Brian Dupont: Artist's Texts

An artist's writings on art.

Posts Tagged ‘Jerry Saltz

Provisional Criticism and the New Mannerism

No matter whom you ask the concept of the provisional is likely to start an argument. This is all the more interesting not as it illuminates the work, but for what it reveals about the discourse surrounding contemporary abstract painting.[1] I have already written on my view that Provisionalism[2] represents a trend in art that has snaked through a good deal of modernist history; that its roots have tended to be ignored within larger established narratives has only broadened its connection among a diverse set of artistic practices. As it has emerged on the scene (again!) in the work of younger painters[3] it has found itself the object to both legitimate criticism and off-hand derision. If this this is the first real “new” movement in abstraction in some time[4], and the jeers appear as retrograde calls for “moving forward”, then perhaps it is time to reconsider our thinking on direction and the ground art is traversing.

Alan Pocaro’s Three Hypotheses claims to be searching for a way forward, but ultimately offers little more than condescension born of running in circles, before giving up. The introduction starts by planting a field of straw men[5] and continues on to try and figure out just what is Provisionalism’s “inexplicable appeal to artists and writers alike.” The first hypothesis is that provisional painting is something writers have created, trying to tell a good story.[6] The second states that the artists who make the work are little more than poseurs, dashing off minor efforts and propping it up with complicated theory and discourse.[7] His third hypothesis has artists mining a dead history out of nostalgia, turning backwards because of the impossibility of describing something new.[8] In truth, if there is enough art being made in a similar vein that can be grouped into a trend or style, a writer who isn’t trying to make “the evidence fit into a preconceived narrative” should probably be able to come with more varied ideas about its popularity. From a critical standpoint this is a limited set of options that betrays either an unwillingness to consider either a different point of view or an unimaginative assessment of the inherent possibilities of painting. His conclusion turns back on writing, claiming that any “disquisitions” will only support anachronistic theory. This likewise betrays a very limited sense of the possibilities of art by means of limiting its discourse to the sound bite and the press release. Refusing the utility of careful looking and thinking, and communicating the results of those investigations will not do painting any favors.

What stands out in Pocaro’s essay is the assumption that the painting in question is self-evidently “bad”[9] and that the author’s unstated biases towards art history, theory, and technique are obviously correct; I would argue that it are these assumptions that are the real problem. While they are not directly stated, we can infer that he, like many critics, want to see more work in painting, “sweat on the brow” that showed a dedication to craft and skill. Echoing Greenberg’s lament about the lowering of standards ignores the hierarchies of privilege that come with being the arbiter of those standards. Provisionalism did not remove the need for manual skill in art (that ship has long since sailed), but as it has become a focus in the practice of young artists it has become threatening exactly because it challenges the need for skill and craft within painting. This is the last high ground the old academies and hierarchies have. Appealing to a silent majority to refute aesthetic challenges harkens back to the tyrannies of the past rather than looking towards a more egalitarian (we hope) future.

There is no small irony in defending the Pre-Raphaelites from dismantling by Roberta Smith as “highly skilled.”  The Pre-Raphaelites tried to save art by looking backwards to better days, using empty displays of technical accomplishment to do it. But it, as Smith writes, “the Pre-Raphaelites seem to have made some of the first so-bad-it’s-maybe-good modern art” then they are strangely linked to artists interested in a provisional approach; both made or make art without care for what they were told art had to look like, had to be. If the works of William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti are valuable to contemporary artists, it is because they showed that there was value in striking out on one’s own direction, to make the art and painting that they wanted to see. Smith notes that the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites is not necessarily of individual celebrity, but is embedded as a strain of DNA across wide swaths of visual culture. I believe that Provisionalism is another such trend, perhaps more recent, but also more attuned to our times.

It is pointless to decry criticism, theory, and just plain writing about art; you may just as well complain about talking about it. Every Modernist movement has had its theorist, from Baudelaire’s championing of Manet and Delacroix to the ‘bergs Stein and Green each advocating for different facets of the New York School. Artists being able to write cogently about the issues that they deal with gives a voice to the makers of the work, which is a point of view often missing from the writings of historians.[10] I think this is particularly lacking in the discussion on Provisionalism; for a painter who has been given a dry foundation instruction on stretching and priming canvas and properly mixing colors, why has no one considered the excitement that it must bring to rip up that structure and just play with the materials, to add in elements from the street and hardware store[11], to explore with one’s hands in the studio?  If the art is made, it can and will be talked and written about and if artists do not lay out their own ideas someone else will certainly fill the void for them. . That “the old arguments of modernism and post-modernism are worn-out, unproductive and irrelevant to the art of the 21st century” is an argument for the status quo… and would cede authority back to the Established power structure by default of not allowing for an alternative. The last thing that’s needed is another silent majority.

Readings of history are subjective. The nexus between and Modernism and Post-modernism and their interrelationship with critical theory need not be fixed for each viewer.[12] Artists are free to take what they can use from any given intellectual site before moving on and continuing to explore; the ones who become too loaded down with the ideas if others are the ones who will become immobile and stagnant. The artist is not to prize novelty, but to place the focus in being true to one’s own interests, My reading of western art’s history has the Modernist project reaching a singularity where the art object breaks down at the arrival of Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptual art.[13] Post-modernism was born out of that singularity as art is indistinguishable from the common material that sits beside it that is not art; context and intent became as important as matter. The early days of Post-modernism saw a similar wild expansion just as Modernism did, with Feminist and Multicultural practices gaining recognition, and proliferation of new approaches: appropriation, pastiche, the Pictures Generation, Neo Expressionism, Neo-Geo. After the initial explosion the art world has continued to expand, but the initial influences of those first conglomerations exert a lesser gravity of influence.

The new Post-modern landscape of the art worlds[14] is now akin to a near infinite desert where no mode or medium is off limits and any aesthetic is viable for new work or reinvention. This is already being likened to a new Mannerism[15], and while I find the label fitting, my view that what I do not share is the pessimism for contemporary arts on this relative turn of events. I ascribe to the model of the desert in that there is near-infinite possibility to move and ultimately it is that freedom that eclipses any other detriment. Any sort of directional movement is no longer distinguishable from another; what would “forward” mean in such a context? Depending on the position of the viewer it may be an awkward tangent and to another the work will be heading backwards (and likely right through their own ideas of progress). To say that this is a perfectly fine state of affairs (let alone something desirable enough to fight for) is not to suggest that everything is just OK or that there is no use for critical thought, but the terrain of art will be constantly changing and more subtle, more difficult to read. One’s approach to looking at and thinking about art must allow for this, considering that the artist may have a radically different frame of reference. Of course a great deal of the work will be bad, some of it will just be “bad”, but some small bit of it will be good.[16] The work necessary to find art that is good[17] can hide the fact that it is a positive thing that it was made, however now it must be judged on individual merits and accomplishment, not the category it is assigned to. Categories are only generalizations; what is important are the specifics of the artwork and the relationships in question.


[1] I think it as at least safe to say that the majority of work under discussion is abstract, although there are certainly exceptions. Perhaps not all the work is “painting”, but it is at least the medium that most of the discourse centers around.

[2] And yes, I’m keeping the “ism.” It’s just easier that way.

[3] Perhaps therein lies the distinction between “Provisionialism” as a broader stylistic trend like “abstraction” and “Casualism” as described by Sharon Butler; “Casualism” has become much more specific to a time and place, and focused on a specific generation of painters. See her ‘The Casualist Tendency’ for her response to Pocaro.

[4] I am not sure that it is, but it is often treated as such.

[5] The only “massive realignment” I’ve noticed that is underway in the art world is the shift that focuses more money and attention on fewer artists through a few dealers dueling at the very top of the market. I haven’t noticed that very many (or really any) of these artists are labeled as either “provisional” or “casual”; the only people I’ve noticed lavishing the attention on it that would otherwise indicate that Provisionalism represents a new “flagship abstract style” are those going through the trouble to vociferously condemn it.

[6] This makes it seem as if the category has been created from whole cloth by fictioneers, rather than writers who focus on the history, theory, and criticism of art and painting. Raphael Rubinstein and Sharon Butler were responding to work they were seeing in studios, galleries and museums; taking the work as evidence and fitting it into a narrative is not an example of “trying to tell a good story,” it’s an example of scholarship.

[7] While it’s always nice when an erstwhile educator speaks derisively of his students in a public forum, and always enjoy making fun of how people different from me dress, I think the greater critical flaw in this argument is that takes the weakest possible work, student painting that is not even being offered for exhibition, and assumes that criticism of it and its makers is a suitable stand-in for the category as a whole. One may as well pull any fourth generation Abstract Expressionist out a West Village garret and hold their work up as a repudiation of Pollock and deKooning. (And I bet he’d be dressed funny, too. I bet you could find someone with a beret.)

[8] Given the direction it seems most of Provisionalism’s detractors would like art to go, complaining about it not being forward thinking enough is highly ironic.

[9] Granted, Provisionalism is sometimes labeled as purposefully “bad”, but I think Pocaro’s meaning here is limited to only a qualitative judgment.

[10] I’m reminded of a discussion I had with an art history student on the occasion of deKooning’s recent MoMA retrospective. We were talking about the relevance of the newspaper transfers in his great urban abstractions of the mid-Fifties; but the historian saw them without realizing they were an accident of trying to keep his oil paint wet on the surface, not anything he was purposefully trying to do.

[11] It is worth noting that a great many artists are working day jobs that require “sweat on the brow” and are typically surrounded by the tools and materials of manual labor.

[12] Just as they are not for scholars and historians.

[13] Yes, it is heavily influenced by Arthur Danto’s writing, especially “Beyond the Brillo Box” and subsequent texts on ‘the end of art.’

[14] There are plural art worlds, and it is possible to occupy a small niche or spread out and move between a wide strata of socioeconomic, intellectual, and aesthetic orbits. I use “art worlds” to indicate that spheres of interest and influence can be so different that there is no universal focus of those who operate around art. One cannot ascribe something to “the art world” without inherently limiting the frame of reference under discussion; art certainly also contains the opposition.

[15] I was already thinking of this framing when I heard Mark Staff Brandl articulate it on Bad at Sports. More recently it has gained even greater currency with Jerry Saltz’s latest lament on what ails contemporary art.

[16] I still believe in Sturgeon’s Law as a guiding principle when looking at art.

[17] Again, from one’s own point of view.

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Manners on the Ground

The sentiment that the expansion of the art world is detrimental to artists is not exactly a new meme. Exposés and biographies of the art world past often contain a throw away lament about how things have changed, and not for the better. However for as often as anyone claims how much better things were in the “good ol’ days” it is never addressed that their halcyon time was being similarly decried by someone else who saw it as further evidence of a slow descent into an abyss. While Jerry Saltz and Mira Schor understandably garnered the most notice for their critique and response to the Venice Biennale, a similar sentiment was also expressed by Joerg Colberg in his look at how advanced technology and amateur practice are affecting professional photography. Even collectors can’t help but get in on the action, as Mickey Cartin weighed in on the increasing difficulty of finding art he likes. You can practically cut the condescension and generational bias with a knife.

What strikes me about these arguments is just how much blame for the art being exhibited and the state of the market is being laid at the feet of artists and their education. This seems particularly troubling in light of the fact that the first three are teachers within the current system that pushes young artists to get an advanced degree and incur similarly advanced student loan debt.[1] The complaint that young artists emerge from their education looking like polished, inoffensive professionals who are unwilling to rock the boat of the commercial system is the flip side to the critical trope that young artists start showing too soon and don’t mature enough before engaging the market. Both positions privilege the elder critic’s position in the art world, alternating between ease of digestion and a respite from the blandness it engenders. The irony for these teachers to address then is that their students are emerging from their classrooms with looming loan obligations that paid their own salaries. To then complain that these artists are far too historically aware[2] and that in trying sell their work they are compromising their critical faculties is tone deaf at best, and hypocritical at worst.[3]

While to his credit Mr. Saltz lays some blame at the feet of the curators and institutions that present the work (after all the artists were selected to be in the Venice Biennale), it is a stretch to turn the conventional acceptance on show at the “State of the Art World” as an indictment of the adventurousness of young artists. Just as the site[4] of Venice is circumscribed, any artist showing there is established to a certain degree; this is not a place to find notes from the underground any more than you would expect to find rumblings of uncertainty on a greatest hits album.

That art is going the way of dog breeding and is refining itself into an aesthetic cartoon of academic discourse relies on a negative characterization of Mannerism that ignores its value within art history. [5]  Mannerism is the necessary counterbalance to and consequence of artistic freedom divorced from prevailing requirements for art. The first Mannerists reacted to the technologies that established naturalism within Renaissance painting and sculpture, laying the groundwork for future expressionism. This cycle is replayed within the narrative of Modernist progress as photography freed painting from the necessity of utilitarian representation. The new Mannerism comes out of the end of Modernism’s progress of formal reduction and an embrace of the possibilities inherent in Post-Modernism. If artists are freed from pushing a historical narrative forever forward they may instead focus on individual interests. The risk of such terrain[6] is that there is little in the way of landmarks for artist, critic, or collector to aid navigation between what will last and what is merely fashion.[7] Such uncertainty portends a large degree of floundering in both production and discourse, but also provides fertile ground for new and unexpected directions to emerge from[8]; it becomes the responsibility of the critic and curator to tease out threads and trends that are suddenly much less apparent. Just as the “death of the author” corresponded to the “birth of the reader”, the passing of the Modern and immediately Post-Modern into a new Mannerism portends an era where art is not yoked to past narratives, and the new ones will be constructed by artists free to move in any direction.

But this freedom necessarily means that old revolutions will be carried forth haphazardly at best. Ms. Schor’s complaint that “the farther you get from the generative decade of the 60s and yes the 70s, the worse it gets” echoes the frustration of other first generation social activists and feminists that those that followed them are not getting with the program as they laid it out. So while social justice and a commitment to progressive or radical political causes may remain strong within the self-identified arts demographic, why should these artists be expected to shoehorn such issues into their practice? Surly the historically aware students in Ms. Schor’s classroom are aware that a lot of bad art was (and is) made when political content trumped aesthetic concern; that such art achieves far less in the way of real-world impact than direct action would naturally lead pragmatic, organized professionals to compartmentalize any political labors where it would be expected to do the most good and focus their time in the studio on work that is personally fulfilling.

Similarly, young artists will have seen that the market is capable of commodifying any practice or output[9], and that the previous generations of artists who have made supposedly “uncollectible” work now have objects, relics, documentation, or certificates to sell[10]. Critique of the market has turned into another subject that an artist may engage with as they would gestural abstraction in painting, the machined surfaces of Minimalism, or the media construction of gender. As with other movements and interests in art, the first generation to tackle these interests stands rather tall; unless a young artist is personally invested in critiquing the market (or its attendant systems and structures)[11] they will be working well trod ground with little reason to do so, and less conviction. If the hand wringing that accompanies a Mannerist field of operations in art is the product of a profound uncertainty of how to apply judgments, then the worst course for artists to follow would be to engage with their physical or conceptual material halfheartedly.

While Mr. Colberg’s critique focuses on photography, which as a medium moves between “high” art and commercial assignment, his bias is not dissimilar to Ms. Schor’s. He eschews any gross condemnation in favor of a well-rounded analysis of the market forces acting on the supply of images but ultimately suggests that an emerging photographer should consider the earning potential of his or her more established peers as they try to establish themselves within the professional ranks. [12] Young artists[13] are navigating a new market and simply do not have the luxury of taking the same path as their elders. The ground has shifted.

Where the others approached from the point of view of the education system that feeds the art world, Mr. Cartin’s starts at the final destination, the gallery spaces at its epicenter. His concerns of how a surplus on the supply side of the art market can drag down the overall quality contained within[14] smartly meet Mr. Saltz’s concerns about the final product but Mr. Cartin is maddeningly vague about just which artists and galleries are pushing soulless art onto ignorant “consumers” (one can assume that it is the art someone else may happen to value or love[15]). While education remains a wished for panacea, it is not likely to correct for taste and systems of value which is what ultimately “ails” the art market. So as the terrain for production and criticism has been leveled to Mannerist smear across many potential sites, so has the market; the genteel market where a few self-styled in the know intellectual elites all attended the same openings has been replaced by the boisterousness of the bazaar[16] where competing worldviews are made neighbors by commerce. The inherent value of the current system resides in the multiplicity of viewpoints available, where many voices can be heard and different tastes (no mater how extreme) may find their own space in which to operate. The consequence for viewers of art is that the overall space of the market becomes extremely cluttered and confusing. More work is required to finally stand in front of art that was worth the effort to find, and because it’s more work, the work needs to better to validate that investment. This sets a near impossibly high standard for entry[17]; only Athena came forth so fully formed.

The central issue then is not of the privileging the judgment of critics (these, or any other others), but in not recognizing that the art world has undergone a tremendous change and growth to its fundamental structure that is leveling points of view.[18] My concern is not in limiting the scope of criticism[19] but in challenging the expectations that artists, especially those young and emerging, will limit themselves because of it, and especially when it comes from a position of another’s self interest. If there is a petite revolution in the emergence of a new Mannerism it lies in expecting that everyone involved (artists, critics, curators, and collectors) accept that no matter how dear their point of view may be, there is an equal and opposite measure that may and will be argued; what has turned is that this is a strength, rather than a limitation.


[1] In the interest of full disclosure, I’m still paying off the loans I took out during the course of my MFA studies.

[2] It should go without saying that if said artists did ignore recent art history in their practice they would be excoriated for that, too.

[3] Everyone wants a funky, messy art world that’s full of characters until they’re responsible for the financial planning of said characters later in life. It’s pretty easy to say that someone else should get out and man those barricades.

[4] In such a limited and sinking geographic space it is impossible to complete a representative survey, especially when that is not the intention to start with, and Venice as a site doesn’t have the flexibility of space for emerging artists to set up their own parallel or counter programming in a meaningful way. See my earlier essay ‘Site Specificity’ for a more complete explanation on my use of the term ‘site.’

[5] I do love me some Pontormo.

[6] You really could call it a desert.

[7] Although this risk is always evident; one only need go back to the last chapter of any published history of the art world’s recent to (then) current history to find that the number of artists mentioned who remain relevant or important falls off dramatically.

[8] In thinking of the fertilizer content of any such ground, please reconsider Sturgeon’s Law.

[9] I mean if Tino Seghal has a saleable commodity, come on.

[10] You don’t see a lot of aging coneptualists making ends meet working construction.

[11] See the work of Jennifer Dalton and William Powhida.

[12] To be fair this applies more to work for hire arrangements that do not have an easily analogous counterpart with in the art world,

[13] And Mr. Colberg’s position vis-a-vis the market for photography does correspond quite nicely to the complaints being leveled against emerging artists and the sector of the market that supports them.

[14] At least I think this is his general concern. Most of his essay is spent leveling a generic complaint about some corner of the art market (young artists, galleries, other collectors, art consultants) and then saying that he really can’t fault them for their behavior.

[15] Perhaps the greatest leveling of the post-modern age is to reduce the ‘other’ from a discreet coding of separation based on race, gender, or sexuality into a judgment on the quality of one’s purchases. As it turns out the joke is on Barbra Kruger.

[16] Boisterous in point of view, if not in actual market dealings; everybody has a back room after all.

[17] Mr. Cartin is comparing emerging artists to exhibitions by Sol LeWitt, Louise Lawler, and Picasso after all.

[18] If not the influence of established power structures and money; some things still fall at rates more closely associated with astronomical gravity.

[19] In the desert I propose all things are equal, even if in truth some things are more equal than others.

Written by Brian Dupont

July 13, 2011 at 6:44 am

Thinkin ’bout My Generation…

Since my interaction with Jerry Saltz (described in this blog’s last installment), I have been considering how I relate to the collective population defined as people who became artists and just happened to have been born around the same time as me.  I’ve never felt that my interests in art necessarily aligned with the people around me, but I also felt that was one of the benefits of being an artist now was that we’d gotten to a point where we could do whatever we want. We’ve already seen the historical end of Modernism and post-modernism’s U-turn out of the cul de sac (followed by the artists that followed Schnable, Salle, et al high-tailing it out of an ugly suburban neighborhood at high speed), so the benefit of being a Post-Post-Modernist was no longer being yoked to the need to drive a historical narrative forward.  Just as the Renaissance introduced new tools for representation into art, once they were absorbed artists were able to follow their own ideas. Artists now should be in a similar position, but with even more freedom, as any notions of ghetto or hierarchy by medium should not be taken seriously. This leaves artists with the explicitly personal.  This is the proverbial blessing and curse, as freedom to go anywhere can make it awfully hard to pick a destination.

That Mr. Saltz felt that I was cribbing from the Post-Minimalists is certainly fair in that they do form the backbone of my influences as a painter. I still remember walking into the Johnson County Community College Gallery to see a pared down version of Terry Winters Whitney Museum of American Art retrospective and being completely bowled over. Here was someone who understood paint as a physical material but was able to marry it to an interest in science and information. These were my interests; it felt like he was painting directly for me.  This was a great experience for a budding artist, inevitably leading to a great deal of imitation and then trying to figure out a way around or through that influence to something that was my own.  What I discovered was that I had little interest in brash expressionism; my subject and presentation was going to be restrained and considered.  I worked my way back through artists like Donald Judd and early Frank Stella, and found artists that I wanted to rebound off of, that made work that I appreciated on a deeply personal level, but at the same time who did not signal a way forward.  While working I paid more and more attention to my process and materials, finding that my handling of paint was not going to change, like handwriting.  My corrections, editing, scraping, and sanding were intrinsic to my project, and my surfaces informed my painting’s conceptual structure.

This has me circling back to Roberta Smith’s NY Times columns on Post-Minimalism’s recent pervasiveness in New York City museums and on the future of painting.  Ms. Smith (married to Mr. Saltz) argues that we’re seeing too much cool, reductive art in Manhattan museums.  Leaving aside the larger geo-social implications of needing to see the work on the island, I was at first a bit put off by her argument.  I waited for a long time for the Roni Horn and Gabriel Orozco exhibitions and getting them in short order felt like a bounty rather than a burden. That there was a synergy between institutions to explore a particular period in depth didn’t feel like a bad thing, certainly not as someone interested in that period.

But she was also arguing for painting, for work “that seems made by one person out of intense personal necessity, often by hand.” It’s certainly something I would like to see more of in galleries, if only out of pure selfishness.  This is how I think of what I make. However the examples she presents, especially in the later slide show, are not anything I can relate to.  “Made by hand” need not direct the artist to retreat into a clunky folk figuration.  I prefer to think of Cash in As I Lay Dying, meticulously planing and fitting the boards for his mother’s coffin.  Personal need and the handmade can side with craftsmanship, and reference the body only by measure.  The materials used are as necessary. That these concerns are labeled as ‘Post-Minimal’ strikes me as more an issue of the currency and failure of the label rather than my project. That my concerns likely don’t matter to my peers, ‘my generation,’ as a whole doesn’t render them moot, merely unfashionable. That I can live with.

Written by Brian Dupont

April 3, 2010 at 11:40 pm

What Can I Learn From a Housafire?

Just after finishing my very first blog post and sending it off to my editor, I stumbled into a bizarre bit of serendipity. I stopped into the Winkleman Gallery to catch Olympia Lambert’s Happy Gallerina performance as part of Hashtagclass.  I wound up talking to critic Sarah Schmerler, who was in the gallery figuring out how her project to provide artists with artist’s statements would work.  One of the things that got me started writing this blog was a Twitter conversation about artist’s statements and how agonizing they could be to write, and here was a critic offering to write them for artists for free.  We ended up setting up a small table in the corner and hashing out what my work is about and what she would say about it, while trying not to disturb the Happy Gallerina, who was herself navigating the perimeter of Man Bartlett’s huge pile of balloons. As Sarah described, in came Jerry Saltz and the next thing I know I’m getting a critique from my BlackBerry (you can see those paintings here.)

While trying to respond to Jerry’s questions I felt like an underweight sparring partner for a prize fighter.  I tried to slow down and get what I wanted to say out accurately, but he was already into another question, and I was constantly off balance.  I don’t mean to make it sound as if he was rude, or not listening to my answers, and I also don’t want it to sound like I wouldn’t do it again in a second.  It was tough, but it was also a great experience, and I know how lucky I am to stumble into this interaction (that crazy interactions like this one are part of what Hashtagclass are designed to promote is what makes it so interesting and successful).  The most difficult thing he asked was what I think the greatest weakness of my work is.  Even more difficult is what he thought the greatest weakness of my work is.

To me it’s how I fetishize trying to get the surface and picture “right,” overworking a painting and losing what was interesting about it in the first place.  He thought (and I’m paraphrasing here) that I am not working with the concerns of my generation, that I’m too caught up in working with ideas and surfaces that the Post-minimalists have already covered.  I’m not sure that’s fair, but while looking at images off of a 360 x 480 pixel screen without any other context (dates, sizes, etc.) he still managed to lock into some of my central formal concerns.  As I headed home (to my editor) I started to think about Post-minimalism and my relation to it, something that’s been on my mind since Saltz’s wife, Roberta Smith, used her Times editorial to call for changes in what work is being shown in New York museums.  I started to think that I had something else to think and write about.  How serendipitous is that?

While I’m trying to figure out how to tackle that, get over to Hashtagclass if you can.  If you’re an artist who wrestles with and agonizes over your artist’s statements, make sure to check out Sarah Schmerler’s session at 6:30 on Wednesday, March 17th.  I was always told that no one would write a statement for me, but if you get there early enough she will.

Written by Brian Dupont

March 16, 2010 at 11:54 am