Writing the '80s.
The aesthetic changes that came to the fore in the early '80s registered' their effects not just in studios and galleries but in the very language with which the art of the period was discussed. Few moments have witnessed a greater diversity of competing critical models. In "Writing the '80s," we look back on the decade as it unfolded in the articles and essays of those chronicling it. SCOTT ROTH KOPF investigates the mainstream art press the first half of the decade, from Artforum to Arts, to present four snapshots of the period's art writing. JAMES MEYER remembers the influential work of October and Art in America critic Craig Owens, whose collection of slides fell to Meyer after Owens's death. Finally, MATTHEW HIGGS discusses the alternative magazines of the period--ZG, Real Life, Effects, and Wedge-- which he discovered as a teenager in a London bookshop.