Sun, 16 November 2008
This week, guest host James Yood and Duncan interview Derek Guthrie, co-founder of the New Art Examiner for an illuminating history lesson.
New Art Examiner was a Chicago-based art magazine. Founded in October 1973 by Derek Guthrie and Jane Addams Allen, its final issue was dated May-June 2002.
At the time of the New Art Examiner 's launch, in October 1973, Chicago was "an art backwater." Artists who wished to be taken seriously left Chicago for New York City, and apart from a few local phenomena, such as the Hairy Who, little attention was given to Chicago art and artists.
Called in Art in America "a stalwart of the Chicago scene," the New Art Examiner was conceived to counter this bias and was almost the only art magazine to give any attention to Chicago and midwestern artists (Dialogue magazine, which covered midwestern art exclusively, was founded in Detroit in 1978, but it has also ceased publication). Editor Jane Allen, an art historian who studied under Harold Rosenberg at the University of Chicago, was influential in developing new writers who later became significant on the New York scene and encouraged a writing style that was lively, personal, and honestly critical.
Over the next three decades Chicago's art scene flourished, with new museums, more art dealers, and increased art festivals, galleries, and alternative spaces. Critics asserted that the New Art Examiner "ignored, opposed or belittled" Chicago's artistic developments, that it was overly politicized, overloaded with jargon, and did not serve the Chicago or midwest arts communities.
The critics and artists who wrote for the New Art Examiner, included Fred Camper, Jan Estep, Ann Wiens, Adam Green (cartoonist), Robert Storr, Carol Diehl, Jerry Saltz, Eleanor Heartney, Carol Squiers, Janet Koplos and Mark Staff Brandl.