NEW YORK REMAINS A MARKETING CENTER but it has not been a creative center for at least two decades. Robert Hughes was saying as much in the early Eighties. Artists live where they like, where they can afford. They spend just enough occasional time in New York to get to know galleries where their work fits the stable. Gladhanding is an art in itself but it is not the primary one. Good art is still made across the country by serious artists who have decided against the bruising demands of seeking name recognition in advance of the perfection of their work. Continue Reading
IS THERE AN ARTIST ANYWHERE who does not have Ernst Gombrich on the shelf? Art and Illusion, Meditations on a Hobby Horse, or—my favorite—The Sense of Order are perennial staples in the studio. If there is room for only one book, The Essential Gombrich fills the bill. His The Story of Art is a stock item in libraries across the country.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I came across this footnote in Norman F. Cantor’s riveting Inventing the Middle Ages: The Lives, Works, and Ideas of the Great Medievalists of the Twentieth Century:
I have to admit that I must be almost alone in not learning anything of importance from the writings of (Aby) Warburg’s other famed student, Ernst H. Continue Reading
IN HER 2010 MONOGRAPH ON HANNAH WILKE, Nancy Princenthal writes this:
. . . . throughout her graphic oeuvre, the issue of beauty is as central as it is in her photographic self-portraits.
She might really believe that. Nevertheless, Princenthal’s comment is indivisible from the abuse of language that constitutes so much contemporary art writing. It can hardly be called criticism. On the academic/critical circuit, words mean whatever the speaker wants them to mean. It is all a rhetorical game aimed at producing judgmentless judgments that have the required ring of sobriety about them. Continue Reading