Jed Perl was born in New York City in 1951. He received a BA from Columbia College and studied painting at the Skowhegan School in Maine.
He was a contributing editor to Vogue in the 1980s and has been the art critic for The New Republic since 1994. Among his books are Paris Without End: On French Art Since World War I and Eyewitness: Reports from an Art World in Crisis. He lives in New York City with his wife, the painter Deborah Rosenthal.