In 1984, the art critic and theorist Craig Owens (1950–90) gave a wide-ranging interview with Lyn Blumenthal and Kate Horsfield for their extraordinary video series On Art and Artists. At once personal, political and forward-thinking, Owens recounts his experiences with Rosalind Krauss and the founding of the journal October, the “Pictures Generation” artists and critics, and his evolving understanding of the art market, and how it impacts the thinking around art itself.
Along the way, he talks about his journey from a small town in Western Pennsylvania to the Off-Broadway theater world of New York in the '70s, and offers insights into his struggles grappling with the aesthetic and political contradictions haunting contemporary art then―as much as now. The interview, newly edited and updated, is published here for the first time and tells the intimate story of one of the most compelling minds in art theory and criticism. Novelist Lynne Tillman provides an introduction.