Aristos was an online review of the arts edited by Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi. Founded by Louis Torres as a print journal in 1982, it was praised by Magazines for Libraries as “a scholarly but gutsy little periodical,” whose feature articles carried “more weight than those found in more substantial periodicals.” Library Journal deemed it “of value . . . particularly as the point of view is unique.” And the eminent cultural historian Jacques Barzun (1907-2012) more than once lauded Aristos—noting, among other things, that it gave him “much pleasure and instruction.”
Kamhi joined Aristos as associate editor in August 1984, and became co-editor in January 1992. Following the September 1997 issue, publication of the journal was suspended so that the editors could complete the writing of What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand (based on a series of articles they had written for Aristos in 1991 and 1992) and subsequently promote and publicize the book, published in 2000 by Open Court. Following the book’s release, they began publishing excerpts and related articles in What Art Is Online. In January 2003, they resumed publication of Aristos, exclusively online. Publication permanently ceased in November 2023.
Aristos was unique in advocating objective standards in arts scholarship and criticism. Equally critical of both modernism and postmodernism, it vigorously opposed the increasingly bizarre and inscrutable work promoted in the name of art since the early years of the twentieth century—from abstract painting and sculpture through the seemingly endless concoctions of postmodernism. Aristos also championed contemporary work that, like the significant art of all ages, is concerned with important human values, and is both intelligible and well crafted. The full contents of the online review, as well as copies of all 36 issues of the print journal, will be accessible online in perpetuity through Archive-It.