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Words for Art

Barry Schwabsky is a poet who writes art criticism regularly for the Nation. His recent book Words for Art compiles his reviews of essays by historians, philosophers, curators, critics, artists, and journalists published in English (some in translation) over the past two decades.

Into a Future of His Choice: Catching Up with Frank O’Hara

Frank O’Hara invented a form of poetry about the instant communication of overwhelming experience. He captures life’s excruciating immediacies so directly that they flow and flood into his reader, like an interpersonal nervous system.

ISA GENZKEN Retrospective

At first, this retrospective of Isa Genzken’s career seemed to come together as a heterogeneous yet unyielding portrait of the artist. Later, however, I realized that portraiture is a limitation that this work refuses without regret, as piece by piece, I came to the complicated conclusion that Genzken’s works are full-bodied recreations of herself, not mere symbolic representations, and definitely not depictions of anything autobiographical.

MEL BOCHNER Strong Language

Mel Bochner, one of the founders of the Conceptual Art movement of the mid-’60s, and quite possibly the most inventive, clear-headed, and thought-provoking artist of that group, is showing his language-based paintings and drawings this spring and summer at the Jewish Museum.

Remembering Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014)

Every couple of months a brown package would arrive at our home in Philadelphia filled with Mexican stamps and neatly tied up. It came from the Libreria Madero in Mexico City. I still remember their bookplate and distinct inscription even though the bookstore ceased to exist a long time ago.

International Short Film Festival Oberhausen

With six decades under its belt, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen continues to present short form works that subvert and astonish. Nestled in the western corner of Germany, the quiet town of Oberhausen and its neighboring post-industrial cities in the Ruhr valley are referred to as the Detroit of Germany.

Dance In Conversation

THIERRY THIEÛ NIANG with Ivan Talijancic

On May 11, 2014, Invisible Dog Art Center’s founder, Lucien Zayan, invited French dancer and choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang to stage his response to “The Rite of Spring” with a cast of local senior citizens.

EDUCATION REFORM Beneath the Surface
Part II: Marketizing School Reform

I ended the first article in this series by discussing the Department of Education’s focus on closing old and opening new schools. I’ll begin this second article by discussing the complementary focus on the marketization of school selection.

From the Publisher & Artistic Director

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

What a beautiful day! Just yesterday afternoon (Sunday, June 1st) a good friend and fellow artist Will Ryman invited me to join him on an art pilgrimage to North Brooklyn.

Editor's Message Guest Critic

Wellsprings Reconsidered

The idea for this issue of the Brooklyn Rail came from a conversation I had with Donald Kuspit regarding his book The End of Art, as well as discussions I have had with artist Michael Zansky, whose art begins with a Freudian perspective and travels into uncharted realms.

Critics Page

Table of Contents

Editor's Message

Publisher's Message



Critics Page








Art Books

Field Notes


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2014

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