The United States chapter of the International Association of Art Critics did something new this year: It gave out awards not just for curatorial achievement (as it has for many years), but for “critical excellence” as well.
AICA chose Holland Cotter of The New York Times as the winner of the “best criticism” award, and gave Barry Schwabsky second place for his book “Words for Art: Criticism, History, Theory Practice.” The Brooklyn Rail won for “best art reporting,” with second place going to The New Yorker’s Nick Paumgarten for his profile of dealer David Zwirner.
Finally, it was rather neat to find out the winner for “best blog” was, well, Modern Art Notes. Mira Schor took second place. The announcement included mention of The Modern Art Notes Podcast, which posts here on Thursdays (as well as to iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, RSS and MANPodcast.com.)
I’ve never won an award before, so this is kind of cool. It’s especially gratifying because I was nominated for the award by a committee that included David Pagel, whose work I’ve long admired and to whom I’ve quite, quite often linked, and because AICA members themselves voted the winners. I’ve been an AICA member for probably ten or eleven years now. Still, I’ve never quite felt like I’m in the club.
But it’s also good to see independent, digitally-published work recognized because that’s where most of the energy in writing about art is these days. Witness Greg Allen’s take on President George W. Bush’s paintings earlier this week, a write-up that found something new and newsworthy in a subject most others had merely reacted to and at. Or William Poundstone, whose smart, often instructive posts make me wish I’d thought of this or discovered that first. Or look at how Hyperallergic has matured into a meaningful source on (mostly) New York, such as with this look at art education in the city.
Finally, I know you don’t have to read this site. This isn’t legacy media, the sort of publication you have to read to know what’s going on in the world, or the kind of site that everyone reads so they know what to discuss at the water cooler. So thanks for stopping by.