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Gregory Battcock papers, 1952-circa 1980

Biographical Note

Gregory Battcock (1937-1980) was an art critic, writer, educator, and painter from New York, N.Y. He attended Michigan State University, the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, and Hunter College for his undergraduate and graduate studies before receiving his Ph.D. from New York University in 1978. His dissertation was titled "Constructivism and Minimal Art: Some Aesthetic, Theoretical and Critical Correlations."
Battcock was a prolific writer and wrote numerous articles as a correspondent for Art & Artists and Domus magazines. His column, "The Last Estate," appeared in Gay magazine as well as other publications. In 1977, Battcock co-founded the short-lived magazine, Trylon & Perisphere, with his close friend, playwright Ron Whyte. Even though only three issues were printed, the magazine exhibited Battcock's predilection for art society gossip, and provocative imagery and prose. E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc. published several of Battcock's books including Why Art: Casual Notes on the Aesthetics of the Immediate Past, Breaking the Sound Barrier: A Critical Anthology of the New Music, and Idea Art: A Critical Anthology. In addition to his writing career, Battcock taught fine art at William Paterson College of New Jersey, was art critic for New York Free Press from 1967 to 1970, Editor-in-Chief of Arts Magazine from 1973 to 1975, and appeared in the Andy Warhol films The Illiac Passion, Horse, and Batman Dracula.
Battcock was murdered in Puerto Rico on December 25, 1980. At the time of his death he was working on "The Story of Film," which remains unpublished, and The Art of Performance: A Critical Anthology, which was published posthumously in 1984.