January 2013

I Am What I Have

According to Sartre, “I am what I have” is the reigning attitude of the bourgeoisie. Much as I dislike the word bourgeois and its historic uses, Sartre’s comment is on the money when it comes to art collectors. “I am my paintings.” Collecting is an upscale recreation, a game that confers the illusion of cultural superiority on the players. Cleaning out old files, I came across a copy of a speech given by Eugene Schwartz, a leading collector of contemporary art until his death in 1995. Continue Reading
View Through the Fallopian Tubes

For connoisseurs of civilizational decline, the delights keep accumulating. Contemporary art is especially generous in building the case that Spengler had it right. If only he had been an art critic. The ignorance and terminal vulgarity of what passes—still—for feminist art disqualifies most of its practitioners from any claim on civilized attention. Newly arrived is a press release from Ceres Gallery, a women’s not-for-profit collective in New York, announcing a not-so-unique exhibition Meet My Uterus. Vaginas have been over-exposed, laid bare every which way from Sunday. Continue Reading
January 1, 2013

This time last year, Studio Matters went on retreat. It withdrew in anticipation of a long, difficult year. The new one promises to be no easier. Still, retreats are meant as preludes to renewal, not abdication. I was reminded of this by a note that came from a lovely and thoughtful artist in Arkansas. She wondered if postings had been abandoned forever. No, Lin, not forever. New Year’s Day seems a good moment for Studio Matters to shake off sleep and open eyes to the new season. Continue Reading