Strolling with the zeitgeist

By Brian Dougherty: Frieze


Six decades of avoiding being categorized


Patrick Ireland,?Five Identities, 2002, photograph

After training as a doctor in Ireland, Brian O?Doherty was an art critic for The New York Times in the 1960s, produced and hosted two art series for television; edited Aspen 5+6 (1967) (which included Roland Barthes?s essay ?The Death of the Author? and Susan Sontag?s ?The Aesthetics of Silence?); and was editor of Art in America from 1971?74. Throughout, he continued to make work as an artist. O?Doherty also served for 19 years as director of the film, radio and television section of the National Endowment for the Arts, where he funded artists and exhibition spaces working with new media. His published works includeInside the White Cube: Ideologies of the Gallery Space?(1976) and the novel?The Deposition of Father McGreevy?(2000), which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The first monograph on his work,?Brian O?Doherty/Patrick Ireland: Between Categories(Brenda Moore McCann; Lund Humphries/Ashgate), was published in 2009. O?Doherty continues to make art and write. His novel?The Cross-dresser?s Secret?will be published by Sternberg Press later this year; his solo show at Kunstmuseum Bayreuth, Germany, opens 3 July. The following essay is an edited version of the lecture he delivered at Frieze Talks in 2012. Continue reading “Strolling with the zeitgeist”