International Art English

Ever been baffled by an art exhibition press release or wall text? If the answer is “yes, and it makes me angry”, keep reading.

IAE, known as International Art English, is a term was coined by David Levine and Alix Rule. Their linguistic study of how art is written about today (that is: in an obfuscatory way, and when I say “obfuscatory”, I’m using IAE) was first published in 2012 in Triple Canopy.

“Art English is something that everyone in the art world bitches about all the time, but we all use it.”

– artist David Levine, from an article about IAE in the Guardian.

By contrast, IAE is not used by blogs like Paddy Johnson’s Art F City. To memory, every piece I’ve read on AFC continues a meaningful dialogue about contemporary art without the use of IAE.

Person of the Week | Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848-1884)

Bastien-Lepage died at the age of 36–one year older than I am now.  This creates in me a healthy mix of urgency and surprise.  I have admired his work but didn’t know of his early death.

“Season of October”, 1879, oil on canvas, 71″ x 77″

This painting brought me to a standstill when I laid eyes on it in 2001 at the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon.


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