From the New York Times opinion page:
Conversations about our monuments, museums, screens and stages have the same blind spots as our political discourse.
By Elizabeth Méndez Berry and Chi-hui Yang
Ms. Méndez Berry and Mr. Yang started a program to amplify the work of critics of color.
July 5, 2019
The six most influential art critics in the country, as selected by their peers, are all white, the writer Mary Louise Schumacher found in a recent survey of more than 300 working visual arts critics. Almost all of them are men who have written for legacy publications for at least 20 years. That’s true of other genres, like film reviews, where there are 27 white male film critics for each woman of color, a study from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found.
Yet the most dynamic art in America today is being made by artists of color and indigenous artists. Consider the work of two artists in the Biennial: Alexandra Bell, whose incisive newspaper layouts illustrate the media’s complicity in racist stereotypes. And the gorgeous mixed-media banners of Jeffrey Gibson, which demand a rethinking of laws like “Stand Your Ground” from an indigenous perspective.
Sounds not just dynamic, but vibrant!
Elizabeth Méndez Berry (@mendezberry) is a director at the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Chi-hui Yang (@chihuiyang) is a program officer at the Ford Foundation.
A New York Times headline: “The Dominance of the White Male Critic.”
Not a New York Times headline: “The Dominance of the Jewish Male Critic.”