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Craig Owens: Portrait of a Young Critic

by Lyn Blumenthal & Kate Horsfield


"Craig Owens's commentaries changed the discourse around contemporary art."

—Lynne Tillman, from the introduction

"reveals an art critic intent on changing the terms of the debate"

—Aaron Peck, Frieze

"Brings back all the memories of that time when radical criticism was bursting at the seams."

—Molly Nesbit, critic and author of "Midnight: The Tempest Essays"

In 1984, art critic and theorist Craig Owens gave a wide-ranging interview to Lyn Blumenthal and Kate Horsfield for their extraordinary video series On Art and Artists. At once personal, political, and forward-thinking, Owens recounts his experiences with Rosalind Krauss and the founding of the journal October, the Pictures generation of artists and critics, and his evolving understanding of the art market and how it impacts the thinking around art itself. Along the way, he talks about his own journey from a small town in western Pennsylvania to the Off-Broadway theater world of New York in the 1970s, and offers insights into his own struggles grappling with the aesthetic and political contradictions haunting contemporary art—as relevant now as they were then. Newly edited and annotated, Craig Owens: Portrait of a Young Critic tells the intimate story of one of the most compelling minds in art theory and criticism, and includes a preface by Kate Horsfield and an introduction by Lynne Tillman.

Book Launch March 2nd, 7PM at the New Museum. Panel with Lynne Tillman, Thomas Beard of Light Industry, Kate Horsfield, moderated by Johanna Burton & Paul Chan. More info & tickets here.

The original video interview is available here on Video Data Bank's site as part of the On Art and Artists collection.


ISBN: 9781943263134

112 pages

5.125 x 8 in


Lyn Blumenthal & Kate Horsfield

Lyn Blumenthal and Kate Horsfield began their long collaboration in the fall of 1973 and it ended with Lyn’s death in 1988. When they met both were young artists struggling to find a sense o... more


ISBN: 9781943263134

112 pages

5.125 x 8 in