Looking Back

Four Years on, a Critic Reassesses and Reconsiders

In a way, I never meant to write any of these reviews at all. As with many critics, I began as something else: a painter. But I was always angst-ridden and blocked. I attended art school (never graduated), exhibited my work, sold it, was reviewed in Artforum and Art in America, and even got a National Endowment grant. But that's just the failed artist in me shamelessly trying to convince you I could have been a contender. By 1988, when I started writing criticism, I was working as a long-distance truck driver, and had never written a word in my life. All I knew was I had to be in the art world, I loved looking at art, and that I craved attention.

Mr. Saltz regrets: not describing the opening night of Pipilotti Rist’s 2000 installation at Luhring Augustine (above).
photo: Robin Holland
Mr. Saltz regrets: not describing the opening night of Pipilotti Rist’s 2000 installation at Luhring Augustine (above).

At first, everything I wrote was positive. I was like a cheerleader or a mascot. Eventually I realized I was leaving out half of what I was thinking—the skeptical half. By the time I started at the Voice, I had written mixed and negative reviews. Still, I was writing for a small world—insider to insider. The Voice changed all that. I no longer write for the artist, the dealer, or the curator. I write for the reader. So this is for you. The rest has been learning on the job.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...