The New Social Environment#741

Joan Didion: What She Means

Featuring Hilton Als, Maren Hassinger, Elaine Reichek, Liz Larner, and Jonathan T.D. Neil, with Betsy Fagin


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Writer and curator Hilton Als and artists Maren Hassinger, Liz Larner, and Elaine Reichek join Rail contributor Jonathan T.D. Neil for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Betsy Fagin.

In this talk

Visit Joan Didion: What She Means, on view at The Hammer Museum through February 19, 2023 →

Hilton Als

Black and white photo of Hilton Als
Hilton Als (b. 1960) is associate professor of writing at the Columbia University School of the Arts and a staff writer for the New Yorker. He has taught at Princeton University; Smith College; the University of California, Berkeley; Wellesley College; Wesleyan University; and Yale University. Prior to writing for the New Yorker, Als was a staff writer for the Village Voice and an editor-at-large at Vibe. He has won numerous awards for his work, including the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for criticism, the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize, the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Maren Hassinger

Photo of Maren Hassinger
Maren Hassinger has built an expansive practice that articulates humanity’s inextricable connection with nature. Through an intentional choice of material, Hassinger explores subjects such as movement, environment, identity, and race. The artist has executed recent commissions for Dia Bridgehampton, Socrates Sculpture Park, the Hirshhorn Museum, and the Aspen Art Museum. Hassinger will be honored with a two-person exhibition alongside Senga Nengudi at IVAM, Valencia. She is the recipient of the Women’s Caucus for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award. Her work can be found at the Art Institute of Chicago; SFMoMA; LACMA; MoMA, NYC; Hirshhorn Museum; Walker Art Center, and the Whitney Museum, among others.

Elaine Reichek

Photo of Elaine Reichek
Elaine Reichek lives and works in New York. She received a BA from Brooklyn College and a BFA from Yale University, and has exhibited extensively in the US and abroad, with solo exhibitions at Secession, Vienna; The Jewish Museum, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and elsewhere. Thread has been a core element in Reichek’s work since the early 1970s, and she was a pioneer among her generation in rethinking the role of craft in the fine arts. Recent solo shows include MATERIAL GIRL at Marinaro, New York (2022), and Between the Needle and the Book at McClain Gallery, Houston (2020). Her next solo exhibition will be at Shoshana Wayne Gallery in Los Angeles in June 2023.

Liz Larner

Color-photo portrait of artist Liz Larner, wearing a light brown sweater with crossed arms and seated on a blue bench
Sacramento-born artist Liz Larner experiments with abstract sculptural forms in an array of materials, including polychromatic ceramics that evoke the tectonic geologic shifts of the western landscape. An inventor of new forms, Larner’s sculptures defy easy description by design. Larner’s 30-year retrospective Don’t Put It Back Like It Was was on view at the Sculpture Center in New York and The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 2022. Her work has been included in group and solo exhibitions internationally, and is in numerous public and private collections. Larner has also been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Nancy Graves Foundation Grant.

Jonathan T.D. Neil

A portrait of Jonathan T.D. Neil.
Jonathan T. D. Neil was Editor of the Held Essays on Visual Art for the Brooklyn Rail from 2011-15. Currently he is Co-Founder of Inversion Art, a startup that provides investment, strategy and management services to visual artists.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Betsy Fagin reading.

Betsy Fagin

A photo of Betsy Fagin
Poet Betsy Fagin is the author of All is Not Yet Lost (Belladonna, 2015), Names Disguised (Make Now Books, 2014), as well as a number of chapbooks. She works as a reference and instruction librarian in NYC libraries helping people navigate information landscapes.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.