Richard Flood

  • Ingrid Sischy and Sandra Brant at the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children’s Inaugural Gala for Child Protection, 2015. Photo: Clint Spaulding/ via AP Images.
    passages October 01, 2015

    Ingrid Sischy (1952–2015)

    WHAT I REMEMBER most about Ingrid is her voice. It was, as they say, an excellent instrument, low and honeyed, which could easily turn into a growl or a purr. Her use of it totally depended on what her goal was: getting someone out of her face, drawing someone closer, closing the topic down, opening a golden door. She would have made a great, rampaging Auntie Mame. I can see her climbing that stairway to paradise, arm extended, voice rising like an alto sax, exhorting “Live! Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!”

    Richard Flood is the director of special projects and curator

  • Left: Don Siegel, Coogan's Bluff, 1968. Walt Coogan (Clint Eastwood). Right: Samuel Fuller, The Steel Helmet, 1951. Sergeant Zack (Gene Evans).
    film August 19, 2008

    Reel Crank

    In honor of Manny Farber, a painter and film critic who died Sunday night at age ninety-one, Artforum reprints Richard Flood's appreciation of Farber's writing, originally published in the September 1998 issue.

    MANNY FARBER IS THE RAYMOND CHANDLER of American film criticism. His adrenaline prose has been pumping since 1942, when he began reviewing for the New Republic. Over the succeeding four decades, he kept his writing lean and mean, florid and furious, absolutely unique. He reviewed for Time, The Nation, the New Leader, Artforum, and a parcel of other publications In the late ’70s, his

  • 1988: Robert Mapplethorpe’s Self-Portraits

    BACK IN THE EARLY ’80s, AIDS seemed as much rumor as reality; I can remember going to parties and hearing scattered complaints of strange, unpleasant symptoms that were terrifyingly resistant to diagnosis. Soon, however, a plague lurched into view, and its profile was monstrous. There was the implicit understanding that the virus was targeting (or, for the conspiracy minded, targeted at) the urban gay male community. Adding to the horror of a seemingly unstoppable disease was the toothy satisfaction of the Christian Right that the wicked were receiving their biblical due. With remarkable dispatch,

  • Richard Flood

    THOMAS JEFFERSON'S MONTICELLO IS AN EXTREMELY NERVOUS building. He worked on it for half a century, and in the end it bankrupted him, but what a legacy he left. When it was finished (or as finished as it was going to get), Monticello became the American apogee of auto-architecture; it was, like Hadrian's villa, the perfect measure of the man who made it. It remains a magnificent illusion of ordered geometries in service to an eccentric variety of often oppositional aims. In between what the house is and what it appears to be lies the tension that animates Monticello and mirrors its architect's

  • The art that inspired them in 2000

    Those of us who live and breathe contemporary art will hold to the idea that art does change, if not the world, then the way we live in it. But our “world” can be more insular than we care to admit. So to open our look back at 2000, we asked twenty-one “outsiders” we admire—from novelist J.G. Ballard to musician John Zorn—to tell us about the art that inspired them this year.

    Dave Eggers (novelist)
    About a year ago, I saw Marcel Dzama’s stuff in zingmagazine and fell madly in love. Then his show at David Zwirner just killed me. A hundred or so drawings (bears with handguns, whale-men

  • Dirty Pictures

    BACK IN 1990, the obscenity charges brought against the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center and its director, Dennis Barrie, sent shock waves through the art world. The fact that Barrie faced a possible prison term gave pause to art professionals everywhere. The occasion for the criminal proceedings was an exhibition that the Arts Center had rented from the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute of Contemporary Art. Titled “The Perfect Moment,” the show was a survey of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs first mounted in Philadelphia in 1988. By the time the exhibition reached Cincinnati, the


    The surroundings become a museum of the soul, an archive of its experiences; it reads in them its own history, and is perennially conscious of itself; the surroundings are the resonance chamber where its strings render their authentic vibration. And just as many pieces of furniture are like moulds of the human body, empty forms waiting to receive it . . . so finally the whole room or apartment becomes a mould of the spirit, the case without which the soul would feel like a snail without its shell. . . . The ultimate meaning of a harmoniously decorated house is, as we have hinted, to mirror man,

  • BEST OF THE ’90s: FILM

    CINDY SHERMAN, artist:
    Thomas Vinterberg’s brilliant The Celebration (1998) is especially important because it signals the future of the medium, away from Hollywood’s excesses.

    JOHN WATERS, filmmaker: During the 1994 Cannes Film Festival I was sick in bed with the flu on the night Pulp Fiction premiered. Suddenly, from blocks away I heard the most stupendous roar of approval from the opening-night audience. I was so pissed to have missed the night Quentin Tarantino became an instant cinematic icon. But once I saw the movie I knew he deserved it. I guess you could call me a Quentin-hag.


  • Manny Farber

    MANNY FARBER IS THE RAYMOND CHANDLER of American film criticism. His adrenaline prose has been pumping since 1942, when he began reviewing for The New Republic. Over the succeeding four decades, he kept his writing lean and mean, florid and furious, absolutely unique. He reviewed for Time, The Nation, The New Leader, Artforum, and a parcel of other publications. In the late ’70s, his successful career as a painter increasingly took center stage, and film gradually lost an important, always surprising apologist.

    I first learned of Farber’s criticism about twenty years ago, at the height of my


    WHEN IT CAME TO WRITING, Curzio Malaparte was a man on fire. He was a journalist and essayist, a novelist and a playwright. When it came to politics, Malaparte was a human weather vane. He was a republican, a nationalist, a fascist, and a communist. While he was dying of cancer in 1957, Malaparte turned the Roman clinic where he was undergoing treatment into the set of a postwar opera buffa. Lying in state, he was paid homage by the most notable of his countrymen, joined the Communist Party, converted to Catholicism, and then, totally synchronized with the prevailing power structure, expired.

  • Richard Flood talks with Nicholas Serota

    IT WILL BE CALLED THE TATE GALLERY of Modern Art, and it is scheduled to open at the beginning of the new millennium. The gallery will be housed in an extraordinary postwar relic, an oil-fired power station on the South Bank of the Thames, directly across from St. Paul’s Cathedral. The building, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1947, was completed in 1963; by then its austere, rather Gothic-Deco facade was well out of architectural fashion. Perhaps because it was already esthetically obsolete at birth, the building was denied placement on the architectural registry. It is, nonetheless, a