1. “Chris Kraus on the Ambiguous Virtues of Art School” by Chris Kraus, Artspace Magazine
Excerpted from Phaidon’s Akademie X: Lessons in Art & Life, Kraus’s essay welds together the personal, political, and theoretical into what amounts to a fascinating new framework through which to consider the emergent, increasingly uncategorizable genres of art taking shape in the nation’s art schools.
2. “The Color of Context” by Nikki Darling, Los Angeles Review of Books
A reply to criticism leveled at “Made in LA 2014,” the Hammer museum’s biennial, Darling’s piece takes on the question of what real “diversity” in art might mean: “Is the goal to include more artists of color in the city’s museums, or is it to make room for a certain type of artist of color, while ignoring the ethnicity of others who don’t outwardly fit this mold?”
3. “Duty-Free Art” by Hito Steyerl, e-Flux Journal
An artful, unsettling essay on the ways that contemporary art has become an instrument of the powerful, this essay is ingeniously structured around Steyerl’s investigation of WikiLeaks’s trove of (unverified, unverifiable) documents relating to OMA’s 2010 plan for a museum in Syria funded by the Assad regime.
4. “How Mark Leckey Became the Artist of the YouTube Generation” by Charlotte Higgins, The Guardian
Passing through his flamboyant, unattached early days and works such as the cult video Fiorucci Made me Hardcore, this examination of the career of the difficult-to-classify Mark Leckey really becomes a way to capture an entire post-ironic, post-medium, ultra-contemporary sensibility.
5. “I Got Kicked Off of Facebook for Posting Images of Medieval Art” by Jerry Saltz, New York Magazine
There will eventually be a documentary made about the adventures of the US’s most famous art critic. And when that happens, one episode will be on his confrontation with his fans over the posting of bawdy art to social media, which briefly got him ejected from Facebook earlier this month.
6. “Indecent Intentions: Street Harassment and Contemporary Art” by Ashton Cooper, Pelican Bomb
An edifying digest of the ways artists from Adrian Piper to Mirabelle Jones have used art to challenge catcallers, in the gallery and in the street.
7. “No One Cares About Art Criticism: Advocating for an Embodiment of the Avant Garde as an Alternative to Capitalism” by Steven Cottingham, Temporary Art Review
Via copious and wonderful examples, Cottingham makes the case for a creative turn in contemporary art writing, including his own great idea of turning a transcript of what people really talk about at a gallery opening into a work of found-word criticism.