As we near our two-year anniversary, and summer draws to a close, Momus takes a moment to reflect on the last twelve months of publishing. This eBook, our second (see Vol. 1), highlights our best and most affecting long-form journalism and art criticism. Whether it’s the best-read pieces (for instance Andrew Berardini’s “How to Be an Unprofessional Artist,” which went viral in March, attracting over 65,000 readers inside a week and receiving citations from around the world, including in e-flux and the CAA); the most controversial (Kimberlee Córdova’s “Misogyny and the Myth of the ’90s at Kurimanzutto,” which caused a great and overdue disturbance in the set hierarchies of Mexico’s artworld); the most contemplative (Renan Laru-an’s strange and resounding “Please Hold Your Questions: A Culture of Asking Questions as Criticism and Authority,” and Orit Gat’s reflective “Any Plans After the Exhibition?”); or the most assertive in their challenges to issues that persist in our field (Catherine Wagley’s meditative “Friends Among Us: Reflections on the Value and Risk of Nepotism in Art,” and Amy Zion and Cora Fisher’s conversational “Regionalism Vs. Provincialism: Agitating Against Critical Neglect in Artworld Peripheries”), this selection of twenty features and reviews is representative of Momus continuing to sound bells, strike chords, and wire new alarms. It’s a document that frames our writers and editors’ effort to improve upon the existing models for online publishing: to slow down, go deep, and speak honestly. To return us to an art criticism that is evaluative, considered, and brave.
Our good work is being encouraged by a readership that has tipped over half a million, this year; and citations in peer publications, including Frieze, The New Inquiry, artnet News, and the LA Times. New and returning patrons including Ydessa Hendeles and Bruce Bailey have helped make it possible for us to raise our writers’ fees by 50% this past spring. We are working hard to be leaders in our industry, in both the remuneration of our staff and contributors, and the quality of what we’re producing. Please bear this in mind as you read us, share us, and reflect on our publishing. We are advancing our field as we propel an art criticism you can believe in.
– Sky Goodden, editor