Post #1274 • January 12, 2009, 11:55 AM • 35 Comments
Not long ago I asked what opportunities are presenting themselves in light of the economic downturn. I'm gathering my own answers together to that question, and in the meantime present the following links as background reading, some by way of example, some by way of counterexample, some for a bit of both.
Stephanie Lee Jackson, Why I Am Not Renewing My Whitney Membership. "...the Whitney has consistently championed art which is conceptually banal and aesthetically bankrupt, selected almost entirely from a pool of artists who have already been filtered by high-profile galleries and cultural organizations, and justified by a morass of pretentious, impenetrable and obfuscatory rhetoric."
Edward Winkleman, We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For. "But it must be noted again, that as in any content management system, the output (or what you can actually do with the system) is only as good as the input. In other words, the quality of the individual paintings or photography or video or installations that go into this system, that we tag and collectively connect the dots to, is as important as what anyone ever expects to get out of it. Quantity must be directed by high purpose to reach its quality potential."
Matthew Nash, Looking Back on 2008. "For arts institutions here in the Boston area, 2008 has been a very turbulent year. While the larger institutions saw some impressive growth, the commercial gallery sector of Boston changed dramatically. By my count, at least twenty-two galleries made significant changes in 2008." (via)
Holland Cotter, Museums Look Inward for Their Own Bailouts. "Reality issues an order: do or die."
Martha Schwendener, What Crisis? Some Promising Futures for Art Criticism. "...art writing already experienced its own sort of crash. The days of power critics like Clement Greenberg or Harold Rosenberg ended decades ago; writers have been eclipsed by globe-trotting curators, mega-dealers—even, in recent years, collectors." (via)
Bunny Smedley, Land girls in Lymington: war art fights back. "Cook is an illustrator. He is not, repeat, not an artist. Having once introduced him to someone as an artist, rather than an illustrator, I was charmingly yet firmly set straight on this point. This mode of self-identification, in turn, licences him to transgress pretty much every normative stricture associated with the trendier end of the contemporary art market. For instance, he not only enjoys drawing from life, but is very good at it."
Waldemar Januszczak, Time for a cull in the art world. "This, then, is the art world’s chief and most catastrophic problem — as its prices have risen, so its values have collapsed. In 1986, someone asked Andy Warhol about money. By that time, he was much too experienced a rich man and much too canny an interviewee to pass up the chance to promote his utterly appalling world-view. “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art,” quipped the paper-thin Warren Buffett of pop." (via)
David Berry, No one's a critic. "Ryan McCourt, an arts blogger (nesw.ca) and sculptor whose controversial statues of Ganesha might make him the most-talked-about Edmonton artist of the past few years, agrees. 'Speaking generally,' he says flatly, 'you can’t really talk about the role criticism plays in the community, because there isn't any.'"