A Mental Masquerade


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When Brian O'Doherty Was A Female Art Critic: Mary Josephson's Collected Writings

“Mary Josephson” is one of many pseudonyms of the New York–based art critic, conceptual artist and novelist Brian O’Doherty (born 1928), perhaps best known for his interrogation of the gallery space in the essays collected as Inside the White Cube. In tandem with writings and artworks signed as Patrick Ireland—a protest against British military occupation in Northern Ireland—O’Doherty wrote texts as Josephson from 1971 to 1973 while an editor at Art in America. Her name deriving from O’Doherty’s middle and confirmation names (Mary and Joseph), the persona was a writing exercise that allowed the author, as he put it, to “free myself from limiting male selfhood, to substitute another voice for that inner voice that never stops speaking, that won’t leave us alone.” Collected here for the first time, the essays are fascinating combinations of art criticism, reflexive fiction and institutional critique.

Paperback, 5.5" x 8.25" / 84 pgs.