Since 2000, The Brooklyn Rail has been a platform for artists, academics, critics, poets, and writers in New York and abroad. The monthly journal’s continued appeal is due in large part to its diverse contributors, many of whom bring contrasting and often unexpected opinions to conversations about art and aesthetics. No other publication devotes as much space to the artist’s voice, allowing ideas to unfold and idiosyncrasies to emerge through open discussion.
Since its inception, cofounder and artistic director Phong Bui and the Rail’s contributors have interviewed over four hundred artists for The Brooklyn Rail. This volume brings together for the first time a selection of sixty of the most influential and seminal interviews with artists ranging from Richard Serra and Brice Marden, to Alex Da Corte and House of Ladosha. While each interview is important in its own right, offering a perspective on the life and work of a specific artist, collectively they tell the story of a journal that has grown during one of the more diverse and surprising periods in visual art. There is no unified style or perspective; The Brooklyn Rail’s strength lies in its ability to include and champion difference.
Selected and coedited by Jarrett Earnest, a frequent Rail contributor, with Lucas Zwirner, the book includes an introduction to the project by Phong Bui as well as many of the hand-drawn portraits he has made of those he has interviewed over the years. This combination of verbal and visual profiles offers a rare and personal insight into contemporary visual culture.
Interviews with Vito Acconci, Ai Weiwei, Lynda Benglis, James Bishop, Chris Burden, Vija Celmins, Francesco Clemente, Bruce Conner, Alex Da Corte, Rosalyn Drexler, Keltie Ferris, Simone Forti, Andrea Fraser, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Suzan Frecon, Coco Fusco, Robert Gober, Leon Golub, Ron Gorchov, Michelle Grabner, Josephine Halvorson, Sheila Hicks, David Hockney, Roni Horn, House of Ladosha, Alfredo Jaar, Bill Jensen, Alex Katz, William Kentridge, Matvey Levenstein, Nalini Malani, Brice Marden, Chris Martin, Jonas Mekas, Shirin Neshat, Thomas Nozkowski, Lorraine O’Grady, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Joanna Pousette-Dart, Ernesto Pujol, Martin Puryear, Walid Raad, Dorothea Rockburne, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Robert Ryman, Dana Schutz, Richard Serra, Shahzia Sikander, Nancy Spero, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Sarah Sze, Rirkrit Tiravanija, James Turrell, Richard Tuttle, Luc Tuymans, Kara Walker, Stanley Whitney, Jack Whitten, Yan Pei-Ming, and Lisa Yuskavage
Special thanks to Furthermore, a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, for their support of The Brooklyn Rail.
About the Author
Lucas Zwirner is Head of Content at David Zwirner. He oversees the editorial vision for the gallery, its publishing house, and its web and online platforms, deepening the conversation around the gallery’s artists, exhibitions, and projects through books, podcasts, videos, web content, public programming, strategic partnerships, and online sales. Lucas spearheaded David Zwirner Books’s new partnership with Simon & Schuster and has grown the program to over 30 titles a year, ranging from criticism to poetry. He is also the host of Dialogues: The David Zwirner Podcast, a program about artists and the way they think. Lucas is also a writer and translator who has published pieces in the Paris Review, The New York Review of Books, and The Drift. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale with a BA in philosophy and literature.
“For 20 years, [The Brooklyn Rail’s] interviews have challenged artists to talk about their work and facilitate new conversations with non-artists.” — Sarah Spellings
The Brooklyn Rail “has run more than four hundred interviews with visual artists since its inception in 2000. This book collects sixty of the best…” — Editors
“Veteran Rail interviewers, such as Phong Bui, the journal’s founder, Chris Martin, Robert Storr, and John Yau, have often known their subjects for years; their interviews eschew cleverness to probe personal issues and let the artist speak.” — Christopher Lyon