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Art Across America

The Sound of Jeanne Lee’s Voice

Blogging Fellows, Music, Reported, Vanguard Voices

Jeanne Lee (1939-2000) was a poet and vocalist of wide-ranging musical talents who pushed the...

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Can Sports Be an Aesthetic Experience?

Blogging Fellows, Reported, The Art of Thinking

Contingency and unpredictability can elevate a football game into a kind of theater....

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Vanguard Voices

Blogging Fellows, Music, Reported, Vanguard Voices

"If creative music is under celebrated and under documented compared to other eras in jazz, the...

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Winnowing The Wynn

Blogging Fellows, Dicey, Public Art, Reported

A critic surveys the Wynn Las Vegas art holdings and asks, "What can compete with a hanging parasol...

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Art Is Essential

In March 2020 Critical Read began the Art Is Essential flash nonfiction project. We asked writers to describe the art that they are turning to during these uncertain times. Since then, we’ve heard from over 300 writers across the country.

 

Learn more about sharing your 300-word story.

There's nothing quite like the warmth of oil on canvas. #ArtIsEssential

Isolation can drain us but art offers nourishment. #ArtIsEssential

I no longer felt so alone, and this was when I first learned the power of poetry. #ArtIsEssential

We may console ourselves that our isolation -however long, however uncertain- will also contain its treasures. #ArtIsEssential

Hidden Histories + Criticism

Art In-Depth

Between Parlors and Oceans

Art and Mind, Blogging Fellows, In-Depth, Visual Art

Edward Hopper’s ‘Rooms by the Sea’ captures the psychic tension resulting from co…
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What Does Platonic Form Have to Do with Art?

Blogging Fellows, In-Depth, The Art of Thinking, Visual Art

Photographs stage a confrontation between the idea of an object and its representation, and ...

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Agnes Martin in Coenties Slip

Blogging Fellows, In Residence, In-Depth, Visual Art

“The work is so far from perfection because we ourselves are so far from perfection … That is ...

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What Is Aesthetics? An Introduction to ‘The Art of Thinking’

Blogging Fellows, Commentary, In-Depth, The Art of Thinking

"If you’ve ever asked yourself why a particular painting is considered beautiful, or whether a ...

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Victim of his own intent: On Alvin Feinman

Appreciation, In-Depth, Poetry

"My ambition, nonetheless, is that someday in the distant future, just one lonely reader will ...

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Art has history

Online since 2016, Critical Read is a nonprofit, non-partisan publisher dedicated to making American art and art history more inclusive and discoverable.

We tell the true stories of the fine, literary, and performing arts. Browse our Artwork Biography e-books, available in MOBI, EPUB, and PDF files.

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Memoir + Essay + Travel

First Person Stories

Family Portrait

Essay, Feature, First Person, Visual Art

Portraits of distant relatives survive a married couple's home reorganization, the subjects'...

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The Monster Within

Art and Mind, Blogging Fellows, First Person, Visual Art

Psychiatrist and art critic Deborah Kostianovsky explains why she can't turn away from a portrait...

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Snow in the Concert Hall

Blogging Fellows, Essay, First Person, Music, Trains in the Basement

Composers John Cage and R. Murray Schafer sculpt sound into moments that evade on-demand...

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Greenhouse in the Desert

Blogging Fellows, First Person, Performance, Trains in the Basement

"If you revisit the things that once interested you, you can return to that period of your life....

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Graphite Insomnia

Appreciation, First Person, Visual Art

“A deep black square can be an object or an opening. Sometimes you can get a surface so deep,...

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Walls Covered in Basquiat

First Person, Visual Art

"What might be if he lived? What does it mean that his image is defined and further commoditized...

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