The Brooklyn Rail

The Brooklyn Rail Critical Perspectives on Art, Politics, and Culture
The Brooklyn Rail, a monthly nonprofit journal, provides an independent forum for arts, culture, and politics throughout New York City and beyond. We feature local reporting, art criticism, fiction, poetry, as well as coverage of politics, music, dance, film, and theater.
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05/01/2020

This is the kind of painterly energy we miss feeling in a room. Katherine Bradford (@kathebradford) and Joanna Pousette-Dart (@joannapousettedart) discuss Joanna’s alchemical ambiguity between figure and ground, how colors become shapes within her curved universes.

From a conversation at Lisson Gallery (@lisson_gallery) with Phong H. Bui (@phong.h.bui) during her March exhibition #JoannaPousetteDart #KatherineBradford #LissonGallery

04/26/2020

Mixed media artist and sculptor Arthur Simms joins us from his studio for our Weekend Journal #6. Arthur takes us through 4 decades of his work, including a work in progress, and discusses the material intuition that gives his work its distinct physicality.

Arthur Simms, a native of Saint Andrew, Jamaica, lives and works in Staten Island, New York. Simms is best known for his found-object sculptures composed of everday objects such as bicycle wheels, bottles, stones, chairs, rope and wire, his work connects the disparate elements of the diasporic experience. His work has been presented in Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society has the Capacity to Destroy: Mare Nostrum at the 58th Venice Bienniale (2019), the Biennale di Arte Contemporanea di Porto Ercole (2007), the Jamaica Pavilion at Venice Biennale (2001), as well as numerous museums including the Brooklyn Museum of Art., the Neuberger Museum, the Holter Museum of Art, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the American Academy in Rome, York College Art Gallery, the Henry Street Settlement. Arthur has received awards such as the S.J. Weiler Fund Award, the prestigious Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, as well as the Prix de Rome, among other important grants. #ArthurSimms

04/25/2020

Painter and collage artist Lucy Fradkin brings us around her garden and studio for our Weekend Journal #5. Lucy shows us her current series of portraits of imagery mixed-race couples, gives us a little painting demonstration, and talks about

Lucy Fradkin is a self-taught artist based in Staten Island, NY. Replete with references to the ancient frescoes and mosaics of the Etruscans, Romans and Byzantines, Fradkin’s paintings on paper capture a timeless moment through a contemporary eye. Fradkin creates portraits of diverse individuals, inspired by Indian and Persian miniatures, the vanishing art of hand-painted signage and a variety of sacred and folk arts. Fradkin has exhibited widely in the US and Europe at venues including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the American Academy in Rome, MoMA/PS 1, The Queens Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, The Weatherspoon Art Museum, The Holter Museum of Art, The Bellarmine Museum, The Nicolaysen Museum, The Brattleboro Museum, The Park Avenue Armory, The Alternative Museum and many other national and international venues. Fradkin is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including a Pollock-Krasner Grant, an Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant, a Sharpe Foundation Space Grant, two Fellowships in Drawing/Works on Paper from the New York Foundation for the Arts, five Artist-in-Residence Grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, an Artist-in-Residency at Altos de Chavon, an affiliation of Parsons School of Design in the Dominican Republic, a Solo Exhibition Grant from Artists Space and an Artist Grant from the Vermont Council for the Arts. #LucyFradkin

04/19/2020

Painter Marcus Jahmal (@marcusjahmal) takes us around his Ridgewood studio/home for our Weekend Journal, giving us a preview of his postponed show at the Weeksville Heritage Center (@weeksvilleheritagecenter) and takes us through a few of the books and artworks he looks to for inspiration.

Marcus Jahmal is an artist based in Queens, New York. A Brooklyn native and residing in Manhattan. the self trained Jahmal’s multi-faceted approach to his practice are formed around his bustling city upbringing. His images, which are both theatrical and quietly intimate, showcase exuberant brushwork and his particular strengths as a colorist, creating a symbolist language connected to the artist's subconscious. Jahmal collects his ideas through a practice of automatic drawing, moving intuitively through images he pulls from life, the internet and art history to result in a body of work that invokes an anti-narrative. Marcus has had solo exhibitions in New York, NY and Brussels Belgium and in 2019, his first institutional solo exhibition in Brest, France.

to ease the strain of social distance, we’re opening our lunchtime Zoom discussions to you. Each day an artist or writer...
03/17/2020

to ease the strain of social distance, we’re opening our lunchtime Zoom discussions to you. Each day an artist or writer will talk about their creative practice and answer questions for a half hour or so, we’re calling these the New Social Environment: Daily Lunchtime Conversations, everyday at 1 pm.

This afternoon, Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari will be joining us, tune in here: zoom.us/j/504982968

#covid19 #shirinneshat #shojaazari #workremote

12/17/2019

To meet our annual fundraising goal, the Rail still has to raise $10,587. As a small nonprofit, every dollar truly does count: donate what you can today to keep the Rail independent and free in 2020.

https://donate.brooklynrail.org

Our Winter double issue is live! With feature interviews from Tiona Nekkia McLodden, David Lynch, and Hans Haacke, and t...
12/12/2019

Our Winter double issue is live! With feature interviews from Tiona Nekkia McLodden, David Lynch, and Hans Haacke, and the first Director of Musée du Louvre, Michel Laclotte. Plus Bill Goldston curates the Critic's Page, a dance section about the Bauhaus, and as always, poetry, fiction, political coverage from the global worker’s movement, and much more! brooklynrail.org

11/11/2019
John Giorno: Interview at the Venice Biennale

"My words are a mirror that is reflecting the wisdom that is already in their minds."

John Giorno stopped to chat with Samuele at the Venice Documentation Project before reading at the opening of Mare Nostrum, giving us this beautiful little gem of Giorno energy.

https://youtu.be/tAu9TV2PNZE

Poet John Giorno (1936–2019) speaks to the Brooklyn Rail about his relationship with poems and listeners. Followed by his reading at the opening of Artists N...

10/02/2019

We are very psyched to present you with our October Issue featuring interviews with the inimitable Amy Sherald, Henry Taylor, John Zurier, Mark Dion, and Arthur Sze, plus essays about creative chaos, a conversation on post-fascism in Eastern Europe, new translation of Jaun Carlos Onetti’s fiction, contemporary poetry, an interview with Adrienne Davies of the band Earth and So Much More. What a way to ring in our 19th year!

brooklynrail.org/2019/10

the retrospective of Simone Fattal’s art odyssey from abstract painting to figurative-ish sculpture, spanning Damascus, ...
08/29/2019
Simone Fattal: Works and Days

the retrospective of Simone Fattal’s art odyssey from abstract painting to figurative-ish sculpture, spanning Damascus, Beirut, California, and Paris closes this Sunday at MoMA PS1

Valentina di Liscia reviewed the show in our summer issue, “With their raw edges and irregular forms, they are both precarious and imposing, inspiring the kind of solemn admiration we might feel for a lost civilization. Why bring the past to the fore in a contemporary context? ‘To make it alive again,’ Fattal answered resolutely when we spoke. Far from an act of unwarranted nostalgia, her backward glance is a timely resistance to the absoluteness of the present.”

https://brooklynrail.org/2019/07/artseen/Simone-Fattal-Works-and-Days-1

The sculptures in Simone Fattal’s exhibition Works and Days at MoMA PS1 appear freshly dusted off from an archaeological dig, artifacts or parts thereof wrested from history. The retrospective, curated by Ruba Katrib, is the artist’s first in the United States and presents more than 200 works incl...

We've got a big weekend planned at the Chiesa with poetry, a conversation on Leonardo da Vinci, and a full moon deep lis...
06/13/2019
The Rail at the 2019 Venice Biennale

We've got a big weekend planned at the Chiesa with poetry, a conversation on Leonardo da Vinci, and a full moon deep listening. Check out our Venice site for full event details and RSVP

https://venice.brooklynrail.org/

Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society Has the Capacity to Destroy: Mare Nostrum

Some June tunes helping us through Tuesday, pulled from our monthly list of the best live shows to see in NYChttps://ope...
06/11/2019
June 2019 Listings, a playlist by brooklynrailmusic on Spotify

Some June tunes helping us through Tuesday, pulled from our monthly list of the best live shows to see in NYC

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2lEIWH5GnIHxG2Jcr2r0VX?si=qecXPwtXTxyWwAl6gEauzA

Our selections this month start with easy folk-leaning tunes, then leans into experimental noises ranging from pop to a soundtrack for the end of the anthropocene, samples from NYC's avant jazz mainstays and Sun Ra's Arkestra, before slipping into some desert drone bliss to wind down.

06/04/2019
Home | InTranslation

We're Proud to present a folio of translated Russophone literature by queer, contemporary writers in this month's translation section. Editor Margarita Meklina writes in her intro, "It took my co-editor Annie Fisher and me almost three years to find Russophone LGBTQ+ writers and to translate them. And it took me almost a year to write this foreword. Internalized homophobia. Shame. The feelings of futility after so many attempts to choose the presidents we want. To choose the sexuality that suits us and makes us comfortable. To choose words that convey the hidden world of suppressed emotions, of muffled identity, of stiffened libido, of undercover embraces."

http://intranslation.brooklynrail.org/home

InTranslation is a venue for outstanding work in translation and a resource for translators, authors, editors, and publishers seeking to collaborate.

We're honored to have an interview with Harold (of Purple Crayon fame) in our May issue! It is possibly the last intervi...
05/29/2019
A Chance Encounter

We're honored to have an interview with Harold (of Purple Crayon fame) in our May issue! It is possibly the last interview this creative powerhouse will ever give and it is a gem ✨

https://brooklynrail.org/2019/05/criticspage/A-Chance-Encounter

I was delighted to bump into my old friend Harold in Grand Central last Tuesday, literally, as he was busy staring at the celestial ceiling. Not surprising, given his proclivity to look up at the moon. His intrepid nocturnal adventures—as chronicled by Crockett Johnson in his book Harold and the Pu...

New music, guaranteed, on our playlist of the best acts  playing in NYC this May. Pulled from selections by our intrepid...
05/13/2019
May 2019 Listings, a playlist by brooklynrailmusic on Spotify

New music, guaranteed, on our playlist of the best acts playing in NYC this May. Pulled from selections by our intrepid music editor, we've got psychedelic surf-y jams at the top and guitar experiments at the bottom with a dose of avant-garde hip hop and contemporary jazz in between.

https://open.spotify.com/user/brooklynrailmusic/playlist/4N9kcapdfs2C7JtXiO1OB7?si=m79IJg33QYy2u98wSQBXIg

The best acts you didn't hear about from industry mags playing in NYC this May, selected by our intrepid music editor. This month starts with some psyched-out surf sounds and dives into the hip hop avant-garde before leaning into new work by a few experimental guitarists.

"There was a lot of anger...And at the same time great sweetness, an extreme gentleness among people enjoying a strange ...
04/20/2019
This Street Is Ours. We Are This Street.

"There was a lot of anger...And at the same time great sweetness, an extreme gentleness among people enjoying a strange and moving coexistence."

A report from the ground on the popular demonstrations stirring in Algiers from Georges Rivière in Field Notes this month. Hopeful signs

https://brooklynrail.org/2019/04/field-notes/This-Street-Is-Ours-We-Are-This-Street

The day after a gigantic human tidal wave invaded Algiers, we all let ourselves go with a feeling of elation and lightness, touched with a certain disquiet about what was to follow.

Our tribute to Carolee Schneemann, compiled lovingly by Thyrza Nichols Goodeve with contributions by some of Carolee's m...
04/18/2019
A Tribute to Carolee Schneemann (1939 – 2019)

Our tribute to Carolee Schneemann, compiled lovingly by Thyrza Nichols Goodeve with contributions by some of Carolee's many friends, is live on our site
#caroleeschneemann
https://brooklynrail.org/2019/04/in-memoriam/A-Tribute-to-Carolee-Schneemann-1939-2019

Over a lifetime of making art, pleasure, provocations, home, more art and always art—her emotional exactitude and generosity touched the earth, the art world, and the lives of countless human and nonhuman intimates and strangers. We offer this tribute to the artist and friend—a loss beyond imagina...

From Cimafunk's Cuban club-funk to Beat Circus's Cormac-McCarthy-novel-worthy Western doom and many things in-between, t...
04/16/2019
April 2019 Listings, a playlist by brooklynrailmusic on Spotify

From Cimafunk's Cuban club-funk to Beat Circus's Cormac-McCarthy-novel-worthy Western doom and many things in-between, this month's listings playlist is a trip.

https://open.spotify.com/user/brooklynrailmusic/playlist/2o5SrjKghDsVJIeAchqUk3?si=rzAKf0CMSmyWH9Gq7dKI6Q

A club-funk-forward playlist from our April listings of the most interesting live musical acts to see in NYC this month takes an American Gothic, guitar-heavy dive around the middle. A real sonic road trip this month.

04/02/2019
The Rail's New Reading Experience

The Rail is getting a makeover this Spring! Over the last 9 months we've been working hard on big changes to our site, starting with our article pages. We're redesigning brooklynrail.org to be easier to read, easier to navigate, less cluttered, more mobile-friendly, and more accessible.

A big part of our mission as a free publication is to provide easy access to our content and while the print edition is still central to who we are, it's long past due for our site to live up to that mission.

The new article pages feature a simplified design with an emphasis on legibility and include a scrolling index of the whole issue in the sidebar so that you can browse for your next read without leaving the article you just finished. They also meet accessibility standards for readers with visual impairments.

Why change just the article page? We wanted to find the fastest way to make a significant impact on the experience the RAIL for the widest number of readers.

A little snapshot of some of the genre-pushing musicians that performed in NYC this month, pulled from our music editor ...
03/27/2019
March 2019 Listings, a playlist by brooklynrailmusic on Spotify

A little snapshot of some of the genre-pushing musicians that performed in NYC this month, pulled from our music editor George Grella and Brad Cohan's Highly Selective Listings.

https://open.spotify.com/user/brooklynrailmusic/playlist/5zw3ysGk83EIVwaqRi2bvL?si=B1w_lRD7RJqArfSUgO0Sow

A little snapshot of some of the cutting-edge musicians that performed in NYC this month. Pulled from George Grella and Brad Cohan's "Highly Selective Listings" in the March Issue of the Brooklyn Rail.

"the long, horny history of downtown piers ended sadly, like most stories in this city, in wreckage and real estate." Wi...
02/21/2019
Loose Spaces

"the long, horny history of downtown piers ended sadly, like most stories in this city, in wreckage and real estate." Wilson Sherwin's gripping exploration of the value of loose spaces in this month's critics page begins with sex on the old Chelsea Piers and ends with the gilets jaunes playing boules on a highway

https://brooklynrail.org/2019/02/criticspage/Loose-Spaces

One balmy spring night around the turn of the last millennium I had my first orgasm pressed tightly against the lanky object of my teenage lust on a pier jutting out from downtown Manhattan into the Hudson River.

Journalist David Schmidt took a deep look at the "migrant crisis" as it is felt in Mexico, where many of the asylum-seek...
02/15/2019
In Search of the Promised Land: Hope and Despair in the Migrant Caravan

Journalist David Schmidt took a deep look at the "migrant crisis" as it is felt in Mexico, where many of the asylum-seekers end their journeys, both by choice and not. "The spectre of xenophobia, long crouching behind the northern border, appeared to have finally extended its claws southward." Read on in February Field Notes.

https://brooklynrail.org/2019/02/field-notes/In-Search-of-the-Promised-Land-Hope-and-Despair-in-the-Migrant-Caravan

I found the migrant shelter at the end of a side street, in the shadow of the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

A big thank you to our Guest Critic/moderator Daniel S. Palmer and panelists Lisa Cooley, Wilson Sherwin, John Newman, a...
02/11/2019
Downturn NY

A big thank you to our Guest Critic/moderator Daniel S. Palmer and panelists Lisa Cooley, Wilson Sherwin, John Newman, and Siyona Ravi for a great discussion last Friday. You can listen to the whole talk on our YouTube page in case you missed it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCEot0-1kn0

"This city has been at the fore of the global art world since the middle of the last century, but is it in danger of losing this mantle if artists can’t affo...

Our February 2019 issue is LIVE, featuring interviews with Julie Mehretu, Ian Cheng, Kevin Beasley, and Charles Stein. P...
02/05/2019
The Brooklyn Rail

Our February 2019 issue is LIVE, featuring interviews with Julie Mehretu, Ian Cheng, Kevin Beasley, and Charles Stein. Paper issues hitting stands across the city this week, check it out online in the meantime!

https://brooklynrail.org/

Critical Perspectives on Arts, Politics, and Culture

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253 36th St, Fl Third, Ste C304
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“So far as the art scene is concerned, it is the murmur of the city in print.” - Robert Storr

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