Sunday, March 22, 2009

Three Ideas Sewn Together Into an Open Thread

Among the most poignant observations made at last Thursday's Town Hall Meeting at the X-Initiative (a well-attended panel discussion and public Q&A about how the art world is coping with the global economic crisis [see this excellent summary by James Wagner]) was that by the soon-to-close Rose Art Museum director, Michael Rush, who noted how during the boom all anybody in the art world talked about was money and how, now that all that is over, all we seem to talk about is money.

Yesterday morning, watching the Chris Matthews' show segment on the pending demise of dead-tree newspapers, he noted that one of the most immediate casualties of the end of print will be the richer texture of our information gathering afforded by the peripheral articles that catch our eyes and lure us in. That doesn't happen anywhere near as much as with online sources he suggested, and he and his panel of middle-aged journalists noted how the layout of newspapers had trained us to look beyond just the stories we're inclined to focus on. They also mentioned how the younger generation of new consumers (those 18-35) get so little of their news, if any, from print that they are not trained to consume in this organic way at all. I can think of counterarguments to that suggestion (such as the way links serve to shoot folks off on tangents while reading news online), but when I heard that, I wondered whether we're so conditioned to talk about money when we talk about art that it will take a bit of retraining to learn to focus on the art again.

Finally, in her Culture Blog in The Guardian, Charlotte Higgins discussed the widespread skepticism among UK artists to the planned series of 12 artist commissions to be awarded for works placed throughout the UK as part of their Cultural Olympiad project. Titled somewhat ironically Artists Taking the Lead, the project asks for proposals and will award the 12 winners £500,000 each to realize their contribution to the London 2012 Olympics landscape.

Not all the artists in the UK are skeptical, mind you. And who can blame them, that's a serious chunk of change, but among those who have expressed doubts are Grayson Perry and Patrick Brill:
What if you wanted to create something really filthy about McDonald's, say, an Olympic sponsor? Would you get to make it? Or is the desire really for clubbable, Anthony Gormley-like public artworks that won't scare the horses? It is the condition of artists to rebel, after all – and this set of commissions has an air of officialdom that would seem to militate against that impulse. Patrick Brill, who makes art under the name Bob and Roberta Smith, thought that "for £500,000 you could put the Manor Garden Allotments back" - referring to the plots whose gardeners were notoriously evicted to make way for Olympic Park.
I'm actually not a firm believer in the myth that it is the "condition of artists to rebel" (I think it's the condition of artists to show us things we can't see clearly for ourselves, if anything, and that simply sometimes requires rebelling, but...that's for another thread), but it was Bob and Roberta Smith's response (see Pierogi's site for some of Patrick's work) that sparked a ray of hope for me. What a freaking awesome idea.

Of course, unlike another famous British artist who has trained himself to exploit the greed of others, Mr. Brill has trained himself to see the absurdities in life...absurdities like the idea that there is £5.4 million available to encourage artists to "take the lead" by submitting proposals that councils will approve, but not enough to avoid displacing an allotment garden that had been there more than 100 years (see here for more on the controversy).

So, what do I take away from this? I've been as guilty as anyone in talking about money here more than art...something I intend to correct, in part, by re-instituting the Artist of the Week feature later this week (it might end up being the Artist of the Fortnight, but we'll see...). It will take some training on my part (I don't have as much time now as I had when I regularly wrote that series, so I need to find more efficient ways to do it, but...), though. Richer efforts always do, but then they are their own rewards as well.

Consider this an open thread on what can be done to refocus the dialog on art.

Labels: open thread


Blogger nathaniel said...

Thank you for this post Edward. Although I admit I always enjoy your helping / advisory posts as well, your insights into contemporary art are far more gratifying and unique. "Get back to the art" is a mantra now; "don't talk about money but do more experimentation and critique" is all the rage - and I, as I have written on my own blog, completely agree. But when do we get to hear a gallerist or curator actually do that? Talk about the work he or she is currently beating a path, as you say, to follow? I understand the need to "sell" (literally and metaphorically) one's artists, and can't tell you how much I appreciate those who do so. But because of said need, there is generally more advertising-like promotion in the art world than there is a real invitation for dialogue - especially from our hard-working gallerists and curators that are trying to keep both themselves and their artists afloat. For me, this is your real and broader gift to artists and the art world. That invitation, that discussion, which is shown not just on your blog, but in your selection of artists and how you choose to promote them within a greater context. All this is to say that I can't wait for the Artist of the Week reboot! Yay, art.

3/23/2009 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Bromo Ivory said...

The art has to be more exciting than the transaction for the conversation to be more about art.

I think money and art have always had a discreet affair. But what got so titillating is the huge price inflation and now deflation in recent years.

I think the key to being able to focus on art, is to make the mercantile aspects of that world be so predictable and boring that it fades into the background.

3/23/2009 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Rob Hitzig said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/23/2009 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger George said...

The art has to be more exciting than the transaction for the conversation to be more about art.

Whew, that's a good one.

3/23/2009 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Catherine Spaeth said...

For an awful lot of us arts writers it truly has always been about the art. It's not a question of how to get there, but of where to look, and what you are now going to promote.

3/23/2009 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Joanne Mattera said...

Oscar Wilde called it: "When businessmen get together they talk about art. When artists get together they talk about money."

While I've had more than enough of Damian Hirst and his financial adventures, I do find it helpful to understand more about art and business. I never learned about that connecton in art school--who did?--yet now as a self-supporting artist, I'd better have some idea of what's going on.

3/23/2009 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Bromo Ivory said...

[i]Oscar Wilde called it: "When businessmen get together they talk about art. When artists get together they talk about money."[/i]

Yeah - that sums up a lot!

(I am looking forward to art/artist of the week, BTW)

3/23/2009 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Cedric Casp said...

When I asked back in January what was everyone favorite art shows in 2008, my very inoffensive question was totally ignored. Then I asked on Paddy's site, ignored again. So I give up. I'll talk about art to myself. Or on Simpleposie once she gives up the politics. ;-)

Cedric C

3/23/2009 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel said...

Catherine Spaeth said, in what I think might have been addressing my earlier comment, "For an awful lot of us arts writers...". Yes, I know - and so I did not include arts writers in my comment about gallerists and curators. I love and appreciate art writers like you, Catherine (I read your blog regularly, in fact), but just wanted to point out Edward's unique position. I'm sorry if it came across as dismissive on any level - it was not my intention at all: not to dismiss other gallerists or curators who don't do what Ed does, and certainly not arts writers like you.

3/23/2009 11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

By the way, mixing art with sports I think is a very bad idea.

Though sports have been the theme of some artists with quite success,
a country shouldn't develop high funds for art all of a sudden because of a sport event. Fund the arts, period. Any good artist should at least attempt once in their life at a public park sculpture, but not forced within such context.

Mind you, in Montreal we have the Riopelle Olympic sculpture which is one of his masterpiece (at the right time, you have water, smoke, and fire amid a landscape of bronze sculptures). Why did he outdo himself? Probably because of 500 000 pounds. Do all great works of art need to be about sport?

Cedric Casp

(actually, Riopelle's about the 4 elements and native culture more than anything. He probably thought "fuck the olympics".)

3/23/2009 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

"I wondered whether we're so conditioned to talk about money when we talk about art that it will take a bit of retraining to learn to focus on the art again."

Every time I start concentrating on money I remind myself that if I fail, it's just God's way of punishing me for something I didn't do.
Why bring back gardens when we could have designated parking lots? Seems like a no brainer to me.

3/23/2009 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Hering said...

Re: Oscar Wilde. Perhaps, then, refocusing the dialog away from money and onto the art itself must begin with artists.

3/23/2009 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Joanne Mattera said...

The point of Wilde's comment, I think, is that we tend to talk about what we don't have. There's nothing wrong with money talk in and of itself--what pays the mortgage? what buys the art supplies?--it's only when money is the only topic of conversation.

For just about all of us here, art comes first. Art is not only what we do; it's what we live, it's how we live. The nature of blogs, and of discussion in general, is to have two sides. If we artists make art and offer it for sale, and if galleries are in business to broker those sales, then money is a necessary part of the discussion.

3/23/2009 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger highlowbetween said...

I would also second Ed's questioning/assertion on rebellion. I think artists by and large have taken a vow of conversation. That's the fundamental.

3/23/2009 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Creegan said...

What is interesting is that even if there is less emphasis on talking about the day-to- day aspects of money, it would be impossible not to include the issue of money, or at least the contemporary capitalist system, when critically analyzing the art of the last 10-15 years. The system of money has been a pervading mode of construction and theoretical underpinning of recent art, mush in the same way feminist, multicultural, and queer theory was to art of the early 1990s.
I am not saying this as a negative critique of recent art, but merely as a point of fact. When discussing much of the art, one would have to acknowledge a system that has allowed many artists to hire teams of helpers, a delivery system (the fairs) that has resulted in a completely different way of experiencing and reading art, as well as a new way for artists to interact with the artworld. All of this has had an influence on the art itself.

Even much art that seems to be outside of this system to an extent reflexively comments on that system. I doubt the practice of someone like Will Powhida would be the same without it. Even art that began as investigations of other theoretical issues have been subsumed into the money-reading. Damien Hirst's work for example would be read according to its activity in this money system more so than any intent on the artist’s part to deal with issues of the body or even death. He even seemed to reflexively acknowledge that with his diamond skull.

3/23/2009 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once knew an artist who said he disliked being in the company of other artists. He said they only talk business, like:
Did your show sell? How much do you sell your sculptures for?
How did you find your dealer?
Where can I get funding?
Mememememememenetworknetworkprobe taketaketake mememe

So he hung out with musicians instead, at least they talked about the music.

3/23/2009 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

One thing to consider is demographics, how an increasing world population has radically altered the art world.

The stories we read about artists in the fifties happened in a much more intimate environment. By the sixties the art market had made a critical expansion in size. This was also accompanied by an expansion in the university art departments and for the first time artists were talking about "careers" in the same manner as accountants were. Ib the early eighties there was another expansion in the art market, populated by a new breed of career oriented artists.

Until the eighties it was possible to have one or two hegemonic styles to organize the critical discourse and function as a marketing tool. It is clear that this is no longer the case.

At the turn of the century, as a result of both an expanding population and the new wealth created by the internet build-out (etc), the art market experienced another significant expansion. The increased size of the art market, a logical result of an increased population, has changed how and why art will be produced in the future. Looking back to the past models won't work, it is a whole new ball-game.

The main differences will be how the art world channels stylistic developments in order to accommodate the ever increasing number of artists. Second I think will continue to evolve in a tiered fashion in order to provide "product" at all price points. In a rotating fashion, advanced art will provide models for the food chain. This will affect the discourse.

For example, I saw Richard Tuttle's exhibition at Pace NYC over the weekend. It was very nice, recognizable signature work produced to fulfill the necessary product requirement. Beautiful, or pretty, but not particularly intellectually challenging. To be fair, Tuttle is an acclaimed artist with a significant body of work behind him, to produce a series of pieces for a show is no disgrace. On the other hand I would fault a young artist doing the same thing.

3/23/2009 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

George good points could you give more clarification on the quote below, not sure what you mean

To be fair, Tuttle is an acclaimed artist with a significant body of work behind him, to produce a series of pieces for a show is no disgrace. On the other hand I would fault a young artist doing the same thing.

3/23/2009 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Yes. I liked Tuttle's work but I kept having the feeling that the pieces were 'produced,' as part of a product line, kerchunk, kerchiunk. It's a general problem with artwork produced in series, there is little difference between one and another, so whatever original points were made are diluted. (DH is really good at this, polka dots and butterfly's)

Now with Tuttle, like I said, he's had a long career and maybe the days of lateral investigation are behind him. He did manage to produce a large number of consistently high quality pieces for the show.

With younger artists I like to see the thinking going on between individual pieces and when this is lacking I get the feeling that the artist is making artworks for the marketplace. This is one of the new tiers, or paradigms, we will see in an expanded art market but it generally makes for artworks which are less earth shaking.

3/23/2009 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The art market demands to see proof of an obsession with a niche subject matter.

This is done by making the kerchunk kerchunk variations.

I agree that I like to see more variation between pieces in a show.

It takes a real risk taking kind of gallery program and an individual artist to be brave enough to step outside the tried and true artist investigation niche branding marketing kerchunk kerchunk as you call it.

3/23/2009 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

"The stories we read about artists in the fifties happened in a much more intimate environment."

But even then people were career minded - those that say it wasn't weren't there or were too wealthy to care.

Just like now.

Musicians talk shop too - at least the ones who are in bands (i.e. professional) I don;t think you can generalize that musicians are less careerist or talk about music more. I talk to artists and they usually want to talk about drugs, sex, money, current events (if notable), politics (who got caught with a hooker) and so on.

Generally artists don;t talk about ski trips as its a bit beyond their means. But I think many artists like to travel, swim, hike, dance, cook, paint, draw and work with clay. Artists are laid back, have a dry sense of humor and a broad range of interests, spanning science, the arts and politics. If there's one common denominator uniting artists its their need to be loved and accepted for who thye are and not because of some conceptual program handed down from a curator who dabbles or who has an agenda that is at odds with reality in a way that contradicts the artist and undermines their self esteem. Artists love short trips too, to museums, though museums are expensive and artists aren't that good at planning, so they dont go as often as you'd think. Ask an artist about a museum and they will light up - maybe it was the Museum of Natural History, or the Tenement Museum. Artists like being tourists in their own town. If you give an artist some cash they might blow it as one would after a long fast, or Lent, or any period of extreme discipline. Artists sometimes seem puritanical or libertarian but are really neither, you just caught them at the top or bottom of life's vicissitudes. Artists are like ships, and sometimes they sink, but there is water at the bottom of the ocean, and octopi, and stuff like that. You should see it, it is really something.

3/23/2009 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Creegan said...

I am pretty sure George is making the point that Tuttle's work derives from a postminimalist standpoint specific to his generation.

George, the rest of your comment seems to invite a market-reading of the development of art within the last 10 years or so. This gets back to my question..what if the paradigmatic theoretical construct that most applies to this recent work is a market oriented one? And what would a critical analysis with that in mind look like? Could that idea be dealt with without thinking that was a superficial reading?

ALso, (and this may be a separate issue) should theoretical analysis be done on a generation-by-generation basis? What I mean is, should we read a painting of a nude female done by a 50 year male differently than from one of a 20 year old female?..admittedly thats an easy one. Or do ideas apply broadly regardless of generation, and if so, what is the half-life of an idea?

3/23/2009 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Zip, while I think the artists in the fifties were concerned with their place in history, what I meant by 'career' was more like the idea of a profession. For me this change was quite clear, the older artists were resigned to a Bohemian lifestyle, maybe you would sell some art work every now and then. The kids coming out of school in the 70's were beginning to think of being an artist as a profession, something like working at IBM.

Mark, I'm not sure I would know what a postminimalist standpoint would be. I felt the pieces were 'manufactured' for the exhibition, some essence has been distilled away.

The observations I would make about the types of artworks being made, the strata so to speak, is not caused by the marketplace but is amplified by the larger marketplace we have now. I think very few artists are truly avant guard, most are just doing the best they can with what they know and trying to make enough of a living to survive and keep working. I do not think this is any different than what occurred in the past but there are a lot more artists working in that middle ground today.

Regarding the "theoretical analysis" of today vs. say 25 years ago, it's a moot point because in another 25 years it will all look dated and silly. So we go with what we have, take it as gospel truth until it's time to discard it for something new. This is not to say we cant have opinions and theories to argue about but in the end they don't make the art.

3/23/2009 03:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you read the letters written by William Faulkner, they are all filled with complaints about money.

Money is like forest fires in California. If it rains, then there is a lot of underbrush and the fires are big. If it doesn't rain, then everything is very dry and the fires are big. If we had a patronage system rather than free market, we would all be complaining about the patrons.

As my grandmother used to say, complaining is the cheapest form of entertainment.
mery lynn

3/23/2009 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Creegan said...

George, That "amplification" you speak of sounds like a great description and maybe a bit more accurate. I agree that we should not paint with a broad brush applying the market's influence on art. But I can still imagine that being central to a discouse on recent art in the future. I can imagine opening up an art history text 25 years from now reading a chapter titled "1998-2008: The Gilded Age". Again this is not to cast aspersions on this art but to question whether or not one can regard this art (no matter what it's stated goal) without considering the market environment it comes from.

I guess what sparked these ideas was the fact that if we are to transition from a focus on art rather than on the market in our discussions, where do the new thoughts come from? Especially since it seems post-modern theories are done, and more current theorists like Ranciere discuss art in terms of the market quite a bit.

3/23/2009 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Catherine Spaeth said...

Actually, George, the latest greatest things have been the real cogs of the machine since the gallery system began - Monet's series, for example? "Change" can be rather meaningless sometimes. (Like when you invite CEO's of Goldman Sachs to the table that is planning how AIG is suing their bailout funds, and a 12 billion dollar debt to Goldman Sachs is paid with those very same funds? Do I digress?) Steinbach, even if you can't stand him and what I am about to say, does something kind of interesting by not changing.

I do hear what you are saying, but there is no one measure. And standing behind "change" is not a comfortable piece of ground. Just saying.

Thanks, Nathaniel, for your compliments - I was speaking to Ed's post, Zip nailed it as usual.

3/23/2009 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Mark, I do think that that the large amounts of money being spent in the art market over the last several years affected the kinds of artworks which got made. Maybe it only increased the size of the extravaganzas available for consumption but it's hard to imagine Keith Tyson's "Large Field Array" being made in tougher times. As you noted it also must have affected the zeitgeist, how we saw and responded to our culture in a period of excess. The Gilded Age is a good title for it.

I guess what sparked these ideas was the fact that if we are to transition from a focus on art rather than on the market in our discussions, where do the new thoughts come from?

They don't, I suspect this 'transition' is too self conscious to succeed. I believe that the focus will end up being where it always is, on life itself, including money and fashion, the way we experience our world today. Right now part of this experience includes a sense of loss and fear, along with the renewed optimism which comes along with change.

While we can expect new 'theories' to emerge, if they are attempts to corral art with another version of the hegemonic style, they will fail. If you notice, every night on the news, the announcer will explain that the stock market went up today because of "this event" For the most part, this is usually nonsense and has nothing to do with what happened. The audience however feels more comfortable if they can attach some reason to events, making them less random and mysterious. It is the same in the art world, the audience needs to know what this means, and so we get "theories" and everyone is happy.

3/23/2009 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Hering said...

Mark Creegan, you suggested "1998-2008: The Gilded Age."

How about the bigger picture, "1963-2008: The Triumph of Money, Marketing and Showmanship" (beginning with Warhol and the "Mona Lisa Curse").

3/23/2009 07:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

What artists do you guys and girls like? I mean... Wow there.
The artists of today that I like are not doing market products.
They only do it when they show in Chelsea because that's the place where to do exactly just that. But that's just to cover the expense of their other projects.

Ok, maybe Koons features in my list of fave artist who does strictly commercial work, but my reading of his art is probably more interesting than his own.

I don't like Tuttle. I understand what he does. But I don't like it.
A lot of the "what's the least possible I can do to call it art" is boring the hell out of me these days. It's often preschool
theoretical schmuck. Yawn.

And Oscar Wilde is wrong because rich businessmen...They don't talk about art. They talk silly sex jokes. They have the most retarded discussions.

+++So he hung out with musicians instead, at least they talked about the music.

Are you sure you're not talking about me? Nah... I dislike the company of artists because they're paranoid as hell and often that makes them not very nice people
(I'm taking "fine" artists, the intellectual bunch with thick dark glasses). I'm not perticularly nice myself, but I enjoy the company of nice people. I learn so much from them.

Cedric Casp

3/23/2009 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

Falkner faked a limp and lied about his airforce record. A performance artist.

The professionalized artist class is interesting. I didn't come into art thinking like that (or I did but I didnt do anything right) - so I'd blame schools and galleries who, at least publicly, demanded slides. Slides! Red dots? In order to get into yale you had to submit Two slide carosels already loaded. I didn't apply on principle.

Blame Yale and its quislings.

Another marketing option was interior decoration. I think many artists don't make art for decoration, or even "decorative" work. - the kind that Microsoft would buy. Honestly it's just not much of a challenge to make a pretty object that appears original. Am I wrong? There are recipes for that - in line with the idea stated above (to paraphrase) be careful what you wish for.

I can respect artists who make easy on the eye wall-ready work like like Mark Kostabi, Peter Max, Jeff Koons, Thomas Kinkade, Sean Scully and so on - but I don't like any of them. NONE. Not all of them followed a specific recipe - but I'd argue that all the artists listed took and easy road formally.

Now if you say, you miss the point art isn;t "hard" - its about intent (deliberately insensitive color palette, say or buzzing colors, or deliberately boring palette choices).

To which I say, but FORMALLY its the same painting, no matter what you say about the artist.

And then you say back, well theres a market for it, so either there must be people with "bad" taste out there or there are people who get something out of such work that I DONT GET.

That makes me the insensitive philisitne (or at least makes me insecure).

This is an important point. WHat is a philistine?

A critic?

What if I say I get it? I do. But it is not for me?

What If I lie about liking the work, knowing that from someone elses point of view the work is good? Or that I will get invited to a party with free cake?

And further, what if I make work I myself don't like and end up selling well and throwing my own party with cake?

Am I authentic or am I an actor?

I'd argue that I am a designer - because as a designer that's often exactly what you do.

SO when you say professional, I say designer, which is what a lot of artists are now - functionally.

Form follows function right? This might be a bit dumb and miss the point of the "professionalized artist within the marketplace" topic.

3/23/2009 07:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

I think Koons formulate a strong commentary on visual culture.
That's just me. I think his choice of visual archetypes have precise intentions depending on which work.
The market aspect is to replicate all works in all sets of colors. But that's in response to Brancusi who missed that point and therefore wasn't perfect. Koons is perfect, and therefore mark the end of postconceptualism. I hope the future can hear me.

Cedric Caspesyan

PS: Koons is definitely a designer.

3/23/2009 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Catherine, I'm not sure what you think I was saying. I was only trying to make an observation on how the current art world is structured and what we get as a result. I agree with the gist of zips last remarks about professionalism. When it becomes an end in itself, as usually is the case, the artworks lack some essential element. To this end, the Tuttles seemed decorative which is where 'nice painting' ends up, as wall decoration.

On the opposite end I would offer Martin Kippenberger's work now on view at MOMA. It's raw, the essence is all there warts and all, truly astonishing.

To Tom, I would suggest that Warhol is more significant than the old formalist crowd wants us to believe. It's a matter of taste which I am tired of debating.

Finally, back to change, there's change and then there's CHANGE. We are experiencing the latter, like it or not, our future is going to be discontinuously different from the recent past. Again this is partly demographic, as the baby boomers pass on the mantle to the next generation. It's more or less a 40 year cycle. It's not specific to art but to the whole culture.

3/23/2009 09:25:00 PM  
Anonymous A.K. said...

Tony Urquhart, one of my favourite painters, said the best thing about never having been in fashion is that you never go out of fashion. Somehow that sentiment seems relevant here. Should note he is Canadian, so I guess that automatically puts his work beyond the pale, fashion wise. Re: effects of the economy: I think fun times are ahead...if you aren't having fun, then what IS the point? Most of what really counts has nothing to do with the "six"
investor/collectors who have stopped investing/collecting. I am sure they'll find something else to buy, and somebody will step up to the plate to satisfy their desires. Plundered antiquities sounds like a good bet to me. Meantime, as Ms Frizzle says: Get messy! Take chances!

3/24/2009 12:50:00 AM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

"Good Business is the. Best Art"
sez Warhol. Drink coke, everyone else does.

"Critics were scandalized by Warhol's open embrace of market culture. "

is that true? It seems so Victorian, in retrospect, all these notions of purity. Must be heavy carrying chips like that.

I think were finally seeing the end of art indoctrination from those who experienced that kind of nonsense first hand. Marxists! What a joke.

That leaves the "art criticism" programs to keep the flame (are they?)

I can't imagine getting a useless degree in art criticism.

Art History maybe (if you have the cash to burn), or cultural studies (with an eye towards advertising) but art crit? Thats like getting a degree in reading comprehension.

Get an English degree if you must.
Minor in Rhetoric or Film.

I figure the holodeck is about 10 years away, tops.

2030 year of the zombie.

3/24/2009 12:52:00 AM  
Blogger Balhatain said...

Patrick Brill's legal name is now Bob Smith. Honestly.

3/24/2009 01:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Cedric Casp said...

I propose that it's possible to make art thinking of beauty and decorative without any attempt at having it been sold or fit the market in any ways.

"Market" art are commodities. They're not necessarely beautiful.
For example you might want a Ryman because you're a dentist,
and that fits the walls at your business quite well. And think
of the collectors who only buy art as a mean of investment.
There you go: art with a "function".

Warhol is important for looking at what was going on around him
(the big brouhaha of the 60's) and his artistic response to the
problematic of simulacra. Apart from that...a couple interesting shot at sex and death, and some crazy archive system. He's not the inventor of industrial production of art, though (dutchs, russians and frenchs were doing it way before him). Alas he's been obsessed by that idea for very long. That's
where he lost pertinence IMHO. Also, the film as moving photograph was not his idea. A masterpiece of a living photograph? Hmmm..."Fire Resulting From An Oil Gusher At Bibi-Heybat Oil Field" (A.H. Mishon, 1898, Azerbaidjan)

To me Beuys is the equivalent in art theory to Marcel Duchamp(s) or John Cage. Very underestimated.
He invented installation art (debatable)

Ok, Warhol was a celebrity. That's peculiar and rare in the artworld. I'm sure a lot of visual artists
couldn't cope with Warhol's ego and shenanigans with VIPs during the 60's. I know Deitch is looking for a Warhol. Not one contemporary artist arrives at the heels of Warhol on the concerns of stardom. He must have been a very lovable person.

Cedric Caspesyan

3/24/2009 02:14:00 AM  
Blogger George said...

Fashion acts as a facilitator by shining the spotlight on the invisible, elevating them into visibility. It isn't an end in itself, it is fickle and sometimes nothing more than a temporary folly. It's what one does when the spotlight goes off that ultimately matters.

Cedric said, I propose that it's possible to make art thinking of beauty and decorative without any attempt at having it been sold or fit the market in any ways. . Absolutely true, one can act with any intent and also ignore the marketplace. However, the marketplace sifts through what it has and finds a reasonable place for it.

Warhol is important because he became the myth we wanted.

3/24/2009 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

Conceptual beauty. Hanging crystaline in the air. Crystals are too new age or too baroque. Diamonds you can fake now, or they have blood on them. I need a new system of beauty, cubic zirconium pasted willy nilly to styrofoam. No, it has to be real not a gesture or a nod or a rebellion (unless it looks as good or better).

Lets not forget Kurt Schwitters did installation. Or was that site specific sculpture. He really did have to move. He made site specific work. Expressionistic to me - lots of angles. Like a diamond. But made out of wood, like a nickle. Not as heavy, but lots of splinters when the bombs come and burnable.

3/24/2009 01:05:00 PM  

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