artist, cultural critic

publisher, The Orange Press
editor, WOID, a journal of visual language
editor, The Red Vienna Reader

resident: New York City; Vienna, Austria.
languages: French, English (fluent). German, Italian (conversational).

Born in 1948, Paul Werner grew up in Europe. In 1962 he enrolled at the Lyçée Henri IV, one of the premier high schools in France and a feeder for the Ecole Normale Supérieure, the center for the formation of French intellectuals. Living close to the Beat Hotel, active in the Civil Rights and the anti-War movements, he was exposed to the cultural and political life of ‘sixties Paris. In 1967 he joined the Théâtre National Populaire, the largest State-Sponsored theater in France, dedicated to a socialist vision of Theater for the People. As a union activist in the CGT he participated in the discussions around the taking of the Odéon Theater, which he opposed.

Expelled as a Danger to the Security of the French State (DSFS), he came to New York, where he briefly attended the Juilliard School Drama Division. While finishing his BA he joined Come!Unity Press, a print commune in New York City, and produced poetry posters as well as a listing of free poetry readings. In 1973 he founded The Orange Press and produced his first book, Ya-Trang and the Magic Pearl, to benefit the North Vietnamese Red Cross.

In 1978 he studied Paleography at the University of Pennsylvania, leading to a career as an artist, art critic and scholar devoted to writing and Medieval techniques. Introduced to Critical Theory by Michael Sprinker, he obtained an MA in Art Criticism from SUNY-Stony Brook, followed by a PhD in Art History from CUNY (David’s Basket. Art & Activism in the French Revolution). From 1973 to 2012 he taught and lectured widely, including a stint teaching in the State Penitentiary system and another at the Guggenheim Museum. In 2002-05 he helped organize the part-time and adjunct teachers’ union at New York University. Since 2014 he has split his time between New York and Vienna, where he studies the culture and politics of Red Vienna (1919-1934).


Major Books, Papers and Presentations:

2018: A Memoir of May for the next revolution. The Orange Press.

2014: Jump Jim Corot. Cash, class and Culture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. NY: The Orange Press.

2011: The Red Museum. Art, economics and the ends of capital. NY: The Orange Press.

2009: Musée et cie : Globalisation de la Culture. Paris : L’Harmattan.

          Museo S.p.A. La globalizzazione della cultura. Milan: Johan & Levi.

2006: Museum Inc. Inside the Global Art World. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press.

2003: La Préparation du Parchemin. Histoire et techniques. NY: The Orange Press.

1999: Vellum Preparation. History and Technique. New York: The Orange Press.

2020: “Elogio del Vandalismo / In Praise of Vandalism.” Lectio Magistralis, Museo Macro, Rome.

2019: „Hoffnung auf die egalitäre Stadt.“ Panel discussion. Exhibition Das Rote Wien,“ Wien Museum.

2018 “Young Dorothy Burlingham.” Freud / Tiffany and the Best Possible School, ed. Elizabeth Ann Danto. London: Routledge.

2017: “Teaching Schoenberg to Vienna's Workers. ‘Can the Workers learn to relate to Contemporary Music?’” Freud Tiffany and the Best Possible School, ed. Elizabeth Ann Danto and Alexandra Steiner. Exhibition Catalog, Freud Museum, London (May 10 through July 17, 2017): pp. 38-43.

2015: "Anarquismo pós-produção." / "Post-Production Anarchism.” Art Research Journal / Revista de Pesquisa em Arte (Vol. 2, no. 2): 2015.

2015: "Propaganda by the Dweeb.One More Effort, if you wish to be Truly global!).”Paper presented at the IIIrd Seminar on Museum Information, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil, November 2015.

2012: "Museum, Inc : Inside the Global Art World. [Over-the-Cliff Notes]." in Bertell Ollman and Kevin B. Anderson, ed. Karl Marx. International Library of Essays in Classical Sociology. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing.

2011: « Les Saturnales de la démocratie » in Serge Chaumier, ed. Expoland. Ce que le parc fait au musée : ambivalence des formes de l’exposition. Paris: Complicités.

2010: « Katherina l’Africaine ou les ruses du dessin » in D. Olariu, ed. Le Portrait individuel. Réflexions autour d’une forme de représentation, XIIIe-XVe siècles. Bern: Peter Lang.