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Rosalind E. Krauss

Rosalind E. Krauss, editor and cofounder of October magazine, is University Professor at Columbia University. She is the author of The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths, The Optical Unconscious, Bachelors, and Perpetual Inventory, all published by the MIT Press.

Titles by This Author

In Under Blue Cup, Rosalind Krauss explores the relation of aesthetic mediums to memory--her own memory having been severely tested by a ruptured aneurysm that temporarily washed away much of her short-term memory. (The title, Under Blue Cup, comes from the legend on a flash card she used as a mnemonic tool during cognitive therapy.) Krauss emphasizes the medium as a form of remembering; contemporary artists in what she terms the "post-medium" condition reject that scaffolding.

The job of an art critic is to take perpetual inventory, constantly revising her ideas about the direction of contemporary art and the significance of the work she writes about. In these essays, which span three decades of assessment and reassessment, Rosalind Krauss considers what she has come to call the "post-medium condition"—the abandonment by contemporary art of the modernist emphasis on the medium as the source of artistic significance.

Since the 1970s Rosalind Krauss has been exploring the art of painters, sculptors, and photographers, examining the intersection of these artists' concerns with the major currents of postwar visual culture. These essays on nine women artists are framed by the question, born of feminism, "What evaluative criteria can be applied to women's art?" In the case of surrealism, in particular, some have claimed that surrealist women artists must either redraw the lines of their practice or participate in the movement's misogyny.

The Optical Unconscious is a pointed protest against the official story of modernism and against the critical tradition that attempted to define modern art according to certain sacred commandments and self-fulfilling truths. Rosalind Krauss tells the story of the optical unconscious, an unruly, disruptive force that persistently haunted the field of modernism from the 1920s to the 1950s and continues to disrupt it today.

Co-founder and co-editor of October magazine, a veteran of Artforum of the 1960s and early 1970s, Rosalind Krauss has presided over and shared in the major formulation of the theory of postmodernism.