Pulitzer-winning New York-based art critic Jerry Saltz takes the role of the barometer of our time, drawing on his twenty years of work to simultaneously map contemporary art in his book Art is Life published in November 2022. Describing an era with all its dramatic turning points, from the cultural reset brought on by 9/11 to the tumultuous social crises of today, Saltz explicates how forward-thinking artists both document and challenge culture.
Saltz puts on the table the pioneers such as Kara Walker, David Wojnarowicz, Hilma af Klint, and Jasper Johns; provocateurs such as Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, and Marina Abramović; and visionaries such as Jackson Pollock, Bill Traylor, Willem de Kooning. On the one hand, while appreciating milestones such as the Obama portraits of Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, on the other hand, he is analyzing today’s art with a broad perspective ranging from disturbing events such as the Ankara gallery assassination to popular culture icons Thomas Kinkade, and Kim Kardashian.
In Art is Life, Salt carefully emphasizes the importance of the “fearless artist.” It reminds us that art is a co-channeled voice for the human experience, an essential window to our age. The book, prepared by one of the prominent cultural observers of our time, is a reference guide for art lovers with its open-hearted and fluent language.