“One Question” with Nathaniel McLin


Nathaniel McLin is a Chicago-based art critic whose been published in numerous publications and frequently writes for Paint magazine. He also hosts a radio show called “The Art Musuem of Chicago” on WHPK 88.5 fm in Chicago. Nathaniel also contributed an essay for Kerry James Marshall’s catalogue One True Thing: Meditations on Black Aesthetics.

Recently, Nathaniel McLin made a comment on Joyce Owens: Artist on Art concerning art critics and getting reviews published:

“I would say as an art critic it is very difficult to get editors to publish a review of an artist/home studio show. Editors prefer to publish reviews of artist in third party venues. Also, most of the major organizations that promote artist on their web sites and lists refuse to deal with artist cooperatives. I found I will hurt my career by pushing artists that are not in the gallery system. Every time I try to write about a local artist that is not a recent MFA grad following a trendy movement I risk being cut off from that publication permanently.”

Neoteric Art: Why do you think art publications do not want to publish art reviews of non-gallery work?

Nathaniel McLin: For obvious business reasons I am reluctant to name names. However, I will address the question indirectly. Why should an editor waste precious space on an artist without the signifiers of institutional support? Who knows what state of affairs exists within an artist’s studio/home environment—why take the risk?

Also, magazines are part of the same network of museums, universities, curators, collectors and historians that constitute the art world hegemony. [For a more in depth look at this question please] read my interview with Lane Relyea published in the national magazine Paint which no one would publish here in Chicago.

Lane Relyea interview

Paint Magazine