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Michael Straus

Michael Straus is a contributing writer for the Brooklyn Rail, a member of its Advisory board, and Chairman of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Sequence and Time: Some Thoughts on a Panathenaic Amphora

This article is about a specific art object, one that bears accession number 14.130.12 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has two handles, an opening at the top, and a body that bulges out from the neck and then tapers towards the bottom. It is, therefore, an amphora, but not just any amphora.

Greetings, Friends! (with apologies to Roger Angell)

Art mavens, hail to you, it’s Armory Season / And time to write rhymes without rhyme or reason.

Protecting Artists and Galleries in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy: A Checklist for Artist-Gallery Contracts

As is well known, last year’s Hurricane Sandy had a devastating impact on the New York region, leaving in its wake a wide range of personal and property loss, with over 70 dead and some $50 billion in economic losses. Included in the latter are extensive, but difficult to value, damaged or destroyed artworks, as well as damaged studio and gallery spaces.

Warhol and Rauschenberg Foundations Urge the Court in the Richard Prince Case to Take a Broad View of Appropriation Art

The case between the artist Patrick Cariou and Richard Prince continues to wend its way through the courts, holding both promise and risk for artists and museums and others who support the arts.

In Conversation

DE WAIN VALENTINE with Michael Straus

De Wain Valentine has long been a pioneering artist based in Southern California, most known for his evanescent and light-transforming sculptures cast in polyester resin.

In Conversation

KEITH SONNIER with Michael Straus

I first met Keith Sonnier several years ago on a party ship that was hired to follow a tugboat around Manhattan as it towed the first realization of Robert Smithson’s Floating Island.

In Conversation

HELEN PASHGIAN with Michael Straus

“So the basic question is: Why am I interested in things that either have no edges, or have images that appear, distort, and disappear? It perhaps has to do with the ephemeral quality of life.”

In Conversation

Laddie John Dill with Michael Straus

Laddie John Dill is an LA based artist who was at the forefront of the “Light and Space” movement in the late sixties. In 1971 he had his first solo show at Ileana Sonnabend’s gallery in New York City. Since then Dill’s work has been shown and celebrated internationally. Early in the fall Michael Straus spoke with Dill on the occasion of the artist’s exhibition at Malin Gallery. The conversation that follows touches upon Dill’s early artistic development, his work as an educator, and his careful consideration of how architecture functions in the context of his sculptures.

JILL MOSER New Paintings and prints

Jill Moser’s second show at Lennon Weinberg represents an expansion and development of the “compression and release” style that is something of her signature.

CHARLES LUTZ “BABEL (Brillo Stockholm Type)”

Visitors to this year’s Armory Show in New York were treated to that rarest of opportunities in the current art world: free artworks.

Mingei: Are You Here?

After a full week of helter-skelter sprints through eye-numbing mounds of maze-like fairs blistering not only my feet but also my admittedly limited ability to grasp the myriad aesthetic sensibilities of artists young, old, and dead, I had a Keatsian moment of Pacific pure serenity when silent, within a Chelsea gallery, I stared at Nicolas Trembley’s perfectly curated show, Mingei: Are You Here?


Despite Roberta Smith’s gushing review of this show—finding the works “stately,” “architectural,” fairly “erupt[ing]” from the gallery’s floors—my own feeling was, “Poor John Chamberlain, how did he fall so far?”


Katrin Sigurdardottir’s current solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is part of the museum’s continuing series featuring the work of contemporary artists at mid-career—others in the series include Tara Donovan and Kara Walker.


In her first solo show, N. Dash presents a body of work comprising both wall pieces and photographs, wherein she expands upon her longstanding interest in deconstructing the traditional boundaries separating image from support in painting and sculpture.

JILL MAGID A Reasonable Man in a Box

If you needed any extra evidence that the Bush Administration lost all sense of decency in its pursuit of information believed to be hidden in the minds of terrorist suspects, then go see Jill Magid’s chilling installation, A Reasonable Man in a Box, curated by Chrissie Iles in the Whitney Museum’s first-floor gallery space.

Castles Burning

Taking its title from a line from the Neil Young song “Don’t Let It Bring You Down,” this group show at the split-level gallery ROOM EAST is anything but a downer.

Ron Cooper

Spaced at generous distances along the walls of Franklin Parrasch’s cleanly-renovated Upper East Side townhouse, nine of Ron Cooper’s lacquered Plexiglas Vertical Bars, each 8’ x 3 5/8” x 3 5/8”, stand guard over the mute transmission of light passing through the gallery’s lavishly open space.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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