Calvin Tomkins is an author and art critic for The New Yorker magazine. After graduating from Princeton University, he became a journalist and worked for Radio Free Europe from 1953 to 1957 and for Newsweek from 1957 to 1961.
His first published contribution to the New Yorker was a fictional piece that appeared in 1958. In 1960 he joined the magazine as a staff writer. In the 1960s and ’70s he became a chronicler of the New York City art scene, reporting on the development of genres and movements, such as pop art, earth art, minimalism, video art, happenings, and installation art. From 1980 to 1986 he was the magazine’s official art critic, with art reviews appearing in the magazine almost every week. From 1980 to 1988 he wrote The New Yorker’s “Art World” column. As a New Yorker writer, he interviewed and wrote numerous profiles of major 20th-century figures from the art world and other fields, including Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham, Buckminster Fuller, Philip Johnson, Julia Child, Georgia O’Keeffe, Leo Castelli
Frank Stella, Carmel Snow, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Frank Gehry, Damien Hirst, Richard Serra, Matthew Barney, and Jasper Johns.