Doug Harvey, former LA Weekly art critic, will write for The Nation


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In December, Culture Monster reported that Doug Harvey, a regular art critic at LA Weekly for 15 years, had left the publication following a disagreement with editor Drex Heikes over a recent museum exhibition review. Now it appears that Harvey has found a new venue for his writing: The Nation, the left-leaning weekly magazine on politics and culture that is based in New York.

Harvey sent an e-mail on Saturday saying that his writing will start appearing in The Nation beginning this month. In an interview on Monday, Harvey explained that he won’t be reviewing art shows for The Nation, but rather will be writing feature-length stories for the magazine on a freelance basis. His first planned article will be on a subject that should be familiar to Culture Monster readers -- institutional censorship in light of the recent controversies at the Smithsonian Institution and the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A.


The new assignment at The Nation came through a circuitous route, said Harvey. Jean Stein, the prominent cultural writer and former editor of Grand Street, had learned about Harvey’s recent departure from LA Weekly and recommended him to her daughter, Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor and publisher of The Nation.

Harvey’s first article is expected to appear some time in the second half of January.

He said he hopes to write on a frequent basis for The Nation but said he could not specify how regularly his byline would appear. In addition to writing, Harvey said he is continuing to teach, curate and produce his own art. Harvey’s departure from LA Weekly -- where he worked as a freelancer, not a staff writer -- came after a dispute with the editor over the style of his review of the recent William Eggleston exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Since then, LA Weekly has run a review of the exhibition by another writer.

Harvey wasn’t the only arts writer to leave LA Weekly in recent months. Christopher Miles, who was a regular contributor to the alternative weekly, has also departed the publication.

-- David Ng


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