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Tell Me Something Good

Published by David Zwirner Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

Since 2000, The Brooklyn Rail has been a platform for artists, academics, critics, poets, and writers in New York and abroad. The monthly journal’s continued appeal is due in large part to its diverse contributors, many of whom bring contrasting and often unexpected opinions to conversations about art and aesthetics. No other publication devotes as much space to the artist’s voice, allowing ideas to unfold and idiosyncrasies to emerge through open discussion.

Since its inception, cofounder and artistic director Phong Bui and the Rail’s contributors have interviewed over four hundred artists for The Brooklyn Rail. This volume brings together for the first time a selection of sixty of the most influential and seminal interviews with artists ranging from Richard Serra and Brice Marden, to Alex Da Corte and House of Ladosha. While each interview is important in its own right, offering a perspective on the life and work of a specific artist, collectively they tell the story of a journal that has grown during one of the more diverse and surprising periods in visual art. There is no unified style or perspective; The Brooklyn Rail’s strength lies in its ability to include and champion difference.

Selected and coedited by Jarrett Earnest, a frequent Rail contributor, with Lucas Zwirner, the book includes an introduction to the project by Phong Bui as well as many of the hand-drawn portraits he has made of those he has interviewed over the years. This combination of verbal and visual profiles offers a rare and personal insight into contemporary visual culture.

Interviews with Vito Acconci, Ai Weiwei, Lynda Benglis, James Bishop, Chris Burden, Vija Celmins, Francesco Clemente, Bruce Conner, Alex Da Corte, Rosalyn Drexler, Keltie Ferris, Simone Forti, Andrea Fraser, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Suzan Frecon, Coco Fusco, Robert Gober, Leon Golub, Ron Gorchov, Michelle Grabner, Josephine Halvorson, Sheila Hicks, David Hockney, Roni Horn, House of Ladosha, Alfredo Jaar, Bill Jensen, Alex Katz, William Kentridge, Matvey Levenstein, Nalini Malani, Brice Marden, Chris Martin, Jonas Mekas, Shirin Neshat, Thomas Nozkowski, Lorraine O’Grady, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Joanna Pousette-Dart, Ernesto Pujol, Martin Puryear, Walid Raad, Dorothea Rockburne, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Robert Ryman, Dana Schutz, Richard Serra, Shahzia Sikander, Nancy Spero, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Sarah Sze, Rirkrit Tiravanija, James Turrell, Richard Tuttle, Luc Tuymans, Kara Walker, Stanley Whitney, Jack Whitten, Yan Pei-Ming, and Lisa Yuskavage

Special thanks to Furthermore, a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, for their support of The Brooklyn Rail.

About The Authors

Lucas Zwirner is Head of Content at David Zwirner where he oversees all aspects of gallery publishing through books, web, video, and the podcast Dialogues. Lucas has contributed texts to gallery publications, including Rudolf Zwirner: Give Me the Now (2021), A Balthus Notebook (2020), and Tell Me Something Good: Artist Interviews from The Brooklyn Rail (2017). At David Zwirner Books, he began the ekphrasis series, dedicated to publishing short texts on visual culture by artists and writers, rarely available in English. He has also written on contemporary art and literature for publications The Drift and The Paris Review, and translated books from German and French. His translation of Elias Cannetti's The Profession of the Poet is forthcoming in I WANT TO KEEP SMASHING MYSELF UNTIL I'M WHOLE: An Elias Canetti Reader, edited by Josh Cohen and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Product Details

  • Publisher: David Zwirner Books (November 21, 2017)
  • Length: 535 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781941701379

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Raves and Reviews

“For 20 years, [The Brooklyn Rail’s] interviews have challenged artists to talk about their work and facilitate new conversations with non-artists.”

– Sarah Spellings, The Cut

The Brooklyn Rail “has run more than four hundred interviews with visual artists since its inception in 2000. This book collects sixty of the best…”

– Editors, Art in America

“Veteran Rail interviewers, such as Phong Bui, the journal’s founder, Chris Martin, Robert Storr, and John Yau, have often known their subjects for years; their interviews eschew cleverness to probe personal issues and let the artist speak.”

– Christopher Lyon, Hyperallergic

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