Tom Burr

  • May Stevens, A Life, 1984, acrylic on canvas, 78 × 120". From the series “Ordinary/Extraordinary,” 1976–84. © The Estate of May Stevens.


    I MET MAY STEVENS in the fall of 1983, when I enrolled in her survey class, Women in the Arts, at the School of Visual Arts in New York. I had made it through the tedium of the school’s conventionally designed foundation-year curriculum and into the second year of my degree program, when it was finally possible to take the many electives offered by the extraordinary instructors then teaching there. SVA was an early adopter of the adjunct-instructor model, meaning the school offered a representative sampling of the New York art world—for better and for worse. Painting was the dominant practice,

  • Tom Burr

    I BUILT A DREAM HOUSE. I revamped an old house that I had dreamed about, struggled over, and wrestled with. I slowly nudged it and dragged it into something that could frame me and my stuff, and my work, along with my collection of nightmares and daydreams. The house did and still does look a lot like the house that Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner lived in on Long Island. It’s clad in wooden shingles, like theirs, and has an upright posture characteristic of the classic nineteenth-century American house that also resembles the way I drew houses when I was a kid. It’s on a quiet country road. It

  • Guy de Cointet, My Father’s Diary, 1975. Performance view, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York, February 4, 2009. Mary Ann Duganne Glicksman.


    To take stock of the past year, Artforum contacted an international group of artists to find out which exhibitions and events were, in their eyes, the very best of 2009.


    “Pierre Bonnard: The Late Interiors” (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) You kind of get the feeling that Bonnard was a real artist. He was concerned not with the past (art history), present (his contemporaries), or future (his legacy), but with expressing himself in terms of his own perceptions, interactions, and experiences of the world. Whether of a room, a still life, or a loved one, each painting becomes