Who Says That Art Critics Are Intimidating?

On Thursday, July 3rd, Mary had two really well known art writers come into the office to meet with the 4 of us- Peter Plagens, an artist and the former art writer for Newsweek, and Laurie Fendrich, also an artist and a professor at Hofstra university.We talked with them for about 2 hours (our meeting ran way into our lunch break, but I don’t think anyone really cared- they were really awesome), and heard tons and tons of life stories and got a hefty bunch of advice from them about the art world. And through the entire 2 hours, I don’t think any of us got the sense that we were talking to two self-involved, highly-strung art world people. If anything, I think all of us felt that we were talking to two of the most down-to-earth people that we’ve ever met (despite the fact that they are very important in the art world- I mean, Peter wrote for Newsweek!).I don’t want to pass their stories second hand through the blog- I’m sure they would lose their magic if passed on in writing- but Laurie told us stories about Clement Greenberg‘s visit to her studio, a dinner party where she and Peter got to roam free in the Met alone at night (with the museum guard in tow) and their time at this year’s Idyllwild summer program as visiting artists. And among other things, Peter told us all about his days at Newsweek, and what it was like working under deadline and under editors (both competent and incompetent). Oh, and they also gave us links to some really helpful websites that we’ve put in the sidebar.All in all, I think that meeting them was incredibly refereshing (I now have hope for the art world). And after speaking with them and Suzanne Muchnic, I’m pretty intrigued about the world of art writing- I think I might seriously start looking into it as a possible career option.

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