Monday, February 15, 2010

For Posterity: Roberta Smith responds to Jerry Saltz's facebook friends re: Post-Minimal to the Max

Many thanks to both Roberta Smith and Jerry Saltz.
The following is a verbatim repost of the facebook content.
[Note: the timeline is a bit off because I was copy/pasting as the discussion progressed.]

Photo by @museumnerd

Jerry Saltz I am biased, I know. And my wife doesn’t know I’m posting this. But I wish I had written her Sunday A & L piece. I agree with almost every word. Art World: We are all gypsies - splendid but dark. It is time to Go Rogue. - Read this & see if it doesn’t do something to your inner-pheromones. - Roberta Smith:
Sat at 1:16pm · Comment · Like
Jonathan Viner, Jazz-minh Moore, Agni Zotis and 223 others like this.

Grace Graupe Pillard I posted it on my site because it rings so true for so many of us....particularly as you expressed in another post - women.
Sat at 1:20pm

Billy Previdi I liked the 90's.
Sat at 1:21pm

Edward Shott Curating is too important to be left in the hands of professional curators.
Sat at 1:29pm

Todd Rosenbaum come out and visit to see whats going on over here!
Sat at 1:30pm

Mary Addison Hackett Thanks for posting.
Sat at 1:30pm

Gabriel J. Shuldiner I feel better for having read this several times now. Me like. Me agree.
Sat at 1:30pm

Dana Martin Davis Will read this again. It is like hearing a clear true note of a tuning fork.
Thought some of these things, but had in no way defined and clarified what was bothering me the way this aritcles states.
Having had the experience of seeing a few gallery shows that I received as so much more interesting than what was being offered in even fairly major museum shows...I just was mulling over some nagging questions that are tightly realized and perfectly formed by this article.
Hear, hear.
Brava, Roberta.
Sat at 1:33pm

Warren Isensee It is a great piece.
Sat at 1:33pm

Veru Narula I agree with Roberta's assessment: Painters with passion and willing to say something with an individual voice are preceived as too controversial. When did art need to be politically correct?I have an example of something so thought provoking, so profound, it's too ballsy for a curator:
Sat at 1:36pm

Robert Janitz thank you
Sat at 1:37pm

Karla Knight This article does an artist's heart good....yay, Roberta.
Sat at 1:38pm

Josephine Lipuma @Jerry,
a delightful read...
Sat at 1:38pm

Kate Kretz whoooo hoooooooo!
Sat at 1:38pm

Stephanie Theodore lovely article. made me wish for a Myron Stout exhibition.
Sat at 1:40pm

Adriana Farmiga i'd actually be curious to hear if anyone disagrees and why.
Sat at 1:41pm

Dana Martin Davis E.g.: Cheim & Read: The Female Gaze was a must-not-miss see. Even some installations at fairs in Basel this summer were more realized and interesting than certain museum exhibits.
Could the cold economic climate at non-profits be chilling the thought process? After all, if you're concerned your position could be de-accessioned and your exhibit budget is limited, are you likely to promote the bold stroke?
Sat at 1:44pm

Amy Lipton Love it - rings too true! (except for the Dumas statement) Please tell Roberta to come see the Carolee Schneemann restrospective (40 yrs worth of intensely amazing work) at the Dorsky Museum - and I have a companion exhibition across the hall, "Body Line Motion, Selections from the Collection" It's not NYC but not too far away. Bring yourself along too!
Sat at 1:47pm

Jerry Saltz Adrianna:
I could name OTHER or DIFFERENT artists who deserve more attention from NYC museums.
Your thoughts?
Sat at 1:48pm

Ricardo Rivera ☞☞☞☞☞☞Roberta Smith☜☜☜☜☜☜✍✍✍✍✍✍✍★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Sat at 1:48pm

Sat at 1:49pm

Stephanie Theodore Back in the day, museums in NYC did do smaller, more focussed, less 'culled from the bienniale circuit' shows. The Whitney Equitable branch did some lovely exhibitions - George Ault, Aldo Cromelynck, etc. how about that Thomas Hart Benton show from 1988-9? I saw it in both NYC and LA, and it was truly revelatory. there seems to be some sort of fear of definitive meaning and point of view in exhibitions lately, so that the larger scale just allows for flabby ambiguity reflecting institutional ambivalence.

some neglected figures - Richard Hamilton, Stout, Steinbach, Byars, diCorsia, Downes (the guy won a frigging Macarthur!), Murphy for a very very short list.
Sat at 1:52pm

Kal Spelletich her suggestions for shows,

i like this stuff tho:
"The idea that a moment’s most visible artists are concentrated in a handful of powerful galleries is only superficially true. "
Sat at 1:53pm

Mira Gerard I can't disagree with you more about her suggestions for shows, Kal. Since when is it "yawn" to consider good paintings in a thoughtful and deep way? Argh.
Sat at 1:56pm

Adriana Farmiga shit jerry, i knew that was coming from you, ha! here's my immediate answer: i want to see more cluster shows. not mass wedding group shows but smaller clusters that make you think in their combinations. guest curators would be awesome, to spread the love. i'm glad N-Pop was mentioned b/c that was my first thought upon entering that show and has been ever since- i mean really. others? there's SO MANY!
Sat at 1:56pm

Stephanie Theodore I do like Roberta's suggestion of Lari Pittman... the name has come up in more than a few conversations recently along the lines of "why aren't we seeing the work lately?"
Sat at 1:57pm

Barbe' Slitkin Roberta is weilding her sword of power brave of her, good all of us. Thank you, of course you are proud.
Sat at 2:00pm

Oliver Wasow I agree with Roberta that there is an over-emphasis on what she calls conceptual post-minimalism, but I really disagree with her suggestion that the antidote is a focus on ' art made by one person out of intense personal necessity'. At a time when the creative process is becoming increasingly fluid and collaborative, when digital mutations are exploding all around us, it seems, well, kind of reactionary to suggest that we need a (return to a) focus on shows of individual painters. Don't get me wrong, I think there is a lot of room for that kind of creative activity and it has a place in museums today, tomorrow and forever, but it hardly seems a solution to the problem with museums today.
Sat at 2:02pm

Cary Smith I agree with Roberta. Museums could also show small juicy exhibits of lesser known artists, simultaneously with their big blockbusters. Also, could have some artists, critics, and writers curate some of these shows. Would be particularly satisfying to many museum goers.
Plus, Roberta has a particularly eloquent way with words.
Sat at 2:02pm

Yadir Quintana I think part of the reason Roberta's thesis is so solid is because she's acknowledged the limitations faced by said curators and is likely (one would hope) giving voice to mutual concerns.
Sat at 2:12pm

Tracey M. Kessler BRILLIANT!!! "What’s missing is art that seems made by one person out of intense personal necessity, often by hand. A lot but not all of this kind of work is painting, which seems to be becoming the art medium that dare not speak its name where museums are concerned."

LONG LIVE painting, dammit.
Sat at 2:13pm

Ellen Yustas K. Gottlieb wonderful, I was reading it earlier today, thinking that Black Square was created in 1915 by Malevich. It could be the sign of decadent period if ESTABLISHMENT is now doing what seems so avant-garde. Perhaps by showing bare walls of museum the establishmet calls for new uprise in artists, for new wave of energy, as if saying: "fill those walls with art that will shake these walls..."
Sat at 2:13pm

Gideon Bok Right on! I especially agreed with Roberta's point about Nicole Eisenman's show.
Sat at 2:16pm

Karla Knight I agree with Roberta's premise, though I may chose a few different artists. For instance, I'd love to see a little retrospective of Kim Jones's work. Big fan.
Sat at 2:17pm

Jah Jah Roberta is absolutely right!! Most artists want to create objects d' arte--not this frenetic desire to manifest originality-- more so there is a fanatic energy to recreate a simulacra of art-- losing its 'aura' as W. Benjamin and Baudrillard might argue----
Sat at 2:17pm

Kathryn Karwat Brava!
Sat at 2:17pm

Josephine Lipuma @all,

Roberta states what is most true: "The idea that a moment’s most visible artists are concentrated in a handful of powerful galleries is only superficially true. "

There are a lot of powerful creatives out there, it is a matter of exposure, in a way Facebook does some of the exposure. In the nooks and crannies of the art world dwell a lot of powerful artists.
Sat at 2:18pm

Maria João Salema Thanks for posting, love it.
Sat at 2:22pm

Asya Geisberg I very much liked RS's thesis, though maybe not all her choices, but that is perhaps the point: if you choose one artist who has a distinctive singular vision over time, then it becomes a thumbs up/thumbs down risk for audiences and for museum boards. I liked what someone said earlier, about mini-clusters--perhaps finding relationships between 3-5 artists. or is that what galleries are now doing better?
Sat at 2:24pm

Chris Moss Yes! a little more weird and a little less predictable. Oliver however makes an interesting point above, makes me think Gelitin needs a small retrospective here sometime soon. More Weird, More Weird, More Weird!!! That's why I got into this whole thing in the first place.
Sat at 2:26pm

Josephine Lipuma @Chris,
Conceptual weird is heaven=paradise.....
Sat at 2:32pm

Joseph Nechvatal I like the sprit of her manifesto, but not sure it holds water. How does one judge "intense personal necessity, often by hand?" Jeff Koons paintings are painted by hand. So what? And JK's famous obsession to production values would indicate an intense necessity.
In general the direction she admires seems like a throw back into safe territory. The hand = the authentic was debunked by Robert Rauschenberg work(s): Factum I (1957, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) and Factum II (1957, The Museum of Modern Art).
Sat at 2:34pm

Chris Moss Thinking of possible solutions to RS's challenge. Why wait for a museum, why can't 5 galleries get together and do a retrospective that rivals a museum show?
Sat at 2:35pm

Elizabeth Tremante I agree with Oliver. While I think it would be great for curators to focus upon some small shows, mid-career artists who are doing amazing things, etc There is an absence of work that is truly new media/new thinking.
Sat at 2:35pm

Mia Pearlman I agree with her major thesis---I'm bored of seeing the same 30 pre-approved, post-conceptual artists. Well done. And I think she has a lot of guts to say it so clearly and succinctly. However, I wonder why she only referenced MoMA, the Gugg, the Whitney and the New Mu. What about PS1, MAD, Sculpture Center, even the Met? There are some cool smaller institutions that do try to show other work and ideas. By only mentioning the big $, it kind of perpetuated the idea that only they and the work they show is truly important. I hope that painting is not the only antidote to 4th gen minimalism.
Sat at 2:35pm

Anne McGovern Roberta hit the proverbial nail on the head. Bravo!
Sat at 2:35pm

Ken Johnson it's termites vs. white elephants. i'm for termites.
Sat at 2:38pm

Ilona Anderson I love the way Roberta articulates the issues. Although this may rouse ire, I always had the feeling that there were really very few truly brave curators, dealers etc out there who were willing to really go out on a limb. I had that experience in South Africa. People clearly saw my work was good but were nervous of committing themselves to it. Then a curator, who was traveling round the world looking for work for the Carnegie International, chose my work to be in the show , rather than the work of the people who were the accepted "good" artists there. Once that had happened, and I my work was very well reviewed during that show and everyone heard about it, then they loved my work.
I am sure they are obviously working under so many constraints, however it is disappointing that they are not able to get out of the narrow range of acceptable artists.
Sat at 2:39pm

Josephine Lipuma @Elizabeth,

Mid-career artist, yes and even artists pass mid-career, why stop at mid-career? Past mid-career
artists still have a lot to say, a reinvention of sorts, maybe even more so...all artists sooner or later get to the past mid-career point.
Sat at 2:40pm

Patricia Bertha Mattingly "art that seems made by one person out of intense personal necessity" ~ "The present is diverse beyond knowing" this article caused me to involuntarily take in a very deep breath.
Sat at 2:49pm

Elizabeth Tremante josephine-yes yes yes -- totally agree
Sat at 2:51pm

Scott Cousins This is an inspirational article indeed. There's so much that comes to my mind reading it. It reminds me that in the present moment my energy is best applied to my work and survival as an artist and painter. So my fb comment is just this: Brava Roberta Smith!
Sat at 2:51pm

Kara E. Walker yep, I ate this article up and hoped it would make some of my painter friends/students stand up a little taller
Sat at 2:56pm

Josephine Lipuma @Elizabeth, Thanks so for the reaffirmation:

I guess I was coming from my own place, I have so much more to say, and I reinvent myself/art all the time, it is the creative life long process. There are a lot of past mid-career artists out here-in those art world
Sat at 2:57pm

Robert Reitzfeld A great piece. Couldn't agree more.
Sat at 2:58pm

Mark Rosman A thousand amens!
Sat at 3:01pm

Anki King Time to get the inner girl back in art. This is brilliant:
Sat at 3:03pm

Josephine Lipuma @all,
Roberta says it like it is: ...Yet there are plenty of artists working this way now. They may not be making history (or entertainment, either), but they are still making really good art whose very unfolding has its own integrity and is exciting to see.
...Thanks so, Roberta.
Sat at 3:03pm

Gail Roberts My inner pheromones are smokin'
Sat at 3:04pm

Gail Roberts I love Kim Jones
Sat at 3:05pm

Aaron Holz I ♥ Roberta Smith
Too many white elephants make termites :(
Sat at 3:12pm

Aaron Holz Roberta's article was directed at New York institutions. I have to say, Chicago's doing some great stuff. A total surprise at the AIC: A new Carrol Dunham- one from his show in November at Gladstone- is already in the permanent collection and on display next to a Margherita Manzelli, across from a John Currin and near a Glenn Brown. It's a great, weird conversation of figures and paint in one small corner.
Sat at 3:17pm

Daniel Schulman YES! Even "regional" museums (Chicago, San Francisco, you name it) are infected by the same syndrome. It's not just a New York problem. It's all about fear. Museums need their publics to be louder than collectors. Thank you, thank you.
Sat at 3:20pm

Astrid Bowlby I appreciate that someone who has the ear of the formidable nyc art establishment is writing such. I feel sad that I don't think it will make much of a difference.

One of the nice things about living in Philadelphia is that we get to have some of the exhibitions that have not caught the eye of the ny scene, like Peter Saul and Barkley Hendricks, just to name a couple.
Sat at 3:23pm

Terry R Myers Jerry: tell Roberta I wish I was there to give her a big kiss! Also, The Art Institute is putting up Joe's 1972 cotton ball painting they just acquired & they've given it a great page in the new members magazine as the Matisse show is about to open. Also things are proceeding with my Zucker drawings retrospective that will open at SAIC in the Fall of 2012 -- and it looks very good that it will travel. To rewrite Jessica Diamond: "YES ROBERTA SMITH"
Sat at 3:23pm

Richard Gins I think Roberta hit the nail on the head and spoke for many, many artists out here who have been working hard for many years and yet experience a closed, short sighted vision by so many of the artworld's power brokers who will not open their eyes and thinking to the vast majority of art being created. Thumbs up Roberta and help us keep it real.
Sat at 3:26pm

Jerry Saltz BTW: I am sure R. would agree with MOST or AMNY OF your suggestions.
Of course this is just ONE article.
And lists of names are NEVER allowed in most publications. And if you try to bring in other ideas (collectivity; post-media; new media, etc; the article gets too long and baggy...).

- SECRET: Critics ALWAYS sweat out these lists; we know that whole artciles are often overlooked while everyone focuses on who was & wasn't mentioned.

- It is an occupational hazzard of the art critic; happens in EVERY article like this.
(Also in Top Tens, round-ups, Biennial reveiws; big group show articles, etc.)

Its funny: Every time I try to sneak a batch of names into an NYM artcile my editor politely writes back, "pick two names." Implied is, "And SHUT UP!"
Sat at 3:28pm

Martin Bland If I may add, I once heard a critic (who will of course remain nameless) at a lecture say "I would rather see Damien Hirst fail with a million dollars in a show than see you ( some grad student) fail with 10,000 dollars. Wouldn't you agree that this at the heart of it all is really the problem?
Sat at 3:28pm

Paola Andrea Ochoa great article.
Sat at 3:28pm

Marilyn Greenberg great art vs. lay art, studio art vs. plein air, realism vs. abstraction (also a great article on Held and Pearlstein) and now "art made of personal necessity" vs. the industrially made conceptual cultural image. History shows us it is all worth seeing and the dichotomies are irrelevant at a distance. How can curators see more of what is going on in a wider variety of artist's studios?
Sat at 3:30pm

Mark Dutcher really great article. seems so of the moment. i love when museums present small shows of something unexpected or unfamiliar. i loved what roberta had to say about art of necesity. i feel a change a coming.. where art that is turned inward or soul searching or personal or even..gasp.. spiritual is being made and looked at... rather than corporate cultural critique of conceptual objects and branding. i must say i really want to experience the show tino sehgal show. @ Terry i love those cotton ball paintings.!!! really crushingly beautiful.
Sat at 3:38pm

Paola Andrea Ochoa Marilyn- "How can curators see more of what is going on in a wider variety of artist's studios?"
DID anyone else get this? and if so what do you think about it?

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center

P.S.1 announces the launch of a new Studio Visit website and this
weekend's Saturday Sessions performances.

A website that invites artists and collectives to exhibit their works
online and invites viewers into their studio spaces, Studio Visit
encourages the local and international artist community to participate
in an online artistic pool of information and a research tool for future
exhibitions. For more details
Sat at 3:40pm

Donna Ruff What a terrific piece, and I love her last paragraphs. The present is diverse beyond knowing. It got me excited that maybe a sea change is underway. What some optimists predicted about the recession could be true- that a real shake-up could result. New galleries, more chances taken, artists discovered/rediscovered.
Sat at 3:42pm

Laura Elkins thoughtful piece. thanks for posting. tell us what Roberta says when she finds out you posted it.
Sat at 3:44pm

Douglas Ward Kelley It's a beautiful review.
Sat at 3:48pm

Matthew Weinstein All with it until the ' made by hand' thing. Seems nostalgiac to me. Who cares how something is made? As Oliver and Joseph said, art reflects changes in production as well as the production of meaning. There is much personal sacrafice and vision in going broke trying to produce something that is one's own idea of perfection. Sometimes I wish I could stay in my room and make tiny paintings. I wish she'd re think that part of a great article. It was the only hole in it.
Sat at 3:53pm

Gabriel J. Shuldiner I feel better for having read this several times now. Me like. Me agree.
Sat at 3:53pm

Brian Sherwin This town needs an enema. ;p
Sat at 3:59pm

Richard Jacobs I kind of wish she had not mentioned all those deserving names because it may backfire for them. Curators will hopefully take this important advice, but are likely to be resistant to being told who to elevate.
Sat at 4:01pm

Ila Schloss great article. Let's hear it for ORIGINALITY!! Think outside the Hive Mind! Unexpected, edgy, interesting... I hope that my work can achieve that level of "fresh". Thanks for posting this Jerry.
Sat at 4:04pm

Brian Porray i love this article! wendy white would make my list.....just sayin'
Sat at 4:06pm

Lisa Adams Roberta Smith seems so speak for many artists. I admire her for writing this article and I also believe it is the truth as well. There are so many artists who work in near isolation even within a community who are doing individuated and compelling work. I have always thought that it's the individual, unique vision that has the deepest reach. When I look at work like that I have to look harder and spend more time and I get a lot more from the experience. I

Roberta's hint to curators is the best! Though I have never curated exhibitions at any elevated levels I have curated and for me it was always so exciting to discover work and present it, regardless of it's popularity.

Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and bringing this out for discussion.
Sat at 4:10pm

Timothy Hartley Smith Amen!
Sat at 4:10pm

Hilary Goldblatt It is a great piece and I agree with just about everything she says. As far as the artists she mentions, sometimes, just sometimes, the emperor is really naked.
Sat at 4:12pm

Sally Fisher Jerry I just wrote something to you but it seems to have vanished. I was wondering whatever happened to what Roberta pointed to as intense personal necessity. I would love to wander the museums and see the result of the kind of risk taking, invention and adventure that used to inspire us, oh those many years ago.
Sat at 4:19pm

David Carson Thought R's piece was super bad-ass until it stumbled and crashed on that bit about "hand-crafted art out of necessity" (paraphrased)

Went from rogue to reactionary-nostalgic. I get the feeling that was not R's intention, but that's how it came off imho.

I think Oliver expressed this VERY well...
"At a time when the creative process is becoming increasingly fluid and collaborative, when digital mutations are exploding all around us, it seems, well, kind of reactionary to suggest that we need a (return to a) focus on shows of individual painters."

However, I do think R captured the sentiment of where a lot of people's heads are at - big ups for capturing that little spark of lightning in a bottle.
Sat at 4:24pm

Pamela Harris One of my favorite artists is Terry Winters, and not because I love all his work. He seems to be an artist who is willing to show it all - transitional, successful, crap. I get the sense the question he asks himself isn't 'Is this good,' but 'Is this successful.'

Granted, I can fall into the artist stereotype of Enough about me, what do you think of me. But I do look. One of my favorite pleasures is visiting MFA open studio programs to see what's trending, and these last few years I've seen a lot of sh!t. And a lot of it was knock offs of contemporary artists who have had high profile NYC museum shows.

That's harsh, and I genuinely believe that the art world wheel is always changing and some things take time to really see. I had to see Thomas Nozkowski a few times before falling in love with his work. (Ken Price I love to fondle (it's sculpture and yeah, I touch most of it) from the start and I'm excited to see his Met show.)

I really like your wife's article, but I think the same could be said for a lot of artists working today. Rob Fischer is really interesting to me, as are Ricci Albenda's sculptures. Mary Lucier always intrigues me, and the bigger Ursala von Ridingsvard gets the bigger.

I like almost everything I see at 303 and a few other spaces, but as far as 'new' or 'newer' artists, a lot of the work is reductive (that's not the word I'm thinking of but I'm drawing a blank). And it's not that the work doesn't care about what came before it - I could get my head around this conceptually. It's that it doesn't seem aware. I've really tried to get excited by this and take it on it's terms, but right now, today, it's not doing it for me.

There is a lot going on out there and some friends are even making work and not letting anyone except artists in their studios right now. I think of it as we're in the hallway at the moment, if that makes sense, and what's been going on in the curatorial world at the museum level though, contributes to this. Looking isn't always easy and sometimes I wonder if curators really do it.

Sorry this is so long. I've been spending a little too much time indoors.
Sat at 4:30pm

Kurt Kauper I agree that the emphasis on the hand made is the only problem with the article, and Roberta Smith herself almost suggests it by subtly dismissing Marlene Dumas. There are many artists who are making hand-made paintings that comform to the "visual austerity and coolness of temperature that are dispiritingly one-note." The academicization of 1960's practices is everywhere apparent, and I can name many painters--making work by their own hand--who fit into that category. Luc Tuymans and that whole group of artists he's influenced most prominent among them.
Sat at 4:36pm

Joseph Nechvatal Yes David. The piece well jibes the trend of vapid - but then offers as a remedy a trend of trite. Further. Further. Further.
Sat at 4:37pm

Mike Cockrill That was a really good article...and I was just thinking something like that needed to be written. RS expressed it beautifully.
Sat at 4:45pm

Chuck Agro Jerry, shake Roberta's hand for me please and add a "bravo!" Roberta mentioned Jim Nutt but I would add Ida Applebroog and Alice Neel as two artists that deserve more museum exposure.
Sat at 4:51pm

Laura Stein she is so good!
Sat at 4:53pm

Carl E. Hazlewood I do love this article... someone had to say it. Good for her!
Sat at 4:54pm

Aneta Glinkowska Nicely rantty.
Sat at 4:55pm

Manfred Baumgartner Thomas Nozkowski a great artist whos work will live
on for a long time
Sat at 5:02pm

Carl E. Hazlewood ... agreed about Thomas Nozkowski... would love to see a full museum treatment of his art
Sat at 5:05pm

Astrid Bowlby @Chuck: There was an Alice Neel retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art a few years ago. It was great. There's a catalog.
Sat at 5:08pm

Kurt Kauper Alice Neel retrospective at the Whitney a few years ago too. But I do agree that she's under-recognized. Such a great painter.
Sat at 5:11pm

Chuck Nanney "These things should be understood by now: The present is diverse beyond knowing, history is never completely on anyone’s side, and what we ignore today will be excavated later and held against us the way we hold previous oversights against past generations."
Sat at 5:15pm

David Shapiro I spent the last forty years praising pluralism and being
put down for it. The October gang clique cabal is an
'example of the color-blindness. Painting was thought to be
replaced by video. I mentioned to all that Meyer Schapiro once told me that no style defeats another. Our primary
problem is not just with curators but with dogmatic critics.
Like anyone else, I can think of l00 painters "left out" but
even worse is that "story" as Roberta asserts--a story
that was finally them against us. I have heard Jerry some critics saying they want more ferocious critique, but in
truth empathy, looking, receptivity, wider scope, a
sense of mental contradictions are very good equipment
for a critic or a curator or anyone...Restore neglected artists, test what you have been despising, be curious and
awonder why James's pluralism is not a good guide to art...
Sat at 5:22pm

David Shapiro Audiences love tyranny; it is so orderly.
Sat at 5:23pm

Ken Greenleaf A major museum show for Lois Dodd is way overdue.
Sat at 5:23pm

Tricia Collins Here, Here! What about a Sal Scarpitta show!
Sat at 5:41pm

Aramis Gutierrez I very much agree and I wish wannabes outside of NYC would also get the message. Individuality is the key not heard mentality.
Sat at 5:48pm

Lisa Beck the phrase was "OFTEN made by hand," not only made by hand. Joseph, Oliver, Matthew, I see all of your work as coming from a sense of personal necessity and good weirdness. They needed to exist in the world, you brought them forth. To me, the technique used is immaterial to that quality.
Sat at 5:49pm

Jill Slaymaker Jerry, please say THANK YOU to Roberta. Your wife is brilliant, and her article gave me a glimmer of hope.
Sat at 5:53pm

Joseph Nechvatal Good point Lisa. I also think a consistency of unique and personal style is more important than a medium.
Sat at 5:53pm

Matthew Weinstein how something is made is as or perhaps more lost to history then the original intent of the artist on the level of meaning.
There is something generic about ALL art that gets processed through the fame and money mill.
Sat at 5:58pm

Lisa Beck hear, hear for pluralism too. I want to see more shows of mixed up furniture/paintings/sculpture/photos/writing/ceramics/ancient/new/video/performance books/etc. End segregation!
Sat at 5:59pm

Karyn Lyons Loved it!
Sat at 6:06pm

William Villalongo That was powerful! More fire!
Sat at 6:09pm

Astrid Bowlby Lisa, that kind of mixture I really like, too.
Sat at 6:10pm

Jesse Bercowetz i love to walk into an artists world- rather than an exhibition of the art world- knowing they are deeply lost in their own thing- longevity come s to mind-
i want to get to know the artist not the genre...
Sat at 6:13pm

Marilyn Greenberg Lisa, I agree with your interpretation. Matthew, Maya and other techniques are means that serve your (very) personal ends.
Sat at 6:13pm

Lisa Sanditz That Roberta Smith is tough and smart.
Sat at 6:16pm

Alexa Forosty THANK YOU JS & RS!
Sat at 6:16pm

Camilo Alvarez oh yes and i most agree with:" The goal in organizing museum exhibitions, as in collecting, running a gallery and — to cite the most obvious example — being an artist, should be individuation and difference, finding a voice of your own." there are so many people showing the sameness...
Sat at 6:18pm

Rocio Rodriguez Salceda OLÉ!!!
Sat at 6:20pm

Jane Fine I look forward to reading all the comments later, but just now I want to say THANK YOU ROBERTA and JS, even though you didn't write it, c'mon, wasn't it a bit inspired by our days of ranting on your FB page about how to improve the NYC museums. You guys rock.
Sat at 6:32pm

Annika Connor tell her thank you! she wrote exactly what i have been thinking. I want a show for painters. something that will inspire me and make me want to run home to the studio to paint.
Sat at 6:32pm

Stephen Plount generally Mr. Saltz, I am staying out of your discussions wherever they arise and whatever they seem to cover, but I can't help but wonder why you would give someone as distant and inconsequential as the ex gov of a far northwestern state any weight of importance by using the title of her pathetic book in any statement that you make. perhaps its time for a sabbatical.
Sat at 6:33pm

Joseph Nechvatal I have good news for you Annika. In the upcoming Whitney Biennial, paintings account for nearly a quarter of the works in the exhibition. (There are 55 works total; 13 of them are paintings.) That’s the highest percentage of works in any medium in the show; there are more paintings than there is anything else.
Sat at 6:40pm

Todd Levin Jerry:

If I may be so bold as to be allowed a moment of indulgence, this is precisely what my curated exhibition "Your Gold Teeth 2" at Marianne Boesky's gallery last summer was all about - from George Ohr 1898 to Anj Smith 2009. Roberta review of that exhibition -
Sat at 6:41pm

Jack Davidson You're all lucky you don't live in Barcelona, the home of conceptualism-lite and word-based art.
Sat at 7:05pm

Sean Capone @ Lisa: the phrase is "made BY hand", not "made ON YOUR hand." ;-P
@ Stephen: You are a good colorist. Go Rouge, grrrlfriend!
Sat at 7:12pm

J Karl Bogartte Interesting all those names, and all that art, and how many really all seem to stick to a certain formula, and so much work that all seems to have been made by one person (and/or their colorful assistants), and how much of it really sticks in your mind, blows you away... There's very few artists that stick in my mind, even fewer that make me tingle inside. I personally demand more from art, the kind that fuks up 'art history' and writes its own history...

Of course, I'm the sort of person that thinks Roberto Matta was the greatest painter of the 20th century, and with good reason!
Sat at 7:18pm

Joseph Nechvatal I think the point of questioning both vapid neo-neo-conceptualism and turgid "its painting so it is authentic" approaches to art is that these choices in medium can now be recognized as conventions of limited parameters. Neither have an expectational given attached to value.
Sat at 7:19pm

Cristi Rinklin Wow, that is brilliant. I loved it. Thank you Roberta.
Sat at 7:20pm

Elizabeth Tremante The shows people have mentioned that sound good are at small museums in small-ish cities. I'm thinking of Mary Heilmann & Peter Saul shows at the Orange County Museum. Of course we have great programming at the Hammer in LA. Do good curators simply have more freedom at smaller venues? That said, I loved WACK @ LA MOCA.
Sat at 7:26pm

David Richardson Todd Levin: although I wasn't able to see your show, Roberta's skill brought it to life for me and I remember it as one of the significant shows of last year. Roberta is wonderful. I've used "ecumenical" to describe her approach, ever since James Elkins described her that way in an e-mail, and she uses the word herself in the piece. It's the right message for the moment and for artists. Just this afternoon I was going through a pile of Christie's Contemporary auction catalogues from the last 10 years that my neighbor was dumping - so much crap, but with a few gems here and there. One of the most satisfying was a collection of British art from Auerbach to Kitaj, Freud to Doig - a collection of painters and individuals, including several I didn't know like Michael Andrews (a British Fairfield Porter), Peter Blake, and others.(Merians sale, London, 6/07). I was struck by the "individuation" that Roberta mentions - artists developing an individual voice over a career, and by a particularly satisfying group of painters. Anyway, Jerry it's endearing that you wish you had written the piece.
Sat at 7:26pm

Caroline J. Nye Yes! Thank you Roberta.
Sat at 7:27pm ·

Loren Holland OMG, I'm so glad someone has FINALLY pointed this out--great article Ms. Smith!
Sat at 7:33pm

Guillermo Creus I think is a good article that makes a good appreciation of the reality, that museums have not been taking chances. I still don’t agree about name dropping, since they ended up being just a personal opinion about who deserve a show and who doesn’t. I really don’t think it’s about artist’s names (I could have my own list), but about what artworks/exhibitions are right for the right time and that look good and add something to the big picture at the end. There’s interesting issues in there, the pressure that museum curators withstand and the fact that curators don’t seem to be going around enough two important ones that “create” the problem. Variety, as opposed to a brand types of art another one.
At the end, wouldn't it be more the “museum’s fault” (higher hierarchy) than the curator’s fault?
And some of it the "critics’ fault" helping feed the huge bubble/one brand type art in these past years throughout galleries and museums altogether?
In any case I am certainly really glad that things seem to be changing and reshaping, first through discussion boards, discussion bars and art writing, and then hopefully reflected in future museum exhibitions.
Sat at 7:50pm

Jana DesForges Great article. Much needed.
Sat at 7:52pm

Cate Holt LOVED it. And yes please, to a Nicole Eisenman museum show!
Sat at 8:01pm

Jane Fine I especially appreciated: " I liked these shows, but that’s not the point. We cannot live by the de-materialization — or the slick re-materialization — of the art object alone." To me this is why an emphasis on showing more painting isn't reactionary. It's about a return to a dirty, messy physicality.
Sat at 8:10pm

Stephanie Lee Jackson So if we all appreciate this article so much, why aren't museum curators paying attention? You'd almost think they didn't like artists, much.

Thanks, Roberta.
Sat at 8:29pm

Nikki Arendt Excellent article! Two things: I noticed that the 'handmade' comment has gotten some flack in the thread -- I took Roberta referring to handmade not as nostalgia but as a call for the non-machinic/personal/human level - less of a distanced, almost cold, work. That could be applied to nostalgia, sure, but doesn't have to be. What is revered at a period of time depends on how we see ourselves and our world - it goes back and forth but also always progresses like a wave so that any moment there is a movement forward with a referencing back at the same time. It's never just in the past.
Second, I like what Elizabeth suggested about the freedom of smaller venues and smaller cities - that makes a lot of sense- and I think Roberta referred to that when she mentioned the curators of large ny museums being in a difficult position.
Finally, I'd like to say that I enjoyed this article immensely and thanks to Roberta for writing it and Jerry for posting it here.
Sat at 8:33pm

William Rothwell Sapp Riitta Klint is the artist to put some personal need back in the Apple. She's in the Miami area and her works are attracting a following.
Sat at 8:44pm

Kathryn Nova Williams wow, she's got a fantastic amount of courage - well done! also - it makes me look forward to deitch at moca. sorry, i had to bring it up.
Sat at 8:46pm

Ashley Bickerton Curators too often believe they will be held in contempt and considered weak by fellow clergy if they champion that which is communally deemed apostate.
They often seem to spend as much time looking at one another as they do looking at art.
Serious props to RS for a well overdue public smackdown.
Have to agree with Oliver's overall assessment though, the answers are in diversity of mediums and approaches, not in atavistic notions of burning turpentine drenched singularity.
Sat at 9:01pm

Jane Fine back to an old thread for a sec; JS. I went to Tino Sehgal today with the loquacious 7 yr. old you met last night. An amazing experience for us both. We went up twice; the guides' conversations all perfectly appropriate to a mother and child out for a stroll.
Sat at 9:31pm

Judy Rifka More is more is the new less is more.
Sat at 9:36pm

Frank Holliday Yeah,ok I like you now.I hope you both mean's hard being forgotten.
Sat at 9:36pm

David Shapiro i always wanted to have an Enemies or Oppositions
show. Place Fairfield Porter next to Richgard Serra, place
the Richard next to a Max Klinger, place the Klinger next to0
Vija Celmins, place a Mondrian rose next to a Mondrian abstracytion, and the catalogue should leave everything alone, though someone will find a way to tie it up neatly and call it Neo-Fauve ...Ask each artist while drunk or spobner to answer tjhe question:
Who is the artist you hate the most, and why? A MD says Tell me the story of your lkife. And the good analuyst says on the next occasion: Now tell me what you lefdt out! Apply this to aesthetics.
Sat at 9:41pm

Sandi Slone "We can not live by the de-materialization-or the slick re-materialization - of the art object alone." Amen
Sat at 9:52pm

Barbara Ann Levy WELL DONE to Roberta. Yu are the King and Queen of Art and Reason!
Sat at 9:53pm

Sandi Slone thank you RS for saying it.
Sat at 9:54pm

Sandi Slone Long live the termites!
Sat at 9:57pm

Dee Shapiro Finally, well spoken.
Sat at 10:03pm

Heather Holden I always prefer Roberta, very a rare critic who is able to talk to artists in her pieces, even having courage to make prescription for remedy. And as such allows the viewer/reader to listen in. Many other critics talk about themselves or artworld agendae and the artists gets to listen in.
Sat at 10:28pm

Jana DesForges BTW, dear Stephen Plount, we can not allow evil to own or co-opt our language or our flag. I totally get your revulsion at all things Palin, but please don't allow her the power you are giving her. Close down Jerry? NO WAY!
Sat at 10:52pm

Robert Knafo She nailed it. Let's see how the curatorial class responds. It's not as if these good people are hidden - my list includes Mark Bradford, Mark Dutcher, Aaron Curry, Tom Houseago (all LA-based - coincidence?), and our own Brian Belott, who's doing his wild thing later this month at Zurcher. All practitioners of "art that seems made by one person out of intense personal necessity." I'll quibble with the hand part, but yeah - take the dare, liven up the place temple-keepers.
Sat at 11:02pm

Erik Hanson I love that, that's just the kind of thinking that makes Roberta a great writer....she always has the ability to see the talent and the sparks and dosnt get caught up in the bandwagon jumping....keep it up guuurl!
Sat at 11:27pm

Amir H Fallah fantastic! That Roberta Smith is one smart cookie!
Sat at 11:30pm

Elisabeth Kley I really liked her friday column about the boys too!
Sat at 11:57pm

Lisa Beck @ S. Plount:The phrase "going rogue" long predates Ms. Palin. She doesn't own it-we can take it back! Rouge versus rogue.
Yesterday at 12:26am

Amy Sillman but the ensor, the bauhaus, the kandinsky show, the georgia o'keeffe show, and the coming-to-whitney burchfield show were great. so what's really problematic is not necessarily the modernist curating. it's the contemporary curating. (btw, jerry, i dont keep up w/ this blog all the time but didnt you write how great urs fischer show was at one point and say he was the best we had or something like that? correct me if i'm wrong. i really hope i'm wrong.)
Yesterday at 12:34am

Yesterday at 12:42am

Ron Rocheleau Wow- that was great. Tough Love. I certainly hope her advice is well heeded.
Yesterday at 2:01am

Todd Eberle why hasn't some institution of note made Roberta a director by now, especially in consideration that we are in an age of unprecedented transitions?
Yesterday at 2:34am

John Xero .transition.
Yesterday at 2:37am

Todd Eberle she's clearly got the chops to 'curate', whatever that means...
Yesterday at 2:38am

Todd Eberle and, Roberta doesn't have the pesky baggage of galleries and artists stables and stipends.
Yesterday at 2:44am

Erika Keck all i can say is THANK YOU!
Yesterday at 3:05am

Eva Meyer-Hermann Thanks for posting this article! - The curators "owe it to the public to present a balanced menu..." - but are curators really independent in their work? Who commissions them and who pays them?
Yesterday at 4:15am

Erik Hanson No museum directorship or curator role for Roberta please. Critics are very important and she has a very unique place!
Yesterday at 6:06am

Richard Haden Matthew, you wrote, "Who cares how something is made? " and you mentioned something else about caring about "Handmade" being nostalgic.

Well, where do I begin. For one, the idea a things made in sweat shops should always be a concern (nike for instance...)But I know you were not referring to sneakers but is there a real difference between brands of sneakers and art branded commodity? Is it any different if you look at art as a commodity produced? Is art commodity / fetish or shoe fetish, really any different. Working relations reflect social relations. And how art is made also reflects an artist vested interested in production, whether the artist has work fabricated by others or makes the work him or herself or makes work collectively always has political, commercial, ethical, etc or basically commodity issues. (Hirshhorn for instance...)

Artist who make there own work (Thomas Shuute...) also have have the greater capacity to own the production of their work. In bad economic times an artist who owns their own production can still produce. Also, historically artist who have been political activist, and owned there own presses, for instance, were never silent.

Another argument for art work that is hand made is that there is human trace and with that human trace goes a greater sense of temporality in the work (virtual reality damages our sense of substance reality) Work that is fabricated is usually conceptually done before it is made. An artist that participates in the physical craft of the process can edit as the work is in process. This makes each work one off artwork and is perhaps where the aura is...? Work that is fabricated for an artist is a closed process-manufactured, not agreeable to alteration and whim.

Another issue with how things are made is simpler. When collectors, patrons, students. etc study art works material base there is, as you know the archival quality that is never lost in history. It is obvious that a painting last longer than a work on paper for example. It is obvious that a etching is different than a drawing and so on. Also the value of phot prints or how digital images are produced matters in monetory value. Also, in reference to newer forms of art, such as Dan Flavin's fluorescence light tubes, there is already issues of not wanting to turn them on because no one make certain types of bulbs that he used for exact effects any more.

I have just scratched the surface of why it matters how art is made. In my case it is hand made versus CNC technology. Or for a framer price--a carved frame versus a cast simulacrum.
Yesterday at 6:39am

Michele Zalopany Finally! Brava Roberta! She spoke the words that dare not be spoken.
Yesterday at 7:40am

William Rothwell Sapp Haden, "greater capacity to own the production of their work." Right..and in that kind of production, transmitting more of themselves INTO the work itself. Personal..Yours.
Yesterday at 7:53am

Lane Twitchell offili, pittman, wesley, taaffe, zucker . . . wow! maybe there's hope for me after all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nice work ms. smith , , ,
Yesterday at 7:55am

Lane Twitchell oh and since were here, how about an ashley bickerton show!
Yesterday at 7:56am

Susan Jennings I love the article. Its powerful good stuff. Thanks Roberta. I only take issue with the phrase "by hand." I think intensely personal, ingenious work can be made by hand or made by computers or machines or airbrushes. Matthew Barney comes to mind. The next most amazing work of the new decade might be sound art or word art or photography or something we haven't even yet imagined. Or, yes, it might be painting with a masterful hand touch. We don't know. I wouldn't narrow the parameters in any way based upon technique. That is unnecessarily limiting.
Yesterday at 8:12am

Nancy Dwyer I loved reading RS's article. It is great that she has the clout to say what she wants to say in the sunday times. That alone is impressive.

I think this issue of hand vs no hand (machine) could be a whole new thread. First, I think it is easy to confuse the traditional materials of craft with the verb- esp in art- since so much has been said about feminism and 'home crafts', and of course, Painting with a capital P, as THE hand made art object.

Personally, I make stuff with a band saw, an xacto knife, a brush, a pencil and a mouse and a 44 inch ink jet printer. I think it is all hand made. I think it might have something to do with drawing, or maybe it really has something to do with time and sustained attention.

I am reading "The Meaning of Craft" (by P.Anderson) right now and it talks about time, effort, where your brain is when you are making. This seems to me the important issue of the moment. I have made art that I have literally never seen (designed and had produced and installed elsewhere) and I don't do that anymore (yea, yea, people aren't asking me to, either!!), that is to say, I don't have the prejudice, but in my own experience, I really need to be involved. I need to make. That is all i ever needed, actually..
Yesterday at 8:33am

Glenn LaVertu Excellent! Great article.
Yesterday at 8:34am

Peter Reginato Terrific essay and I loved the last sentence BUT Id like to add its time to let POP go too ...just like there was a time to let AB-X go and a time to bring it back
Yesterday at 8:37am

Oliver Wasow Richard Haden, I disagree with so many of the things you say regarding the 'hand made' that I don't know where to begin. I don't have the time or energy to deal with it all now so I'll pick out one point that in some ways encapsulates all the problems I have with what you wrote; When a Dan Flavin light bulb can't be replaced with the original bulb he intended, then it should be replaced with something that does exist. The work changes as a result, it remains alive, the trace blurs slightly and becomes more interesting as a result. Do you imagine, by the way, that Michaelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel by himself?
Yesterday at 8:38am

Peter Reginato "Michaelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel by himself?" Oliver I thought he did?
Yesterday at 8:42am

Doug Henders great article Roberta.. would love to hear her address "by hand" in the future, which seems a metaphor for a dynamic (expression, touch, chance) that has been lost in the factory/digital model of production
Yesterday at 8:43am

John Haber Michelangelo's painting it by himself can be seen as his aggressive, neurotic self, as a titanic achievement, or as a step toward a more modern idea of art as expression of solitary genius. You decide. (He expelled assistants after the first scene, where the bad plaster job had to be redone anyhow, and thereafter refused not just the usual workshop system, but even anyone other than occasionally the pope to peek in for a preview.)
Yesterday at 8:46am

Amy Chaiklin Jerry, just read the article. Bravo Roberta.
Yesterday at 8:53am

Oliver Wasow Peter, I could have come up with a number of better examples, I suppose, but as long as you ask, as I understand it Michaelangelo did paint a surprisingly large portion of it himself, yes, but, a quick search on the web turned up this description of the process: "The vision of him toiling away, a solitary figure in a vacant chapel, isn't accurate. He needed many assistants, if only to mix his paints, scramble up and down ladders, and prepare the day's plaster (a nasty business). Talented assistants were entrusted with a patch of sky, a bit of landscape, or a figure so small and minor it is barely discernable from below. All of these were worked from his cartoons, though. And clever, temperamental Michelangelo hired and fired these assistants on such a regular basis that none of them could claim credit for any part of the ceiling."

Anyway, my point was simply that the fetishization of the hand-made is often done as a way of prioritizing individual over collective vision and that in this day and age that seems not only nostalgic but also incredibly limiting. Some of the best artwork out there these days is a born of organic mutation, aka re-mix.
Yesterday at 8:55am

Ronnie Landfield Who said the avant-garde does not still exist. It is alive and well.....and painting. The museums have always missed the boat - no surprises there!
Yesterday at 9:10am

Ronnie Landfield It is appreciated though - to hear from Roberta and Jerry - kudos.
Yesterday at 9:12am

Doug Henders a great book-end to Roberta's article that addresses the state of contemporary art is Holland Cotter's "The Boom Is Over. Long Live the Art!"
Yesterday at 9:29am

Kate Kretz The Museum of Arts and Design has been showing "art that seems made by one person out of intense personal necessity" for years now, and it is the first place I go when I land in NY, every time.
Yesterday at 9:35am

Lane Twitchell oliver, nice.
Yesterday at 9:46am

Lane Twitchell oh and kate, that's nice to hear too . . .
Yesterday at 9:46am

Andrea Reynosa Check out the art scene in and around Narrowsburg, NY if you want to go Rogue! It's the Wild West out here, Jerry..:)
Yesterday at 9:48am

Lane Twitchell and come to think of it, the museum of art and design is a little funky, it's not moma or the whit or gugg. but it kind of counts now. and sure, these medium specific shows can be . . . too crafty, or tacky, or in questionable taste. but that also seems to be part of what roberta is cheering FOR.

Like why didn't the whitney take the peter saul show done by dan cameron?

peter saul is universally loved in new york art culture.

guston, dunham, saul.

come on Whitney, give it up for SAUL!
Yesterday at 9:51am

Grace Graupe Pillard This line from Roberta's article i hit home and almost brought me to tears. Perhaps there is still hope for older artists that have worked with intense concentration, delight, and intellectual vigor our entire lives.

"Museum curators need to think less about an artist's career, its breakthroughs and its place in the big picture and more in terms of an artist's life's work pursued over time with increasing concentration and singularity."
Yesterday at 10:01am

Lisa Beck Handmade vs by machine is a false dichotomy, I think. A tapestry is made on a "machine." So is a photograph. Regardless, I just want to point out that the phrase used by Ms. Smith was "often made by hand", NOT "only made by hand." I think that the broad range of artworks given a "thumbs up" by her would make clear that she is NOT such a narrow thinker.
Yesterday at 10:11am

Peter Reginato Oliver...loved your photos on your website particularly the "fantasy" ones In some ways theres no such thing as "hands on" theres always a tool or technic of some sort that could or does remove human touch. I felt the spirt of Robertas piece was more about getting connected to ones self and less about making a product
Yesterday at 10:21am

Doug Henders with a laptop for every lap, many artists are making digital/analogue hybirds while grappling with language that describes its virtues, which is why the concept of "hand-made" would be interesting to pursue at length by our esteemed critics
Yesterday at 10:26am

Carolyn Marks Blackwood Fresh Air was let in the room!
Yesterday at 10:26am

Camilla Fallon Grace, word.
Yesterday at 10:27am

Jon Rappleye Thank you Roberta, good to hear someone say it!
Yesterday at 10:31am

Camilla Fallon Oliver, the late slave pieces by Michelangelo as an old man are some of the most emotive and moving pieces he ever made, all his hand.
Yesterday at 10:31am

Susan Jennings Grace, there is always hope for such artists. Think of Louise Bourgeois and Yayoi Kusama just to name two. And Lisa, of course, you are correct.
Yesterday at 10:31am

Camilla Fallon joke: how many artists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Three, one to come up with the concept, one to execute it, and one to take the credit.
Sorry guys I couldn't help it. :).
Now off to the Guggenheim!
Yesterday at 10:52am

Vicki DaSilva it doesn't matter how it's made. the body of work and the singularity of the artist's vision is what's at the heart of significance in judging quality.
Yesterday at 10:53am

April Gornik Since there's so much power at the NYTimes, I hope this wields some.
Yesterday at 11:21am

Dominic Molon out of sheer self-interest for my institution ... loved the plug for Jim Nutt's show!
Yesterday at 11:21am

Robin White Owen I also liked her bad boy piece in Friday's Times
Yesterday at 11:25am

Joseph Nechvatal I like Doug's suggestion of extending this (perhaps false) splitting of the whole of art production into two non-overlapping parts: hand/machine. I am in complete agreement with Lisa that this issue is non-sensical and hypocritical. And the fact that RS raised it in the piece as a remedy (while amending it with the qualifier "often") is logically problematic. The concern is that such an emphasis winds down creative options towards craft.
btw, Richard Haden: Do you imagine that filmmakers, video & audio artists, and digital artists do not use their hands in the making of their art?
Yesterday at 11:29am

Robert Siegelman Is that your wife, in your profile picture with you?
Yesterday at 11:38am

Maja Kihlstedt Thank you Roberta! What a relief that someone has the guts and perspective to shake the system and express the alienation that I think many feel for the current scene.
Yesterday at 12:03pm

Lee Wells Temporary Autonomous Zones
Yesterday at 12:06pm

Chris Ccx pheromonic
Yesterday at 12:11pm

Kaylee Rae Wyant That was the hottest conservative bitch slap I've read in a while. Way to go Bertie.
Yesterday at 12:16pm

Suzanne Hall If anyone makes a slideshow of the artists Roberta cited, please let me know!
Yesterday at 12:18pm

Jennifer Wynne Reeves THE TOUCH is where it's at. and the hand is not literally required to touch someone. other tools are available. so, gentleman, don't be so stupid. SLAP! SMACK!
Yesterday at 12:22pm

Jonathan Viner There's a satisfying tone of provocative backlash in Roberta's piece. I'm late to the game on this thread, but here's a related (admittedly provocative) point I made on another thread yesterday:

Art, and painting in particular, is where some of us are permitted to indulge in a fetish for authenticity. Let's agree on what the meaning of the word "authenticity" is.

Authenticity is not really about the technique or method. It's about *who* actually created the object.

There is a spectrum of authenticity. lt's easy to poke holes in generalities, but here i go anyway: A unique object that is a tangible record of the artist's personal touch, proximity, and attention (ie: a tangible piece of the artist's life) is more authentic than something that an artist asked someone else to fabricate.

That said, something contracted out still exists along this spectrum of authenticity. A design or idea can be authentic while the object is fabricated by someone other than the artist/designer. But make no mistake, it is less authentic than if the artist created it himself.

An authentic Herman Miller chair, Koons painting, or Louis Vuitton bag does not have the same degree of authenticity that a self-portrait by Remrandt has. Right?
Yesterday at 12:23pm

Jennifer Wynne Reeves insightful, timely, complex, weighing all sides, thank you, roberta smith.
Yesterday at 12:25pm

Lane Twitchell Susan, while you're not wrong, think of those two lives, the trauma, the struggle, the difficulty. It's scary to think that's what it takes, or that's what the artists life does.

no wonder poor yayoi has to live in a sanitarium!
Yesterday at 12:25pm

Heather Holden Those with vested interests seem to be going overboard on the handwork issue. (Again?) Her remarks are more about artists who own their own vision. Artists who are not afraid of the cultural, political or (hah!) the technical. Artists not bought out by institutions or by huge backers and most importantly who will never have to be silent.
Yesterday at 12:29pm

Jerry Saltz Okay: Dwellers of Babylon (yes I may be changing our Home City; more on that another time; I just feel that we may have dirtied our cage last month; still thinking; I have sent emmassaries out to scout Babylon):

Jerry Saltz: Valentines Day Order of Operations.

1. 8:30AM: Give wife strange lacy teeny underwear: Check.

2. 4:00PM Tell wife that I posted her Times piece on-line yesterday. (Hope for the best).

3. Ask wife if she would read all of the posts by Monday and then spend two hours Monday morning between 11:00AM and 1:00PM answering all of you or just attacking a few of you or whatever.

4. Take wife to Museo El Bario
5. Take wife back to Guggenheim Museum
6. Go with wife to Lower East Side gallereis.

I will keep all of you posted about my Valentines Day plan to get Roberta to sit-in here on Monday mortning (it IS a holiday, after all. We'll see.).

Happy Valentines Day to all of you ....

♥ ♥ ♥
Yesterday at 12:34pm

Jennifer Wynne Reeves but, i wouldn't say that expressionism is tired. all styles are open for use and vital and necessary depending on the need of the artist's vision and what suits it best. when considering dumas, expressionistic style makes sense. but, if you think she used it in a predictable way then that's different. plus, keep in mind her age and the moment she came of age?
Yesterday at 12:36pm

Sara Stites It's so timely and encouraging that there is someone as smart as Roberta Smith writing and looking....
Yesterday at 12:37pm

Stephanie Theodore I am loving the big rallying of support behind Roberta's article. But to all those "when will curators get with it?" complaints, remember that institutional change takes time, museums plan three to five years in advance, and that exhibitions cost money, fundraising is a thankless task. in small institutions particularly, members' and donors' voices can make a difference. if it matters, make an effort in the real world to get changes made, not just on Jerry's FB page.
Yesterday at 12:37pm

Jennifer Wynne Reeves xoxoxoxoxox Valentines returned!
Yesterday at 12:40pm

Jerry Saltz Amy Sillman:
HAppy Valentines Day Babylonian High Priestess, Formerly of Thebes:

I like the work of Urs Fischer.
I think that Urs Fisher hit Three home-runs in a row in New York (which in itself is remarkable).
Going backwards:
1. His group show at Tony Shafrazi: 'Who's Afraid of JAsper Johns' was one of the most astounding retinal and psychic ecpereiences I've seen in a group show in a long time.
2. "You" at Gavin Brown. I don't care if other artists have dug holes. Other artists have done almost everything. I always tell my students, "Do it AGAIN!"
"You" was an Inversion MAchine, a CAsper David Freidrich writ flesh, and was pretty amazing in the inner-ear and the mind and the eye. It may have ended the decade. I don't know.
3. His hole in the wall of the 2006 Whitney Biennial provided that show's ONLY Visual and gutty Momnet. The ONLY memorable moment in that show, perhaps. Or tell me all of the other things you remember from that show.

Amy High Priestess of Babylon:
My Second Law of the Art World (and I used this on you my true darling, for part of the 1990s, and for a few years in the aughts; as I hope it is used on ME): If an artist does one thing in one piece; even one samll area of one piece ONE time: I will follow that artist for the rest of their career.
No exceptions.
Urs Fischer DID THAT.
His show at the New Museum wasn't good.
Fine. So what?
He tried. He failed.
I hope he fails again - better. As Samuel Beckett would say.
Either way: "I Will Follow Him"

The same way, I will also follow YOU!

So, Yes: I do like Fischer.
Yesterday at 12:41pm

Chris Ccx Has anyone seen Cindy Towers paintings lately ?
paint like nothing else -
Yesterday at 12:45pm

Stephanie Theodore 'Who's Afraid of Jasper Johns' was awesome - exciting, uncanny, and FUN. thanks for reminding me.
Yesterday at 12:46pm

Doug Henders X-Inititiative Deux: If I were an independent curator, I would mount a group exhibition of the artists dialoguing on this thread, both prominent and obscure, to survey the theory and practice of "touch" in 2010. What better use of this social media than to explore ways that technology effects our perception of sense perceptions?
Yesterday at 1:03pm

Jane Fine Jerry, Roberta, Stephanie, Lisa, Amy, and all the rest of you all, Happy Valentine's Day. I think Amy's point about modernist painting in the museums vs. contemporary lack-of-painting is an interesting one and perhaps explains how museums (by only focussing on the paintings of wonderful but dead men) can make painting appear to be reactionary. Cheers, we're off to Avatar 3D.
Yesterday at 1:03pm

Jerry Saltz Okay: I'm off for Steps 2,3,4,5, & 6 of my Valentines Day.
If you don't hear from me by this time tomorrow it means that Roberta didn't take to my posting a link to her work on my FB Page that well.
Send lawyers, guns, and money.
Peace out.
< 3 Yesterday at 1:03pm

Stefany Roseman Benson How do you think museum curators would respond to the charges?
Yesterday at 1:03pm

Stephanie Theodore Stefany, museum curators can propose any and everything they want... but if there isn't the funding for an exhibition, it ain't gonna happen.

It's all well and good to talk about mounting shows... who's footing the bill?
Yesterday at 1:05pm

Joseph Nechvatal To Jennifer Wynne Reeves: Yes. To Jonathan Viner: You appear to be a subtle thinker -so consider that every period of time has its own authenticity and integrity. So about: "But make no mistake, it is less authentic than if the artist created it himself" -It is different - not less authentic. A personally touched (ie: a tangible) quill penned message delivered by horseback is expected.
Yesterday at 1:06pm

Jason Lujan great article, very dave hickey-esque but without the slang
Yesterday at 1:14pm

Karin H. Edwards Eloquent!! And dead on!!!! You've got yourself a helluva talented valentine, Mr. Saltz.
Yesterday at 1:18pm

Susan Prince Thompson Don't forget to feed her something delicious and satisfying, somewhere between #1 and #2. and--in many cases. handwork rules! ♥ happy day!!♥
Yesterday at 1:35pm

Chrysanne Stathacos Great post by Jerry and a great article by Roberta-

not much more to say but both of you keep getting better and better - keep going - it is great for this town- who needs the energy and also for the institutions who need the challenge ...
Yesterday at 2:09pm

William Rothwell Sapp Nancy Dwyer's comment rings true. Supplying the original to a moldmaker and a foundry and approving the result is 'handmade' enough...also using the SensAble Freeform Phantom tactile digital modeler and printing with a rapid prototyper beforehand is 'handmade' enough. Virtually 'touching' the object during its formation by your own hand allows that 'personal touch' to exist in a work, too. Times have changed the 'personal touch'.
Yesterday at 2:24pm

William Rothwell Sapp How to put the 'personal touch' into a sculptural work without touching it:
Yesterday at 2:27pm

Susan Prince Thompson ..but when it comes to Valentine's Day, one desires the opposable thumb, the fleshy palm, and fingertips
Yesterday at 2:47pm

Chris Kasper I'm a little confused. I feel like I remember recent NYC museum exhibitions consisting not only of minimalism, post-minimal, conceptual and process, but other exhibitions based on painting. My memory may not be serving me well, but I think I remember the Whitney putting on recent exhibitions by Georgia O'Keefe, the group show Synthetic, Kara Walker ,Mark Bradford, Picasso and Hopper; while MoMA has put on exhibitions by Kippenberger, Dumas, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Paul Klee and Brice Marden. I might need to re-read her article, but I think these exhibitions do constitute being "balanced and mixed with other stuff that is completely different "from the "gods and godlings of Post-Minimalism". Or do the exhibitions I mentioned not count?
Yesterday at 2:49pm

William Rothwell Sapp Most of them are blue-chip.
Yesterday at 2:50pm

Katherine Bradford There IS a slide show of the artists mentioned next to the article
Yesterday at 2:56pm

Jonathan Viner Joseph: ha, I like that point! But fast forward a couple centuries. While a handwritten note won't be valued as art per se, if it survived long enough, and if the writer were deemed in any way historically significant, the future would definitely fetishize the tangible object for it's age, authenticity, and intimacy. Handwriting is extremely unique and personal. Very difficult to fake. And the more rare it is for such things to exist (who writes anything by hand anymore?), the more it will probably be valued.
Yesterday at 3:02pm

Lane Twitchell wow, cool a MLK day repeat!


oh, and friday was the 12th . . .

. . . fb is another local history . . . !
Yesterday at 3:21pm

Oliver Wasow Peter, 5 hrs. ago, thanks for the kind words. In regards to the hand-made issue, sometimes in lectures I'l mention that when I'm working with digital imaging software I'm in many ways painting. I model, I color, I work with opacity, I often start with a blank slate. Needless to say, there always a few painters in the audience who go ballistic when they hear this. People often confuse the tactile with the hand made.
Yesterday at 3:40pm

Lane Twitchell those dumb painters . . .
Yesterday at 4:58pm

Oliver Wasow Now, Lane, that's not what I meant. Some of my best friends are painters, not that there's anything wrong with that.
Yesterday at 5:05pm

Joseph Nechvatal Just back from the Man Ray show - where his paintings seemed neither more nor less authentic than his objects, collages, photographs and films. Surely his painting with light in the Rayograms backs up Oliver's contention. For perfect authenticity verifiability Jonathan, artists can sign the back of their canvases with their DNA. That's what I do.
Yesterday at 5:39pm

Oliver Wasow Jonathan, the handwritten note isn't valued for it's age, authenticity and intimacy, it's valued for it's scarcity.
Yesterday at 5:47pm

Matthew Weinstein Jack Goldstein
Yesterday at 6:01pm

Oliver Wasow Jack, whose paintings were once, I don't think he'll mind me pointing out, made by Ashley Bickerton.
Yesterday at 6:03pm

Matthew Weinstein exactly. and they looked just like... paintings. would anybody know if brice marden had keebler elves making his paintings.
Yesterday at 6:07pm

Joseph Nechvatal There is an entire small city in China devoted to that.
Yesterday at 6:09pm

Oliver Wasow I have it on good authority that Marden's paintings are in fact made by Manny, Moe and Jack, The Pep Boys.
Yesterday at 6:15pm

Matthew Weinstein i just had too many nut clusters. i have to go make myself throw up.
Yesterday at 6:16pm

Joseph Nechvatal Shenzhen
The fastest workers there can paint up to 30 paintings a day.
Yesterday at 6:17pm

Oliver Wasow I really, really hope you're talking about Chocolate, Matthew. Dana and I have been lounging around eating chocolate and nachos today. The vomitorium calls for me as well.
Yesterday at 6:18pm

Oliver Wasow Joseph, I once sent a photograph off to China to have a painting made. It was a photo of the Pepperidge Farm corporate HQs. When they sent me the Jpeg to approve of the painting, I noticed the sign was spelled Pepperage Firm. You gets what youse pays for. I shoulda had Ashley do it.
Yesterday at 6:22pm

William Rothwell Sapp Twitchell, those painters are much smarter than sculptors.
Yesterday at 6:25pm

Lane Twitchell i was going to write something smart about the precision of language and perhaps "painting-like" would be more acurate and the over sensitivity of art culture that tends to forget that this ain't cancer research.

but then i read "nut cluters" and "throw up" and i thought pointing THAT out would be better . . .

"nut clusters" . . .

it's funny reading some comments and avoiding reading the prior or following. it isolated phrases in this ruscha kinda way.

imagine matthews comment over a sunset. now THAT is art!
Yesterday at 6:26pm

Jonathan Viner Good points guys. It's definitely not necessary for everyone to fetishize authenticity, as I defined it above. Painting, however, is generally a very direct, solitary, and immediate process, and the expectations are different than they are for digital, video, photo, etc.

A simple illustration of my point: a painter creates two paintings. The one on the left was painted by an assistant from the artist's sketch, the one on the right was touched only by the artist and no one else. Obviously, for better or worse, most people would say the one on the right is the more authentic of the two.
Yesterday at 6:56pm

Virginia Katz Love it so much I posted a reference to it on my fb page.
Yesterday at 6:58pm

Richard Haden Jennifer, I assumed that we were including tools and equipment as part of the hand made process. I wasn't implying hand made to be finger painting or limited to a potters wheel.

Even a blind man walking with a cane uses a cane as an extension of his hand. Even a person who writes computer code uses a key board instead of a quill to I am lovingly giving you your slap back. interesting to read Roberta's comments. I usually get up by 2:00 pm since I usually work till 6:00 am. So I will miss the initial volley.
Yesterday at 7:11pm

Lane Twitchell a quaker . . . ever go to meeting in houston? . . . no . .

. at caa in 2002 or 3, u said you went into criticsim because you didn't really like artists. i know you don't really mean it, but artists are a little goofy.

anyway, . . . "artists do have their own reasons" adolph wolfli, and all the rest.

Yesterday at 7:23pm

Wendy E. Cooper I want to see a video where Roberta says "that's awesome" over and over again.
Yesterday at 8:30pm

Camilla Fallon I had a little dust up about the so called hand made issue on here before and I think Roberta is calling for is long overdue. Jonathan V and I were on a thread about handmade work vs production made work last night. Of course there has to be a continuum. Yes, architecture, editions of prints, as well as computer renderings can all exist well within it.
Some are suspect about what that means in relation to the hand vs the digital. That sounds like the old argument about photography. There are no hard and fast rules and that is good. However there is something intimate, basic and primal about mark making and I'm NOT talking about crafts here, but about a sophisticated ordering (or chaos) of marks that are felt like a touch and that makes for a vision that is urgent ,innately idiosyncratic and subtly eccentric.
Yesterday at 9:42pm

William Rothwell Sapp Camilla, tactile digital is MAKING not TAKING...
Yesterday at 10:03pm

Camilla Fallon Tactile digital ... That sounds cool...
Yesterday at 11:02pm

Camilla Fallon Art that is made put of intense personal necessity often by hand, Roberta rules.
Yesterday at 11:23pm

Joseph Nechvatal oooooo. "basic and primal." be careful. this seems to lean towards a fundamentalist purity test. + it is blatantly false. where do your tubes and woven fabrics come from? suspect ? indeed.
Yesterday at 11:29pm

Camilla Fallon poor choice of words? maybe.
Yesterday at 11:47pm

Donald Meyer George Bellows said that a work of art is "the finest, deepest, most significant expression of a rare personality." I think that covers just about everything, jerry, your wife wrote about today in her question of contemporary curatorial judgement. The hand, eye and moment of the rare personality is the one thing we can not turn away from, the one thing we are looking for. Thank her for us.
12 hours ago

Sandra Bloodworth See you at the Joe Zucker Retrospective at MOMA in 2012! (A couple shows may have to be rescheduled.) Great to see all those words written. I read the article in the Times and immediately came to your page as I knew there would have to be comments here. I was not disappointed!
12 hours ago

Camilla Fallon I don't what you are referring to about tubes and woven fabric. By 'primal' I mean people begin making marks as infants or small children. Marks and/or handwriting are unique and can be intimate and sensual and 'basic' in that most all of us have the capacity to make them, albeit in some form.

'Suspect': this seems to be a topic that is soooo reactionary that it cannot be reasonably discussed

suspect?? indeed Joseph
12 hours ago

Sharon Louden Jerry, I couldn't agree with Roberta more. And especially about David Park. I LOVE his work and think he is so special, completely underrated and is an Artist's artist -- incredible that I have never seen a major retrospective of his work here in so long. Please tell Roberta she nailed it.
12 hours ago

Lane Twitchell ok i finally got around to reading the article. very interesting, as always.

loved the closing line. "do something else"

words to live by . . .
5 hours ago

Oliver Wasow Camilla, Joseph's point was that your paint tubes and canvas were made by someone else, quite possibly a child in China. Would this be the infants making marks you were referring to?
But more to the point, again, 'made by hand' does not have to mean touched by the hand. It is very possible for a brilliant work of heart-felt art to be made and to never even have a physical presence in the world. If one makes something on a computer and it is seen on a screen, it exists as a sequence of zeros and ones only, but it is very much a product of "primal" , humancreativity.
4 hours ago

Donald Meyer So, Oliver, you agree with Camilla: medium is message. Period.
4 hours ago

Oliver Wasow Donald, I didn't get that from what Camilla was saying. Medium is certainly an important consideration, yes.
But for me, the bigger issue, as it relates to Roberta's article, is that what you refer to as the "hand, eye and moment of the rare personality" are strange things to focus on at a point in time when new media are encouraging collaborative creativity that often de-emphasize the individuals direct and tactile involvement.
4 hours ago

Carolyn Marks Blackwood I read the whole article OUT LOUD to a fellow artist friend, while we drove to the city Saturday morning- We cheered as I read- thought it was so brave and true- wrote immediately onj Jerry's wall how fine I thought it was- Wondering if you are feeling any blow back from it- It was a great article- and may be the catalyst to breaking the artistic Ice Jam that afflicts our Museums of Contemporary Art.
3 hours ago

Carolanna Parlato I agree with much of Roberta's article as well, her statment...What’s missing is art that seems made by one person out of intense personal necessity, often by hand. A lot but not all of this kind of work is painting, which seems to be becoming the art medium that dare not speak its name where museums are concerned..
rings so true...the painters Diebenkorn and Park have stood the test of time...there is so much to see in their work if one takes the time to take another look. "Personal necessity" is what drives us to push further... those words aren't spoken much these days...I was thrilled to see them in her article!
3 hours ago

Ravenna Taylor I was too, Carolanna. I can't remember anyone talking about personal necessity and the work of the hand in contemporary art, recently.
3 hours ago

Carolanna Parlato Same here, I read it before I saw JS request for comments this morning and had a good discussion with my spouse over coffee about it...glad she put in print what many of us feeling for a while.
3 hours ago

Riitta Susanna Klint me too Carolanna! As a painter I feel re-energized after reading this article several times over!!
3 hours ago

Dan Cameron I've read the article through a couple of times (it was forwarded to me repeatedly by friends), and I agree with Roberta 99%. What's happening now reminds me of earlier moments in NYC museum history when there was deep institutional resistance to living artists and/or new movements. Now the bias runs the other way: if you are (or were) a painter, photographer or object-maker, and your art does not squarely into the post-minimal/post-object/post-conceptual mold, you can forget about showing in a NYC museum. As a result, much of the most interesting art being made in this country is not even given a second glance by the top curators, and museum-goers are left impoverished.
3 hours ago

Oliver Wasow Dan, and the other 1%?
3 hours ago

Dan Cameron Oliver, I do like Marlene Dumas & I didn't care for Unmonumental.
3 hours ago

Ravenna Taylor I hope that this important article might be just the first in a series addressing this issue, taking on the project to explore the personal necessities and handwork in contemporary art generally, painting specifically; and to name more names unknown to people less connected than the esteemed R. S.
3 hours ago

Camilla Fallon Paint tubes made in china by an infant ??? Digital and computer components made by who knows who in China?? One can't avoind buying anything that may be made by a child in China. Some people make their own paint and handmade objects are possible for ANYBODY to make with out spending alot of money. Even a child in China!!!!
That is so gratuitous and silly. Oliver, Personally I love the mac. I do a lot of digital work. I've worked with After Effect for a bit, I've worked with PhotoShop for 15 years and for ME it is not the same. I have to have a mud like substance in my hands.
All she is saying is that she wants to see MORE of it. I know of one museum that has acquired digital art almost exclusively and they don't even have the technology in place to deal with upgrades.
3 hours ago

Catherine Morris As the curator, I'm obviously partial, but I was very interested in Roberta's comments in light of Karen Rosenberg's Friday comments about the newly opened Kiki Smith show at the Brooklyn Museum... does she see a relationship?
2 hours ago

Donald Meyer Oliver, I apologize, I was away for an hour or so, just returning and having to leave again.. Please, let us follow this issue later---especially the nature of "collaboration" and "New Media" topics. Extreme interest I see just beyond view.
2 hours ago

Camilla Fallon In terms of another level of collaboration. there needs to be a new generation of people who do 'conservation' with digital media. People now who set these up and deal with upgrades are IT people who work with the office computers. It is very expensive for museums to maintain this work .
2 hours ago

Oliver Wasow But Camilla, conservation is exactly the opposite of what digital media needs. The offer of new digital media is that it doesn't allow you to freeze it in time and space. By it's very nature it degrades and changes as it is worked and reworked by multiple hands in multiple places over time.
2 hours ago

Camilla Fallon Then I guess it wouldn't be wise for a museum to acquire it then. If it degrades too much it won't exist anymore.
2 hours ago

Oliver Wasow I agree withhold Roberta's diagnosis but feel that her prescription isn't really going to cure the problem. There is a third option other than post-minimal conceptualism and shows of individual artists invested in the hand made and that is shows that contextualize artists within the larger framework of culture at large. A major museum show of Jim Nutt would be great and is much overdue but would really only be interesting to me if his work was shown in the context of, say, Mad Magazine, and other examples of culture that were part of the Zietgiest he worked in.
A good example of this is the component of the Jewish Museum's Ab Ex show a few years ago that was curated by Maurice Berger. He included an entire room devoted to the public's reaction to Ab Ex, the mockery as well as it's incorporation into mainstream culture. THIS is what museums need to be doing, not returning to shows focused on individuals isolated from the larger world they work in.
2 hours ago

Oliver Wasow That might be true Camilla. Perhaps they could invest in documenting it's trajectory and trace as it moves through time and space.
2 hours ago

Matthew Weinstein I don't get it. Aren't there lots of in shown unknown artists working in digital media?
And of course museums should buy digital media! WTF is that all about. And it costs a fortune to maintain a collection of paintings and sculptures.
2 hours ago

Matthew Weinstein The bias towards the handmade is a popular sentiment. That's for sure.
2 hours ago

David Richardson I second Ravenna's opinion just above that this is an important article. I've just re-read it. It's always worth working against the master narrative, especially since it tends to be a recycling of ideas that are 30+ years old. In fact, why do we care about ideas more than artists? Roberta mentions Ken Price coming to the Met, and I stand up here for ceramicist Ron Nagle, who's forms and color could kick start any artist (in any medium) for a career or two. Does anyone else in the N.Y. Museum world read American Craft? (or the U.K. mag. Crafts) One of Roberta's other suggestions - a David Park show, as something to light a fire under young painters, and indeed to save the skill of looking at painting, is the most sensible thing I've read about art in ages. More please.
about an hour ago

Ed Baynard what seems totally overlooked is the sensibility we stood for at Willard ...Roberta was at the Voice then and we made simple statements of value. I curated at Willard an exhibit called Imagism that Richard Marshall took to the Whitney and curated the terrible New Image exhibit. Luckily I didn't put my work in that show. Willard artists included Asia as inspiration, included 1930's America etc. The noise of the early 80's pushed this art to a side which has given it time to grow and now might be a time to reconsider this quieter sensibility?
about an hour ago

Jerry Saltz Roberta here: Hi everyone, if there is anyone still there.
I've just spent the last hour reading through your comments and the experience has been sort of overwhelming. In a really great, great way. It is amazing to read and I am going to respond so some points, but first of all THANK YOU!!!
about an hour ago

Camilla Fallon Matthew, a good conservator friend told me that it is more expensive to maintain digital art and that museums don't have the money. They have labs already set up for paintings and sculpture and years of research to build on. It means that people are going to have to develop ways to maintain it. That is not a bias it is just true.
about an hour ago

Camilla Fallon Handmade objects are not by nature any more sentimental than Bill Viola's work
about an hour ago

Terry R Myers Roberta, as I said before, THANK YOU! You are helping my JZ momentum in a major way! Alas, I have to go teach so I'll read what goes on later.
about an hour ago

Jerry Saltz RS (this is how I'll differentiate my comments from Jerry: the weirdest thing of course is reading along, arguing in my head and then having other people make the same points. Obviously a typical FB experience, so excuse my newbie-ness.
about an hour ago

Jonathan Viner Welcome to the jungle.
about an hour ago

Lisa Beck one limitation of FB is the linear format, a lot of times the exchanges are just action/reaction- it's hard to get an overview when you have to scroll up and don to find a particular point.
about an hour ago

Lisa Beck I also have to second Lane's choice of favorite line: "do something else."
about an hour ago

Jerry Saltz Obviously the longest thread has been the hand-made thing. I probably should have said something else, except that hand-made objects are what seems left out of many of these shows. But hand-made stuff has no monopoly on intensity authenticity or whatever. Judd's art has "touch" for me to pick on Lisa's point.
about an hour ago

Jerry Saltz oops forgot to write RS in above comment
about an hour ago

Kate Kretz Another thank you.....
about an hour ago

Jerry Saltz RS here, also plenty of hand-made stuff is rote, conventional, unfelt
about an hour ago

Jason Foumberg does 'participatory/relational' art and post-studio art belong in a museum?
about an hour ago

Ravenna Taylor I took your "handmade" comment as a sort of short-hand differentiation from what might otherwise be the "show-biz" aspect of a significant proportion of contemporary art produced and exhibited.
about an hour ago

Jerry Saltz RS here, also I don't mean to rule out assistants -- waht I do want from art is concentration and justification. Art should establish its right to exist; it needs to be convincing.
about an hour ago

Robin Cembalest Just got here, I was intrigued that comments about boys-club museum monopoly did not mention gender or that because we are in a post-racial moment after all? What happened to the embrace of the periphery everyone promised?
about an hour ago

Jane Fine Roberta, hi, good morning and don't worry about newbie-ness, we were all there 6, 12 or 18 mos. ago at best.
about an hour ago

Carolanna Parlato I agree hand-made and heart-felt do always go hand in hand, I love it when they do and do it well!
about an hour ago

Jonathan Viner Isn't it fascinating that the hand-made thing is such a hornets nest? By simply stating that it was way underrepresented at museums this season, you got people all riled up. It's a powerful thing.
about an hour ago

Jerry Saltz RS here. that's a big one Robin, we'll come around to that later.
about an hour ago

Joseph Nechvatal Wash away all categorical thinking.
about an hour ago

Kate Kretz "made of intense personal necessity".... I appreciated this aspect, differentiating from "strategizing", "positioning" and the like
about an hour ago

Margaret Neill A wonderful piece of writing, full of thought.
about an hour ago

Jane Fine On this handmade issue... there seems to be a little tension building on this thread between those who are interpreting your article as being something of a love note to painting and those who see think painters are doing an unreasonable amount of whining when it comes to the presence of contemporary painting in NYC museums.
about an hour ago

Jerry Saltz RS: also I don't necessarily think about it, or see it. Jerry pointed out to be this morning that Tauba Auerbach is digital.
about an hour ago

Oliver Wasow Not sure why I'm dropping this here but it somehow seems relevant; Etsy's tag line is "Etsy :: Your place to buy and sell all things handmade.
about an hour ago

Joseph Nechvatal I think your essay rightly protests against the propensity of young neo-neo-conceptualism in the museums. The problem is in the propensity.
about an hour ago

Jerry Saltz RS -- maybe "hand" is short-hand for mind, involvement,
but I agree with Joeseph N. that categorical thiinking doesn't help. I don't think digital is going to replace analog, but it is joining it and I think it has to muster the same concentraction.
about an hour ago

Karla Knight Clarity of vision is where it's at. Whatever medium or tool it takes...
about an hour ago

Joseph Nechvatal I think you get it RS. What is happening now are connections between the virtual and the actual (what I term the viractual).
about an hour ago

Ilona Anderson "made of intense personal necessity" .....intensity authenticity..these seem to be the issues not necessarily how a work is made. That is what I am looking for as an artist.
Such a great article and so well articulated.
about an hour ago

Jerry Saltz RShere -- I also think there's a kind of continuum of handmade to machine crafted to digital. In terms of ceramics -- that would be the first 2000 years then (for me) certain Wedgwood (black basalt) and Eva Zeisler and then stuff designed on/produced by computers. Am I equivocating?
about an hour ago

Carolanna Parlato digital work can stem from the 'Personal" ...of course
about an hour ago

Jane Fine agreed, categorical thinking doesn't really help. Strange to see it still in place in so many art schools. And these days perhaps the majority of painters use digital tools in making their work.
about an hour ago

Jonathan Viner To value and validate the handmade is NOT to devalue the digital, fabricated, conceptual, etc. There is value in authenticity and tangibility. But there is also value in coolness, remoteness, and unfamiliarity.
about an hour ago

David Richardson "Intense personal intensity" seems to be the best theme to take away from this discussion. Does anyone know who Dan Siegal is? -neuroscientist, child psychologist, (not a woo-woo self help thing at all) argues for mindfulness but from a brain biology point of view I guess you'd say. His ideas back up "Judd's touch" and the intensity available from digital media, etc. etc.
about an hour ago

Jerry Saltz RShere, and similarly, I don'g think the collective is about to supercede the old-fashioned one-person working. Collectivity happens where it's necessary. As Ken Johnson has said,
it has always been necessary in rock bands; there's a place for it in art of course, but again nothing can hold where there isn't that necessity.
about an hour ago

Lisa Beck what happens with museum exhibitions is that they are planned far ahead. And I don't know how much different curators share with each other. So maybe 3 years ago a few curators saw a certain type of work and got interested. It's like when a couple of movies come out a once about Truman Capote.
about an hour ago

Oliver Wasow RS, there has been a lot of talk in this thread about the "hand-made", but from my perspective the more problematic issue is your call for 'art made by one person out of intense personal necessity'. Aside from the fact that I don't really know any artists that don't work out of intense personal necessity (otherwise why engage in an activity with so little return?), it seems like a return to a kind of curating that separates artwork from culture at large and puts the focus on (possibly) tired old myths of isolated creative genius.
All this being said, I applaud your going out on a limb and using your bully pulpit and am grateful that Jerry talked you into sharing your time with us. Welcome to FB (but don't let him talk you into joining, it's a time-vampire).
about an hour ago

Camilla Fallon Roberta, glad to meet you here, 'handmade' really seems to touch a nerve. It has a connotation that is associated with sentimentality. It is only a connotation; 'handmade' doesn't in and of itself mean all sentiment and kitsch.
about an hour ago

Jerry Saltz RShere -- agreed, Lisa. Museums have got to figure out how to get flexible again. One issue about technologially complex is that they too often get in the role of producers.
about an hour ago

Jerry Saltz RShere -- to Oliver -- okay so you know a lot of really committed artists. I see plenty of art in galleries where the artist doesn't seem so committed -- they're making product whether by hand or not. Commitment for me means having the self-criticality to try to something that someone else isn't doing, which brings me back to authenticity.
about an hour ago

Lisa Beck RS- hhow do you think museums can become more flexible? do you think what has happened has to do with museums functioning more as entertainment venues rather than as more contemplative space as in the past? The blockbuster exhibition syndrome... a big production takes a lot more lead time. Maybe more project room type things?
about an hour ago

David Richardson "I also think there's a kind of continuum of handmade to machine crafted to digital. In terms of ceramics -- that would be the first 2000 years"

This is discussed in craft circles and I (think) understood. Hand made to industrial to digtal, of a piece. Etsy is interesting Oliver. It's like a village market with digital age multipliers. Objects of design and craft - not solely hand made actually, but the word art is rarely spoken. However an enterprising curator could sift through a million objects and find an artist or two. (I know a few curators who do this.)
about an hour ago

Ravenna Taylor Oliver, I appreciate your points. "intense personal necessity" is maybe a little vague; it may be the quality of that necessity that is being questioned? For instance, if the artist's intense personal necessity to experience fame and have the attention of certain writers or curators, that would be a different personal necessity than the artist who needs to explore how value/tone on a 2-D surface can create a sensation of space, or warmth, or fear.
about an hour ago

Jerry Saltz RShere -- footnote, in case anyone is interested. Vic Muniz's amazing cross-medium show at MoMA include the Wedgwood black basalt teacup, from 1789 or something and looking modern beyond belief.
about an hour ago

Jonathan Viner Oliver, that etsy comment is a kind of a cheap ploy to devalue the handmade. Why not think, I don't know, Courbet? Remrandt? Degas? Ingres?
about an hour ago

Lisa Beck good point, Ravenna. I have been asked to talk to students a few times and the first thing I always ask is why are you doing this?
about an hour ago

David Richardson Right Ravenna, intense personal necessity to be a successful artist doesn't count.
about an hour ago

Jerry Saltz RShere -- Ravenna, you're right, intense personal necesssity can be blind ambition for stardom, that's one of the challenges of looking at new art.
about an hour ago

Lisa Beck David, you'd be surprised how many students see being a successful artist as an end in itself-
59 minutes ago

Jerry Saltz RShere, but to take another tack, even blind ambition can have a point -- perhaps only briefly -- when desperation becomes its own kind of vulnerabilty.
59 minutes ago

Lisa Beck Sean Landers comes to mind
58 minutes ago

Jane Fine re-read 1st paragaph of yr article once again.. and this time what stood out for me is your criticism of the prevalent "visual austerity". I'm interested in visual complexity, and while I very often see what thrills me in painting it is not necessarily the case at all.
57 minutes ago

David Richardson To be honest, I wanted to be Picasso when was 18. Everyone here had some version of this impulse don't they.
57 minutes ago

Camilla Fallon Authenicity is an interesting word. I 've seen plenty of drawings and paintings that look produced, and not in a good way. Get the technique down, make a couple, they're all the same size, color, consistent looks nice enough: office art. See it all of the time.
57 minutes ago

Jerry Saltz RShere -- others, too. Schnabel, anyone?
57 minutes ago

Jerry Saltz RShere -- re Camilla; no technique should be "priveleged" as they say.
55 minutes ago

Kate Kretz If that kind of desperation is executed with self awareness, it becomes humorous or ironic.
55 minutes ago

Sandra Bloodworth Thanks RS. BTW, JS has opened up the dialogue for all to participate!
54 minutes ago

Jonathan Viner Lisa, I don't think an artist needs to answer the question "why are they doing this?". Unless they enjoy being frozen by self-conciousness. I don't teach, but if I did, I'd tell students to stop overanalyzing, and just go with it.
54 minutes ago

Oliver Wasow I think it's a mistake to consider 'collectivity' in terms of groups of artists consciously working together, like a rock band, that's not what I mean at all. The kind of collectivity I'm referring to has more to do with creative output that manifests in what, for lack of a better word, is often referred to as "re-mix" culture. Whether or not this kind of creativity supplants analog or not isn't the point, it just seems strange to call for museums to return to the exhibition of individual artists when so much great stuff is being made by groups of inter-connected individuals passing around and re-working the cultural detritus of our time.
54 minutes ago

Jane Fine RS, you and JS keep bringing up vulnerability and authenticity. Do you think these are less prevalent now because of some market or museum forces or something else?
53 minutes ago

Ravenna Taylor Interesting comment, "desperation becomes its own vulnerability." How beautifully you do write! I'll have to check back later, my personal necessity is to leave for the studio now! Thanks to all.
53 minutes ago

David Richardson Oh Schnabel must have inspired so many wet dreams. I'm 58 so it was still Picasso.
52 minutes ago

Oliver Wasow Jonathan, not a cheap ploy at all, I LOVE ETSY. Seriously.
52 minutes ago

Jonathan Viner It's enough to simply be aware of the neurotic (to be honest) drive to create. Trying to articulate that intense necessity could, for many of us, disturb it's momentum.
50 minutes ago

Jerry Saltz RShere - Oliver, I don't quite get your meaning. If you're referring to people working together not consciously, how is that different from all of history? It might be greatly intensified by the internet is one way I take your meaning. But isn't cultural movement all, always a kind of "re-mix" ?
48 minutes ago

David Richardson Picking up on the idea of how craft and handmade are problematic words in some quarters, I'll mention two curators I know who either come from crafts or just understand them out of a love for history ( Roberta, from your writing, I take your understanding of craft to be the latter). Namita Wiggers at Portland Museum of Contemporary Craft, and my neighbor Lasse Antonson, curator at U.Mass Dartmouth and teacher of many fine artists over the years.Check out there work.
48 minutes ago

Jonathan Viner Oliver, and I love puppies! Ha!
47 minutes ago

Lisa Beck authenticity is so hard for me to define- we all have influences, but it is some sort of amalgamation of all that we take in and filter through our our perception-

@David- I wanted to be Rauschenberg at one point, but the artists I consider great become themselves. To be inspired by other artists is part of that process.
47 minutes ago

Camilla Fallon So appreciate this dialogue, Roberta, it is interesting too to see you bounce off those here whose pov I am familiar with already. SO instructive. I remember the phrase 'urgency' in one of your pieces a few months ago. Art has to come out of a welling up. It can be distanced and cool, or hot and of the moment. There has to be an inevitable quality. It has to have a raison d'etre that makes us suspend disbelief. Welling up- like letting it out after it builds up, whether with a group or and individual. Just ruminating. Thanks for the privilege.
46 minutes ago

Matthew Weinstein I fully agree that subjectivity has not been a fashionable quality in museum shows in NY. There seems to be a journalistic pretention among currators, that the more dispassionate and generalized the work is, the more 'major' it is. This is only fashion thinking, and the beauty of fashion thinking is that it will soon change.
44 minutes ago

David Richardson Oliver, I didn't take the Etsy comment as a cheap ploy. You're ahead of the curve in my book. "The re-mix is all cultural movement", exactly right.It's just a new word for an old thing.
42 minutes ago

Jerry Saltz RShere -- a lot of video is involved with total subjectivity and sentimentality, that and good music are among the main thikngs that keeps people parked in front of it.
present company excluded
42 minutes ago

Lisa Beck Jonathan- I agree very much, that "It's enough to simply be aware of the neurotic (to be honest) drive to create." In fact I think the most radical sort of artist statement right now would be one that said "I don't know why I'm doing this, it feels like the only thing I can do right now." -With no theoretical backup, no quotes, no references. When I ask that question, I find that people have too many answers, all very thought through and laid out. It doesn't seem like actually making the work will add anything , because their reasoning is so airtight. No mystery.
40 minutes ago

Oliver Wasow Rs, yes, you're right "re-mix" is a kind of meaningless term and only describes something that has been going on through out time, BUT what has changed is the ease with which artists can instantaneously re-work and re-distribute the works of other artists. Take for example Bjork's music. There is a web-site out there (actually hundreds of them) devoted solely to the posting of re-mixes of Bjorks songs. There are literally tens of thousands of these songs posted, with hundreds added daily, by people from all around the world. Usually these songs are re-mixes of re-mixes of re-mixes, etc. Some of them are very good, often better than the originals. This is very different than A dialog between Michaelangelo and Bernini's David, this is something happening on a global scale, simultaneously. It's always easier to see these thing in music of course but I feel confident that it is happening in visual culture as well and will only be more so in the future.
39 minutes ago

Carolanna Parlato Matthew perhaps "subjectivity" is more accurate a description than "intense personal necessity" at this point...I agree IPN seems to mean the opposite of " strategizing" that comes out of a welling Camilla has stated.
39 minutes ago

Jonathan Viner I like Matthew's point.

A major component of authenticity, and something it has in common with vulnerability, is a certain measure of ignorance. The ability to not be over aware of what's going on out there.
38 minutes ago

Michael Kaysen Somehow throughout this thread, we have managed to ignore the central point: why are museums present such a unified, conservative front as far as their exhibitions are concerned?

For me, the answer is very simple; These are very conservative times. As much as we would like to think the opposite, our society's thinking is ultimately very conservative.

For example, we are having a long discussion that is sort of swirling around and avoiding the concept that, in our time, as far as artists are concerned, everything is fair game. That does not mean everything will be good, but it does mean everything is fodder for production. But is that really true? For many artists, yes, I think so. Can the culture at large handle that concept? No way; not even within the 'Art World'.
38 minutes ago

Oliver Wasow Michael, I think we all, for the most part, agree on the problem. It's the solution that isn't so clear.
35 minutes ago

Jerry Saltz RShere -- that's interesting Oliver. I often think about the music analogy for other reasons -- like the idea of pure pleasure is much more tolerated -- and I'm sure you're right.
Still -- and actually I wnated to say this earlier about a previous comment you made -- we still experience this stuff one experience at a time, no matter how many people made it.
35 minutes ago

Michael Kaysen Museums are, by their very nature, conservative. After all, to not be conservative means to question the accepted; the safe. To not be conservative means work. It means research, thought, difficulties in logistics, costs, legal ramifications ..... the list goes on. to not be safe is hard. Museums are institutions; they traffic in the safe.
35 minutes ago

Jonathan Viner Michael, I think that would take a serious investigation. I definitely have my crazy conspiracy theories.

The short, vague answer to your question would be: they are doing what is no doubt in their best interests.
33 minutes ago

Lisa Beck Everything being fair game is not a problem for me. I think time takes care of the proportion of crap that is out there. I'm sure there were derivative artists in the Renaissance too, we just don't see their work any more. But I think the need for a personal take on things needs to happen outside the studio as well. A museum is an entity that operates on consensus- that makes it difficult to get an individuated vision across.
31 minutes ago

Oliver Wasow Yeah, I thought about your comment above re: music and video. I cry listening to music all the time, but never standing in front of a work of art...but that's another thread, another day.
There are other things to be addressed, I know, and I don't mean to digress off topic so I'm not offended if you don't reply but I'm not sure how the experiencing of art 'one experience at a time' relates to the issue of a museum's curatorial decisions vis a vis the exhibition of individual artists...?
31 minutes ago

Juliette Pelletier Reflect-arts Having worked in museums, the source of funding play a part in decision-making, which at times can be political, personal agendas, buraucracy - not the way to guide a vision in my opinion. This is why independent curation is more a reflection of what is happening art-wise. Less red-tape and not motivated by profit or ticket sales.
27 minutes ago

Joseph Nechvatal I discovered a huge swing to subjectivity in the museum in viewing 2009 Turner Prize winner Richard Wright’s pareidolia-like no title (2009). I write about it in this months Rail.
21 minutes ago

Jerry Saltz RShere -- experiencing personal technical difficulties as in having written -- twice-- a reponse to Michael about museum's conservativism. So here goes again: believing in art at all may be conservative, since it suggests a faith in continuity and exchange and looks to the past and other art for inspiration.

Museums aren't by def. safe -- they SAVE things so that we can be in touch with other cultures/people/times/ideas. This takes vision and sometimes will, like when the Nazis come around picking off your degenerate art and you hide some of it, or you ear for your life and let it go, whihc is how the St. Louis Art Museum got Matisse's great "Nudes and Turtles."
21 minutes ago

David Richardson Roberta thank you so much for the live chat. Have to go to work. Look forward to reading more responses later.
19 minutes ago

Jerry Saltz RShere -- responding to Olver 12 minutes up -- I think alot of these shows are a form of enveloping entertainment (P. Rist at MoMA) that diffuse the act of looking. And I loved Rist, I just want more of the other kind. Otherwise it's too onesided and we start to be conditioned to expect certain things or one kind of thing -- hency my comment in my article that the idea of a show of contemp. painting at MoMA made m e squirm a bit.
16 minutes ago

Jonathan Viner I agree with RS here. The similarities between art and religion would probably be quite disturbing to the faithfull in both worlds!
15 minutes ago

Lisa Beck RS_ So maybe there need to be other kinds of exhibition spaces that are not actively engaged in selling art (like galleries) - The traditional , "saving" type of museum and something more like, X initiative or a Kunsthalle that can be more flexible and more in touch with the present, more willing to be personal and not populer. The problem of funding rears its ugly head here of course.
15 minutes ago

Matthew Weinstein Subjectivity is the most dangerous thing for an institution to support because the degree of potential failure is greater.
Subjectivity is the most dangerous thing in culture and one of the most socially difficult arguments to prove is why we should privilege the subjectivity of one person over the rest of the culture.
There is no bias against 'the hand' in the art world. It is well rewarded. There is no bias against video or collective work. As far as I can see, all media and approaches are supported.
What is not supported is the messy stuff that is the subjective mind willing to spread itself over a physical, psychological and cultural surface without having to justify itself.
the dangers; ego without any connection to anything but itself (schnabel), sentimentality, incomprehension.
the rewards; a show you may feel was created by a human being, who's meaning and way of functioning in the world does not come from as mysterious a corporate space as Lexipro or Avatar.
12 minutes ago

Jonathan Viner Lisa: There's no reason museums can't perform that function in addition to pleasing tickey buyers and pleasing donors.
12 minutes ago

Jerry Saltz RShere -- also museums can be creative, altho it gets harder as they get bigger and/or further away from the vision of their founders. It takes some with vision and the willingness of others involved to listen and risk. Perhaps this is pollyanna-ish, but we're certainly seen the negative effect that the untalented, misguided and timid can have on museums -- and this is much more about administrators than curators.
12 minutes ago

Caroline J. Nye This is such a fabulous thread- permission to Blog it for posterity? I'd also love to share it w/ my Twitter peeps who are largely of the museum world..? I won't do it w/o the go-ahead so please ping me if "yes."
10 minutes ago ·

Oliver Wasow I like the expression 'diffuse the act of looking' and I agree, there is a lot of that going on. Spectacle, even good spectacle, can use a counter-weight.. It's funny though, I look at my 6 and 8 year olds and I watch the way they absorb things and it occurs to me that diffused vision may be the way of the future.
9 minutes ago

Matthew Weinstein Oliver, what if the way of the future is that plus other ways of looking that already exist. can't we expand our options without getting all Hegelian about it?
9 minutes ago

Jerry Saltz rshere -- Caroline -- go ahead.
7 minutes ago

Matthew Weinstein but maybe video did killl the radio show
7 minutes ago

Oliver Wasow Matthew, yes, of course. I suppose it's my fear of being the old fuddy-duddy that laments 'the way things used to be' that keeps me from admitting that I like things the way they used to be.
7 minutes ago

Oliver Wasow Truth be told, I like objets of contemplation more than anything. Good art should be a substitute for a picture window as far as I'm concerned. Thank God it's not all up to me.
6 minutes ago

Caroline J. Nye Thank you! I'll send you a link when it's up.
5 minutes ago ·

Lisa Beck RS- I loved the Rist @ MoMA too (didn't expect I would) and don't think it's either /or. Diffused and focused complement each other.
5 minutes ago

Jerry Saltz rshere -- oliver, there you go again. the diffuse way of looking is probably new and technology related, but it doesn't cancel out the other way. I can only read one thing at time or listen to one kind of music at time, even if I have many more options to choose from. I mean, if we can still look at illluminated long as we all come in and with one skin, set of eyes, ears, etc. certain things will stay the same. we're not going to share skins any time soon.... are we?
9 minutes ago

Matthew Weinstein I would be happy if the Whitney made shows out of what they have in storage for the next few years. That is what i feel we are being deprived of. What is the hidden history?
9 minutes ago

Haley Mellin It is a open expanse of air to read. I think about this every day, the danger of losing the quality/ understanding of painting we once had, and the relationship/ questions that painting raises. Exhibitions that have heart, mistakes, trial and error. Curators who aren't the artist, who don't make the show too much about them. Exhibitions that ...
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9 minutes ago

Matthew Weinstein Roberta, oliver is one of the Borg. And he needs to be accepted just like a non-linked humanoid.
7 minutes ago

Oliver Wasow RS, did you just say "there you go again"? I hope you gave a Ronnie Reagan wink when you did it (I know a Sarah Palin joke is called for but I don't want to sour things too much). Anyway, I agree, it doesn't cancel out the other thing. Plus, it may just be that they are 6 and 8 years old...not the most focused brains, I'll admit.
6 minutes ago

Oliver Wasow However, yes, we may well be sharing skins soon.
5 minutes ago

Jane Fine Lisa.. I loved what you said before about your idea of a radical statement. Matthew.. I like your use of "messy". These are some of the things that visual complexity means to me. Frankly, I thought Tino Sehgal was complex and not particularly austere because I had such a rich emotional experience there. I think art that is vulnerable and authentic often welcomes an idea and it's opposite. My favorite artists are confident and self-doubting in just the right mixture. RS, thanks again.
4 minutes ago

Camilla Fallon Thank you Roberta!!!! and everybody else too. Have got to go work in the studio.
4 minutes ago

Oliver Wasow Roberta, I can feel you getting sucked into this FB thing. I know you're an adult and can make your own decisions but I feel I'd be remiss if I didn't warn you to be afraid, be very afraid.
3 minutes ago

Jerry Saltz rshere -- yes, Oliver, I was winking, but I'd prefer not to thiink it was a Reagan wink. Too crinkly.
3 minutes ago

Matthew Weinstein The Bauhaus show is an interesting example of collective vs individual expression.
3 minutes ago

Jane Fine Oh Oliver, don't start worrying about Roberta until 1:15... didn't she say two hours.

Wendy E. Cooper Lisa, interestingly, Sean Landers has a show of early work here at the CAMSTL. When Paul Ha introduced him, he referred to that intense need to make art that compels an artist to committ their life to being an artist. That it is not really a choice, but a necessity. And Sean's work definitely fits that. With all his radical vulnerability to the...
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21 minutes ago

Matthew Weinstein it takes that long to absorb her consciousness into the Borg. As they say in jewish, 'that's how they get you.'
21 minutes ago

Oliver Wasow Thank You, Matthew, we were starting to feel isolated out here.
19 minutes ago

Jerry Saltz rshere -- I think it's been over two hours and I can feel me getting sucked in, too. I have a deadline to think about.
A final point about the hand-made thing: let's just say MADE, which is to say that one way museums could be more flexible, move faster and perhaps more cheaply, is to show stuff that already exists -- stay out of the commissioning-producing business. If this riles anyone of a digital persuasion, I don't mean too.
19 minutes ago

Wendy E. Cooper and keep some space open for now, instead of two years from now.
18 minutes ago

Matthew Weinstein I fully agree with that one. i already said this, but i'd be happy if they just started showing the stuff that they already own.
18 minutes ago

Oliver Wasow Thanks Roberta, for your time, nice chatting.
18 minutes ago

Matthew Weinstein why is that in the basement and why is that on the wall. a bit of transparency.
17 minutes ago

Jerry Saltz RShere -- yes, I meant to say I agree with you about excavating their collections, MW. There is so much there.
17 minutes ago

Oliver Wasow You know, there are still parts of the Borg that won't have our kind Matthew.
17 minutes ago

Matthew Weinstein thanks for chatting with us Roberta.
16 minutes ago

Matthew Weinstein Oliver, they declared me indigestible. i was mentally burped out of the borg.
15 minutes ago

Oliver Wasow along with the gefilte no doubt.
14 minutes ago

Joseph Nechvatal Good resolution. So made - with an emphasis on difference.
14 minutes ago

Jonathan Viner Yes, thanks for visiting, Roberta. Very cool. It went by too fast.

I think this whole surreal facebook exchange is pretty freaking fascinating.
12 minutes ago

Haley Mellin Thank you Roberta. Hope the experience went over well. Very much appreciated
12 minutes ago

Jerry Saltz rshere -- hail and farewell. thank you so much for this.
and I thought Q and A's were fun. this is a whole other level.

one parting mention: I forgot to say that I wanted to second what Jerry said about listing artists names (we sweat it) and that I appreciate all the names added, had alreayd thought of (too late) and wrung my hands about some of them.

Anyway, see you in the trenches. R
14 minutes ago

Jonathan Viner Though I don't like that you're ending this with backpedaling! ;) MADE is just too acceptable.
13 minutes ago

Lisa Beck RS- I appreciate your willingness to enter into the mayhem online. Hope it was a good experience for you.
7 minutes ago

Dominic Quagliozzi We're still trying to deal with the heterocosm brought in by PostModernism, and because of that painting no longer seems like a "fantasy."

Its been cheapened by commericalized buying and selling, not quite commodotized.

These major pieces like Senghal bring about a level of fantasy and escape because they physically put you in a new "fantastical" environment- painting hasn't brought since AbExpressionism.

I am a painter, and I struggle everyday with how to bring that new experiencial fantasy to painting. I don't think its dead, I just think those its a lot harder to do on a 2D surface. but thats why I keep painting. I love that quest.
7 minutes ago

Joseph Nechvatal Jonathan - say goodbye nicely. Don't turn MADE into MAD. :-)
6 minutes ago

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