Barry Schwabsky

Art Critic

Barry Schwabsky is the art critic of The Nation.

Isaac Julien at the Tate Britain, 2023.

Isaac Julien’s Truth Isaac Julien’s Truth

Dealing with time, race, and utopias, his work challenges conventional notions of where film belongs and should be consumed.

Dec 18, 2023 / Books & the Arts / Barry Schwabsky

Hannah Arendt, in a black and white photograph, sits in front of a wood paneled wall wearing a white jacket

Tomorrow’s Antisemitism Today Tomorrow’s Antisemitism Today

While real antisemitism is rearing its head, the assurance that “anti-Zionism is not inherently antisemitic” can feel like gaslighting.

Nov 21, 2023 / Barry Schwabsky

David Velasco on April 18, 2018, in Milan, Italy.

Once Upon a Time in “Artforum” Once Upon a Time in “Artforum”

Artists and critics are polarized—and under great pressure from both sides of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Nov 2, 2023 / Barry Schwabsky

A security guard stands in the doorway during a press viewing of

What Museum Guards See What Museum Guards See

A recent memoir by Patrick Bringley about his time working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art illustrates the intimate knowledge guards possess of the pieces they protect.

Sep 25, 2023 / Books & the Arts / Barry Schwabsky

Jimmie Durham in London, 2015.

The Unsettled Life and Art of Jimmie Durham The Unsettled Life and Art of Jimmie Durham

A retrospective in Naples magnifies the mystery of the conceptual artist’s work. 

Jun 21, 2023 / Books & the Arts / Barry Schwabsky

A New Continuum of Art History at the Carnegie International

A New Continuum of Art History at the Carnegie International A New Continuum of Art History at the Carnegie International

The long-running exhibition of international art offers an indispensable lesson in art outside the bounds of America’s reach and a different way to see history.

Mar 23, 2023 / Books & the Arts / Barry Schwabsky

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin’s Life Between Art and Activism Nan Goldin’s Life Between Art and Activism

The impact of her pioneering photography and her advocacy on behalf of those harmed by Purdue Pharma is chronicled in Laura Poitras’s All the Beauty and the Bloodshed.

Mar 4, 2023 / Books & the Arts / Barry Schwabsky

Beyond Zombie Figuration

Beyond Zombie Figuration Beyond Zombie Figuration

The craze for figurative painting might be at an impasse. These three painters stand above the pack, making work that challenges the very idea of the form.

Dec 19, 2022 / Books & the Arts / Barry Schwabsky

RICK LOWE's Victoria Square Project- Open Borders, 2022

The Outer Limits of Painting The Outer Limits of Painting

Recent shows from Rick Lowe and Mary Heilmann subvert expectations of the medium, their work exploring social life and its imperfections past the confines of the canvas.

Nov 8, 2022 / Books & the Arts / Barry Schwabsky

Peter Schjeldahl, 2008

Schjeldahl’s Art Schjeldahl’s Art

At a time when art criticism was becoming more and more scholastic in tone, Peter Schjeldahl proudly upheld the banner of belletristic criticism.

Oct 26, 2022 / Books & the Arts / Barry Schwabsky

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