A Cylindrical Object on Fire in the Dark
A Cylindrical Object on Fire in the Dark is a collection of short fiction exploring the elemental aspects of storytelling—from word to sentence to character to gesture to narrative. In the roughly two dozen works that make up the book, Myers is attentive to the operations of words: how it is that words collude into sentences, and sentences balloon into worlds. Of equal concern are the operations of people: how people use these words, whether to shape, accommodate, resist or deny the realities with which they contend; how they make sense of where they find themselves; in what erratic or desperate manner they strive; what they get right and where they go wrong. These works ask how do words, sentences and humans behave in the face of war, ghosts, extreme weather, motherhood, alien possession, insect infestations, love, grief, or violence.
Holly Myers is a writer and critic based in New Mexico.
Holly Myers is a great writer!
My view of reality exploded while reading A Cylindrical Object on Fire in the Dark. Myers
taps into abstract feelings and existential angst with wit and eloquence, offering a twisted, but
somehow elegant, picture of our existence.
A Cylindrical Object on Fire in the Dark is as visually evocative and enigmatic as its title. Myers’ prose
resembles a film of a mythical and very difficult road trip, a series of mini and maxi dramas, deeply
moving and touching down somewhere beyond narrative, where the silences are as meaningful as the
—Lucy R. Lippard
I still remember my first reading of Holly Myers’ art writing because it was infused with such rich and
visceral description, such resonant conceptual observation. …. In A Cylindrical Object on Fire in the Dark,
her introspection and invention of new structures gives voice to an honesty far out of reach to most of
us. These short pieces grab and awaken us to the ever present truth of being human, both in
relationship to others and to ourselves. They ignite our awareness of the profoundly vivid reality of
everyday life. A Cylindrical Object on Fire in the Dark is a brave exploration into what is possible within
the short story structure. Myers’ creativity is on full display and the result is a hauntingly honest work of
art that illuminates what it means to be truly awake in the everyday.
MA Critical Studies, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California
BA Art History, Yale University
Art Writer/Critic, Los Angeles Times, 2000 – 2013
Art Writer/Critic, LA Weekly, 2000 – 2008
Freelance writer and critic for numerous publications since 1997, including Art Review, Art
+ Auction, Modern Painters, Brooklyn Rail and the New York Times, among other publications.
Has published hundreds of reviews, features, profiles and interviews.
A Cylindrical Object on Fire in the Dark, Insert Blanc Press, 2018.
“My Arrival,” Antioch Review, Spring 2015.
“Dark Land of the Sun” [novel excerpt], Gen F: An Anthology of Short Stories for the Comic Tragedies of Our Times, Gordy Grundy, editor, 2014.
“The Guest Room,” Zyzzyva, 2010, and New California Writing 2012, Heyday Books, 2012.
“Istanbul,” Joyland, April 2009.
SELECTED CATALOGUE ESSAYS
Liza Ryan, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, 2014.
Christopher Russell, Insert Press, 2014.
Engagement Party, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2013.
Uta Barth, Gregory R. Miller & Co., 2010.
Mark Ryden: The Tree Show, Porterhouse Fine Art Editions, 2009, reprinted in Pinxit, Taschen,
Gary Baseman: I Melt in Your Presence, Last Gasp, 2009.
SELECTED CURATORIAL PROJECTS
Sibley Court Supper Club, a dinner series, Santa Fe, NM, 2017 – present.
6 → 12 @ 612 (co-curator), a salon series, Seattle, WA, 2010 – 2011.
“A Safe Dinner” (with [name]), Hi-Lite Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 2011.
“You’ve Got Problems? We’ve Got Solutions” (with [name]), 323 Projects, Los Angeles, CA,
“Party Favors,” Bonelli Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA. 2008.
“Possible Impossible Dimension: Six Artists on the Brink of Abstraction,” Eagle Rock Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, CA, 2008.
“The 2nd Annual LA Weekly Biennial: MFA WMDs (Selections from LA's Art Schools)” (co-
curator), Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, 2006.
“Scanners,” Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, 2004.
Guest Lecture, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Idyllwild, CA, 2013.
Guest Lecture, California State University, San Bernardino, CA, 2013.
Conversation with Liza Ryan, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles, CA, 2012.
Guest Speaker, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA, 2011.
Guest Lecture, California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, CA, 2011.
Conversation with Walead Beshty, Art Los Angeles Contemporary Art Fair, Los Angeles, CA, 2011.
Conversation with Joel Tauber, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles, CA, 2011.
Guest Speaker, Windward School, Los Angeles, CA, 2007.
Guest Speaker, Santa Monica College Arts Mentor Program, Santa Monica, CA, 2004 – 2006.
SELECTED PANEL DISCUSSIONS
“Parenthood in the Art World” (co-organizer/moderator), Colloquy Series, Museum of
Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, 2013.
“Mixed Marriage: Artists, Curators, and the Exhibition” (panelist), Colloquy Series, Torrance Art
Museum, Los Angeles, CA, 2012.
“The Success Question?” (organizer/moderator), Colloquy Series, LA><ART, Los Angeles, CA, 2012.
“Taking Stock of the MFA” (moderator), Colloquy Series, Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA, 2012.
“Faith, Hope & FX: Creating the Contemporary Sublime” (moderator), Luis de Jesus Gallery,
Los Angeles, CA, 2011.
“Pop Art and Ethics,” Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 2009.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, 2014.
Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, CA, 2013.
Djerassi Resident Artist’s Program, Woodside, CA, 2012.