It was the best of times, it was the worst of times
Post #879 • October 2, 2006, 8:56 AM • 77 Comments
Two contrasting articles hit ArtsJournal this morning. In the LA Times, Suzanne Muchnic marvels at the diversity of world artistic production. "Of contemporary art today, two things, and maybe only two things, can be said for sure. First, there is more of it - made in more styles and materials, by more artists who live, work and have exhibitions in more places - than ever before. Second, it doesn't fit into neat categories or hierarchies."
Meanwhile, in the Guardian, Lynn Barber became a judge for the Turner Prize and used up her love of contemporary art in one year. "There is so much bad work around, so much that is derivative, half-baked or banal, you can't believe that galleries would show it." [Update: She also says, "It always infuriates me when people claim to be art lovers just because they go to every Monet, Constable, Caravaggio exhibition and then make crappy jokes about unmade beds and pickled sharks." I cop to being one of these infuriating people. Cheers!]
We were just discussing this. Muchnic and Barber are observing the same phenomenon. I have said before that a critic of Greenberg's stature won't appear until work as good as the triumphs of abstraction appear. But a wild landscape requires guides. I see an opportunity for an enterprising critic in all this.