Buzz Spector: ON EDGE: What Constitutes Drawing in the Art of Buzz Spector

Someone's hands using a digital camera to photograph an abstract painting.
Museum visitor photographing Buzz Spector's Painting #8 (stains) (1998).
A book with ripped pages.
Altered LeWitt (1985) Altered found book 8 7/8" x 17 3/4" x 7/8".
Museum visitor photographing Buzz Spector's Painting #8 (stains) (1998). Altered LeWitt (1985) Altered found book 8 7/8" x 17 3/4" x 7/8".

Art at 100 

As the Department of Art celebrates its 100th anniversary this academic year,  former department chair Buzz Spector returns to AAP to share thoughts on modes of drawing in his work over the course of his decades-long career. 


Buzz Spector is an artist, writer, and art editor of december magazine. Spector's art makes frequent use of the book, both as subject and object, and is concerned with relationships between public history, individual memory, and perception. His next institutional exhibition, Buzz Spector: Reading Matters, opens at the Rockford (Illinois) Art Museum on February 4, 2022. His recent show of works on paper, Buzz Spector: Alterations, was on view at the Saint Louis Art Museum, November 20, 2020–⁠May 31, 2021, and he has also had solo exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago; Orange County Museum of Art; Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC; Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA; and many private galleries and alternative spaces.

In 1978, Spector was one of the founding editors of WhiteWalls: a magazine of writings by artists, editing the publication until 1987. Spector's writing has appeared in various journals and books since the 1970s, including American Craft, ArtforumArt in America, and New Art Examiner. Since 2013, Spector has served as art editor of december, the St. Louis-based international magazine of literature and art.

Spector graduated with a B.A. in Art from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and an M.F.A. from the University of Chicago. He taught art at Cornell from 2001–⁠2009, and is currently visiting faculty in the Ph.D. in Creativity Program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and emeritus professor of art in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.

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