art criticism

ART TALK HAS BECOME SO BLOATED with self-consciousness that it hardly counts as conversation any more. Certainly not as the Goncourt brothers understood the word. Not even as it is practiced over a Sam Adams Light at McFadden’s Tap. These days, art talk is known as discourse, a gray, unsmiling thing with the smell of the podium about it. If only Ernest Gellner were still here to do for artspeech what he did for the analyst’s couch in The Psychoanalytic Movement (1985). Continue Reading
Hodgkin, Pieper and Artwriting

The lecture goes back a few years but reminders of it keep arriving. In November, 2003, while he was here for his exhibit at Gagosian, Howard Hodgkin gave a talk at the Frick. The subject was one of those airy things that weigh a ton: an artist’s perspective on the relationship between painting and its audience. The topic presupposes a certain consciousness on the part of painting itself, that it might reach out, as they say, to hold up its part in relationship with you and me. Continue Reading