The Dominance of the White Male Critic Conversations about our monuments, museums, screens and stages have the same blind spots as our political discourse.

Good raising of an issue its disconnect:

“It’s 2019 and we are in the middle of a renaissance in black artistic production. And you are telling me the best people to evaluate that are the same ones who basically ignored black artists for decades?” the art critic Antwaun Sargent tweeted in May.

He was referring to reviews of this year’s Whitney Biennial, which will close in late September. But he could have been writing about reviews of film, theater, dance, even hip-hop.

The curators were a black woman and a white woman, and a majority of the artists they featured were people of color. Half were women; many were young.

But in major media outlets, white critics wrote the reviews that defined the conversation about the country’s pre-eminent contemporary art show. But not without resistance.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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