Elissa Favero first fell in love with contemporary art as an assembly of Louise Bourgeois eye benches was installed outside her freshman-year dorm room at Williams College. After a stint at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., she moved west for graduate studies in art history at the University of Washington. Museum education is her bread and butter, and Elissa has worked as an art and environmental educator at SAM and currently volunteers as an exhibition guide at the Henry Art Gallery. You can check out Elissa’s essays about art, architecture, and landscape at .
About the art criticism of Ashbery, the question boils down to this: what does he stand for and against? I would like to approach this question by beginning with a distinction he made in an essay about Artaud:
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The Sense of Sight is a wonderful book of writings about art and, at the same time, or at least when I first read it in the 1980s, it seemed like a rather strange book in comparison to other art history and theory books of the period. There are writings of every kind in it, including poems–the first piece in the book is the brief 1985 poem, “Rembrandt: Self-Portrait.” And it contains essays that seem so personal that you wonder what they are doing there, if, as I was, you brought certain expectations, of “objectivity” or academic impersonality, to essays about art, which is certainly the main subject of all the writings collected in the book.