Art Lies low: Houston-based art journal ceases production in May
Citing sharp budget cuts, the Houston-based art journal, Art Lies, will cease production and publication of its printed journal and website in May. The publication will finish projects slated for this season, among them a Mary Ellen Carroll-guest edited issue, entitled "Architecture Is Not Art." In addition, Art Lies will complete production of a special print-on-demand edition and public panel on April 16 in collaboration with the 2011 Texas Biennial.
During its 18 years of existence, Art Lies has provided an international forum for the critical examination of artistic practice, theory and discourse surrounding contemporary art and developed a loyal following. Previously limited to a quarterly publication and archival website content, Art Lies expanded its online presence in 2010 as a companion to its print publication (as profiled by CultureMap). The online component was poised to complement such public programs as the Art Lies Annual Distinguished Critic Lecture Series. Yet in the wake of nationwide decreases in arts funding, the business model for the publication has proven financially unviable.
What will emerge from Art Lies' ashes remains to be seen, but a small crop of art criticism forums is simultaneously arising on the Internet. Austin-based e-journal ...might be good, a project of Fluent~Collaborative, is now headed by Houston-based Wendy Vogel, a critical fellow in the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Also contributing virtual ink to the art arena is Sasha Dela, artist and co-director of Skydive Art Space, and now the Houston region editor of the Temporary Art Review. Adding to these two indie organizations is the recently relaunched Texas art news source, Glasstire.
"I think that Art Lies has done amazing work, particularly lately online," Dela tells CultureMap. Despite the lingering skeletons of print publication, she views the transition to online art criticism in a more positive light: "I think that it is ultimately a really good thing because it makes art really accessible, and it reduces expenses for these venues. Printed publications can be a vacuum of money."
The non-profit organization known as Art Lies is in the process of regrouping, and may resurrect as a revived journal or publishing house. "Whatever they decide to do," says Dela, "I'm sure that it will be better than anything we could have ever imagined."
There was no immediate respond to phone calls and an email to the Art Lies office.