Author Archives: carterratcliff

About carterratcliff

I am a poet who writes about art and everything else.

On Words Apart by Jonas Mekas

  This is my contribution to Message Ahead: Poets Respond to the Poems of Jonas Mekas, published last year by Rail Editions.   Jonas Mekas, American: Notes on Words Apart by Carter Ratcliff   Jonas Mekas published Words Apart, a … Continue reading

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Amy Winehouse and “The Paradox of the Actor”

As a bio-pic, the Amy documentary is so-so, providing just enough evidence to let us see that her family was the real thing when it came to dysfunctionality.  We want more detail more coherently laid out.  On the other hand, … Continue reading

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The Whitney Biennial

As this year’s Whitney Biennial folds its tent and drifts away let us remember that, if it did nothing else, it gave people an opportunity to say something that they’ve been saying for years: curators are now artists.  Or they … Continue reading

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Art and Memory

Everyone says it: the art world has no memory. Of course it isn’t true that everybody says this. Nor is it true that the art world suffers from an across-the-board case of amnesia. Not only museums but also many galleries … Continue reading

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What is art? The September issue of the Brooklyn Rail

Last summer, Phong Bui offered me the chance to serve as the guest art editor for the September issue of The Brooklyn Rail.  The role brings with it a task: to pose a question.  I asked: what is art?  The … Continue reading

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Jeff Koons

Driving in the country, you sometimes see a large crowd of plaster statues in the gravel yard that fronts a cinder block shed.  There is usually a Venus de Milo and a Discus Thrower, sometimes a Farnese Hercules.  Jammed inside … Continue reading

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Amy Lowell’s definition of art

Amy Lowell was among the inventers and leading practitioners of Imagism, America’s first modernist literary movement.  In 1917 she wrote, “Art, true art, is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to … Continue reading

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