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CRITICAL REFLECTIONS

When the fun is at its height it’s time to go. — Irish proverb

Having championed Gary Indiana’s critical faculties in the September issue of this magazine, I was slightly alarmed for both of us when I was asked to introduce the following essay. I hadn’t seen much of his writing since he stopped covering art for The Village Voice, back in 1988. But I did love the Voice column and I’d begrudge anyone else’s claim to love it more.

Indiana’s art writing for the Voice had a gorgeous, chic nihilism just below its shimmering surface. For three years, his adjectivally sequined essays simultaneously caught and refracted the variable lighting of the art world in its halcyon ’80s autumn. Most of the time, Indiana made it all seem like a careless, tipsy salon—the world as an overturned wine glass spinning and spilling madly over a table set for a gluttonous buffet.

As a writer who had to meet a weekly

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