ART CRITICISM, THEORY AND HISTORY

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Paperback, 6 x 8.25 in. / 446 pgs / 20 bw.

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Catalog: SPRING 2013 p. 159   

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Art Is a Problem

Selected Criticism, Essays, Interviews and Curatorial Projects (1986-2012)

By Joshua Decter. Edited by John Miller.

In this volume of selected essays, interviews, curatorial texts and reviews, spanning 1986-2012, Joshua Decter examines contemporary art in relation to its various ideological, public, discursive, and social contexts. The book encompasses seven chapters: "Institutional Critique® and its Discontents"; "Aporia (art as politics, the politics of art)"; "Everything is Social"; "Convoluted Cities"; "The (Un)De-definition of Art"; "What Do We Want from Exhibitions?"; and "On the Curatorial Road." The author unpacks art's paradoxical condition: art problematizes, and is intrinsically a problem. From this standpoint, he analyzes art's definitions, functions, ethical entanglements, societal aspirations and cultural contradictions.
PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Art in America

Eleanor Heartney

The author examines art's ability to problematize political and cultural discourses, and to express its own unique and knotty contradictions.

Hyperallergic

Mostafa Heddaya

As close to a textbook on contemporary art as was published this year, Decter’s Art Is a Problem is itself a problem — neither comprehensive salvo nor dry historical survey. Uniting Decter’s critical and curatorial output from 1986 to 2012, the book comprises texts from both career endeavors, including an important interview with Thelma Golden on the question of representation within the museum and curatorial essays from several of the author’s pioneering exhibitions. (I also happen to have cited one of his early projects in my review of another Best of 2014 selection, New Ghost Stories at the Palais de Tokyo.) Students of the period — and of Decter’s areas of interest (art in institutional, social, and discursive contexts, among others) — will find this volume indispensable.

Art Is a Problem

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/29/2014

LA ART Book Launch for 'Joshua Decter: Art is a Problem'

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Saturday, May 3, at 3pm, New York-based writer, curator and art historian Joshua Decter will discuss his new book, Art Is a Problem: Selected Criticism, Essays, Interviews and Curatorial Projects (1986-2012). By examining contemporary art in relation to its various ideological, public, discursive, and social contexts, Decter recognizes art’s paradoxical condition: art problematizes, and is intrinsically a problem. From this standpoint, he analyzes art’s definitions, functions, ethical entanglements, societal aspirations, and cultural contradictions.
continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/20/2014

The NYPL Presents 'Art Is a Problem' with Joshua Decter

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This Wednesday, April 23, in celebration of Art Is a Problem, New York-based writer, curator and art historian Joshua Decter's new book of selected criticism, essays, interviews and curatorial projects, the New York Public Library presents Decter in conversation with the book's editor, artist & writer John Miller, alongside writer and curator Chelsea Haines, artist Paul Ramírez Jonas, and curator Ruba Katrib.
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