The New Art Examiner Here and Now (Independent Art Criticism)


I was only two years old and in Mexico when the first issue of the New Art Examiner was published in Chicago (early 1970’s).  It wasn’t until I was a college art student in Chicago many years later that I first got a copy of the New Art Examiner.  I still conserve that first copy.  As a student, little did I know the importance of such publication or its history.  Unfortunately, for me and those who came after, the NAE came to an end in 2002 leaving a gap that no other publication has been able to fill.

A few years ago and through Kathryn Born’s fantastic online site Chicago Arts Magazine, I was reintroduced to the New Art Examiner.  The Northern Illinois University Press published The Essential New Art Examiner which gathered some of the best examples of this Chicago based magazine which reached national relevance.  This special edition, which I hold a digital copy in my laptop, is a must have for independent art criticism.


And the question is where is Chicago art criticism today and who is documenting the voices of a new generation? In my opinion, relevant art criticism that is not tied to the the dominant institutions has left the building. There are a few exceptions but as far as I know, none have reached the status the NAE once had.  It appears to me that everywhere I look at, auction price records seem to dominate the art conversation today. And how about those useless power lists that keep coming in and out of who is who in Chicago art? Really? Yet, a new wave of artists and cultural workers continue to shake the foundations of the system.  Perhaps, this is the best time for a historically important publication to come back and document the cultural art dialog.  Like I said it before, in today’s art world, if it is not documented, it is like it never happened.  The same is true for Chicago. It is my hope that in its new life, The New Art Examiner provides a forum for new independent voices.

New Art Examiner Now

Inspired by the original New Art Examiner magazine (1973 – 2002) we encourage freedom of thought and discussion “Without Fear or Favor.”  Based in Chicago yet pursuing an international reach, our website and paper publication efforts seek to revive critical analysis and independent thinking within the arts today. 

The next public event of the New Art examiner Now will take place at the Hull House (800 S. Halsted) on Feb 20th 6 to 9pm. Finding Relevance for Independent Voices Beyond Art World Institutions with presenters Derek Guthrie, Diane Thodos, Richard Siegesmund among others.

Come and join the conversation. See what this is all about. See you at the Hull House this Thursday night!

Learn more at


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