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Post #334 • July 30, 2004, 8:29 AM • 8 Comments

Elisa Turner for the Miami Herald: Fridamania unleashed.

Michelle Weinberg for the Miami New Times: All That Glitters: For these three artists, bright, shiny surfaces also have depth.

Michael Mills for the Broward/Palm Beach New Times: Cuisine de Pop: The Hollywood Art and Culture Center wrangles three diverse artists onto the same menu.

R.E. Dinlocker for the Sun-Sentinel: Machine marvels In photos at the Wolfsonian-FIU, Margaret Bourke-White revels in the beauty of industry.

Gary Schwan for the Palm Beach Post: Norton photo exhibition 'Focus On Florence Henri'.

Quote of the week, from Holland Cotter for the New York Times: "Young Cabanels and Laurenses and Tassaerts are the toasts of Chelsea."



Genetics Police

July 30, 2004, 4:31 PM

Carlos Betancourt: "Frida IS Mexico."

Me: Kahlo was half German.



July 30, 2004, 7:01 PM

Hey Genetics. Can't be true. Frida is way overrated. Mexico isn't. How's that for good blog logic? And half of Mexico is half German.


Genetics Police

July 30, 2004, 9:57 PM

Her father was German (as in from Germany). She's also overrated, but so are lots of big names. Great for the melodrama crowd, though.



July 30, 2004, 10:56 PM

As if to mock my gripes re art reproductions in oline publications, New Times Miami online has reproduced the two works from the Art and Culture Center in black and white!!



July 31, 2004, 1:35 AM

I am sure Fridaland is on the drawing boards somewhere. Why not?

The New Times critic (Michael Mills) manages to describe fairly well, have his own take and poke at the obviously pretentious, hackneyed catalog writing the "All You can Eat", show, which, from his description, sounds as tasteless as its title.

Gary Schwan writes that there are Burchfield and Wyeth shows coming to Boca this Fall and Winter, an interesting sequence of exhibits. Charles Burchfield is a very interesting and very overlooked artist and Andrew Wyeth is a less interesting and very overrated one. Burchfield should be worth a trip.

For those who did not go to the NY Times review, the full paragraph of this review of a show of 19th C. painting that featured Courbet is:

"I walked through the show, front to back, several times, and the return to Courbet was always a lift. For various reasons, the work in the opening galleries reminded me of New York art at the moment: well made, fairly well versed in history, keyed to polish and style; but thin, depthless. Young Cabanels and Laurenses and Tassaerts are the toasts of Chelsea."

This is a pretty good quick summary of the kind of mannerism that has become the fashion in NY these days. Interesting.

There is also a feature article on Lee Bontecou, an artist of the 60s, long deservedly forgotten, whose recent revival and elevation to art stardom is one of those art world mysteries that we need a social psychologist to explain. I remember seeing her shows at Castilli. My artist friends and I were a tough sell back then. In our opinion she was pretty standard stuff. We made fun of all the critical neo-Freudian tripe the critics wrote about the holes and the mouths and the various apertures her work featured, and we felt the watered-down Cubist structure she used was old hat. Now she is major hot stuff. There are far better artists this could happen to. Why not them? Go figure.



July 31, 2004, 6:46 AM

The Bontecou's I've seen in reproduction don't seem to justify the praise surrounding them - but that hasn't stopped nearly everyone from saying what a great show it is. I'll have to see them in person.


that guy in the back row

July 31, 2004, 5:02 PM

oldpro: Looks like the NY Times got it right. A much welcomed rarity.



July 31, 2004, 5:07 PM

I think people just get in step behind the latest fad (which means there is hope for all of us, I guess, as long as we can become faddish). Anyone who knows postwar art at all well has no other reason to be suddenly excited by these pictures. What looked tired 40 years ago - the tasteful raw-material tans and grays, the "meaningful" apertures, occasionally with menacing "teeth" (a pictorial cliche which still hangs on today), the pat post-Cubist post-AE structure - so much like so much else back then - faded away so many years ago it is now unfamiliar to a new generation. One ingredient of this success is their "easy listening" character, complete with the obligatory dash of the eccentric (the holes, the built-out surfaces), and maybe even the current taste for the art of women who persist and survive (Louise Bourgeois, Agnes Martin, Alice Neel, even Helen Frankenthaler, a genuine good artist who seems to have largely escaped the derision that has followed everyone Clement Greenberg liked) but that alone certainly cannot explain the sudden burst of adulation. If only Leo Castelli, a real genius of a dealer, were still alive, we could assume he had a hand in it. It is a case study in art world fashion and economics.



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