After returning from years of war coverage, Peter van Agtmael tries to piece together the memory, identity, race, class, and family, in a landscape which has become as surreal as the war he left behind.
Founded in October 2000 and currently published 10 times annually, the Brooklyn Rail provides an independent forum for arts, culture, and politics throughout New York City and far beyond.
Our journal, in addition to featuring local reporting; criticism of music, dance, film, and theater; and original fiction and poetry, covers contemporary visual art in particular depth. In order to democratize our art coverage, our Critics Page functions with a rotating editorship, which such luminaries as Robert Storr, Elizabeth Baker, Barbara Rose, Irving Sandler, and Dore Ashton have helmed.
The Rail further fulfills its mission by curating art exhibitions, panel discussions, reading series and film screenings that reflect the complexity and inventiveness of the city’s artistic and cultural landscape. In 2013, Rail publisher Phong Bui curated Come Together: Surviving Sandy, Year 1, an exhibition that collected over 300 contemporary artists to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Come Together was named the #1 exhibition in New York City by Jerry Saltz in New York Magazine, and in the NY Times, Roberta Smith wrote, “This egalitarian show makes palpable the greatness of New York’s real art world.”
Other Rail initiatives include our small press, Rail Editions, and our recently launched curatorial endeavor, Rail Curatorial Projects. Rail Editions publishes books of poetry, experimental fiction, prose meditation, artists’ writings, and interviews with artists in addition to art and literary criticism. Rail Curatorial Projects seeks to establish dialogues between artists, curators, dealers, critics, collectors, and art historians via rigorously conceived and researched exhibitions and events.