The work that arts writers do is just as important as the work done by artists themselves. Every year, the Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program, gives money to several writers working on visual arts, often focusing on artists and movements outside the mainstream. Today marks the tenth annual round of funding for writers. From a book about an abandoned art villa in Greece to a new blog on alternative women artists, here are some of the new projects Arts Writers will be funding!
William E. Jones – The Ruins of Villa Iolas
Despite having represented artists like Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol, what remains today of the estate of a once active New York art dealer, Alexander Iolas, is a vandalized villa in Athens. William E. Jones had visited villa Iolas in 1982 and he recently came across fifty photographs he took during that visit. Since then, the art at the villa disappeared and the property was ransacked and ravaged. William will use the photographs and oral interviews as the basis of a new book, called The Ruins of Villa Iolas.
As contemporary artists adopt, challenge and develop digital tools, art criticism itself has struggled to keep up with the new landscape. In a rigorous essay, Orit Gat recently posed the question in Rhizome: whether technology has changed art criticism at all. She analyzed the different ways various publications have used tablets, websites and other digital tools in their favor. According to Orit, criticism has a lot of catch up to do, but it could signal an exciting time for the field, with so many different ways to engage with a growing readership.
Johanna Gosse – On Site: Ray Johnson’s New York
Long before there was net art, there was Ray Johnson, the father of mail art. Ray Johnson created thousands of works on paper and would mail them back and forth to different artists, curators, and other New York celebrities and personalities. But he was a strange type of artist who preferred obscurity over accessibility—and he committed suicide in 1995, a performance in and of itself. Recently, the artist has had a bit of a moment, with exhibitions at Printed Matter and Performa, so Johanna Gosse’s scholarly book on him is timely. Johanna will focus more specifically on the hilarious and ingenious performative and site-specific angles of Johnson’s practice. What kind of performances did Johnson undertake? Well, once he dropped sixty foot-long hot dogs out of a helicopter over the 1969 New York Avant Garde Festival.
Gelare Khoshgozaran and Eunsong Kim – contemptorary
A recent New York Times article described a long-awaited focus on black artists that had been ignored by curators, museums and galleries and thus unseen by the American public. The article quoted curator Lowery Stokes Sims who said you might “think American had only two black artists: Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden.” It’s as much the job of arts writers to bring a diverse body of artists to light as it is the curator’s, so a new blog by writers Gelare Khosgozaran and Eunsong Kim, cleverly titled contemptorary, will be a great resource. The writers will use the blog to expose “alternative and emerging artistic practices by women of color, queer, and immigrant artists in the United States.”
Browse descriptions of all the new writers and their projects funded by The Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program on their new website: artswriters.org