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Artists’ Projects Launch New Editor’s First Issue of Art Journal

posted by Christopher Howard — May 11, 2010

The Spring–Summer 2010 issue of Art Journal marks the first issue produced by the art historian and critic Katy Siegel, who began work as editor-in-chief in July 2009. Special artists’ projects by Sharon Lockhart and Kerry James Marshall are highlights of this issue, and the magazine also features never-before-published photographs of a project by the cult artist Jack Smith and his collaborator, the renowned avant-garde actress Kate Manheim. Completing the mix are feature essays by Hannah Higgins, Cary Levine, and Martin Patrick, and an interview with the London-based artist Goshka Macuga by Achim Borchardt-Hume.

Katy Siegel, a professor of art history at Hunter College in New York, a contributing editor to Artforum, and author of the forthcoming “Since ’45”: America and the Making of Contemporary Art (Reaktion, 2010), will serve as editor-in-chief of Art Journal for three years. She says of this first issue, “While preserving its integrity as an academic journal, I want to make sure that every issue of Art Journal also represents the vitality and vicissitudes of the real life of art and artists.”

Readers immediately encounter four pages of Kerry James Marshall’s comic Dailies: On the Stroll, placed in the inside front and back covers. Marshall’s bold black-and-white graphics weave together racial politics in the larger society with those of the art world in the first episode of a frankly polemical serial.

Sharon Lockhart’s Lunch Break Times previews a publication the artist will launch later this year. Working with blue-collar workers throughout the state of Maine, Lockhart conveys the visual aspects of the industrial workplace by means of intriguing objects she has found there: antique postcards and photos, a coffee-cart sign emblazoned on a state map, a labor activist’s painting hanging in the union hall, and more.

Kate Manheim is best known for several decades of performances as the lead actor in Richard Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theater. Jack Smith (1932–1989) blazed through the underground art and film scenes in lower Manhattan in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, creating films and performances with his coterie of Flaming Creatures. Smith and Manheim collaborated on a project exploring marriage, melodrama, and the Hollywood star Maria Montez. A selection of their atmospheric and amusing photographs is published for the first time ever in the pages of Art Journal, introduced by a beautiful personal essay by the film historian P. Adams Sitney.

The art historian Hannah Higgins has contributed a clear-eyed and moving account of the intertwined careers of her parents, the Fluxus artists Alison Knowles and Dick Higgins, and her relationship to them as both daughter and historian. Martin Patrick considers the present-day implications of the work of another important Fluxus artist, Robert Filliou. Cary Levine reflects on a somewhat sinister body of work by the West Coast artist Mike Kelley, which draws on the themes and techniques of do-it-yourself crafts. And the curator of London’s Whitechapel Gallery, Achim Borchardt-Hume, interviews Goshka Macuga about her yearlong installation at Whitechapel that was based on Picasso’s tapestry version of Guernica, presented here with documentation of the artist’s project. This is the first installation of a new feature, “Before and After,” which will expand Art Journal’s engagement with the making of art as well as its social afterlife.

The quarterly Art Journal, published since 1929, is available by subscription to CAA members. Single copies may be purchased by calling 212-691-1051, ext. 204, or by writing to nyoffice@collegeart.org. Art Journal is made possible by a generous grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, CAA membership support, and contributions from individuals and institutions. To make a contribution, please contact Sara Hines at 212-691-1051, ext. 216; or visit www.collegeart.org/support.

Filed under: Art Journal, Publications