Queer Formalism: The Return is the first installment in the Critic’s Essay Series published by Floating Opera Press. Comprising long-form essays, this series gives voice to critics who offer thought-provoking ways in which to subvert or replace normative modes of discussing culture.
Queer Formalism: The Return expands upon William J. Simmons’s original, influential essay “Notes on Queer Formalism” from 2013, offering novel ways of thinking about queer-feminist art outside of the critical-complicit and abstract-representational binaries that continue to haunt contemporary queer art. It therefore proposes a new kind of queer art writing, one that skirts the limits imposed by normative histories of art and film. Artists addressed in Queer Formalism: The Return include: Sally Mann, David Lynch, Lars von Trier, Math Bass, Lorna Simpson, Laurie Simmons, Alex Prager, Lana Del Rey, Jessica Lange, and Louise Lawler, among others. William J. Simmons is an art historian, curator, writer, and poet based in Los Angeles and New York. He has degrees in art history from Harvard University and the University of Southern California. His work has been published in numerous international journals, magazines, edited volumes, and monographs, and he has lectured widely. He is a contributing editor at King Kong Magazine and Flash Art. He was the Curator of Special Projects for the 2020 Felix Fair in Los Angeles.