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DECEMBER 4

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Art criticism isn’t usually thought of as a live medium, but Peter Schjeldahl proves that there are wonders to be wrought with a podium and a stack of index cards. He uses no slides, claiming that as a critic—not a historian—his job isn’t to impart knowledge, but to mess with things you already know. Speaking last year on Dubuffet, he delivered his acute judgments with astringent wit and a poetic sense of diction. In addition, he was charming, always tough on the artist (and on himself), and kind to the innocents in his audience. Today, the Village Voice critic returns to the Hirshhorn to discuss Bruce Nauman, the subject of a current retrospective, whom Schjeldahl calls “the best—the essential—American artist of the last quarter-century.” At 4 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th & Independence Ave. SW. FREE. (202) 357-2700. (Glenn Dixon)