Acclaimed NY Art Critic John Perreault Dies At Aged 78


Art critic John Perreault has died, the acclaimed art critic wrote for Artnews Soho News, and the Village Voice, passed away on 6 September at the age of 78 after complications following a gastrointestinal surgery, reports Artnews. Perreault began writing criticism for Artnews in the mid-1960s, before which he was an artist. As a sculptor and painter, he explored alternative media, included oil-coated sand and toothpaste.

He began his career In 1966, after the Village Voice hired Perreault as its chief art critic, a role that he used to champion emerging artists and those operating outside the mainstream art world. This included minimalism, photorealism, land art, and decorative art, as well as work by feminist artists and queer artists.

Perreault became friends with many of the artists that he wrote about, and it is said that the critic spoke on the phone with with Andy Warhol nightly for two years. The writer was an highly outspoken art critic with a keen eye for work that would ultimately become historically relevant, this was an ability that earned Perreault a following with art world cognoscenti and those simply interested in art.

Perreault taught at the New School, the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, the University of Arizona in Tucson and the State University of New York at Binghamton, and the University of California, San Diego, where he met his husband, who he formally married in 2008.

The acclaimed art critic also served as a curator at the American Craft Museum, the Everson Museum of Art, and the Newhouse Centre for Contemporary Art. According to the New York Times, Perreault was instrumental in organising the first “Day Without Art” in 1989 to draw awareness to the impact of AIDS in the arts.

Photo: Alice Neel Portrait of John  Perreault Photo: Artlyst


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