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Art Across America

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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When the Shows Stopped

Blogging Fellows, Ghost Lights, Reported, Theater

In 2020 actor Kait Russell got her big break - her first audition for a Broadway musical. But while...

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How a 19th-Century Idea Could Rescue 21st-Century Art

Commentary, Reported, Visual Art

The American Art-Union offers a model for supporting artists with direct engagement from the...

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Have Skateboard. Dive Deep.

Far Out, Poetry, Reported

Poet Anders Carlson-Wee on the skateboarding aesthetic, the benefits of dumpster diving, and the...

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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.

How can art be inessential? It's right there, the same as always, and yet, incredibly different. #ArtIsEssential

My children will see plenty of movies as they grow up, but I know these silent ones will stay with them. They are works of art, artifacts from a different age, and reminders that art can transcend time and give us a glimpse of the eternal.

Langston Hughes has been staying up with me on nights when I can't sleep, and on days when I can't work. #ArtIsEssential

Art sometimes creates unexpected opportunities for daily joy: kitchen tables make me smile, and that in itself is a quiet pleasure.

Hidden Histories + Criticism

Art In-Depth

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 why art work is so very hard. It is a working through of disappointments and a growing recognition of failure to the point of defeat. But still one wakes in the morning and there is the inspiration and one goes on.”

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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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Fuller Credit

Dance, Film, In-Depth, Origins

Loïe Fuller is celebrated as one of the founding choreographers of modern dance. Her equally ...

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Stuffed

Commentary, In-Depth, Visual Art

As taxidermy moves from the natural history museum to the art gallery, how should an artist ...

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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

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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The Lewis Chessmen, Deer Antler, and a French Bulldog

Appreciation, Essay, First Person, Sculpture

"What could I make with antler?" I recalled the Lewis Chessmen and figured I could attempt to carve...

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An Itch for Things Remote

Essay, First Person, Literature, Visual Art

From ‘Moby Dick’ to Frank Stella, a writer looks to art of the sea for inspiration....

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Grass Grew on the Sidewalks

Essay, First Person, Literature

The dream of visiting Harper Lee’s world leads to reconnecting with a grandmother....

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Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico

Essay, First Person, Visual Art

Lessons from a master in living with beauty: Georgia O’Keeffe’s home beckons for a 15-hour...

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