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Rene Ricard

Rene Ricard, New York City, July 29, 1986. Photo: Allen Ginsberg.

FOR THE LIFE OF ME, I can’t remember exactly when or where I first met Rene Ricard. But it had to have been sometime in the spring of 1981 that our editorial bond was forged. Bets are I hooked up with Rene, in one way or another, through Edit deAk, the first writer I’d brought to Artforum when I stepped in as editor with the February 1980 issue; back then, deAk’s antenna for changes and breakthroughs in art and the discussions around it, particularly in the contemporary American-European nexus, was like lightning’s attraction to metal. She could zap it like no one else. “A Chameleon in a State of Grace,” her wide-ranging piece on Francesco Clemente, published in the February 1981 issue of Artforum, caused a buzz, especially among younger artists; of course, the reigning establishments were horrified. Not Rene. DeAk’s article was the first thing that Rene and I talked about. He

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