Raves (And Not)

Raoul Hausmann, The Art Critic (1919-20), lithograph and photographic collage, 318 cm. x 254 cm.

* * *

The “worst New York art critic”:  Unknown Pundit, ArtNet, April 16, 2002

The “worst New York art critic”: Unknown Pundit, Time Out New York

Among “the critics who craft the most limpid prose these days”:  Peter Plagens, Art in America, February 2007

A “wickedly talented critic”: Scott Lucas, Creative Loafing, October 26, 2010

“A maverick dissenter” whose “opinions are as bright and punchy as any editor could wish for”:  David Cohen, The New York Sun, September 4, 2008

“Reviews written by artists are often more insightful because the writing is informed by a deeper understanding of the art-making process. Contemporary artists-writers I admire include . . . Mario Naves”: Sharon Butler, Fine Arts Views, April 16, 2011.

“It’s not that writing well about art is an impossible task . . . Mario Naves write[s] about even the most esoteric, postmodern art in a lucid way that elucidates the meaning of the art”: Laurie Fendrich, Brainstorm, April 12, 2011

“A serious critic . . . [who] should be respected for his honesty”:  James Kalm, How’s My Dealing?, April 12, 2008

“His primary concern is for the way a thing looks, not for one or another formalist theory”:  Maureen Mullarkey, Studio Matters, September 1, 2003

“Dull eye[d]” and “boring”:  Jerry Saltz, The Village Voice, February 1, 2006

A “priggish, stuffy”, “self-congratulatory bitch-slapping” “cynic”:  Jerry Saltz, The Village Voice,  September 9, 2003.

“Goofy” and “gorgeous” (the art, not the critic):  Lance Esplund, Art in America, January 2004.

“Sees every work of art as an extension of Color Field stretching back into the Nixon era, shunning the radical, the kinky and the original”:  Charlie Finch, ArtNet, 2003

“I wonder what Mario Naves was wearing in his teens and twenties.  Button-downs and Oxfords?”: Carol Diehl, ArtVent, August 21, 2007

“For a guy who makes cut and paste out of the contents of his bathroom waste paper basket you’ve got a lot of nerve writing as an authority on painting”: Disgruntled Reader, April 24, 2012


  • Fwoot  On January 8, 2013 at 5: 10 pm

    Jerry Saltz has a point.

  • Kevin  On March 22, 2017 at 8: 27 pm

    Gawd, your 2000 review of Knoedler’s “James Castle” is *so* off-the-mark. Yes, after all these years, I am compelled to write and say this.

    Castle’s work remains a true testament (one of the very few) to humankind’s inborn will to beauty and self-expression, unimpeded by social norms. The acculturated art world could stand to learn some direct and powerful lessons from Castle — outsider or no.

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