News & Events, Fall 2019

Sunday 10/06/2019


Quijote Talk: Ben Davis, How to Write About Art: A Little Theory

Thursday, October 10
132 West 21st Street, 6th Floor
6:00 PM
Free and open to the public

This talk offers a personal theory of what it means to review art. It starts with trying to define the most basic fundamentals of what makes a review appealing, then tries to imagine what the deeper structure of a sound review is, and from defining these characteristics, works up to try to extract a theory of what the bigger purpose of this kind of writing is—why do it at all, what its social importance is, and what it's future might be. 

Ben Davis is the author of 9.5 Theses on Art and Class (Haymarket, 2013) and currently National Art Critic for Artnet News. He was an editor of The Elements of Architecture (Taschen, 2018), the catalogue to the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. Recent essays have appeared in the books Public Servants: Art and the Crisis of the Common Good (MIT Press, 2016) and The Future of Public Space (Metropolis, 2018). In 2019, Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab reported that he was one of the five most influential art critics in the United States, and the only one to write for an online publication.


Quijote Talks take place in our library on 21st Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues in Chelsea. Named after our favorite after-lecture hangout, El Quijote in the Chelsea Hotel, and inspired by the knight errant himself, this new series consists of pointed talks and discussions about relevant pasts and possible futures. See our full lecture series archive here