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Flattening Space

Rosalind Krauss: Parsing Picasso, 1 April 2004

Picasso and the Invention of Cubism 
by Pepe Karmel.
Yale, 233 pp., £40, October 2003, 0 300 09436 1
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... It has become conventional to ask of Picasso’s early work how he came to invent Cubism, the style fundamental to the course of 20th-century aesthetics. Its influence can be seen in abstraction (Mondrian’s gridded panels), Surrealism and Expressionism; in the readymade and in Dada’s exploitation of industrial raw materials (John Heartfield’s political photomontages would have been impossible without collage); and even Abstract Expressionism (as Clement Greenberg argued, the little pockets of ‘depth’ that pucker the surfaces of Cubist paintings presage the hills and crannies in paintings by de Kooning and Pollock ...

Performing Art

Rosalind Krauss: The Sanctification of Rebecca Horn, 12 November 1998

Rebecca Horn: The Glance of Infinity 
edited by Carl Haenlein.
Scalo, 400 pp., £47.50, January 1997, 3 931141 66 7
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... On one wall of the gallery a fan of black feathers slowly parts in the centre and folds back like a bird on a perch stowing its wings. From the lower area of another wall, 11 black stiletto-heeled shoes project outwards in a sparse cluster, while high above them a mechanical device suddenly jerks two extended ladles upwards against two metal arms so that with each repeated spasm a clang directs the viewer’s attention to the great splatters of blue paint that have been thrown by the device, spraying not only the wall behind it but defiling the shoes and floor below ...

White Hat/Black Hat

Frances Richard: 20th-Century Art, 6 April 2006

Art since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism 
by Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois and Benjamin H.D. Buchloh.
Thames and Hudson, 704 pp., £45, March 2005, 0 500 23818 9
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... severally or federated, the critics Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Hal Foster and Rosalind Krauss. This quartet have been working together since the 1970s, and are currently co-editors of the journal October. Founded in 1976 and subtitled ‘Art/Theory/Criticism/Politics’, October introduced a generation of academics to an art history ...

I live in my world

Barry Schwabsky: Willem de Kooning, 22 September 2016

Willem de Kooning Nonstop: Cherchez la femme 
by Rosalind Krauss.
Chicago, 154 pp., £22.50, March 2016, 978 0 226 26744 9
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... anything be more unexpected, in the world of art criticism, than the appearance of a book by Rosalind Krauss on Willem de Kooning? Krauss is a wide-ranging critic and historian of modernism, the author of an influential book on Picasso, but she has been associated above all with minimalist and post-minimalist ...

At Tate Modern

Brian Dillon: Joan Jonas, 2 August 2018

... and mirroring – Borges was an influence – she turned the Portapak on herself and executed what Rosalind Krauss would later call a ‘weightless fall through the suspended space of narcissism’. ‘Narcissism’ is not exactly a judgment, more a description of process. In her earliest videos, which one comes across quickly in Tate Modern’s ambitious ...


Mary Ann Caws: Picabia's Dada, 21 February 2008

I Am a Beautiful Monster 
by Francis Picabia, translated by Marc Lowenthal.
MIT, 478 pp., £22.95, October 2007, 978 0 262 16243 2
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The Artwork Caught by the Tail: Francis Picabia and Dada in Paris 
by George Baker.
MIT, 476 pp., £24.95, October 2007, 978 0 262 02618 5
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... read about Duchamp, we might expect something about the readymade. And Baker reminds us that Rosalind Krauss sees Man Ray’s objects, such as the eggbeater labelled Man (a partial self-portrait as well as a joke), as resisting the logic of exchange of which so much has been and so readily made. My favourite manifestation of this refusal is ...


Hal Foster: Bruce Nauman, 20 December 2018

... divided and alien, and that narcissism easily flips into aggression. When video art first emerged, Rosalind Krauss theorised it in terms of ‘an aesthetics of narcissism’, but early adopters like Nauman discovered that the relay between camera and monitor, self and image, is always delayed and sometimes broken, and that the medium is suited to rupture ...

Balls and Strikes

Charles Reeve: Clement Greenberg, 5 April 2007

Art Czar: The Rise and Fall of Clement Greenberg 
by Alice Goldfarb Marquis.
Lund Humphries, 321 pp., £25, April 2006, 0 85331 940 5
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... became more constructive. Donald Kuspit and Thierry de Duve wrote books about him, while Rosalind Krauss and Clark included uneasy but thoughtful engagements with his work in books that proposed innovative interpretations of Modernism and the avant-garde. Having once been a member of ‘Greenberg’s team’, as she called it, ...

Big Daddy

Linda Nochlin, 30 October 1997

American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America 
by Robert Hughes.
Harvill, 635 pp., £35, October 1997, 9781860463723
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... issues, but rather to focus on engaging biographies and elegant ekphrasis, as though Tim Clark or Rosalind Krauss had never written, as though the way that art is written about has no effect on the way the works themselves are perceived and evaluated. Unfortunately, Hughes has, in this book, joined forces with his journalistic peers in maintaining that ...

Bon Viveur in Cuban Heels

Julian Bell: Picasso, 3 January 2008

A Life of Picasso. Vol. III: The Triumphant Years 1917-32 
by John Richardson.
Cape, 592 pp., £30, November 2007, 978 0 224 03121 9
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... to defeat the biographer’s curiosity. Richardson, who enjoys scolding other art writers, takes Rosalind Krauss to task for claiming that ‘Picasso dreamed a type and then found her,’ a conclusion she arrived at by comparing the female figures in the sketchbooks drawn before and after he met Marie-Thérèse. ‘Fairy-story’ stuff, he ...

Top Brands Today

Nicholas Penny: The Art World, 14 December 2017

The Auctioneer: A Memoir of Great Art, Legendary Collectors and Record-Breaking Auctions 
by Simon de Pury and William Stadiem.
Allen and Unwin, 312 pp., £9.99, April 2017, 978 1 76011 350 6
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Rogues’ Gallery: A History of Art and Its Dealers 
by Philip Hook.
Profile, 282 pp., £20, January 2017, 978 1 78125 570 4
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Donald Judd: Writings 
edited by Flavin Judd and Caitlin Murray.
David Zwirner, 1054 pp., £28, November 2016, 978 1 941701 35 5
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... to flourish in the universities and still flourishes there today. It was chiefly associated with Rosalind Krauss, who defined her aspirations in ‘A View of Modernism’, published in Artforum in September 1972. She opens with an anecdote about a Harvard student who pointed to a work by Frank Stella and asked his professor, her friend Michael ...

Mon Pays

Michael Rogin: Josephine Baker, 22 February 2001

The Josephine Baker Story 
by Ean Wood.
Sanctuary, 327 pp., £16.99, September 2000, 1 86074 286 6
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Negrophilia: Avant-Garde Paris and Black Culture in the 1920s 
by Petrine Archer-Straw.
Thames and Hudson, 200 pp., £14.95, September 2000, 0 500 28135 1
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... mixture of blackface stereotype, African savagery, Cubist-inflected urbanity and what Rosalind Krauss has called black art deco. African primitivism was already revitalising Parisian high culture. Josephine Baker, Le Tumulte noir and La Revue nègre decisively extended the revolution to popular entertainment. Whether in fine art, Surrealist ...

Andy Paperbag

Hal Foster: Andy Warhol, 21 March 2002

Andy Warhol 
by Wayne Koestenbaum.
Weidenfeld, 196 pp., £12.99, November 2001, 0 297 64630 3
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... track by then); the crucial question is what drove this turn. Here another juxtaposition, made by Rosalind Krauss, is telling. In the early 1960s Warhol continued the drip paintings of Jackson Pollock by other means: he peed onto canvases which were covered with metallic paint and set on the floor – or had his Factory workers pee (even here he ...

Richardson’s Rex

Richard Wollheim, 10 October 1991

A Life of Picasso: Vol. I 1881-1906 
by John Richardson and Marilyn McCulley.
Cape, 548 pp., £25, September 1991, 0 224 03024 8
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... work of a great artist should be such an enjoyable process may wish to consult the paperback of Rosalind Krauss’s The Originality of the Avant Garde and Other Myths, a book, incidentally, much easier on the biceps. In this collection of essays, Krauss, an influential thinker, has an essay entitled ‘In the Name of ...

What’s It All About?

Tom Lubbock, 6 April 1995

Shark-Infested Waters: The Saatchi Collection of British Art in the Nineties 
by Sarah Kent.
Zwemmer, 270 pp., £19.95, November 1994, 0 302 00648 6
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The Reviews that Caused the Rumpus, and Other Pieces 
by Brian Sewell.
Bloomsbury, 365 pp., £12.99, November 1994, 0 7475 1872 6
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... is a warning against the attempt. But it also points to a lack on the other side. America has had Rosalind Krauss, Douglas Crimp, Hal Foster and Craig Owens setting up positions, rationalising developments; in Britain there’s very little general pro-contemporary art theory. But then in New York the battle-lines and the historical stopping-off points ...

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