Magazine firing 600. Christian Science Monitor and PC Magazine; online only.

    The world is changing.

    This is interesting, http://www.cmswire.com/cms/web-publishing/web-publishing-rollup-downsize-merge-spell-correctly-003466.php
    Meanwhile, on the web, blogs are thriving, yet lack credibility:

    •A recent BuzzLogic-sponsored study revealed that the number of those who read blogs at least once a month has grown 300% in the past four years, and what they read strongly influences their purchase decisions, playing a key role in moving them to the point of actual purchase.
    But only if the blogger has used proper grammar and punctuation:

    •A survey run by a crowdsourced copy editing service … concluded that spelling, grammar and factual errors have a material impact on the success of a blogger…

    Blogs are sloppy, but there’s no rule saying they couldn’t be better. Like people are saying about the comments being hard to read, they could be posted pending administrator approval, like lots of sites, then it would be a tight, civilized, on-point discussion. That would be lovely.

    Think of Slate Magazine, here is a post on their numbers. 90,000 people look at (at least) one page of Slate every day. They edit, they have great writers and they pay well. http://www.slate.com/id/2547/ They used to try to get people to pay for content, now they give it all away.

    BAS makes a choice to be non-professional and loose: we use profanity, we don’t always take out the Ummms, we don’t have the resources to do anything more with the podcast than we do today. We’re so dispersed, we can’t organize a trip to the bathroom together. We had our annual Christmas get together in October of the next year. BAS makes choices based on life realities and personal preference.

    But the web can be anything.

    Here’s Slate: “Every Friday, 20,000 people get a print-out version of Slate delivered to them by e-mail. Several hundred others download the print-out version directly from our site every day. A few hundred determined traditionalists pay $70 to get this version of Slate printed out and mailed to them each week via the U.S. Postal Service. Hotmail delivers Slate’s table of contents to 106,000 of its customers every week.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2193003/ here they say they have 6.5 million users.
    Not so bad for an online magazine.

  222. Oh, gosh, I wrote that whole thing and forgot my point.

    The problem, regardless of print or web, is that the way to have real NAE-style criticism is to have soldiers of criticism who are willing to (metaphorically) sacrifice their (art) lives (aka art career) to write the truth as they see it. You can’t critique a gallery honestly if you’re hoping to show there.
    I’ve grown to feel that we do need a group of independent critics who are willing to say negative things and willing to become alienated from the art establishment.

  223. “I’ve grown to feel that we do need a group of independent critics who are willing to say negative things and willing to become alienated from the art establishment.”

    Kathryn -now that is a fine post…

    …one thing I have been made aware of late is the burgeoning ‘on demand’ printing industry: you can order up a fancy coffee table book of your own making for roughly 38.00 -42.00 hardcover…..things are changing……I said to Derek why not an online ezine -with each page having a print to copy function-

    This whole thread has caused me to rethink how sharkforum should be, to begin to add some other voices and move towards some form of ezine….

    I do think Chicago is the perfect place for all of this to be experimented with -for reasons I have set forth in previous postings…..

    Print is great but, the fluidity and viral nature of the internet is, a powerful thing…..I can see some periodicals and specialized magazines continuing to do well, I bet those where currency is an issue may not-

    My orginal idea for CAF was that it be a cyber museum…not some traditional construct….and perhaps we all need to explore this: maybe we need some central site that acts as a glossary for whats being reviewed/discussed on all relevant sites…I think we could via the internet, create the infrastructure that is so badly missing here in Chicago and bring Chicago artists into the international scene -but BUT! we do it! ourselves not the dealers, not the art world gate keepers we, the artists, writers, poets, what have you…….

  224. I think the most important thing about the web is that if you can do it at no cost, you’re not beholden to your donors- whomever they may be.

    I’ve excited Paul Klein made his work at McCormick place into a coffee table book. If you don’t know what I’m talking about http://www.artletter.com/html/mccormick_reports.html

    I think we should do a apartment gallery online map using Google Earth, and it can be as changeable as the galleries themselves.

    Right, and for the Chicago Art Museum, fine it didn’t work out as brick and mortar, but “Chicago Art Museum: The Book”. At least it can start towards the creation of a Chicago art cannon. \


  225. Today’s soldier of criticism is tomorrow’s gatekeeper — with luck, of course, and success. Otherwise, today’s outsider is also tomorrow’s outsider: a schmuck is a schmuck is a schmuck.

    The charm of print is its abjectivity: it can go anywhere and is available to anyone. Poser journals like Frieze and Artforum are beside the point and are only read for the ads, so if that’s your model for print you’re already lost. The model for success would be the NAE before it went glossy, and the same for Artweek. The same, reaching back, for Rolling Stone, because this isn’t just about art mags.

    Also, your motives seem confused to me. You want to “bring Chicago artists into the international scene…” but you want to do this without dealers and curators. What do you think the international scene is made of, anyway? I mean, as much as there IS one? The “international scene” is all gatekeepers, all the time; it’s turtles, all the way down. You want a journal that’s myopically local but internationally influential. There have been journals that managed that, but their local character was never all that explicit. High Performance, for instance, was a (mostly northern) California journal, and it brought California artists into the international scene, but was that its mission?

  226. Tim, you continually do come off as a schmuck -it might serve you well to remember whether its Kathryn or myself,as divergent as our views may be, we are actually involved in initiating discussion and change here in Chicago- a far different cry from your bellicose mewlings from afar regarding me, my work, which you yourself have amply demonstrated to be little more than prejudiced hate speak pretty much based upon your own ignorance and weird obsession with me.

    “There have been journals that managed that, but their local character was never all that explicit. ” Oh really Tim….hhmmmm…… what about Artforum or Art In America? They seem pretty New York-centric to me…….

    “You want to “bring Chicago artists into the international scene…” but you want to do this without dealers and curators. What do you think the international scene is made of, anyway? I mean, as much as there IS one?”

    ……Tim….I don’t know what rock you’ve been hiding under -but I want you to go look up this name: Damien Hirst and what he managed to do with his artists friends in London -curators and dealers came afterwords -but the whole thing began with artists. And whose to say it cant happen in Chicago -and not only happen but perhaps even with more substantial, aesthetically sophisticated work…..

    “I think the most important thing about the web is that if you can do it at no cost, you’re not beholden to your donors- whomever they may be.” exactly Kathryn….I don’t want to see a reincarnated NAE funded by the Curt Conklins of the art world here…I don’t think its a good idea-

    “I think we should do a apartment gallery online map using Google Earth, and it can be as changeable as the galleries themselves.”…..I would say start with artists studio spaces first then, any kind of gallery situation-

    “Right, and for the Chicago Art Museum, fine it didn’t work out as brick and mortar, but “Chicago Art Museum: The Book”. At least it can start towards the creation of a Chicago art cannon.” -true enough though it was unfortunate how Paul was constrained and really forced to go very bland and decorative with much of the large scale work….where is Dawoud Bey? Kerry James? -I turned it down, refused their money as I didn’t like the project -how the cash was doled out…..how they told me to keep it ‘sunny’, ‘optimistic’, ‘upbeat’ etc-

    Just before I started sharkforum, I had lunch at The Arts Club with Allen Turner -Allen of course had been President of the Board at the MCA during construction of the present building, and, whether honor or indictment, the MCA stands on honorary Allen Turner Street today-

    I told Allen this: The MCA has two problems, 1. The building sucks. 2. The MCA is perceived as having failed the art community here.

    My suggestion was this: create a second Pritzker architectural competition/think-tank whose purpose would be to bring the best young architects together to create a new wing for the building that would address the aesthetic ugliness of the existing structure, and would house an interdisciplinary program of all the arts here in Chicago…..but, the main feature of all this, is it would never be built. That the think-tank would be ongoing with plans made available and that the wing itself would only exist in cyberspace- but what it would do is 1. imaginatively give the existing structures inherrent ugliness new life…..people would be able to gaze upon its failures and say, but…… BUT!….. because of how it fails, it is continually being re-imagined! Re-thought-by exploiting its deficencies as possibility!

    And second, create the first serious cyber museum here in Chicago -because what we lack here is exactly what this type of viral, online construct could provide…..the MCA could be at Steppenwolf for a new Tracy Letts play, at Metro for Nick Cave, at Tony Fitzpatricks -or Dawoud Beys for a studio opening -or, at worthwhile gallery exhibitions…whatever- all simultaneously..reaching out into the city rather than dragging art in -and thus reaching out via the internet to the world.

    After listening to myself talk to Allen and realizing no matter how well received the idea was it would take years to see some half baked version and also by asking myself, why do we need these people? I began to think about sharkforum…..

  227. -do I think sharkforum has successfully addressed the ideas I put forth above, become that model? The answer is -no, I do not. But it is my hope as time goes on, it will. We are seeking improvement, not, perfection-

  228. All the problems mentioned with the “WWW” are the same that repeatedly arise against democracy, funny enough. Anybody can talk, it’s sloppy, too much this and that. The questzion will simply be to evolve new forms, but greatly increase the quality. The Gate-Keeper days are numbered and that scares many. I can see both good and bad in that fact.

    Hmmm. Some Really Good Points above. How about, as a first step, some “Side bar” box on all of our sites giving highlights of what’s on all the chosen ssites? I’v etried at sharkforum to put up post attracting attention to great stuff at other websites, bust I’ve been at best spotty therein. Or a central one page site as a sort of table of contents for Bas, SF, Proximity, etc.?

  229. jill peterson Says:

    “Like people are saying about the comments being hard to read, they could be posted pending administrator approval, like lots of sites, then it would be a tight, civilized, on-point discussion. That would be lovely.”

    guthrie says that the nae ran every letter to the editor. they didn’t need administrator approval there. why not? i don’t imagine this discussion would have been better (or that your idea of “tight, civilized, on-point discussion” is the ideal) if you or some other administrator had been approving messages before they appeared. (you might though, take some interest in shark’s concern with the alleged stalker but,) for the most part, intelligent articles draw intelligent responses. if anything, you might have a registration, have people use their real names and get email confirmation (similar to the way letters to the editor work), but it’s pretty arrogant to think the conversation would improve with administrative micro-management. what messages would you have cut, kathryn? this could be used substituting a few words, for the art world: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  230. jill peterson Says:

    i got a couple commas wrong there. if you want it tighter, give us a spelling and grammar check for comments, shakespeare. shaksper didn’t necessarily use consistent spelling either though, did he?

  231. There wasn’t any standardized spelling in any form in Shakespeare’s day. I personally seem to have pretty standardized typos.

  232. Fern Shaffer Says:

    I think an online NAE would work (this idea stated before), with the set up for a print page for every article written, so that it would be available in hard copy. This would be a good place to start because of the economics at the present time. The ideas (criticism, essays) would come from a larger pool of writers, for it to be read by a larger audience. I would love to see articles from Berlin, London, South Africa, and Colombia to name a few.

  233. Wesley,

    Yes, the MCA has a bad building and has had lousy curation, but why do you think being a Kunsthalle for local art was ever a crucial part of its mission?

    You’re so eager to disagree with me you don’t bother to think first. Hirst was a success with his peers before he was a national or international success, but you’d never have heard of him if he hadn’t been taken up by the Saatchis. Speaking of gatekeepers… and maybe, if the YBAs and their peers hadn’t been so ignorant of the world outside, Hirst’s blatant and superficial ripoffs of Fluxus artists wouldn’t have seemed so exciting to them.

    Do the glossies strike you as too NYC-centric? Well, that’s where the market is, where the ad revenue is, where the shows are. Considering the number of artists in NYC, they have as much to complain about as you, regarding poor coverage. Artforum doesn’t bother, really — they just run the ads with a handful of reviews and some lifestyle columns. The not-New York thing was a dead horse when Derek beat it back in the eighties.

    If you want to publish something, civic or regional need isn’t a good enough reason. There has to be something positive.

    Paul says I shouldn’t reply in kind to your abuse, so I won’t. I really don’t find you that fascinating.

    Thus, to everyone in general:

    A sore point in the history of the NEA — and if you revisit Derek’s interview you find his reactions to that are still fresh in his psyche — is that it wasn’t perceived as supportive of Chicago art and Chicago artists. His response is mostly that he’s a critic, has standards, was trying to SAVE the city from its narrowing obsession with imagism and outsider art, and if you can’t take the heat, bla bla bla. The problem, though, wasn’t that he was against the powerful and well-connected — the problem was that nobody could tell what he, or his journal was FOR.

    When a journal, or a gallery, or a museum, doesn’t have a positive mission that’s simple and clear enough that any of its members can relate it in thirty words or less, it’s in trouble. Sometimes there will be such an institutional vacuum locally that the problems don’t seem so bad for a while. When there were great traveling shows on offer and the Institute wasn’t going for them, the MCA had a swell little niche for itself regardless of its chronic board issues. So, in the old Ontario space, they had really memorable, great shows: Woelfli, Guston (the first retro, just as he died, when the paint on the late work was still wet), Joel Shapiro, Chuck Close, Leon Golub, lots and lots of others. But those board problems were still there when they auditioned architects for the new building (and chose Kleiheus, for reasons nobody has ever given) and then cheaped out on final production, taking a problematic building and turning it into a disaster. And the board problems continue, with a string of fired directors and curators. I might be out of touch on this: has that situation stabilized? Has the board stopped meddling? Has curation improved? Has the program become more coherent; acquired some kind of visible direction?

    Virtual buildings are nice, but some improvements have been called for since the day the MCA opened its new store. The front staircase is ridiculous. They should rip it out and build an entry structure at street level that would include the amenities (which would be made less snotty and pretentious, and would feature a book store, not a mediocre tschotchke outlet) and handicapped access that’s actually accessible.

    The big square gallery spaces are jokes, but that’s where your competitive temp solutions can happen: open the spaces to biennial revision and make that part of the exhibit schedule.

    And they can do a virtual museum too. It’s a good idea, but why make it an alternative to fixing a bad building?

  234. “Yes, the MCA has a bad building and has had lousy curation, but why do you think being a Kunsthalle for local art was ever a crucial part of its mission?
    You’re so eager to disagree with me you don’t bother to think first. Hirst was a success with his peers before he was a national or international success, but you’d never have heard of him if he hadn’t been taken up by the Saatchis.”

    Eager to disagree with you? uuuhhhhhhhh Tim, you are the person who came on this site -attacking me, my work -both of which it became increasingly obvious, you know and knew, next to nothing about. Lets be clear on this.

    Given the new global village status of everywhere and anywhere, why would we want the MCA to be a mere importer -turning Chicago into what Peter Schjeldahl recently called us,a receptor city? Why wouldn’t we expect it also to create canon here and export? That is certainly what institutions ion other cities do for their artists -this is btw an old argument -I actually used to agree with you on this point -but no more-

    Yes Hirst used the Saatchis of the art world -as I think anyone should….do you see anywhere where I am advocating that we don’t?

    “Paul says I shouldn’t reply in kind to your abuse, so I won’t. I really don’t find you that fascinating.”

    uhhhh…there is a disconnect somewhere here, Paul called you out- on what a jerk YOU were being Tim -and if you don’t find me so fascinating -why the continued feverish rants about me? I believe I am far from the only person to point out to you it comes off as your being slightly unbalanced.

    Do the glossies strike you as too NYC-centric? Well, that’s where the market is, where the ad revenue is, where the shows are-

    No, once again you completely miss the target….I only mention these magazines to refute your claim as to there being no publications that adhered to a geographical location.

    Quit trying to spin what is obvious and completely clear Tim. You came on here -just as you reared your head at sharkforum earlier, trying to pick a fight with me. That is a simple fact.

    You obviously have some kind of strange pathology going on about me -even as you feign disinterest.

    You have been called out on this by both Paul Klein and Mark -so don’t try and act like Paul Klein agrees with you -he clearly does not -and made a point of telling you so.

    Anytime you are ready to stop your stupidity, and quit blaming Wesley Kimler for whatever it is that went wrong in your life, is just fine with me.

  235. I like your idea of a virtual MCA improvement a lot, Wesley — it is a kind of fantastic (in the original sense), imaginative criticism.

    Fern, I agree that at least a start web-wise is good — but most of all a kind of cross-over, for serendipity, among Proximity, SF, BaS and so should be aimed at, and perhaps tied in to any NAE that could occur.

  236. So: no reply to content; just the usual egotistical crap.

  237. And by the way, just who is “the shark” in the last post? Not that it matters, but some noise was made about people posting under their real names, wasn’t there?

    I have been slimed pretty thoroughly here in response to not much. I’ve been trying to keep it civil for whatever reason. Just going elsewhere would have been smarter.

  238. Are you kidding? So now Tim, you, are going to play the victim: great! Give, me, a break.

    Welcome to my life people -where the likes of Tim Porges are a dime a dozen. Like I said earlier, making enemies faster than I can kill ’em

  239. Fern: Your idea of a web site with page printing capabilities is a good one, and does not require much money to launch. In fact, as you know, a site has been launched – http://www.newartexaminer.net – but it does not entirely address the issue Derek brings up in his interview, the power of influence factor. (Nor does it have any content at the present moment.) On the other hand, no one seems to know where the $$ would come from to launch a traditional printed publication.

    Mark: you are one of those people who is able to keep his head while everyone around you are losing theirs. That is a valuable trait. But I have to remind you there are still gatekeepers and there probably always will be. That doesn’t mean a blog like discussion should be juried, but that the best sites, like the best publications, reserve part of themselves for stuff that has been selected. To increase quality of a site, gatekeeping is required. Pluarlism reminds us everything is potentially good, but it does not make it all good.

    Jill: The NAE ran every letter, true. They could afford too because: 1), virtually all of the time no one wrote more than one letter; 2) few if any wrote a letter every month; and 3), most did not write letters at all. Blogs and other comment threads go on and on and on and on, as this one has. Further, the First Amendment does not give anyone the right to comment on someone else’s site, nor does it require that a publisher publish their material. It simply says the government won’t interfer with those who have the wherewithal and/or moxie to get something out in public.

    Tim: Someone way above quoted from the NAE masthead and I always found that clear enough. However, I could boil it down to something a bit simpler, the NAE was FOR a wide discussion. They not only tolerated but they encouraged conflicting view-points. The early Artfourm (under John Coplans – another Brit) did somewhat the same thing, but as it “matured” it became more and more narrow in its ways. Later on Arts, under Richard Martin, also took the route of widely differeing view-points. Like the NAE it ran into financial problems and tried to remake itself (also like the NAE) along the lines of the more successful, more narrow publications, and ultimately folded.

    Myself: It may be that financial life being what it is, something as cheap as the web may be the only medium that can support a publication that encourages wide variance in view-point. The NAE may be the best banner to run such an enterprise, because its reputation was so solid in favor of multiple views. Ideally, it would not be explicitly Chicago-centric, whatever form it might take. A printed publication would have more influence, though.

  240. Michael Workman Says:

    I know I could personally, pretty easily, given six months, work up roughly enough funds to underwrite NAE on it’s old bimonthly schedule and in its old saddle-stitched format for ten years. Throw in enough point people like me, and soon enough you’ll have the Yood standard of international startup funding to compete with whatever’s out there.

  241. Thanks john. I do not, however, believe that “gatekeepers” are needed, certainly not in the sense Wesley and I use that term — self-serving scene-shrinkers who operate for their own power.

    However, I know what you mean — EDITORS and good ones like Ann Morgan, Janet Koplos, Betsy Baker, Derek, etc. are needed to keep quality of presentation high, not to censor content. That is necessary in order to have a clear profile.

    If you DO start an NAE or the like, let me remind you though, that you need a far greater creativity in approaches than is usual. And freedom. I will help, but I like my full personal control at Sharkforum. If I want to do stuff that is strictly limited in scope I can write for Art in America or a million other top notch ones (who HAVE asked me). So creative freedom is required if you want more profi writers — we can go almost anywhere. So — think about things like what I have proposed unsuccessfully in the past to the NAE and others : dueling reviews, open opinion, intense editorials from oppositional camps, no consensus, — we have to learn from the possibilities of the web even in print.

    I also think a consolidation of support is needed in some fashion between Proximity, NAE, SF, BaS, Bridge, etc, or you will simply overplow the same field.

  242. Michael, I’m sure you have watched what has happened to Modern Painters, and I am sure you are watching Art In America in the midst of tanking and the Sun Times and The Reader -to name a few,……the last thing we need to do ifs follow them into the abyss.

    As a working, professional artist -who makes his living as an artist, and is watching the impact of the internet unfold…..money well spent on a new level of robust support of analog on the ground sites/events would be the most effective way to initiate change.

  243. jill peterson Says:

    john link. i didn’t mean to imply there are laws that allow us to post on blogs. i’m not talking about legality. but freedom to assemble. it’s good to have a free speech zone and it’s too bad when people like kathryn feel their good taste should decide whose statements post and whose don’t. we don’t need protection. anyone who wants to read the comments will. why is it such a burden if there are a lot of posts? if you want to have a forum of invited guests, do it. we don’t need a kathryn bleeping out comments. we’re adults (or kids whose parents allow them here or don’t pay attention and there are worse places they could be) and can handle dumb or politically incorrect comments. it’s a price you pay for no censorship. is that not worthwhile?
    and the nae paid to print all the letters to the editor while blog comments cost nothing. i don’t get your logic. or i do, and it’s not very good.

  244. Jill,

    The last damn thing BAS wants to do is start editing these forums. However the amount of personal attack, and old feuds that occasionally get aired here (particularly when utterly unrelated to the topic of the show) gets to be problematic.

    Everyone at BAS has a day job or three, some have families, we barely get the show out, and it is more than a little frustrating to have to field LOTS of e-mails about people rising up with pitchforks and torches about what goes on in these forums. If everyone wants to attack each others ideas, awesome! I’m all for it, dialog is great. I do wish this forum was never used to resolve old conflicts, regardless of who started it, who is a factory wrapped douche, who people like and dislike.

    My vote, although it is the minority vote in the relentless BAS email flurry I have had to endure in the last week or two has been to simply take down the discussion portion, which would be a loss, for me as well, but would solve the problem.

    This is a plea to all who read this, fight all you want, check the personal shit at the door however. Call each other on the phone to resolve your differences. Maybe dueling should make a comeback! Although I doubt I live a week if it did.

    Anyway. Thusfar we are not moderating, editing, or deleting anything. The only posts ever removed, to my knowledge, in the last three years, have been with the consent of the poster, and it was due to very personal reasons, and the poster respected the wishes of the person who asked to have the post removed.

    Anyway, beat each other up to your hears content, but lets be adult about it all. I really don’t want to pull the plug, or start banning people. Also I am loathe to remove the anonymous post option and have everyone sign up, as the art world is a surprisingly small community and while it more often than not is done with ill intent, I do think people should be able to post without the fear of reprisal.

    If we do change our policy we’ll let everyone know.

    Be sure to vote in the poll.


  245. jill peterson Says:

    you didn’t answer: what posts should be deleted? (they have numbers.)
    and why are the “bad” posts so agonizing for those at bas? you act like you have to carve them into stone. you said you’re not doing anything with them so why the constant complaining in really long, boring posts about cluttered comments sections? some of the comments are lame, but how much of the site proper is lame?
    reprisal? whatever. like bas is the underground railroad. all the adults here use their real names.

  246. Jill,

    “A Kathryn”? I’m a noun now?

    Ok, Jill, that’s it, I’ve had enough. When I become evil moderator of the world, you and all Jills, and any mention of people going up hills with Jack… gone, zip, done, off the comments. Like a BAS version of the old USSR KGB. Black cars pulling up in front of apartments. Zip.

    Anyone who says they don’t like me, censored. Anyone who makes fun of my ultimate power status due to my puff segments at chicago public radio, gone. When I rule the world, all these minions will sweep my streets. I aim to be cruel, unfair, biased. In fact, I plan to post positive comments about my own posts under other people’s names just so it will look like I have support. Look for upcoming comments that say things like “Right on, Kathryn!”

    If you want a straight answer:


    Q. One of my comments has disappeared!

    A. There are several possibilities. One is that we may be having technical problems. It never hurts to write and ask. Another possibility is that someone thought your comment would be better gone.

    Q. I can’t believe that Boing Boing, of all places, would be using censorship. What happened to freedom of speech?

    A. Boing Boing is steadfast in its support of your freedom of speech. We believe that you, O Reader, should be able to have (or refuse to have) anything you want on your own website, as long as it doesn’t deprive others of their rights. Yay, freedom of speech!

    By that same token, freedom of speech also means that the people who write and edit Boing Boing have the right to have (or refuse to have) anything they want on their own website. If one of the things they don’t want is a comment that you have posted, they aren’t depriving you of your freedom of speech. You’re free to put that comment up on your own webpage.

    Q. Why can’t you just tell everyone to ignore the trolls?

    A. Because they can’t. Everyone automatically reads the text that’s there. If it’s nasty or unpleasant, they get a dose of that. If there’s too much of it, they stop participating. There’s far more internet discourse lost to trollage and casual rudeness than is ever lost to moderators.

    Q. Isn’t the moderator just enforcing compliance with her own political views?

    A. Not at all. You couldn’t reconstruct her personal views from a list of the times she’s intervened in a discussion. The time she invented disemvowelling, it was so she could deal with a flaming leftist.

  247. Right on, Kathryn!

  248. I loved post 256, KB, so, for Kathryn:

  249. Jill,

    I’m not going to get into a discussion of specifics to appease you. None of the posts bother me personally, we were contacted by third parties who had problems with certain non-topic-relevant issues being discussed.


  250. Stephen lee Says:


    I realise that the blog is winding down now and the discussion is concerned with practical possibilities of restarting the NAE. However an issue has stuck in my mind, that of drawing parallels with the 18th and 19th century Academies and today’s art scene. Derek Guthrie in the interview said the Academies produced kitch. Tim Poges remarked that SAIC is a ‘forward thinking academy’ that is profesionalising art criticism’. In response I’ve been reading Thomas Crow’s, ‘Painters and Public Life’, it makes some very amusing reading. Crow discusses the ‘Split allegience to hierarchical culture and democratic reception’ that motivated the salon exhibitions. The Academy appointed it’s own art critic, the first professional modern art critic. He had limited independence and came under much ridicule. The academy painters found themselves in a situation in the salon where their paintings were judged not by their own aesthetic authority but by an amateur cafe culture that treated the salon like a theatre on opening night, where success was judged with either thumbs up or thumbs down. Here is an ironic account by the play-write, Loius de Carmontelle of the pluralist democratic reception of the salon public:

    “The Salon opens and the crowd presses through the entrance: how its diversity and turbulence disturbs the spectator. This person moved by vanity, wants only to be the first to give his opinion; that one there, moved by boredom, searches only for a new spectacle. Here is one who treats pictures as simple items of commerce and concerns himself to estimate the prices they will fetch. Another hopes only that they will provide material for idle chat. The amateur examines them with a passionate but troubled eye. The painter’s eye is penetrating but jealous. The vulgarian’s is comical but stupid. The inferior class of people accustomed to adjusting it’s taste to those of its masters waits to hear a titled person before rendering its opinion and wherever one looks, countless young clerks, merchants and shop assistants in whom unchanging tedious labour has inevitably extinguish all feeling for beauty. Here nevertheless are the men whom every artist has endeavoured to please.”

    In a similar fashion the blog has a mixture of seriousness and frivolity found in cafe culture.

    I hang out around east end galleries in London with several critics and have discussed the issue of the academies in the pubs. The clearest parrallel we decided, was that of recent conceptualism where a once radical and highly politicised art form, such as that of Gustav Metzger for example, has become today a prescribed stylistic mimicry for many younger artists. In a similar fashion the grand history painting of the academies deteriorated into highly lucrative kitch versions of classical myths.We agreed that a ‘thin and weedy’conceptualism was a form most easily absorbed by a corporatised culture, including that of the art schools. In Chicago possibly programs like Culture in Action have provided a staged public airing of today’s academy art. What looks like a democratised approach is in reality part of a seamless corporate culture. Koons appears to be the epitome of today’s academy artist.

    What’s your take on this? I understand Derek Guthrie will do a lecture tomorrow, perhaps this will come up as an issue? The NAE is a magazine that you might say was ignored by the SAIC academy but today is remembered and is re-emerging this also is reminiscent of a van guard position.

  251. Stephen lee Says:

    hello again,

    I just wanted to say that Art Monthly in London is closely aligned to the independent spirit of the NAE. But the mission of the NAE is specifically based in American pragmatism of Jane Adams the philosopher, as such this is very unique and valuable to Chicago.

    maybe go hardcopy for features, reviews and responses and letters on web?

  252. Richard -I notice how little attention, how few votes your poll has…….seems like a lot of concern-

    Personally I understand the need for pseudonyms – I use one myself -though it is a very public one-but when you have someone like ‘Steve’ coming on -saying fairly unspeakable things about my little girl….put yourself in my place Richard..would you tolerate it if it was you child? Or put another way, does a scumbag need a pseudonymn? Do you want to protect that form of sleazy anonymity?

    Outside third party… you mean like what Matt Leblanc? – who is always pressing his petty little vendetta against me personally …….do you recall the gay asian San Francisco based performance artist -who name was used by an anonymous source to attack me some time back on your site? Now who but someone very involved with the scene in San Francisco would even know of that particular artist……..did you ever question LeBlanc about his involvement -I would if I were you -and while you are at it, with the rich history of bay area art -that I for one was deeply involved in for years -and then the LA scene -a context with which I am also very steeped in, why don’t you guys get someone really good -say, a Mark Pauline or a Roger Hermann or someone slightly less lightweight to anchor the west coast for you? Just an idea.

    Do I enjoy the unending parade of Tim Porges types who without fail take the thread away from its content -into personal attacks on me -a person they don’t even know -my work -which as we saw on this thread Tim knew nothing of? Of course I don’t like it…..its annoying, stupid and unfortunate……am I in part to blame -of course, I have a volatile nature and an aggression to who I am that is I’m sure somewhat of a character flaw….so be it, no ones perfect. At the same time, when I come on this blog, its almost always, with a row to hoe and points to be made, with substance…something that cannot always be said when it comes to my detractors.

    I say, ban the Steve’s that periodically show up -I believe everyones freedom of speech is worth our suffering each other even in egregious examples -like Tim Porges. We are all big boys and girls, tempers flare, the discussion heats up……it sure beats no discussion-

  253. Tom Zurfluh Says:

    I have known Derek since he was teaching drawing and painting at NU’s “Evening Division” where I was one of his students. He was and is a fabulous teacher, capable of challenging students to do more than they possibly could imagine with their talent – be that talent great or small. He did not simply come it, teach and leave. While we had signed up to learn technique, he expanded that horizon to art history with field trips on our own time and his to museums, to painting outdoors on Saturdays, but most importantly to after class discussions in the basement of Gino’s where we were challenged to respond to what was happening in the art world with our opinions and their defense.

    Defending my ideas and listening to others defend theirs was my first exposure to Derek’s love of discourse.

    I was was there when Derek found out he and Jane had been let go from the Trib. He was genuinely perplexed as to why. I later came to know Jane as well and contrary to one of the statements above, I never knew her to miss a deadline – miss sleep maybe but not a deadline.

    As a teacher Derek inspired such loyalty that a large percentage of the class, most of whom had figured to do a quarter or two, continued for quarter after quarter. Some of them have been involved in the art world to this day and done good things for the Chicago Art World. Arlene Rakoncay comes to mind.

    When the Dean told Derek he was to be replaced the following quarter to make room for a recently graduated art major who could not find a job, eight of us requested a meeting with the Dean to argue for retaining Derek. Truly a weird meeting – she brought her lawyer! I never understood why.

    When she would not relent, the same group went in with Derek, rented a storefront studio and continued painting and learning. A little restaurant with red and white checkered tablecloths on Halsted replaced Gino’s. It was there that Derek first proposed the idea of an art publication to encourage open discourse among the art community in Chicago. We all tried to talk him out of it on the grounds that serious publishing takes deep pockets and generally involves getting big money backing with an agenda. Who the hell was going to back a publication based on open discourse with anyone’s and everyone’s views aired? It simply did not make business sense to me as I have a degree in engineering, not art history.

    But it did start; not as the NAE but as a 4 page mimeographed newsletter published out of a church basement on Fullerton by the newly created Chicago New Art Association. I still have a few but if anyone has copies I would dearly like to have them as part of hopefully someday putting together a full set of them pluss the NAEs to donate to a museum, whether that be in Chicago or perhaps the British Museum in St. Ives. (There is a rational reason behind the choice of St, Ives.) As best I recall there were two years of newsletters before the NAE was first published in tabloid form with advertisers and all the grown up publishing stuff. I served on the board of directors for over 10 years and still find it hard to believe it ever got off the ground.

    True to their word, Derek and Jane occupied the middle ground, taking in and publishing all points of view, whether or not they corresponded to their own or somebody powerfull’s agenda. This made fund raising a bitch. The staff could take ads but could not promise reviews of house artists or promotion – or exclusion – of other artists, galleries, museums, collectors, or agendas. Sort of like standing in a glass box surrounded by a mad crowd with rocks!

    The staff was only paid about half what they should have been. The only reason this worked was that everybody – Derek, Jane, and every staff person was paid exactly the same. Everybody shared the pain equally. None of us on the board was paid at all.

    The NAE was always hanging on from day to day like a person from a ledge by the fingernails. Subscriptions were the primary income, which wasn’t enough – ever. Economically, the worst day came not from the advertisers, writers, critics or printers but from the US government. Interest rates on borrowed money were running 8 to over 12 percent but you could use your FICA money and only pay 3 percent interest, which we did. This was just fine until Uncle Sugar decided that everybody had 6 months to pay what they owed or start paying 18 percent. The NAE needed to raise about $25,000. That was done but may account for some of the complaints of writers and critics getting paid late. It was a question of survival. However, to the best of my knowledge everybody eventually either got paid or agreed to some sort of accomodation. If you sacrificed some in those dark days, thank you. For without everybodys’ sacrifices the NAE would not have lasted 10 years, let alone 25.

    The NAE conciously avoided taking sides in the ongoing power struggles, particularly those taking place outside the public view between those with something to gain or lose who where manipulating others for profit. Over the years the NAE developed writers and critics who have gone on to do well, brought new artists to the art world’s attention, and published the opinions and editorial content of many more Chicago artists and critics than any othe publication. The NAE went on to be influential on a national level as well.

    The really sad part is not that the NAE fell into the wrong hands and died, but that judging by the comments I have read about Derek’s interview, the Chicago art scene is still as polarized as ever. Will we ever learn that art in Chicago is not black and white – you are either for me or against me – but comes in many shades of gray that we need to learn about, celebrate, share, and encourage? If we continue to behave like a bunch of provincial peasants, the world at large will never take our views or our art seriously. We could suffer a fate worse than making bad art, we could end up making art with the potential to be great that never gets noticed – let alone given serious consideration. Your best work could end up being meaningless because it is not seen, discussed, your arguments presented, then decried, defended, praised, or even noticed by history. Is that what we collectively want for Chicago art?

    I for one do not. I want my fellow artists to support one another even if we at the same time try to convince each other that the path to the future is “A” or “B”. I myself may or may not ever paint a significant painting or write an important critique but I sure as hell want those who do to be seen and heard and discussed, then let history be the judge.


  254. Fern Shaffer Says:


    You really explained it well. It was exciting to be part of the staff making the NAE. It was amazing that the NAE existed at all. It was read by lots of people who joined in the dialogue with many points of view on both sides of the fence, it did not matter, it was the vehicle for discourse.

  255. Thanks Tom. I knew everyone made the same money the several times I visited the NAE shop and like you thought it was too little. But it was really obvious that the group was unified in its purpose to get the publication out. They were amazing in their ability to cooperate. I have always fancied that the equal pay thing was part of it.

    And yes Fern, it was amazing that the NAE kept on publishing. Money seemed to be the primary obstacle. (I was on the board for a while. There was not enough money for the publication to purchase liability insurance, for instance, which exposed everyone to lawsuits, none of which ever came, fortunately.) Money will be a problem if the NAE or something like it is attempted again. The other problem will be finding good people who will do the work.

    Michael Workman: I hope you are accurate about your assertion that you are able to put together that kind of funding. Are you talking about just printing costs, or salaries for the workers too? As someone said way back, just being in print makes no gurantee that the thing is good. There is a real need, I think, for something like what the NAE gave us, a place where the writing was first for itself, as opposed to serving a larger system. New Criterion comes closest to that now, but they are so narrow and repetitious that they only influence those who are already convinced. But they do serve themselves first (and are good wordsmiths). While I admire their devotion to ideals, I quit reading them years ago because their ideals come before their experience of art. The sort of publication I’m interested in is one that gives a voice to the best proponets of a wide range of ideals, including those of the New Criterion if they want to participate.

    Mark: I am surprised to learn that your suggestions for intensified dialoge were not taken, at least for an issue or two. Just as they had an “education” issue and a “craft” issue each year, they could have easily had a “theory” issue. In any case, cooperation between the various entities you described should be fertile, without necessarily having any of them give up their own identity.

    Kathryn: you certainly have a tiger by the tail here. There is no great choice. Suffering fools seems to be built into the nature of the web. I voted “sigh”. My sigh was so large in fact, that it almost caused me to refrain from voting. There is something insane about dots on the screen. They seem “personal” but there is no looking at the face or the eyes or the expressions or body language of the one who authors them, nor do the authors have acess tothe same characteristics of their readers. I know a number of rather gentle people who are terrors online, to my great surprise. I think they stimulate others in certain ways to react, and it can become a chain reaction that gets out of hand. If it’s your blog, run it like you want to. One technique is to shut down comments for a couple of days. Maybe you have tried that.

    Well, cheers to everyone.

  256. Michael Workman Says:


    To you or anyone: I hope Derek and I will be able to work out needs when he visits Miami later this week as my guest. I wish to provide him much-needed time to rest, but this is a pressing issue, and I will be open to opportunities for planning. Is there a way we can continue this community discussion after the comment section of this podcast expires? please assist to solve this dead-ending issue if you are able…my email is mworkman@bridgeartfair.com…it is a massive imperative, given clear notice as we have that the discussion has come under increasing editorial peril from the administrators. Please help keep the discussion growing, and by discusssion I mean just that.

  257. Michael -as a new member of The Sharkpack, I say to you fellow shark, lets move it to the cool grey-green waters of SHARKFORUM!

  258. Marc LeBlanc was not responsible for the above. He has at no time posted here anonymously. Please do not drag him into this or imply that he is responsible for things which he is not.


  259. Tom Zurfluh Says:

    MIchael, Shark,Fern,

    My email is tomzurfluh@comcast.net. Please keep me informed if this discussion moves to another location or if a discussion forum develops elsewhere.

    While I also find some of the name calling and baiting tedious and not very informative in reasoned discusion, I am thrilled to see the many good ideas and the passion the very idea of a multi-faceted discussion forum has brought forth – be it print, e-based, or a combination. Where there is interest and passion, there is hope.


  260. in re: Marc Leblanc -thats fine Duncan -I merely suggested you question Marcs involvement in a previous anonymous post -he didnt do it you say- I dont believe I specifically accused him…..but did he know the person who did? Was there any involvement on his part?… given its strong BAS-San Francisco link -its a fair and good question -particulary after and you agreed with me on this, Marc did try behind the scenes to have me blacklisted on BAS in a way that frankly, smacks of McCarthyism- and he also unprovoked, did attack me ad hominem on the site -all reason enough for me to pose a very fair question-

  261. Fine points, Stephen Lee, about the academy. i hope you listen to the interview with me by Duncan which is Episode 170, 2nd following this. I discusssed the academy quickly, as i often had, but made some great observations new to me. I’m planning on stealing them and using them in the future!

  262. That comment is my typical typo self. I meant “but YOU made some great observations new to me” etc. Sheesh. Use the correction possibility, Brandl.

  263. jill peterson Says:

    well, did anyone go to guthrie’s talk yesterday? how did it go?
    as a token of friendship and reconciliation, i propose we make today bas staff appreciation day. i beg you all to take a look at richard’s and kathryn’s bios here. especially kathryn’s curating link (she made me rethink what art even is) and the fishes she made (you will find them under “fish”).
    thank you all for any responses to the talk. any video of it? audio? commentary?

  264. jill peterson Says:

    i misguided everyone to the art rethink. i should have sent you- after her wedding photo, take the link to her site- “diamond life cafe” and instead of curating, (although i’m sure that’s just as interesting) click on hoax art. to “the show that wasn’t there.”
    but really, tell me about derek’s talk.

  265. “do you recall the gay asian San Francisco based performance artist ”

    Shark…still hanging on to the words of my good friend Justin? Stew on my man!

    “something that cannot always be said when it comes to my detractors.”

    You have detractors? Imagine!

    Hugs and kisses sweetie.

  266. And you think that its ok for Justin to hide behind and falsely use another artists name to defame and spew his venom of detraction…..which is really all he can do since ‘Justin’ cannot come on BAS or anywhere else using his own name, his own accomplishments including those de-skilled insipid cliches of paintings -because there aren’t any, he has none – only his petty resentments. That and his willingness to act in the way a coward acts.

    his one big accomplishment according to your scenario sweetie, is that he managed to lie about who he was and defame two artists simoultaneously..and you come on BAS bragging about this? You think of this as a triumph: what, a loser. I guess yours is the perfect type of post to label under ‘consider the source-

    and btw if you are so f-ing dumb that you think I sit around and ‘stew’ about this crap – its beyond stupid -into the realm of the sincerely deluded…..I suppose you make the traffic lights change by imagining another color as you ride your hipster cycle through Wicker Park as a way of exercising that mental prowess so vividly on display here.

    I have detractors Beth -even a few that are worth mentioning -some whom I even admire -you don’t qualify in my world despite all of your self-important smarmy smugness- but, enjoy your one claim to fame dear -you exchanged posts with me on BAS -every life should have at least one such moment-

  267. and btw Beth -if Justin is indeed only you -the SF artist who you used to defame me-a real person, a real artist -who you identity thefted -should have you in court with a serious lawsuit worth every nickel you make off that silly pulp you churn out–

    Thanks for spilling the beans……guess you just couldn’t help yourself could you? Your just so damned clever, the world needs to know…..


  268. Actually what AM! I thinking? I finally do have a detractor thats good looking for a change…….Beth dear, I take it all back…….you can talk smack about me all day long……just keep batting those long eyelashes of your…..you dont have to indentity theft, just be yourself- who knew? so close to shark heaven and didnt have a clue!….. the Shark is smitten ha!

  269. I met Derek & Jane under favorable circumstances when they first came to DC in the 1980’s (I believe). I was showing at Henri Gallery and was the director at Anton Gallery in Capitol Hill. Art writers couldn’t find parking places on the P Street gallery strip or in the 7th Street gallery corridor. So they would come by Anton and hang out and sometimes review our show to boot. Derek came often and we would chat for hours. I had gone to grad school at Notre Dame so the Chicago scene was familiar to me early on. While my work at the time was formal, I had a certain admiration for the irreverence of the Hairy Who. I remember speaking often about that kind of painting to Derek and never once did I get the impression that he had a bone to pick with the Nutt, Brown or whoever. I’m not saying he liked them — he just didn’t seem that interested in discussing it. When June Leaf came to her opening at the Washington Project for the Arts I spent some time with her driving her about before and after the opening. Following that show I spoke at length with Derek and Jane about The Monster School and I don’t think anything negative ever came up. I was showing at Barbara Balking Fine Arts and knew a number of Chicago Artists including, John Himmelfarb, Barry Tinsley, Will & Cynthia Petersen and others — so Derek and I had some common ground to talk about. Perhaps Derek was on good behavior, having just left Chicago and with the problems at the National Endowment to the Arts he seemed more busy with that end of the art world than arguments of the direction of DC Art. The Color School had been born and fled to NYC so what was left was a bunch of formalist wannabes who tied their wagons to Noland, Louis and such in hopes of some kind of coattail slipstreams. I was not in that crowd and considered most of that to be “bank art” and Derek seemed to pretty much agree. Unlike Chicago there was no powerful lobby with a vested interest in some uniquely Washington avant-garde. So no sense of favoritism existed vis-a-vis opposing schools of thought. Derek and Jane were pretty much included in gallery and artist parties and such but I don’t think they regularly hung out in the museum social crowd. Most artist, gallery and museum people I knew welcomed them both to openings and events. They did a lot for the scene in DC and when the Examiner left it was a sad day. The important thing about the NAE was that it gave DC a feeling of a “center” — for something other than politics. Jane was the legitimate critic who on occasion gave endorsement to local artist, helping launch careers (mine included). She was never a mean critic and I can’t remember a single incident of an artist being bashed by her. In addition to writing for the Post, Times and NAE she occasionally wrote for Art in America. Derek’s particular genius was the fact that he could think, argue and write as easily about politics as he could art. The fact is that he really never saw them as different. As an outsider, he could see clearly that politics was the common denominator for absolutely everything (including art) in Washington. I served on panels with Susan Lubowsky at the National Endowment in the fight against Jesse Helms for Franklin Furnace and Highways. I think that while Derek and Jane may have “left” Chicago they had positive intentions in coming “to” DC. The Examiner was the primary watchdog for the Endowment when most of the art mags didn’t give a damn.

    As for money problems and such at NAE — yes of course they always had a shoe-string budget. But when Derek and Jane approach the pearly gates — they may be poor, but they’ll fare far better than the glossies. There was something about the New Art Examiner that even when it was glossy it had the cheap feel of newsprint.

  270. Stephen lee Says:

    Mark Staff Brandl,

    Re: Academies- I replied on your blog 170

  271. Gillian Hearst Says:

    How does one contact your web site when an episode isn’t downloading? Tried listening to Episode 168 through your site then Itunes to no avail, only error messages. I haven’t had problems with other episodes and would hope that this error can be fixed, because this episode is one of the most important interviews your program has done. Thank you for that.

  272. e-mail Badatsports@gmail.com. I’ll let the relevant parties know.

  273. Annie Markovich Says:

    Hello Fern, Katherine, Derek, Tom Z, Tom N. Stephen, Mark, and John,

    This blog is wonderful and many thanks to the Bad at Sports Team for putting it all together. I thought the interview with Derek was a good start in this ongoing discussion.

    When I worked for the New Art Examiner from 1974-1985 beginning as distribution/circulation manager the scene was much smaller and new to me as I had recently come out of SIU where I didn’t learn much about the artworld in Chicago.

    Derek Guthrie & Jane Addams Allen opened up a world of creative thinking, dialogue, expression and hard work, I felt the grassroots connection of people working together as John Link mentioned because we were all paid the same rate, something Jane Allen believed in, a significant tradition surely from Jane Addams, Chicago’s social worker.

    It was a clear message from the get go that ads did not mean a review and there were many times when I had to remind some gallery owners of this, much to their disapproval. It was well known at that time that ArtNews out of New York did reviews for ads.

    I was lucky to have experienced that chapter in my life as I witnessed dedicated, passionate artists and critics working together, expressing their views without fear and taking the flack when it came back in the form of letters to the editor or social reprisal. Yes, there was a lot of tension surrounding the publication of the NAE along with the heady, feeling of being part of something much bigger than oneself. The NAE pushed artists and writers to grow, think for themselves and create discussion and definition of what was important in Art.

    I left Chicago to work for the NAE in Washington, D.C. when Jane & Derek opened the office at 2718 Ontario Road NW, in the heart of Adams Morgan, a lively, international, politically active, ethnically diverse neighborhood. The arts scene in D.C. was distinctly different from Chicago, it was sophisticated, and had one other art publication the ( I forgot the name) which covered poetry and art. Derek knew in order for the NAE to grow it had to expand outside Chicago and the MW he would say, we have saturated the market and rather than move into NYC, D.C. was the next best place to go, especially as the Endowment was centered there along with the WPA, it was close enough to NYC, Philadelphia and Maryland-also covered in the NAE.

    After five years managing the small D.C. office I moved to NYC whereI Iearned another lesson about the Artworld. Like Chicago, NYC was a hard nut to crack, and most of the artists I met and drew or painted with did not have shows in galleries, provided their day jobs and mine did not de-energize them, there was some time left to make art in the evenings or week-ends. Many artists I knew had to pay thousands for exhibitions in SoHo galleries, selling work was another challenge.

    Today artists are still struggling -more now than ever-in what used to be the center of the artworld. Most of the gallery owners I visited would not even look at cd’s or slides of an artist’s work unless she or he had a professional referral.

    When the NAE was alive, it was distributed in Hudson River News at Grand Central Station, and other specialized outlets. And a few co-operative galleries did advertise. I met several artists there who loved the NAE and were saddened at its demise.

    My experience is what can I say, inexpressible? It wasn’t just the NAE, it was Jane Addams Allen, who taught me how to write about art, she inspired many writers to blossom. Derek was my great painting teacher at NW, where I also had the privilege to meet Tom Zurfluh, a life-long friend.

    Now I am looking at this “new” Chicago which is the same in many ways outlined above, yet there is a lot of energy combined with a sense of right timing that is exciting and creative. Now that the money game has failed globally, who knows, this may be a perfect time to start a New New Art Examiner.

  274. I personally doubt that its time to start a New NAE…..I think its looking back- at the same time, things are about to get even more interesting here in that both major newspapers are in serious trouble: if the Tribune goes down there is the end of Alan Artner -and Kevin Nance has already left the Sun Times-

    What will be interesting to watch, is the theater worlds response to all of this. Chris Jones and Hedy Weiss are huge players in the theater scene here unlike our art world, their reviews are important -and can make or break a play locally -in the same way that only a review in the NYTimes can make a play happen on Broadway/ become a national, international success- but recently, Chicago has in many ways become the first city of theater -challenging both London and New York -the rave reviews of our critics here for August Osage County -translated into even more effusive reviews on Broadway -culminating in a virtual sweep for Steppenwolf of this years Tonys -and a triumphant remounting of the play -to further acclamation, now happening in London.

    My question then is this: if the papers fold, what sort of apparatus will be brought into being -in order to keep Jones and Weiss working here promoting Chicago Theater (theater critics here -unlike art critics, actually support and promote the plays they review-)….will it be online? There is enough money in the theater world to pay critics a salary, to set up a serious ezine…….

    I think this thread has raised a whole bunch of interesting questions -for me one of the primary ones -is the leveling effect of the internet….John Link for instance; decent blogger -not a particulary interesting or skilled painter….does this matter? To me it does……it is personal -looking at poor work I cant see how it does not reflect upon its author…..and I am not singling John out for particular gnawing on…but the quality of his work for me has to have some equivalency with the quality of thought going on…..I think this is a common distortion we see on the internet -where everyone has an equal voice -whether earned or not-

    I recently became aware of the work of another ‘artist’s’ ‘work’ I sparred with some time ago on artletter -a Steve Blum….not as an aspersion -but quite frankly, if I had seen the work, I would not have argued with the man -and after having seen it, felt rather foolish having done so….the internet is going to require a resume’ some context and hierarchy if it is to really take on print-

    If artists are going to be writing, discussing aesthetics/ art world politics -whatever, online, the quality of the artists involved is going to matter – in experiencial terms.

    I plan to explore both of these and several other ideas over at sharkforum where I have been on an extended leave of absence-

  275. Michael Workman Says:

    Deeana Isaacs wrote an article about all this for the Reader to publish this Thursday. Give it a read, and do come to the event on Dec. 12 at 7:30 pm, on Friday, December 12th, at 1530 N. Paulina Suite F. Free drinks.

  276. Here’s a link to the article Michael mentioned:


  277. Michael, I think ressurecting NAE at a time when we see print failing -everywhere -is a fools errand…..I like you and think you are pretty sharp, believe your contribution here has been huge -but not on this one.

    Money spent supporting a few very serious ezine websites -very tied in to analog events on the ground makes so much more sense. I feel that at a time when we really need your great energy here in Chicago -you are not thinking about what the problems are here -and why is it you believe resurrecting an old model will help solve them- I don’t think you are thinking through this very clearly -and I feel it is a waste of your time and talent-

  278. Hey BadatSports, can I post a link to Derek’s interview Episode 168 on his A-B on iTunes U podcast? http://itunes.ab.edu


  279. OG, yes you may. If you have an questions or wish to contact us, please email us at badatsports@gmail.com


  280. […] JOURNALISM NYTimes article ARTicles post and subsequent posts ART CRITICISM Art criticism and the subsequent discussion about Chicago artworld (what a wild read!) ART BLOGGING Art blogging […]

  281. I found a lot of this dialog insular and crass but also it was amazing to me that there would still be so much of a response. I brought The New Art Examiner to Philadelphia in 1980 and there was an office here for 16 years. It provided a venue for more criticism of art in Philadelphia than had ever been provided before or since. We now have artblog which is an online blog and it tells me a lot about the local scene. But the New Art Examiner put Philadelphia out into the world and it interacted with Washington, Chicago, Ohio etc. We weren’t in it for the money. We just wanted there to be a dialog.

  282. jill peterson Says:

    i read your rant about murals, sid sachs. you talk a lot about the insignificance of money?

  283. Ben Sarao Says:

    If you consider the dynamics of 1973 to 2009, paper and ink have been replaced by our computers and keyboards. Hopefully, good art will remain as good art. Good art criticism will prevail and the bad or undeserved art criticism will be forgotten in time.

    Galleries open and close. Some people remain on the art stage longer than others and continue to tell other want they believe is true… their truth.

    I remember the NAE as being one of the few art publications that centered on art in Chicago. Unfortunately, the NAE lost it’s mission when it spread it’s focus to other cities. Because, unlike Artforum or Art in America, the NAE from it’s inception was like having a barn with a fire in it. You can put out a small fire and save a barn, and, you can even rebuild one barn. But, when there are several barns in separate cites, it is hard to have a fire starter mentality and not burn out.

    Regarding this blog… it use to be said that you should never fight city hall or argue with people who buy ink by the barrel.

    I like electronic ink better… as long as someone doesn’t pull the plug.

  284. Ben Sarao Says:

    ALMOST FORGOT… a little piece of NAE publishing-distribution trivia!

    During the first years that the NAE was published, it was delivered by car to the various outlets by Derek Guthrie and company in the rain, snow or blistering heat of Chicago.

    In the early summer of 1976, Rizzoli International opened a bookstore in Water Tower Place. I was the first magazine manager at Rizzoli Chicago. A small publication distributor, BOB’S News of Hyde Park asked me to carry some of their independent titles and I did. Bob of BOB’S News was usually having issues with the Hudson News Company as he was one of the only competitors in the Chicago news distribution market.

    Several weeks after beginning to receive titles from BOBS News, Derek Guthrie came to Rizzoli and asked if Rizzoli would carry the NAE. I learned that Derek or someone on the NAE staff would bring the papers on a monthly basis. I thought that the NAE delivery mode was ineffective. I suggested that NAE hook up with BOB’S News that delivered independent publications to a wide range of Chicago outlets. Soon thereafter, the NAE was carried by BOB’S News. Several years later when BOB’s News merged (not sure if merged is the correct term) with the Hudson News Company, the NAE had access to national distribution… hence, the multiple city expansion of the NAE and the eventual undoing of Chicago’s NAE enterprise.


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