||This article lends undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies. (November 2010)|
Deborah Solomon (born August 9, 1957, New York City) is an American art critic, journalist and biographer. Her weekly column, "Questions For" ran in The New York Times Magazine from 2003 to 2011. She is currently the art critic for WNYC Public Radio, the New York City affiliate of NPR.
Early life and education
Solomon was born in New York City and grew up in New Rochelle, New York. Her parents, Jerry and Sally Solomon, owned an art gallery. She was educated at Cornell University, where she majored in art history and served as the associate editor of The Cornell Daily Sun. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1979. The following year, she received a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Solomon was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2001 in the category of biography.
Solomon began her career writing about art for various publications, including The New Criterion. For most of the 1990s, she served as the chief art critic of The Wall Street Journal. She has written extensively about American painting, and is the author of several biographies of American artists, including Jackson Pollock, Joseph Cornell, and Norman Rockwell.
92nd Street Y incident
On November 29, 2010, at the 92nd Street Y in New York, Solomon was scheduled to interview actor Steve Martin regarding his new novel, An Object of Beauty, which is set in the art world. However, midway through the conversation, a Y representative handed Ms. Solomon a note asking her to talk more about Mr. Martin’s movie career and, implicitly, less about the art world. The next day, the Y issued an apology to audiences, along with an offer to refund the $50 ticket price in the form of gift certificates to future Y events to the 900 people who had attended. prompting much controversy. Solomon told The New York Times, "Frankly, you would think that an audience in New York, at the 92nd Street Y, would be interested in hearing about art and artists. I had no idea that the Y programmers wanted me to talk to Steve instead on what it's like to host the Oscars. I think the Y, which is supposedly a champion of the arts, has behaved very crassly and is reinforcing the most philistine aspects of a culture that values celebrity and award shows over art." In an op-ed piece in The New York Times, Martin praised Solomon as an "art scholar" and said he would have rather "died onstage with art talk" than with the movie trivia questions the Y had chosen for him.
Solomon is married to Kent Sepkowitz, an infectious-disease specialist and the Deputy Physician-in-Chief at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.They have two sons.
- Jackson Pollock: A Biography, Simon & Schuster, 1987, ISBN 978-0-8154-1182-6
- Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997, ISBN 0-374-18012-1
- American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013, ISBN 978-0-374-11309-4
- "Guggenheim Fellowship recipients list". Retrieved March 26, 2015.
- "The Left's Top 25 Journalists". The Daily Beast. 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
- Lee, Felicia (December 1, 2010). "Comedian Conversation Falls Flat at 92nd Street Y". New York Times. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
- Martin, Steve (December 4, 2010). "The Art of Interruption". New York Times. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
- Interviews by Deborah Solomon for the New York Times
- Article on Deborah Solomon in Good Magazine, February 14, 2007
- Arthur Danto's review of Solomon's Utopia Parkway, Slate, March 26, 1997
- Interview with Deborah Solomon in the New York Times Book Review, June 13, 2010
- Deborah Solomon talking about art criticism on WNYC radio
- Deborah Solomon page at Farrar, Straus & Giroux
- John Wilmerding's review of Solomon's "American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell," New York Times, October 31, 2013
- In-depth interview with Deborah Solomon in Guernica Magazine, January 15, 2014.
- Deborah Solomon's television appearance on "The Colbert Report," on January 14, 2014