Richard Milazzo is a critic, curator, publisher, independent scholar and poet. In the 1970s, he was the editor and co-publisher of Out of London Press. Among the books he edited were The Syntactic Revolution: Collected Writings of Abraham Lincoln Gillespie (New York, 1980) and the first English facsimile edition of Pontormo’s Diary (New York, 1982). Other titles included the first monograph on Vito Acconci by Mario Diacono, Discussion by Annina Nosei-Weber and Robert Pincus-Witten’s Postminimalism. In 1981, he co-edited La rosa disabitata 1960-1980 for Feltrinelli, one of the first anthologies to document the post-Gertrude Stein ‘Language’ writing movement in America, which included the writings of Vito Acconci, Charles Bernstein, John Cage, Clark Coolidge, Lyn Hejinian, Dick Higgins, Frank Kuenstler, Jackson Mac Low, Bob Perelman, Bern Porter and Jerome Rothenberg, among others.
Since 1982, he has worked internationally as a critic and curator in the art world. His exhibitions and critical writings with Collins & Milazzo brought to prominence a whole new generation of artists in the 1980s. It was their exhibitions and writings that originally fashioned the theoretical context for a new kind of Conceptual Art, or what they called Post-Appropration. It argued simultaneously against Neo-Expressionism and against Picture Theory art –, and it was through this context that the work of many of the artists associated with Neo-Conceptualism (or what the critics reductively called “Simulationism” and “Neo Geo”) was first brought together – artists such as Ross Bleckner, James Welling, Peter Nadin, Kevin Larmon, Steven Parrino, Richard Prince, Peter Nagy, Sarah Charlesworth, Mark Innerst, Gretchen Bender, Allan McCollum, Peter Halley, Jonathan Lasker, Haim Steinbach, Jeff Koons, Philip Taaffe, Robert Gober, Not Vital, Saint Clair Cemin, and Annette Lemieux. He would later, in the late 1980s and 1990s, go on to support such artists as Sal Scarpitta, Meg Webster, Lawrence Carroll, Vik Muniz, Fabian Marcaccio, Alessandro Twombly, Elliot Schwartz, Bill Rice and Michel Frère, among others.
In the early 1980s, he co-published and co-edited Effects: Magazine for New Art Theory in the East Village, and from 1986 to 1988 he was the American co-editor of Kunstforum (Cologne). Among the many publications of those years were Radical Consumption and the New Poverty (New York: New Observations, 1987); Art at the End of the Social (Malmö, Sweden: The Rooseum, 1988); and Hyperframes: A Post-Appropriation Discourse in Art, the lectures they delivered as Senior Critics at Yale University in 1988 and 1989. The lectures were originally published in 1989 and 1990 in two volumes in a bilingual English and French edition in Paris, with Editions Antoine Candau, and became known as the “Green Books.” They were recently reissued in an Italian edition by Campanotto Editore in Udine, in 2005. He co-organized the CHANGE, INC., Benefit for Robert Rauschenberg in New York in 1990, and co-edited An Anthology of Statements Celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of White Columns for White Columns in 1991.
He co-curated and curated exhibitions in such galleries and museums as Nature Morte (NY), International with Monument (NY), White Columns (NY), C.A.S.H./Newhouse (NY), Postmasters (NY), Tibor De Nagy (NY), Diane Brown (NY), CEPA (Buffalo, NY), Margo Leavin (Los Angeles, CA), S.L. Simpson (Toronto, Canada), American Fine Arts Co. (NY), Massimo Audiello (NY), Lia Rumma (Naples, Italy), Galerie Albrecht (Munich, Germany), John Gibson (NY), 303 Gallery (NY), the Rooseum (Malmö, Sweden) Meyers/Bloom (Santa Monica, CA), Greenberg/Wilson (NY), Tony Shafrazi (NY), Sidney Janis (NY), Fay Gold (Atlanta, GA), The Hopper House (NY), Annina Nosei (NY), Emilio Mazzoli (Modena, Italy), James Danziger (NY), and Alain Noirhomme (Brussels, Belgium), among others. Interviews with and writings on Collins & Milazzo and the author’s critical and curatorial work have appeared in Artforum, Art in America, ARTnews, Arts Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Artscribe International, Village Voice, Art & Auction, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Criterion, II Giornale dell’Arte, The New York Times Magazine, HG, New Art Examiner, Galeries Magazine, Flash Art, Il Corriere di Bologna, La Repubblica, among others.
He has taught, read, or participated in symposia and lectured at the University of Chicago (“‘Donna me prega’: Modern Poetry and Its Context”), Yale University (on Lacan), The Maryland Institute and College of Arts, The School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Tisch School of the Arts (New York University), The Museum of Modern Art (“Contemporary Art in Context”) in New York, The Glassell School of Art (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas), National Museum of American Art (Smithsonian Institute), Columbia University (New York), Jan van Eyck Akademie (Maastricht, Belgium), The Ghent Academy (Belgium), the High Museum (Atlanta, Georgia), among many others.
He delivered the lecture “Rhetorical Answers: Curating and the Practice of Criticism” at The Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, in conjunction with the Lecture Series “Between Art and Life,” in celebration of Robert Rauschenberg’s receiving The Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts. He has also lectured to Sotheby’s “Connoisseurship in Contemporary Art” seminar, and delivered a paper to the symposium, “The Convergence of Art and Philosophy,” with Jean Baudrillard, Joseph Kosuth and Peter Halley, at ICASA, New York University. He has also delivered a lecture on the work of Jeff Koons, “Against Interpretation; or, the Decline of Abstraction in Contemporary Sculpture,” at the New York Studio School; a series of six lectures on Philip Taaffe at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia; a paper on poetics, "A Poem is Political, How?" at Stony Brook University; and a talk recently at the School of Continuing Education, New York University, entitled “Jeff Koons: Shiny on the Outside, Hollow on the Inside,” which was subsequently published in two parts at hyperallergic (Weekend). He has given poetry readings at Beyond Baroque Foundation, Venice, CA., Cornelia Street Cafe, Bowery Poetry Club, the Russian Tea Room, New York, and, most recently, at the Fondazione Gesualdo Bufalino, Ragusa Ibla, Sicily.
In the 1990s, he curated an exhibition space he founded, 11, rue Larrey at Sidney Janis Gallery, and co-founded and edits the publishing house, Edgewise Press. Edgewise has published books by Bruce Benderson, Peter Halley, Jonathan Lasker, Cid Corman, B.H. Friedman, Remo Guidieri, Rackstraw Downes, Mary De Rachewiltz, John T. Spike, Vik Muniz, Saint Clair Cemin, Enrico Pedrini, Joseph Masheck, Peter Nadin, Ross Bleckner, Joseph Nechvatal, Brunella Antomarini, Donald Baechler, among others. In 1996, he curated Realism After Seven A.M.: Realist Painting After Edward Hopper – An Exhibition of 25 Artists in Honor of the 25th Anniversary of the Hopper House; and, in 1998, he organized an art auction and benefit exhibition to relaunch Barney Rosset’s Evergreen Review on line. He has curated, both in the United States and Europe, one-person exhibitions of the works of Malcolm Morley, Ross Bleckner, Sandro Chia, Abraham David Christian, Robert Longo, Saint Clair Cemin, Alessandro Twombly, Bill Rice, David Salle, Alex Katz, Mark Innerst, William Anastasi, Peter Nagy, and Peter Halley. He has written the major monographs, Saint Clair Cemin: Sculptor from Cruz Alta (New York: Brent Sikkema Editions, 2005) and The Paintings of Ross Bleckner (Brussels: Editions Alain Noirhomme, 2007). For Edgewise he has recently co-published and edited with introductions Ross Bleckner's Examined Life: Writings on Art and Culture, 1972-2007; Peter Halley: Selected Essays 1981-2001; Donald Baechler's Victim of Improvement: Telegrams, Stories, Letters, Monologues, Interviews, 1985-2006; and Jonathan Lasker's New Complete Essays, 1984-2013.
Other art books are Malcolm Morley (a monograph); Caravaggio on the Beach: Essays on Art in the 1990s; Jonathan Lasker: Expressions Become Things (a study of the sketches); the study The Flower Paintings of Ross Bleckner (Modena: Galleria Mazzoli Editions, 2011), which functions as the companion volume to The Paintings of Ross Bleckner; and a catalogue on the recent work of Mimmo Paladino (2012). Most recently, he has written the monographs Peter Nagy: Entertainment Erases History – Works 1982 to 2004 to the Present, and Sandro Chia: Paintings, Sculptures, Drawings, Mosaics. Ursus Books recently ‘spotlighted’ several of his books at ARLIS (Art Libraries Society), and his Peter Nagy book was selected for the Art and Literature Series by the Senior Librarian, Arezoo Mohseni, at the New York Public Library (May 27, 2015). The pop-up exhibition of Peter Nagy's Xeroxes, The Art of Reading: Peter Nagy and the Xeroxes, at this event was accompanied by a panel discussion with Peter Nagy, Ross Bleckner, Philip Taaffe, moderated by the author. His most recent books of criticism and theory are The Mannequin of History: Art After Fabrications of Critique and Culture (Modena: Italy, Franco Cosimo Panini, 2015) and Skewed: Ruminations on the Writings and Works of Peter Halley (Modena: Italy, Galleria Mazzoli, 2016).
A book of his early poetry, Alogon (1969-1981), was published by Tokyo Publishing House in Tokyo in May 2007. Several poems appeared in such magazines as Il Verri, Tam Tam, and others, before he stopped writing poetry in 1982 and resumed writing it in 1993. Other books of poetry include Le Violon d’Ingres; Hotel of the Heart; Il facchino di Venezia (The Porter of Venice); Green Nights / Golgotha / Love’s Quarrel; Stone Dragon Bridge; An Earring Depending from the Moon; Circus in the Fog; Eastern Shadows (Craiova: Scrisul Romanesc, 2010); Keats Dying in Your Arms (Brussels: Editions Passage St.-Hubert, 2010); With Grass Ropes We Dragged the World to Her in Wooden Boats: Poems of Jordan, Syria and Egypt 2008 (with works on paper by Alessandro Twombly) (Turin: Paolo Torti degli Alberti, 2011); Small China Moon (Udine: Campanotto Editore, in 2010); Where Angels Arch Their Backs and Dogs Pass Through (Craiova: Scrisul Romanesc, 2012); Frost Heaves (with drawings by William Anastasi) (Turin: Libri Canali Bassi, 2013); A Prayer in a Wolf’s Mouth and Like Branches to Wind (with watercolors by Charles Clough) (Turin: Lower Canal Books, 2014); and Road Narrows: Poems of Tunisia (Craiova: Scrisul Romanesc, 2014). Among his most recent books of poetry are A Tattoo in Morocco: Poems 2007, with drawings by Mimmo Paladino (Modena: Galleria Mazzoli, 2015); Storyville: Poems 2010, with drawings by George Hildrew (Tokyo, Japan: Tsukuda Island Press, 2017), and Ghost Stations: Poems 2015-2016, with a portfolio of photographs by Fausto Ferri (Tokyo, Japan: Tsukuda Island Press, 2017). Reviews of his poetry have appeared in Evergreen Review and World Literature Today.
Most recently, he curated for EXPO 2015 Modena the exhibition The Mannequin of History: Art After Fabrications of Critique and Culture, and an exhibition, Peter Halley: New Paintings – Associations, Proximities, Conversions, Grids, accompanied by the study, Skewed: Ruminations on the Writings and Works of Peter Halley.
Forthcoming are several volumes of poetry – Except as Sorrow, as Ecstasy: Poems 2012-2013, with drawings by Jonathan Lasker; Bamboo Ladders: Poems of Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, 2012; In the Dark: Poems of Venice and Portugal, 2009-2010, with drawings and photographs by Lawrence Carroll; One Thing at a Time: Poems of Japan, 2016, with drawings by Abraham David Christian; and two books of art criticism and theory, According to What and Theory Sauvage. He is also preparing monographs on Peter Halley, Donald Baechler, Robert Longo, Sal Scarpitta, and a book of the six lectures he delivered at Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia in 2006 on the work of Philip Taaffe. From Bayonne to the Bay of Naples, from Al Quasbah to Interzonal Leaves: A Draft of Notes Toward A Perception of Philip Taaffe's Work. He lives and works in New York City.