CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — Nov 25, 2015

Each week CAA News publishes summaries of eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Regulating Art That Offends

Almost three months after a racially charged art project stirred controversy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, administrators, faculty members, and students are still deliberating whether to adopt guidelines for public art on campus. At the root of the debate is a series of signs reading “White Only” and “Black Only” that appeared mysteriously and suddenly around campus in September, eliciting fear and shock from students. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Permission to Fail

An artist girlfriend and I used to go to galleries and see shows together. Sometimes when she looked at a piece she would say, “Oh, that’s something I did in art school.” After a while it dawned on me that much of what she dismissed as student exercises—gambits she figured she’d outgrown—were things I liked. I started to think that she had inadvertently taught me, if not a definition of good art, then at least a kind of rule of thumb for identifying it in the field. (Read more from the Nation.)

Free and Easy? DIY Universities

Scholars dissatisfied with their university administrations might ponder the case of the American Marxist academic Allen Krebs, who cofounded two “free universities” on opposite sides of the Atlantic. In 1965, after a falling-out with Adelphi University, where he was assistant professor of sociology, Krebs helped open the Free University of New York, one of the most successful of the first wave of free universities that swept across North America and Western Europe in the 1960s. (Read more from Times Higher Education.)

A Body of Work

I once gave a lecture on Jack Goldstein, an artist synonymous with the Pictures Generation and postmodernism. Others also associate him with romantic failure, with his “disappearance” from the art world in the 1990s and his suicide in 2003. After the talk concluded, an art historian I respect asked me if I thought Goldstein was “a great artist.” I was caught off guard and fumbled for a response. Eventually, I said with some hesitation, “I don’t know.” (Read more from the Brooklyn Rail.)

Our Designers Talk Book Covers

Don’t judge a book by its cover,” the popular adage goes. But, as humans, we often do just that. In this week’s blog post, as part of our 2015 AAUP blog tour, our book designers (Nancy Ovedovitz, design director; James Johnson, senior designer; Sonia Shannon, senior designer; and Mary Valencia, senior designer) discuss the design and creation of book covers. (Read more from Yale Books Unbound.)

Turning a Big-Box Store into an Artist’s Playground

Upon entering a big-box department store, many shoppers fall into a zombielike trance, focusing only on what they need to purchase. Carson Davis Brown felt a bit like that while in the automotive aisle of a Meijer store in Michigan. He was texting with a friend when he suddenly looked down the aisle. “I noticed everything was yellow,” he said. “I did a double take.” (Read more from Slate.)

What If I’ve Never Taught Solo?

I’m always dismayed to hear about departments that don’t let graduate students teach, because the experience of running your own class is an essential element of a competitive record. Sure it’s possible to get a tenure-track job without that experience but it is much, much harder. (Read more from Vitae.)

Going Rogue: Authenticating Warhol after the Board’s Disbanding

This month Richard Polsky launched a Warhol authentication service. It’s a task that is both necessary and risky, given the lengthy, and very costly, legal battles the artist’s prolific output has sparked over the years. After a series of suits resulted in a reported $7 million in legal fees, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which manages the artist’s estate, dissolved the board in 2012. (Read more from Blouin Artinfo.)

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