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John is a writer and critic based in London. He works through producing writing and criticism with a specialist interest in art, language and sign.

John read modern history and politics at the University of Florida, languages and history at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland and history and critical theory at the University of Michigan. These experiences were framed by an interest and engagement in social movements bracketed by '68 and '89. An existential migrant, new left Marxist and fan of Malkmus from early on, he worked in the early 1990s as an assistant to the artist William Wegman in New York and was fortunate then to play dog baseball with Fay and also come in contact with the work of Allen Ruppersberg, Rodney Graham and Mike Kelley. John has written on contemporary art and culture while living in London since 1996.

Key details

School, Centre or Area

Gallery

  • More Than Real: Art in the Digital Age, König Books

    More Than Real: Art in the Digital Age, König Books

  • Size Matters! (De)Growth of the 21st Century Art Museum, König Books

    Size Matters! (De)Growth of the 21st Century Art Museum, König Books

  • Painting Seminar

    Painting Seminar

  • Vitamin P3, Phaidon

    Vitamin P3, Phaidon

  • Slyce introduces the work of Cullinan-Richards at Filet

    Slyce introduces the work of Cullinan-Richards at Filet

  • Julian Opie, MOCAK, Kraków, Poland

    Julian Opie, MOCAK, Kraków, Poland

  • Cover Art Monthly, Siegelaub interview by Slyce

    Cover Art Monthly, Siegelaub interview by Slyce

  • Slyce talk on the work of Irma Blank

    Slyce talk on the work of Irma Blank

  • Cover: Allen Ruppersberg, You and Me or the Art of Give and Take, JRP/Ringier

    Cover: Allen Ruppersberg, You and Me or the Art of Give and Take, JRP/Ringier

  • Text installation: pavement, Bregenz, Austria

    Text installation: pavement, Bregenz, Austria

  • Slyce reading his text: ‘No Fun W/O EU’ with Bob and Roberta Smith and the Apathy Band

    Slyce reading his text: ‘No Fun W/O EU’ with Bob and Roberta Smith and the Apathy Band

  • Slyce at Documenta 14, Kassel

    Slyce at Documenta 14, Kassel

More information

Active research interests include: the legacies of conceptual art in contemporary practices; post-studio practices, painting and performance; the status of the image; the practice of theory and theories of practice in art; and art, agency and politics.

John works through producing writing and criticism with a focus on the operations of art, language and sign within contemporary culture and economy. His practice is expressed in an equation – ideally balanced – comprised of the values and activities: writing+teaching+talking. He has written extensively on the work of Sarah Sze, Gillian Wearing, Michael Landy, Carey Young, Cullinan Richards, Allen Ruppersberg, Rodney Graham, Pipilotti Rist, Charles Avery and Becky Beasley and has regularly contributed essays, reviews and interviews to major art magazines and journals. For Slyce, the form of the interview is an important research method and essential starting point for his critical writing and engagement with an artist’s practice. John has taught and lectured widely across the UK and Europe since the 1990s.

John's research interests include the legacy of conceptualism and the trajectory of practices centered on the move from studio to a post-studio condition and contemporary modes of art production, circulation and display. He is interested in expansive practices and approaches to painting in this context and elaborating an expanded frame for painting as well as what its post-object conditions might be.

Books and monographs

‘We have the technology: The conditions of art and its experience in a would-be age of the technological sublime’, in More Than Real: Art in the Digital Age, London: Koenig Books, 2018

Size Matters! (De)Growth of the 21st Century Art Museum, London: Koenig Books, 2017

“Oscar Murillo” and “Yelena Popova”, in Vitamin P3, London: Phaidon, 2016

“Werner Büttner and the Melodic Tactics of Subversive Affirmation: an introduction,” in Werner Büttner: Coincidence in Splendour, London: Blackdog, 2016

“A World Drawn: An Introduction to the art of Julian Opie (for a Polish Audience,)” in Julian Opie: Sculptures, Paintings, Films, Kraków: MOCAK (Museum of Contemporary Art Kraków), 2015

The Fox: A Reprint Series, numbers 1-3, with Arnaud Desjardin and The Everyday Press, London, 2014

“Adventures Close to Home, or The Conditions of Possibility from Then to Now: London and the 1990s to Now,” Artworld Series: Contemporary Art: UK, London: Blackdog, 2014

Artworld Series: Contemporary Art: North America, London: Blackdog, 2011

‘Allen Ruppersberg: Something Out of the Ordinary’, in Allen Ruppersberg: You and Me or The Art of Give and Take, Santa Monica Museum of Art/JP Ringier, 2009

‘The Travelling Scholar’ in British Weathervanes by R. Graham, London: Whitechapel Art Gallery and Christine Burgin Gallery, New York, and Donald Young, Chicago, 2009

Selected Catalogue essays

All art is local: Tom Hunter’s Unheralded Stories, Purdy Hicks, London, 2010

Christopher Orr: Time is the Diamond, Artsway, 2010

‘Becky Beasley: Vermischte Bemerkungen: Correspondences’, in the artist’s book Thomas Bernard Malamud, 2009

Pipilotti Rist: Video Organism, Museum Boijmans, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2009

Allen Ruppersberg: Something Out of the Ordinary, Camden Arts Centre, London, 2008

Surveying the surveillance – the art of Andrew Kearney, Gallway Arts Centre, Ireland, 2008

Peter Kennard: A Conversation, Pump House Gallery, London, 2008

Selected articles, reviews and interviews

'Elaine Sturtevant 1924-2014', Art Monthly, No. 377 June 2014, p 15

'Hanne Darboven', Art Monthly, No. 355 May 2012, pp 18-19

'Mike Kelley 1954-2012', Art Monthly, No. 354 March 2012, p 21

'Letter from Paris, Carte Blanche at the Palais de Tokyo', in Art Monthly, No. 342 December 2010

'Michael Fullerton: Columbia, Chisenhale Gallery', Flash Art, vol. XLIII No. 275, Nov-Dec 2010, p 102

'Becky Beasley, P.A.N.O.R.A.M.A. 2010', Portfolio, #52 Autumn 2010, pp 20-25

'Barbaric Freedom, Simon Lee Gallery', Flash Art, vol. XLIII No. 274, October 2010, p 120

'Vertical Integration: Armando Andrade Tudela’s Esquinas', Kaleidescope, issue 5, Feb-Mar 2010, pp 130-133

Interview with Seth Siegelaub, ‘The Contract’, part two in Art Monthly, No. 328 July-August 2009, pp 11-13

Interview with Seth Siegelaub, ‘The Playmaker’, part one in Art Monthly, No. 327 June 2009, pp 1-6

Interview with Liam Gillick, ‘Recuperating Modernism’, Art Monthly, No. 324 March 2009, pp 1-10

'Muzi Quawson: Pull Back the Shade', Portfolio, #48 Autumn 2008, pp 56-63

  • Member of the advisory board of the Verbier Art Summit since its inception.
  • Editor for the journal Bedeutung during its run and served as an editorial advisor for Blackdog Publishing and its Artworld Series, which surveyed global contemporary practice.
  • Nominator and contributor to Phaidon’s edition on contemporary painting practices in Vitamin P3 and has also served as a nominator for the Deutsche Börse Prize in photography.