Observer: Sense & Sensuality, Isamu Noguchi’s Quest for the Perfect Ashtray

John Reed


Isamu Noguchi is the beautiful youth, part Dionysus, part future of mankind: curly-headed, bare-armed, enthralling and cosmopolitan. Sidewalk cafes, cigarettes and haloes of cirrus smoke. He is the acolyte: at the altar of Constantin Brâncuși in the expatriate days of Paris; and, in prewar China and Japan, still propelled by a 1925 Guggenheim award, a student of traditional Japanese forms—brush drawing with Qi Baishi, and ceramics with Jinmatsu Uno. …

Slate: David Wojnarowicz at the Whitney

John Reed


The East Village culture scene, as it developed through the late 1970s into the ‘80s, sought to decapitalize art. The art was taken out of the sterile, inhumane gallery/museum space and integrated into the crowded, teeming East Village: small storefronts, former tenements, and basement dance floors. The art was not precious, rarely archival, and often unsellable, whether because the work was installation based or so concurrent with living that it couldn’t be isolated and packaged for sale.

The Believer: The Age of Simulation

John Reed

If the twentieth century, as Walter Benjamin characterized it, was the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, the twenty-first century will be the Age of Simulation. Increasingly, there are no fields of expertise, because so much of what is “expert” can be downloaded, and even if it has to be learned, the information is so accessible—even micro decisions, like, do I want an H-pipe or an X-pipe on my 1967 Camaro—that to be anything, any kind of professional anything, has become, and will progressively become, little more than a commitment to pretend to a given status. …