Academic journal article Afterimage

Before Pictures

Academic journal article Afterimage

Before Pictures

Article excerpt

Edited by Douglas Crimp/The University of Chicago Press/2016/288 pp./$39.00 (hb)

As a gay youth growing up amid the insufferable narrow-mindedness of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Douglas Crimp hungered for the wider world. Fleeing the provincial life in 1962 to attend college in New Orleans, he whet his appetite for culture before relocating to New York City in 1967, where he devoured the art scene. The intrepid young Crimp became a powerfully influential art critic--first for ARTnews, while he worked as a curatorial assistant at the Guggenheim--and one who didn't just orbit art circles, but fully immersed himself in the revelry.

Crimp's powerful insight is the backbone of his autobiographical book, Before Pictures, which blends conversational, gossipy storytelling with an encyclopedic personal history of cultural anecdotes. The work recounts the decade leading up to Pictures, the 1977 exhibition Crimp organized at New York's Artists Space that included artists Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, and Philip Smith. …

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