The Syllabus

19 Artists—Emergent Americans: 1981 Exxon National Exhibition

19 Artists—Emergent Americans: 1981 Exxon National Exhibition

Peter Frank
Published in 1981
92 pages, fully illustrated
Softcover, 7.50 x 8.50 inches

As Director Thomas M. Messer wished "to avoid too institutional an emphasis in the inherently fluid area of contemporary art," the third iteration of the Exxon National Exhibition used the lens of guest curator, critic Peter Frank, as the interpolator between museum and art. Frank also wrote the catalogue's introductory text. Each of the nineteen diverse American artists is featured with biographical information, a short artist's statement, and images of their work in both color and black and white. The artists featured are Michael Brakke, Guy de Cointet, Manny Farber, Vernon Fisher, Heidi Glück, Tom Green, William Haney, Patrick Hogan, Tom Holste, Barbara Kruger, Philip Larson, Jim Richard, Bill Richards, Darryl Sapien, Norie Sato, Gael Stack, John White, George Woodman, and Frank Young.


There is no accounting for taste, goes the cliché, but I beg to differ: a curator or critic exercising professional judgment for the edification of the art audience is made to account very quickly for personal bias. For the most part it is recognized that critics and curators are almost as human as the rest of us, and are able to transcend only so far their subjective outlooks.

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