Open main menu

Nancy Marmer is a writer, art critic and editor who lives in New York City.[1]

From 1979 through 1998, Marmer was an editor at Art in America magazine—first as a senior and executive editor (1979-1982), then as managing editor and book review editor (1983-1997) and contributing editor (1998-2008).[2] She was West Coast editor of Artforum,[3] Los Angeles Correspondent for Art International,[4] a founding editor of Critique: Studies in Modern Fiction and a managing editor of Faulkner Studies.[5] She has taught at the Mellon Seminar, Rhode Island School of Design, the Visual Arts Department of the University of California, San Diego, and the English Department of the University of Minnesota.

Called one of "the earliest critics who attempted serious explorations of modern art in California"[6] and a critic of Los Angeles avant-garde art,[7] Marmer has written about numerous California artists, among them Ed Ruscha,[8] Richard Diebenkorn,[9] James Turrell,[10] Ron Davis,[11] Ed Moses,[12] and Alexis Smith.[13] She is author of "Pop Art in California," a survey of the movement on the West Coast.[14] She has also written about the relationship between art and California politics, including "a detailed outline of the effects of Proposition 13 on the arts."[15] Her art criticism and book reviews have been published in Art in America, Artforum, Art International, Art News, New West, the Los Angeles Times, and Art Press (France).

Marmer has often written about French artists such as Christian Boltanski,[16] and about the role of politics in French culture. In 1977, she covered the opening of France's Beaubourg Museum in the Centre Georges Pompidou,[17] and has written articles about the role of the French ministry of culture and the French art world.[18]

Marmer is co-editor of an anthology of literary criticism, The Modern Critical Spectrum.[19]

Marmer is married to the novelist Gerald Jay Goldberg, a professor emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has one son, Rob Goldberg, a former film critic for the Wall Street Journal, who is a producer and writer of documentary films.

She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Art Criticism, a Samuel Kress Foundation Award in Art History, the University of Minnesota English Department Prize, and is a member of the Sigma chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

Marmer currently writes fiction. She has completed one novel and is at work on a second. Since 2008, she has had a blog at[20]


  1. ^ Nancy Marmer's entry in Marquis Who's Who in America, 1997 to the present.
  2. ^ Masthead of Art in America from May/June 1979 to May 2008.
  3. ^ Masthead of Artforum, 1976-77.
  4. ^ Masthead of Art International, 1965-67.
  5. ^ "News and Notes," Critique: Studies in Modern Fiction, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 1956, p.2; "An Afterword: Celebrating Twenty Volumes," Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, Vol. 21, Issue 1, 1979, pp. 102-104.
  6. ^ "Introduction," Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art 1945-1980, ed. Rebecca Peabody, Andrew Perchuk, Glenn Phillips, Rani Singh, The Getty Research Institute, 2011, p. 1 and passim.
  7. ^ Mike Davis, City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles, 1990 , Verso (new edition), 2006, p. 65.
  8. ^ Marmer's review, "Edward Ruscha at Ferus," Artforum, December 1964, is listed as Ruscha's "first significant national exposure" in the artist's online chronology,
  9. ^ "Richard Diebenkorn: Pacific Extensions," Art in America, January/February 1978, pp. 95-99.
  10. ^ "James Turrell: The Art of Deception," Art in America, May 1981, pp.90-99.
  11. ^ "Ron Davis: Beyond Flatness," Artforum, November 1976, pp. 34-37.
  12. ^ "Ed Moses' Absolutist Abstractions," Art in America, November/December 1976, pp. 94-95.
  13. ^ "Alexis Smith" The Narrative Act," Artforum, December 1976, pp. 31-33.
  14. ^ Chapter 3 of Pop Art, ed. Lucy R. Lippard, Frederick Praeger, New York, 1966, pp. 139-161. (Other editions: Uitgeverij W. Gaade, Den Haag, 1966; Thames and Hudson, London, 1966; Gabriele Mazzotta Editore, Milano, 1967; Fernand Hazan Editeur, Paris, 1969; Droemer Knauer, 1969, etc. Reissued by Oxford University Press, 1977).
  15. ^ Paul Schimmel, Under the Big Black Sun: California Pluralism and the Birth of the Postmodern Movement, MOCA, Oct. 1, 2011-Feb. 13, 2012.
  16. ^ "Christian Boltanski: The Uses of Contradiction," Art in America, October 1989, pp. 168-181, 233-235. Described as "one of the best critical accounts of the context and development of Boltanski's work in Postmodernism and the Re-reading of Modernity, Manchester University Press, 1992, p. 114.
  17. ^ "Waiting for Gloire: Beaubourg Opens in Paris," Artforum, February 1977, pp. 52-59.
  18. ^ "The New Culture: France '82," Art in America, December 1982, pp. 115-123, 181-189; Referred to in Andreas Kupfer Schneider, Creating the Musee d'Orsay: The Politics of Culture in France, Pennsylvania University Press, 1998, p. 14.
  19. ^ Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1962.
  20. ^