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John Yau
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University Art Museum presents noted poet, fiction writer, and art critic John Yau Tuesday, November 28, at 4:30 p.m.

The University Art Museum presents noted poet, art critic, and curator John Yau, who will give a lecture entitled "Above and Below the Radar: Artists Working Today" on Tuesday, November 28 at 4:30 p.m.

This event is part of the Museum’s Fall 2017 Public Programs, which 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, and is co-sponsored by the Department of Art and Art History. This program is free and open to the public.

Born in Massachusetts in 1950 to Chinese emigrants, Yau lives and works in New York City. An active art critic, his reviews have appeared in Artforum, Art in America, Artnews, Bookforum, and the Los Angeles Times. He was the Arts Editor for the Brooklyn Rail from 2006 to 2011. In January 2012, he started the online magazine Hyperallergic Weekend with Thomas Micchelli, Natalie Haddad and Albert Mobilio.

Yau has published many works of art criticism and artist’s books such as The United States of Jasper Johns (1996). Other artists Yau has written about include Andy Warhol, James Castle, Peter Saul, Catherine Murphy, Thomas Nozkovski, Richard Tuttle, The Wild Children of William Blake by John YauMark Greenwold, and Nicholas Krushenick. In his most recent book, The Wild Children of William Blake (June 2017), a collection of nearly 50 essays, Yau explores the careers of a wide range of poets and artists who are, like William Blake, dissenters from consensus: Wallace Berman, Alfred Starr Hamilton, Jay DeFeo, Hilma af Klint, Katherine Bradford, Barbara Takenaga, Forrest Bess, Emmet Gowin, Sophia Al-Maria, and Simon Gouverneur, to name but a few.

Yau is also a Professor of Critical Studies at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Yau attended Bard College, where he studied with poet John Ashberry, and earned an MFA from Brooklyn College in 1978. He went on to write many collections of poetry, for which he has received honors such as the New York Foundation for the Arts Award, the Academy of American Poets Lavan Award, American Poetry Review’s Jerome Shestack Award, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram-Merrill Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He was also named a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by France. Yau's poetry offers complicated, sometimes competing versions of the legacy of his dual heritages—as Chinese, American, poet, and artist.

When We Were Young, Re-thinking Abstraction from the University at Albany Art Collections will be on view in the museum from October 6 to December 16. This exhibition looks back at highlights from the earliest years of the University at Albany Art Collections and shines a fresh light on late-Modernist abstraction as it relates to current trends in contemporary art. Artists include Josef Albers, Max Bill, Jack Bosson, Chryssa, Gene Davis, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Michael Kidner, Kim Lim, Luis Molinari-Flores, Henry Pearson, Peter Taylor among others. October also marks the 50th anniversary of the 9,000-square-foot, Edward Durrell Stone designed University Art Museum. The museum’s mission is to advance knowledge and foster understanding of the contemporary visual arts through exhibitions, programs, publications, and collections.

This public program is co-sponsored by UAlbany Department of Art and Art History and NYS Writers Institute. Funding is provided by UAlbany’s Office of the President and Office of the Provost, and The University at Albany Foundation.

For more information, call (518) 442-4035 or visit our website at

Museum Hours: Tuesday 10 am – 7 pm; Wednesday through Friday, 10 am – 5 pm; Saturday noon – 4 pm. Closed Thanksgiving weekend.