The Art Critic: Peter Plagens’ new online novel

Peter Plagens, The Art Critic

Peter Plagens, painter, novelist, art critic for Newsweek and convener of the Art in America blogger’s roundtable Libby and I participated in last year (now online at Find Aricles!) emailed us to say he’s got a new online novel, The Art Critic, being published as 24 weekly installments at artnet. The first installment is up and it’s a wry piece whose main character is Arthur, a longtime and relatively dyspeptic New York art critic for a weekly newsmagazine who’s a fan of abstract art and is mostly annoyed with everything and everyone he sees on his rounds in Chelsea. The writing’s peppy and the descriptions are very funny. A landscape painting is called “small” and “mayonaisey,” and Arthur is described as having “good teeth, although just a little too small and unfluorescently white to have been a game show emcee’s.”

I love the Dickensian seriality of the publishing but the installment’s a little to long to read online (for me at least). I printed out the 10 page single spaced chapter — and will recycle the paper and live with my guilt.

This is the painter/writer’s second novel. Time for Robo (1999) was a real world hard back book.