Glenn Ligon —

Nancy Princenthal’s article on the American-born artist Susan Hiller is one of the key articles of this issue. And a timely thing it is too. On the occasion of a career survey show of her work at Tate Britain – Hiller has long been resident in the UK- Princenthal gets to grips with the work of an artist whose work, though highly regarded in all the right places, has perhaps been allowed to be overlooked. Or perhaps more accurately, Susan Hiller herself has not really been one of those singled out for the bright glare of the spotlight turned on contemporary artists by the international media. This is perhaps a little ironic given that glaring light, auras and other paranormal visions feature largely in much of the work of this accomplished artist. As was evident in her recent solo show at Timothy Taylor in London –and indeed as is touched on by Princenthal in her article- this is not because Hiller is herself a crystal-bearing hippie, but rather that these striking visual forms often act as an intro to complex considerations of the relationship between what is perceived as formal and what is perceived as spiritual. At its most exciting, Hiller cuts to the dichotomy within Modernism by juxtaposing these metaphysical notions with those readily encountered in the canon of art’s twentieth century history; underling the evidence of the rational ideology of Modernism embracing the metaphysical and good old fashioned superstition. This article alone is a reason to get this particular issue.

However, there is naturally also plenty of other satisfying food for thought on offer. Amongst the items at the feast, is Faye Hirsch’s ‘The Everyone Artwork’ that revisits the perennially anxious territory of the edition and the multiple in contemporary art with some fresh – obliquely amusing – insights on the topic. And Steel Stillman visits the studio of Kara Walker, one of the most successful and popular American artists of her generation.

As always, there are all the usual incisive reviews and updates on key international gallery and museal shows and advice on exactly which beautiful art books newly out on the market are essential to own.


    Glenn Ligon –
    May 2011 188 Pages 0 Minutes of audio 0 Minutes of video
    In This Issue –
    Susan Hiller: Signs of Intelligent Life Stranger In America Behind the Curtains The Everyone Artwork Island Hopping Roundtable In The studio: Kara Walker Reviews Artworld
    Design Director –
    Katharine C. Wodell
    Editor In Chief –
    Lindsay Pollock
    Art In America - Glenn Ligon  Art In America - Glenn Ligon  Art In America - Glenn Ligon  Art In America - Glenn Ligon  Art In America - Glenn Ligon  Glenn Ligon  Art In America - Glenn Ligon

Our Take —

Art in America started in 1913 when there seemed to be a glaring gap in the American cultural scene for a contemporary art magazine that, unlike many contemporaneous art lovers, would no longer look back to the ‘old country’ for guidance on visual culture.

Ironically, the name might now be somewhat misleading. For, if its early years were an exercise in stating the validity of homegrown American contemporary art, then it has evolved a lot over the years. Its initial raison d’etre was entirely accomplished a long time ago and, these days, it is a magazine that focuses on the international art scene as much as on homegrown product.

With highly knowledgeable and respected contributors, Art in America is a magazine that is trusted by those who are serious about art. Whilst the content is certainly meaty, as a number of key observers have noted of late, it is also an increasingly readable magazine; informative without being too pretentious. This, together with its specific American perspective –in one sense it is the only serious-but-accessible USA art title offering the right balance between text and image with a notable circulation-  puts it in a special league of art magazines beloved of the upper echelons of the international art world.

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