60 Wrd/Min Art Critic is an exploration of short-form art writing, a work of performance art, an experiment in role reversal between artist and critic, a democratic gesture, and a circumvention of the art review process. The process is this: for two to three days, Lori Waxman makes herself available in a given location (usually an artist-run gallery) to any artist who wants a review. Artists bring in their work and, on a first-come, first-served basis, she spends twenty minutes writing them a review of 100–200 words. She guarantees a thoughtful, serious review. The text is then “published” by her receptionist and posted on an adjacent wall for everyone—reviewer, artist, receptionist, audience—to read. Eventually all or some of the reviews are published in a magazine or newspaper. In three days in Knoxville, Tennessee, Waxman saw work by a total of thirty-six artists—professional, amateur, self-taught, MFA, even work by an incarcerated felon—and wrote as many reviews. She is taking the show on the road, traveling the project to small cities throughout the US that have vibrant art communities but no local art critic.
Lori Waxman is the art critic for the Chicago Tribune and teaches art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her reviews and articles have been published in Artforum, Modern Painters, Gastronomica, and Parkett, as well as the sadly defunct Parachute and New Art Examiner. She has written catalogue essays for small and large art spaces, including Spertus Museum and Three Walls Gallery in Chicago, Spaces Gallery (Cleveland), INOVA (Milwaukee), Turpentine Gallery (Iceland), and Dieu Donné Papermill (New York). Artists written about include Arturo Herrera, Jenny Holzer, William Cordova, Eugenia Alter Propp, Raissa Venables, Gordon Matta-Clark, Joel Sternfeld, Emily Jacir, Taryn Simon, Ranbir Kaleka, and Christa Donner. Excerpts from 60 Wrd/Min Art Critic have appeared in the Believer and Knoxville Metro Pulse. Waxman received an MA in modern art history, theory, and criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. For 100 days during the summer of 2012, the 60 Wrd/Min Art Critic was performed as part of dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel, Germany.