I've recently read two terrific art books :
Ken Bolton, cover photo by William Yang, 1986
ART WRITING: Art In Adelaide In The 1990's And 2000's by KEN BOLTON
The anthology Art Writing: Art in Adelaide in the 1990s and 2000s, presents twenty-five years of writing by Adelaide-based art critic (and well-known poet) Ken Bolton. Alan Cruickshank, CACSA Director and publications commissioner, says in his Foreword:
Ken Bolton is rare if not peerless, in that residing in Adelaide for more than twenty-five years and observing and writing about art, he has been witness to successive generations of South Australian artists and their waxing/enduring/waning careers... He has been and remains one of the very few long-term, one-city domiciled art critics in Australia, his analytical evaluations over this period being more than a valuable resource in a national landscape that has seen Art's epicentre of activity and importance easterly determined and historicised. Ken explains in his Introduction,
All of it I have written because I like thinking about art, or because I sometimes find it impossible not to. Trying to get it right, to formulate one's thinking precisely... I have always been interested in pinning down the aesthetic issue... It is a habit of thought and appreciation that seems to me philosophical (in that it seeks to generalise and abstract aesthetic rules, goals, categories, 'moves') but also idealistic (in that it is continuous with one's earliest discussions of, say, pop music-then, later, of novels, poems, art and philosophy and criticism...
Ken Bolton is a poet, art critic, editor and publisher. After studying Fine Arts at University of Sydney, he relocated to Adelaide in 1982 where he has since lived and worked. He won University of Melbourne's Michel Wesley Wright Poetry Prize for 1990. More usually he is short-listed-'Two Poems: A Drawing of the Sky' for the 1991 Victorian Premier's Award, and 'Untimely Meditations' for the NSW Premier's Award in 1999. In 2000 he spent six months in Rome courtesy of the Literature Board of the Australia Council. Associated with the Dark Horsey Bookshop at the Experimental Art Foundation in Adelaide, Bolton has published his art criticism in Broadsheet, Artlink, Otis Rush, The Advertiser, Photofile, Art and Text, Art Monthly, Meanjin, Agenda, Like and Eyeline. His major literary collections to date are a Selected Poems (Penguin/ETT, 1992), and Untimely Meditations and At The Flash & At The Baci (Wakefield Press, 1997 and 2006).
Artists featured include: Ian Abdulla; Mehmet Adil; Akira Akira; Micky Allan; Craige Andrae; John Barbour; Bianca Barling; Lynne Barwick; Andrew Best; Annette Bezor; Olive Bishop; Tony Bishop; Matthew Bradley; Katherine Brennan; Kristian Burford; Antonio Colangelo; Sarah Crowest; Alan Cruickshank; Bridget Currie; Jonathan Dady; James Dodd; Sonia Donnellan; Nicholas Folland; John Foubister; Kerry Giles; Simryn Gill; Agnieszka Golda; Richard Grayson; Kim Guthrie; Fiona Hall; Anton Hart; Louise Haselton; Paul Hewson; Hewson/Walker; Paul Hoban; Simone Hockley; Sunday Hopkins; Teri Hoskin; Larissa Hjorth; Aldo Iacobelli; Bronia Iwanczak; Kab-101; Yoko Kajio; Mimi Kelly; Simone Kennedy; Shaun Kirby; Macin Kobylecki; Yvonne Koolmatrie; Michael Kutschbach; Michelle Luke; Max Lyle; Peter McKay; Malcom McKinnon; Monte Masi; Vivienne Miller; Kelly Milton; Katie Moore; Kerin Murray; Michael Newall; Michelle Nikou; Roger Noakes; Bridget Noone; Ian North; David O'Halloran; Anna Platten; George Popperwell; Deborah Paauwe; Geoffrey Parslow; Andrew Petrusevics; Sonia Porcaro; Anne Robertson; Mark Rogers; Manne Schulze; Mark Siebert; Paul Sloan; Samantha Small; Jyanni Steffensen; Tim Sterling; Suzanne Treister; James Strickland; Jim Thalassoudis; Angela Valamanesh; Hossein Valamanesh; Irma Van Niele; Warren Vance; Linda Marie Walker; David Watt; Gerry Wedd; Steve Wigg; Laura Wills; Clint Woodger; Lisa E. Young; Zafari Art
RRP: $25 Paperback
Published by The Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia
Ken Bolton, July 2009
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ICELAND
Travel Essays In Art by EILEEN MYLES
Poet and post-punk heroine Eileen Myles has always operated in the art, writing, and queer performance scenes as a kind of observant flaneur. Like Baudelaire's gentleman stroller, Myles travels the city—wandering on garbage-strewn New York streets in the heat of summer, drifting though the antiseptic malls of La Jolla, and riding in the van with Sister Spit—seeing it with a poet's eye for detail and with the consciousness that writing about art and culture has always been a social gesture. Culled by the poet from twenty years of art writing, the essays in The Importance of Being Iceland make a lush document of her—and our—lives in these contemporary crowds.
Framed by Myles's account of her travels in Iceland, these essays posit inbetweenness as the most vital position from which to perceive culture as a whole, and a fluidity in national identity as the best model for writing and thinking about art and culture. The essays include fresh takes on Thoreau's Cape Cod walk, working class speech, James Schulyer and Björk, queer Russia and Robert Smithson; how-tos on writing an avant-garde poem and driving a battered Japanese car that resembles a menopausal body; and opinions on such widely ranging subjects as filmmaker Sadie Benning, actor Daniel Day-Lewis, Ted Berrigan's Sonnets, and flossing.
Eileen Myles, named by BUST magazine "the rock star of modern poetry," is the author of more than twenty books of poetry and prose, including Chelsea Girls, Cool for You, Sorry, Tree, and Not Me (Semiotext(e), 1991), and is the coeditor of The New Fuck You (Semiotext(e), 1995). Eileen Myles was head of the writing program at University of California, San Diego, from 2002 to 2007, and she has written extensively on art and writing and the cultural scene. Most recently, she received a fellowship from the Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Foundation.
Published by Semiotext(e)
Eileen Myles, 2009