New York

James Juszczyk

Rosa Esman Gallery

I know an ex-art critic who’s now an artist. As a writer, he used to wail and thrash at artists’ pompous rhetoric—especially when they wrote or spoke of their “concerns.” I think that was the worst: artists explaining their “intentions” is the slipperiest of commodities. Perhaps trafficking in it should be restricted to professionals. (Art critics do, of course, a good under-the-counter trade in intentions. When purposes become dogma rather than immanent argument, critics also read like pompous, ridiculous . . . artists.) My ex-critic, as an artist, is now obliged to write of his intentions. And his “concerns.” He now realizes how difficult it is not to sound prescriptive, authoritarian, mystifyingly self-important. Of course, he realizes that this is a problem. While most artists do not.

Irrelevant you say? After all, shouldn’t I be writing about the art itself? I will get to James Juszczyk’s

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.