Critical Read

Critical Read Critical Read is a nonprofit, nonpartisan publishing company dedicated to making art history more inclusive and discoverable.
Critical Read is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

Critical Read is is a nonprofit digital publication curating non-academic arts and cultural criticism. Critical Read uncovers the true stories behind the art that changed our world.

Mission: Critical Read tells the true stories of the fine, literary and performing arts.

Hear from Peruvian American artist Mario Torero in our latest interview. He tells us about his inspirations, the intertw...
05/12/2020
Drop Out. Tune In. Start a Revolution.

Hear from Peruvian American artist Mario Torero in our latest interview. He tells us about his inspirations, the intertwined relationship of art and activism, and the unique aspects of his artistic process.

http://www.criticalread.org/drop-out-tune-in

Artist Mario Torero found the establishment “too slow and backward.” He left art school and was sucked into the revolution, doing street art, Chicano-style, always looking for a perfect wall to paint.

Learn how Tia Kramer and Tamin Tozke used simple gestures of manual labor as means a to reanimate an industrial building...
05/08/2020
Stepping, In Time

Learn how Tia Kramer and Tamin Tozke used simple gestures of manual labor as means a to reanimate an industrial building and to respond by way of a performance to its history.

http://www.criticalread.org/stepping-in-time

Gestures for manual labor become a dance and inspire reflection on optimization and ease.

The second installment of our #ArtIsEssential project is here! Enjoy this series of personal essays where writers reflec...
05/06/2020
Art Is Essential

The second installment of our #ArtIsEssential project is here! Enjoy this series of personal essays where writers reflect on the art that matters to them. This week features musings on Andrew Wyeth, Cotopaxi, Chiura Obata, Joseph Cornell, and Happiness.

Find them here: http://www.criticalread.org/art-is-essential-week-four

Writers on the art that matters to them.

CALLING ALL WRITERS: Join our #ArtisEssential project and tell us about a particular work of art—be it a work of visual ...
04/20/2020
Critical Read - Flash Nonfiction - Art Is Essential

CALLING ALL WRITERS: Join our #ArtisEssential project and tell us about a particular work of art—be it a work of visual art, performing art, or literature—that you are turning to in these uncertain times. Selected essays will be rewarded $25.

Learn more here: https://criticalread.submittable.com/submit/163308/flash-nonfiction-art-is-essential

As we all adjust to life indoors, isolated from the world, we grow more aware of what gives our lives meaning. Art remains inseparable from our lives. Art is perhaps even more urgent in this time, as we turn to the people and places most important to us in order to find a sense of normalcy and safet...

Art can provide clarity and inspiration in a multitude of ways. Writer Jacob Pagano reflects upon Frank Stella's 'Loomin...
03/31/2020
An Itch for Things Remote

Art can provide clarity and inspiration in a multitude of ways. Writer Jacob Pagano reflects upon Frank Stella's 'Loomings,' a Melville-inspired sculpture. "As I stood in the Whitney, Moby Dick moved from an abstract voice in my mind to something material," he remarks.

http://www.criticalread.org/an-itch-for-things-remote

From ‘Moby Dick’ to Frank Stella, a writer looks to art of the sea for inspiration.

The minimalism of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC marked a radical departure from traditional momunment ...
03/29/2020
Anti-Monument

The minimalism of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC marked a radical departure from traditional momunment design. Architect Maya Lin reflects on pioneering the new style. #NationalVietnamWarVeteransDay

https://criticalread.atavist.com/anti-monument

Maya Lin's Vietnam Veterans Memorial marks a radical departure from traditional monumental architecture.

"I’m the product of both of them: a young woman from the middle of nowhere, heart longing for honesty only as demure as ...
03/23/2020
Grass Grew on the Sidewalks

"I’m the product of both of them: a young woman from the middle of nowhere, heart longing for honesty only as demure as she might choose, untangling the roots of her own Radley tree." Author Amber Thompson details her trip through Harper Lee's Monroeville while reflecting upon her own relationship with her grandmother.

http://www.criticalread.org/grass-grew-on-the-sidewalks

A Journey to Harper Lee's Monroeville

"Skimming through most biographies of Georgia O’Keeffe, I see accomplishments, notable relationships, specific dates of ...
03/19/2020
Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico

"Skimming through most biographies of Georgia O’Keeffe, I see accomplishments, notable relationships, specific dates of importance—hanging like static points in a moving line. I can’t fully imagine the spaces in between, but I suspect that those are the ones that matter most—how Georgia O’Keeffe spent her hours on ordinary days..." --Author Caitlin Lorraine Johnson

http://www.criticalread.org/georgia-okeeffe-in-new-mexico

Lessons from a master in living with beauty

What would Loïe Fuller have thought had she been in the audience at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016 when the "based on ...
03/16/2020
Fuller Credit

What would Loïe Fuller have thought had she been in the audience at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016 when the "based on a true story" biopic about her life, La Danseuse, premiered?

http://www.criticalread.org/fuller-credit

Loïe Fuller is celebrated as one of the founding choreographers of modern dance. Her equally important contributions to cinema have gone unrecognized.

Why has "Inheritors," one of the first American plays to deal with political issues and events as they affect ordinary A...
03/05/2020
An Open House

Why has "Inheritors," one of the first American plays to deal with political issues and events as they affect ordinary American lives, fallen into obscurity? Writer Rob Hardy searches for answers.

Read more: https://criticalread.atavist.com/an-open-house?preview

America’s pioneer political drama saw the nation falling short of its ideals. Almost one hundred years later, the play is more relevant than ever.

How did 11 seconds of a film endanger the Smithsonian? The first explicitly queer exhibition in the National Portrait Ga...
02/26/2020
About Face

How did 11 seconds of a film endanger the Smithsonian? The first explicitly queer exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery drew surprising controversy as part of a "War on Christmas" criticism-- even though it opened in October.

Read more: https://criticalread.atavist.com/about-face?preview

An obscure art film raises the question of censorship at a major art institution.

The exchange between artist and model is one of mutual observation. A life-drawing model weighs in on the concept of gaz...
02/23/2020
Object of Art

The exchange between artist and model is one of mutual observation. A life-drawing model weighs in on the concept of gaze and the complex relationship between nakedness, privacy, and identity.

Read more: http://www.criticalread.org/object-of-art

An art model returns the artist’s gaze.

NEW from writer Callum Angus.
02/14/2020
Stuffed

NEW from writer Callum Angus.

As taxidermy moves from the natural history museum to the art gallery, how should an artist handle the political dilemma of the animal as object?

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Critical Read!
12/25/2019

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Critical Read!

NEW from Lynn Domina:"All I knew of mosaics is that an artist put little pieces of glass or ceramic together in order to...
12/24/2019
The Craft That Serves the Art

NEW from Lynn Domina:

"All I knew of mosaics is that an artist put little pieces of glass or ceramic together in order to create a larger image. I couldn’t imagine the patience it took, the attention to detail. Most of the mosaics I’d seen previously had been old, discovered by archeologists excavating ancient cities and then displayed in museums. They were impressive for their age but often chipped, with the colors dulled. I tried to imagine the lives of the people who had fashioned them, and I tried to understand what it meant that although thousands of years separated us, we could be connected by these material objects. The art itself, though, was secondary."

Seeing the details in Lilian Broca’s mosaics

NEW from Amber Thompson:"As we were sitting in our college library mapping out possible routes, the swath of the America...
12/24/2019
Grass Grew on the Sidewalks

NEW from Amber Thompson:

"As we were sitting in our college library mapping out possible routes, the swath of the American South laid itself before me. Like an heirloom jewelry tray, it boasted dashing trinkets: Florida, New Orleans, and between the two—smaller and less polished Monroeville, Alabama. At 22, Lee’s father sent her from there to Oxford for the summer in hopes of enlivening a passion for law. At the same age, I decided to venture toward her hometown: the source of inspiration for her novel’s fictional Maycomb and heartbeat of the career for which she would instead be known. For the pursuit of beauty, truth, and inspiration, I set off, husband in tow, for Florida and southern Alabama."

A Journey to Harper Lee's Monroeville

NEW from Caitlin Lorraine Johnson:"She had particular ways of doing things, asked people to run their hands through warm...
12/24/2019
Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico

NEW from Caitlin Lorraine Johnson:

"She had particular ways of doing things, asked people to run their hands through warm water before touching her skin in winter, held the last three fingers of her hands straight and together with most gestures, traced her middle finger from her forehead to the tip of her nose when she was thinking.

Are these small habits worth noticing?"

Lessons from a master in living with beauty

A fairy tale in pioneering film! Learn more about Loie Fuller's film work with this fascinating story by Susan Hamlin.
12/11/2019
Fuller Credit

A fairy tale in pioneering film! Learn more about Loie Fuller's film work with this fascinating story by Susan Hamlin.

Loïe Fuller is celebrated as one of the founding choreographers of modern dance. Her equally important contributions to cinema have gone unrecognized.

Erica M. Dolson writes about singleness, uncertainty, and finding herself in the work of Stephen Sondheim.#MusicMonday #...
12/09/2019
To Bobby, With Love

Erica M. Dolson writes about singleness, uncertainty, and finding herself in the work of Stephen Sondheim.
#MusicMonday #ArtIsPersonal

The last single person among her friends, a young woman recognizes herself in Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Company’.

12/04/2019

ICYMI: Critical Read's 2019 Pushcart Prize nominees are Lynn Domina, Caitlin Lorraine Johnson, Amber Thompson, and Tim Cummings. Thank you, writers. Special thanks to editor Scott Bolohan and editorial assistant Lorrie Moore.

Happy #GivingTuesday! Critical Read relies on the support of individual donors. Please consider making a contribution to...
12/03/2019
Support Us

Happy #GivingTuesday! Critical Read relies on the support of individual donors. Please consider making a contribution today. Critical Read is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization.
https://criticalread.givingfuel.com/support-us

Donate online now to Support Us. Donations are fast, safe and secure.

Critical read would like to wish all a Happy Thanksgiving!
11/28/2019

Critical read would like to wish all a Happy Thanksgiving!

For this #MusicMonday take a deep dive into the highs and lows of classical music’s past ten years with critic Anne Midg...
11/25/2019
The 2010s: Classical Music's Decade Of Reckoning

For this #MusicMonday take a deep dive into the highs and lows of classical music’s past ten years with critic Anne Midgette.

Is classical music dying? No. But its institutions, artists and promoters took some hits in the past decade, from bankruptcies to sexual harassment. Still, along the way, we heard a lot of terrific music.On this episode of All Songs Considered, we look at the roller coaster ride of high points and d...

Cellphones and live performance don’t go together. A new product called Yondr aims to solve the problem of cell phones g...
11/22/2019
Cellphones are disrupting theaters everywhere. Here’s a solution

Cellphones and live performance don’t go together. A new product called Yondr aims to solve the problem of cell phones gone amok. Would you use it?

On Broadway, the hip-hop improv show “Freestyle Love Supreme” requires Yondr pouches for your cellphone. It may be a next step for all theaters.

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Critical Read is a nonprofit publishing company based in New York. Online since 2016, Critical Read tells the true stories of the fine, literary and performing arts.

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Critical Read is a nonprofit, nonpartisan publishing company dedicated to making American art history more inclusive and more discoverable. We tell the true stories behind the fine, literary and performing arts through personal stories, in-depth features, and interviews.

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