Let It Be Long
Holland Cotter has come to the rescue of artists over 31 years old everywhere! No sooner had we beat the drums here about collectors who only want work by infants, than the always admirable Mr. Cotter offers the following:
"Don't trust anyone over 30" was the street wisdom I grew up with.I feel the need to issue the same caveat: My interest in new art is as intense as it ever was, but I do think that artists who have experience are undervalued in the current market, and that makes no sense to me at all. After reviewing a handful of current exhibitions by more experienced artists, Holland closes with this gem:
I still find that excellent advice. But my faith in youthful inspiration has been tested recently; by art, of all things, or rather by the art world's fixation on barely-out-of-school talent.
Not that my interest in new art has in any way diminished. It hasn't. Still, these days I find my attention drawn to the not-so-new, to artists who are in midcareer and beyond, sometimes far beyond. Many such artists are in evidence in galleries and museums this month, and I'll mention a handful below, among them a posthumous hero, a poet-turned-artist, an octogenarian debutante. They have one thing in common: their work has developed over time and maintained its presence for a number of years. In a fast-food culture, as capricious in its erasures as in its rewards, that's the vote of confidence that counts.
So wisdom comes with age after all. And what can it tell young artists ready to dash out of school? Don't just do something; sit there. Art takes time. Let your brilliant career have a middle, and a late period, and an end. Let it be long.Indeed.