Each year Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) presents a lecture by one of today’s most distinguished and entertaining art critics. This year’s lecturer is John Yau, art critic, independent curator, poet, essayist, novelist, and teacher. His lecture, entitled “Painting Is No Ordinary Object,” will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 12 at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main Street, Rockland. Tickets are free for CMCA members, $10 for non-members and can be purchased at cmcanow.org or through the Strand at tickets.rocklandstrand.com. Artist Katherine Bradford, of New York and Brunswick, will be introducing the lecture.
Yau writes regularly for the online publication Hyperallergic Weekend. Before that, he was arts editor for the Brooklyn Rail for four years. Yau has published more than 50 books of art criticism, poetry, and fiction. He has written about artists such as Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Joe Coleman, James Castle, and Kay Walkingstick, and he has collaborated on poetry and art books with artists Archie Rand, Thomas Nozkowski, and Leiko Ikemura. He runs the small press Black Square Editions, which publishes translations, poetry, and fiction. Among the many institutions where Yau has taught are Brown University, Pratt Institute, the Maryland Institute College of Art and School of Visual Arts, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, and the University of California at Berkley.
Currently living in New York City, Yau was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, to Chinese immigrant parents. He received a B.A. from Bard College and an MFA from Brooklyn College. He has received many awards, including a New York Foundation for the Arts award, the Peter I.B. Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the Jerome Shestack Award from theAmerican Poetry Review. Yau was named a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by France, and he has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundations for the Arts, and the Ingram-Merrill Foundation.