Howard Singerman is the author of Art Subjects: Making Artists in the American University (1999) and the forthcoming Art History, After Sherrie Levine, both from the University of California Press. He has contributed essays to numerous exhibition catalogues, among them the retrospective surveys of Chris Burden, Mike Kelley, and Allen Ruppersberg. His essays and criticism have appeared in a number of journals and magazines including Artforum, October, Oxford Art Journal, and Parkett. He is currently associate professor of art and art history at the University of Virginia.
Excellence and Pluralism by Howard Singerman
In the summer of 1999 the New York Times Magazine published a photograph of just some of the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles’s (UCLA’s) art department, arrayed along a whitewashed wall. It’s a remarkable line up of artists: John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Mary Kelly, Barbara Kruger, Paul McCarthy, Charles Ray, Nancy Rubins, James Welling, all clad in black, save Charlie Ray’s fleece pull-over and a couple of pairs of blue jeans, book-ended by the khaki of Henry Hopkin’s slacks and Lari Pittman’s jacket. There’s much that could be said about the image, and about ‘How to Succeed in Art,’ the article by Deborah Solomon that it illustrates.