WRITING ON THE AUTHOR
It's rare that an art writer is written about for his or her writing, so I count myself fortunate that, other than exhibition reviews and newspaper articles for my curatorial work, my writing has been the subject of a number of astute articles. Those in the early years concentrated on my role as a critic and curator as evidenced by my writing. The more recent articles, by a younger generation of writers (those written in the 1980s I would say were by writers a generation older than me), focus on my role both as curator and historian but as well that of critic and writer, once again as seen through my writing. The earlier writers, such as Ian Carr-Harris and Gary Michael Dault, took me seriously in concentrating on what was a project, enunciated in writing but to be realized collectively, here in Toronto: a history. The later writers, such as Luis Jacob and Adam Lauder, would have to evaluate retrospectively the degree to which this project was successful or not.
- Ian Carr-Harris, “Philip Monk: Sentences on Art,” Parachute 30 (Spring 1983), p. 52.
- Gary Michael Dault, “Reading Philip Monk,” Canadian Art, (Winter 1984), pp. 70-73.
- “Language and Representation,” From Sea to Shining Sea, Toronto: The Power Plant, 1987, p. 126.
- Ian Carr-Harris, “Standing on the Mezzanine: Ewen, Wiitasalo, Monk and AGO,” Vanguard (December/January 1988/89), pp. 10-15.
- Luis Jacob, “Glamour is Theft: A User’s Guide to General Idea,” C Magazine, no, 119, Autumn 2013, p. 60.
- Adam Lauder, “The Ambiguities: Toronto’s Pictures Generation,” YYZ Blog Archive (2014) (http://www.yyzartistsoutlet.org/2014/01/the-ambiguities-torontos-pictures-generation-by-adam-lauder/)
Not that these articles are not in part critiques as well, but I am open to criticism, or I let myself be open to criticism as evidenced by the letters to the editor republished in various pages of this website. Of course, my writing evoked more commonplace resistances, which, in the early years, were as well a resistance to the way the genre of art writing was transforming itself under the influence of so-called French Theory, etc., for instance:
- Kenna Manos, "Notes on the Language of Art Writing," Retrospective 4: 1979-80 Documents of Artist-run Centres in Canada, Toronto: ANNPAC, 1980), 147-148.
Then there is the Lola article by Gerald Hannon, commissioned by this small, free Toronto art magazine as if it was a profile he would be paid to write for mainstream Toronto Life (and he was paid a like fee), examining the personality not the writer. I can read this now perhaps with more accommodating humour than when it was first published in 2001. At least this shows that Robespierre can laugh as well as smile, especially at himself.