An eye for art

My favorite quote from all the post-Miami anti-artworld posts that have gone online this week is this excerpt from Charles Saatchi’s Comment in the Guardian.  “If I stop being on good behaviour for a moment, my dark little secret is
that I don’t actually believe many people in the art world have much
feeling for art and simply cannot tell a good artist from a weak one,
until the artist has enjoyed the validation of others � a received
pronunciation. For professional curators, selecting specific paintings
for an exhibition is a daunting prospect, far too revealing a
demonstration of their lack of what we in the trade call ‘an eye.’ They
prefer to exhibit videos, and those incomprehensible post-conceptual
installations and photo-text panels, for the approval of their equally
insecure and myopic peers. This ‘conceptualised’ work has been
regurgitated remorselessly since the 1960s, over and over and over

Saatchi’s right. Everything about painting is difficult, from makng it,
to choosing it, and, for painters, delivering and storing it. Video
would be so much easier, right?

And don’t miss:

Jerry Saltz: The Prince of the One Percent Would Like You to Know That Buying Art Is Less Fun These Days

Jerry Saltz: The Long Slide
“J�accuse museums of bullshit! Of �bogusly turning themselves into smash-hit consumer circuses, box-office sensations of voyeurism and hipster showbiz. This year, the institution-�critiquing art known as Relational Aesthetics�essentially audience-participation art, often work that moves, lights up, or involves living nude beings�entered its decadent phase….” 

Jonathan Jones: The Turner prize’s spurning of George Shaw shows the art world is shallow
“Wait, wait. I have nothing against Martin Boyce.
I simply think George Shaw is more important. This comes down to the
theatricality of the Turner. It is spectacular, so it favours
installation and disfavours painting. Put paintings on a wall against a
wacky reinvention of an entire room, and the room strikes many people as
cooler � or it tends to strike Turner judges as cooler. The reason
Richard Wright, a painter, carried away the prize in 2009 was that he
beat the installationists at their own game with his reinvention of the art of fresco.”


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  1. Thanks for the dissenting word. I'm nowhere near the big art industries in NYC and the like, but, selfishly, hearing some straight talk about art and painting, makes me feel better about my own efforts.

  2. that was my favorite quote as well, although it is kind of sad.

  3. I agree and not just because it's difficult to know the place of a painting, the context or stature. It's damned difficult to make one too. But I am tired of boring videos. When I enter the space and someone announces that the video is however many minutes long and points me to a chair, I very rarely just sit down as instructed. It has the same mountain to climb that painting does, thank you. Engage me. Give me something to wrap my head and heart around.

  4. "…and those incomprehensible post-conceptual installations and photo-text panels….This 'conceptualised' work has been regurgitated remorselessly since the 1960s, over and over and over again."

    I've been referring to this as "rehashed 90's conceptualism" and I keep wondering why no one has declared it dead. I could surmise.

  5. Thanks for this look at George Shaw and his work. I enjoyed the depth of his comments. We are all on the journey out of life and it is bleak to look at it that way, but honesty is what painters strive for, don't we?

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