The museum is open Wednesday 12-5pm and Thursday - Sunday 12-6pm - Please note that the museum will be closed on April 26th.

The Poetics of Criticism

The Poetics of Criticism

Dec 16, 2022 - Dec 16, 2022

The Poetics of Criticism invites a gathering of Black femme critics to be in conversation about the contours and nuances of contemporary arts writing at the museum. Dually inspired by the unfiltered framework of Lois Weaver’s The Long Table format and the beautifully discursive, intersectional ebbs and flows of Black feminist kitchen table sessions, the Poetics of Criticism is curious about the evolving role of the Black femme critic. Our participants begin with our audience. What questions will you ask of us? Our invited guests include: Darla Migan, Jessica Lynne, Ayanna Dozier, Re’al Christian, Erica N. Cardwell, and Lee Ann Norman. Each guest will share a brief sampling of their work, as an offering to the table. Our gathering maintains that elements of critical writing that are often cast aside - curious, intuitive, experiential. Consider this a Kitchen Table session. Let’s gather and share.

Darla Migan, PhD is an art critic and philosopher. She wrote her dissertation on the philosopher and artist, Adrian Margaret Smith Piper. In 2021 Darla began teaching the alt-online course “Philosophy for Artists” and started collaboratively curating with artists @variableterms. She is a recipient of an Andy Warhol Arts Writers Grant, an alumnus of the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and on the faculty at The New School for Social Research. Her criticism on the conditions of contemporary art and visual culture can be read in Art in America, Artnet News, The Brooklyn Rail, Cultured Magazine, ShiftSpace, Spike, Sugarcane Magazine, and Texte zur Kunst.

Jessica Lynne is a writer and art critic. She is a founding editor of ARTS.BLACK, an online journal of art criticism from Black perspectives. Her writing has been featured in publications such as Artforum, The Believer, Frieze, The Nation, Oxford American, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a 2020 Research and Development award from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and a 2020 Arts Writer Grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation. Jessica is currently a student in the MFA Writing program at Sarah Lawrence College. She is slowly at work on an essay collection about love, faith, and the U.S. South.

Ayanna Dozier, PhD is a Brooklyn-based artist-writer working across film (both motion picture and still), performance, and installation. Her films have screened at film festivals across the United States and the United Kingdom which includes; Prismatic Ground (2022), Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival (2021), Open City Docs (2020), and Aesthetica Film Festival where she was the recipient of Best Experimental in 2020 for her film Softer.

Her work has been exhibited at Microscope Gallery, The Shed, Westbeth Gallery, Evening Hours, Anthology Film Archives, and the Block Museum amongst other places. She is the author of The Velvet Rope as part of the 33 1/3 music series for Bloomsbury Academic Press. She was a 2018-2019 Helena Rubinstein Fellow in Critical Studies at the Whitney Independent Studies Program, the 2020 recipient of the Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art Writing, a Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art from 2017-2022, a 2022 Winter Workspace Resident at Wave Hill, and a filmmaker in residence at MONO NO AWARE from 2019-2020. She is the 2022 fall recipient of the Field Residency at Field Projects and is currently working on a manuscript on the life and art of abstract film and visual artist, Camille Billops.

Re'al Christian is a writer, editor, and art historian based in Queens, NY. Her work explores issues related to identity, diasporas, ecology, and materiality. Her essays, interviews, and criticism have appeared in Art in America, BOMB Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, and ART PAPERS, where she is a Contributing Editor. She has written catalogue texts for Howardena Pindell: Numbers/Pathways/Grids (Garth Greenan and Dieu Donné), On the Town: A Performa Compendium 2016–2021 (Gregory R. Miller & Co.), Zipora Fried (Sikkema Jenkins & Co.), and the forthcoming anthology Track Changes: A Handbook for Art Criticism. Her curatorial projects include Steven Anthony Johnson II: Getting Blood from Stone at ISCP (2022) and The earth leaked red ochre (2022) at Miriam Gallery. Additionally as a graduate curatorial fellow at the Hunter College Art Galleries, she worked on the exhibitions and publications The Black Index (2020–22) and Life as Activity: David Lamelas (2021).

Christian is the Assistant Director of Editorial Initiatives at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School. She received her master’s degree in Art History from Hunter College. She holds a bachelor’s degree from New York University, where she double majored in Art History and Media, Culture, and Communication.

Erica N. Cardwell is a writer, critic and educator based in Brooklyn and Toronto. She is the recipient of a 2021 Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and a New York State Council for the Arts Grant for Artists in support of her first book, Wrong Is Not My Name; Essays and Stories on Black Feminist Visual Culture, which will be published by The Feminist Press in 2023.

Cardwell’s teaching and writing consider the consciousness and imaginations of people of color as a tool for social, spiritual, and collective movement. She centers Black feminist theory as her primary critical approach, and often writes about print and paper-making practices, archival media, and interdisciplinary performance. Her writing has appeared in ARTS. BLACK, Artsy, Frieze, BOMB, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, CULTURED, Hyperallergic, C Mag, Art in America and other publications.

Cardwell has been awarded residencies and fellowships from the Lambda Literary Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and the Queer Art Mentorship. She received her MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and has taught for various institutions, such as Parsons School of Design at The New School, Barnard College, City University of New York, and the Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency. She is on the editorial board of Radical Teacher Journal and a member of the International Art Critics Association.

Lee Ann Norman is a writer and cultural worker who has developed a body of work that highlights her interest in cultivating spaces that allow people to learn about each other and themselves through the arts. Lee Ann considers how art objects and experiences are perceived in the marketplace; the politics of culture and aesthetics; the role of conversation and questioning in creative pursuits; and reconsiderations of language as applied to interpreting art objects and experiences. Her writing has appeared in Art Papers, The Brooklyn Rail, BOMB, the Chicago Reader, Studio: The Studio Museum of Harlem Magazine, Newcity, and Sixty among others. She earned an MFA in Art Criticism & Writing from the School of Visual Arts (New York), a MA in Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago, and a Bachelor of Music Education from Michigan State University.


Leslie-Lohman Museum strives to provide a welcoming environment to all visitors. External steps lead to our entrance doors: a wheelchair lift is available. All galleries are wheelchair-accessible, and a single-occupancy accessible restroom is located behind the visitor services desk: all restrooms are gender-neutral. Large print didactics are available.

Captions will be provided at the event.

To request access requests please contact at least one week in advance of your planned visit.

Gratitude to our Sponsors:

This event is made possible by generous support from the New York State Council for the Arts Grant for Artists, The Feminist Press, and the Queer|Art|Mentorship Works-In-Progress are supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.