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November 18, 2008 marked the 24th and final chapter of THE ART CRITIC, Peter Plagen's roman a clef set in the New York art world, that has been syndicated on An archive of all installments can he found here.

In Chapter 24, we find the critic in compromised straits, having lost the dream girl - the daughter of a wealthy collector and publisher who has recently purchased the very magazine where the critic publishes his writing - to a sculptor that he reviewed in that self same magazine.

We follow the critic on a brief Southwestern jaunt during which he gets all uppity about the regional cowboys-and-Indians vernacular. Upon returning to New York, he learns of the death of a female painter with whom he was close, and of a painting she left him that was discovered posthumously. The critic participates in a "Visual Culture" panel at an SVA sort of institution.

The critic learns that his article about the sculptor (to whom he lost the girl) influenced the sale of that sculptor's room-sized installation to the collector/publisher/father of the girl. The novel ends with a chance meeting between the publisher and the critic, which intends to tie up the fates of the main characters who have been threading through the narrative. Phrases like "You're cursed with integrity" and "It’s a brand new world out there" are bandied about. Finally, the critic hits the galleries, as "there were still a few exhibitions he could catch before closing time.

The End."

On "The Art Critic" by Peter Plagens

The first installment of The Art Critic, a novel set in the New York art world and centering on a fifty-something critic for a weekly news magazine, recently appeared on Artnet. The book will serialize online over the next 24 weeks. It is written by Peter Plagens, painter, writer and art critic for Newsweek.

This comment was originally posted on an Artworld Salon thread on the book.

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