ART CRITIC AND CURATOR, CENTRAL FIGURE OF THE NEW YORK CITY ART WORLD,TO SPEAK
Nickas is the author most recently of Catalog of the Exhibition (2011), a unique work, that functions simultaneously as a memoir and as a lavishly illustrated retrospective of 79 major exhibitions organized between 1985 to 2011. Nickas chooses one work to represent the memory of each exhibition, and through this visual “lens” he reflects on his activity as a curator, offering many behind-the-scenes views to the art world of the 1980s and 90s, as well as intimate recollections of the artists he worked with, and the art works he encountered over the years. Always placing the artists and their works within a social milieu, while also aware of how art travels across time, he reminds us that both lead multiple lives. The catalog is also in many ways an ideal exhibition—or collection—27 years in the making.
A writer for the New York Observer’s GalleristNY.com said last October prior to publication, “The esteemed critic and curator Bob Nickas debuts his memoir, which is written as only he can. One image represents each exhibit and if the proofs are any indication you’ll be floored by the end result.”
Founding editor of the art magazine, index, and a regular contributor to Artforum, Nickas is also the author of the books Painting Abstraction (2009), the first definitive survey of the new wave of innovation in abstract painting. The reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle said, “The visual energy and variety of these reproductions bursts all pigeonholes. It’s a wild ride of a reference book.” Roberta Smith, writing in the New York Times, called it, “a lively survey… a useful tool in forming a sharper, broader sense of what is going on in the world of abstract painting.”
Nickas has organized more than eighty major exhibitions since 1984, including a section of the 1993 Venice Biennale and he was on the team that organized the 2003 Biennale de Lyon. From 2004-2007, he served as curatorial adviser at PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York. Among his exhibitions at PS1 were “Lee Lozano: Drawn From Life—1961–1971”; “William Gedney—Christopher Wool: Into the Night”; “Stephen Shore: American Surfaces”; “Wolfgang Tillmans: Freedom from the Known”; and “The Painted World.”
The event is cosponsored by the University Art Museum “Art and Culture Talks” (ACT), and the New York State Writers Institute with support from University Auxiliary Services.
ACT brings together artists, critics, writers, poets, and scholars to address key issues in contemporary art and culture through rigorous and provocative talks, conversations, debates, seminars, screenings, and readings in an informal setting.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.