Critical Sources
Arts Writing Workshop | October 16, Noon – 4:30 p.m.

Writing about art in the Bay Area

Critical SourcesCritical Sources II
October 16, 2010
4:30 p.m.

Critical Sources: Writing about Art in the Bay Area is a two-part workshop series co-hosted by The Lab in conjunction with Patricia Maloney and Art Practical. The series offers perspectives on how critical dialogue is essential to the health of the visual arts community, while providing strategies for writing critically about art. Critical in the title conveys the double meaning of analytical and absolutely necessary. Conversations and small-group discussions combine with writer workshops to examine the state of criticism in the Bay Area.

Part II  features Bill Berkson, Clark Buckner, Whitney Chadwick, and Kevin Killian.

Please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make a reservation. Spaces are limited.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Panel discussion. Moderated by Patricia Maloney.

Part II of Critical Sources picks up the questions from Part I in October 2009. This time out all four writers participate in a panel discussion touching on larger philosophical questions of what criticism is and what writing about art might accomplish, while placing considerable emphasis on their practice as art writers.
1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Small group discussions with Bill Berkson and Whitney Chadwick will immediately follow the panel.
2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Led by Kevin Killian and Clark Buckner.
This is a hands-on session whose goal is to assist emerging writers in creating strategies for constructing effective analysis in a review.  Attendees should bring a writing sample—see below—and specific questions about their writing.

Writing Samples: please bring 15 copies of a 250-350 word review (double-spaced) of one of the following exhibitions, currently on view in San Francisco:

Huckleberry Finn at the CCA Wattis Institute:
The Journey of Tim Whiten at Meridian Gallery:

Bill Berkson
is a poet, art critic, editor, and curator who has been active in the art and poetry worlds for many decades. He is the author of eighteen books and pamphlets and poetry, including most recently Portrait and Dream: New & Selected Poems, Gloria (with etchings by Alex Katz) and Goods and Services, as well as an epistolary collaboration by Bernadette Mayer entitled What's Your Idea of a Good Time? He is a corresponding editor for Art in America, and his criticism has appeared there and in Artforum and other journals. A collection of his essays, The Sweet Singer of Modernism & Other Art Writings, appeared in 2004, and Sudden Address: Selected Lectures in 2007. Not an Exit, a suite of poems with drawings by Léonie Guyer, will appear from Jungle Garden Press this summer. He was Distinguished Paul Mellon Fellow at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture for 2006. Berkson taught literature and art history at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1984 to 2008.

Clark Buckner teaches as a visiting assistant professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University and previously taught in the Philosophy department at Mills College. He has published articles and reviews on philosophy, psychoanalysis, and contemporary art in both academic and popular journals, including Art Journal, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Art Review, and The San Francisco Bay Guardian. He co-edited a volume of essays on problems in Continental Philosophy, titled, Styles of Piety: Practicing Philosophy After the Death of God (Fordham, U.P), and he is currently completing a book, titled Apropos of Nothing: Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis and the Coen Brothers (SUNY U.P.).  For several years, Clark also worked as Director and Curator of MISSION 17, a not-for-profit gallery in San Francisco’s Mission District, and he has curated or otherwise helped to organize exhibitions and screenings at other venues, including Royal Nonesuch Gallery (Oakland), Ping Pong Space (Guangzhou), and The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery.

Whitney Chadwick, Ph.D., is professor emerita of art history at San Francisco State University. She has lectured widely and taught courses on twentieth-century and contemporary American and European art, with a special focus on women and Surrealism. Chadwick is the author of Women, Art, and Society, Women Artists and the Surrealist Movement, and Mirror Mirror: Self Portraits by Women Artists, as well as numerous articles and other publications. Her writings also include an art-historical crime novel, entitled Framed, which earned mainstream critical acclaim. She received her Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.

Kevin Killian is a poet, novelist, critic and playwright. He has written for Framework, Artforum, and Artweek, and has published novels, poetry, chapbooks, and a memoir. With Dodie Bellamy he edits the literary and art zine Mirage #4/Period[ical]. His work has been widely anthologized and has appeared in, among others, Best American Poetry 1988 (ed. John Ashbery), Men on Men (ed. Geo. Stambolian), Discontents (ed. Dennis Cooper) and Wrestling with the Angel (ed. Brian Bouldrey). His 1996 chapbook Little Men was the recipient of the 1996 PEN Oakland /Josephine Miles Award.

Patricia Maloney is a curator and writer living and working in Berkeley, CA. In addition to her role as editor-in-chief for Art Practical, she works with the alternative exhibition space Ampersand International Arts, is a contributing writer to and a frequent commentator on the weekly contemporary art podcast Bad at Sports. She holds her MA in Theory and History of Contemporary Art from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Art Practical is the nexus of four important chroniclers of San Francisco Bay Area contemporary art and visual culture: Bad At Sports, Happenstand, Shotgun Review, and Talking Cure quarterly. The site represents the current shifting landscape of arts journalism by serving as a juncture for critical dialogue rather than a proprietor of it. In creating the coalition of four partner organizations, Art Practical does not condense information. Instead, it generates pathways of investigation.