Who's Your Daddy? (or Momma?)
As João noted, the rise of postmodernism/pluralism had lessened the previously perpetual need to slay the father to advance the children witnessed in the 20th Century, but I suspect he's right that the need to at least grapple with the alpha dogs remains. My first awakening to this reality was brought about by an excellent 1998 exhibition curated by Nina Bovasso titled "Son of a Guston" which explored how many painters were influenced/challenged by Philip. The title was mostly a quippy pun, yes, but it still revealed that “The Anxiety of Influence” was alive and well.
Artists of a few generations ago enacted their oedipal strife with papa Picasso; then, it was Warhol who had to be wrestled. (In the 1980s, the anxiety lessened—as appropriation and “quotation” became the norm.)
So who is it that the young artists of today have to grapple with?
Richard Tuttle and Mike Kelley are undoubtedly two of the most powerful forces of nfluence on emerging art. This was abundantly in evidence at Kelley’s multi-ringed circus at Gagosian gallery’s vast Chelsea space, where Day is Done played to huge crowds before closing on Dec. 17; and at Richard Tuttle’s remarkable career survey at the Whitney, on view through Feb. 5.
I’m not the only one who’s noticed the impact of these these two of artists.
“I see a lot of children of both Tuttle and Kelley,” jokes James Fuentes, former Deitch Projects director and now an independent curator.
Often, in this commerce-driven phase of art history, "influence" gets mixed up with market strategy, but asking that you put finanical popularity aside, I'll pose two questions:
- For everyone: Who are the two most influential living (or at least recently living) artists?
- For artists: Who's your Daddy/Momma? (meaning who do you grapple with, who haunts your studio?)