Friday, June 01, 2007

Today, Michael Kimmelman gushes about Richard Serra...and sneers at everything else. Contemporary art, art that follows Duchamp's lead, relies on narrative or language--none of this, according to Kimmelman, can compete with a big weathered band of Cor-Ten steel.

Now, I like Serra--though I do wonder sometimes if I admire the newer work simply for the tremendous quantities of capital and manpower required to put it in place. When I saw Rolled and Forged at Gagosian last year, it seemed like half the pleasure for me was the thought of just how the tens of thousands of pounds of art on view were installed, or deinstalled--or how a collector might take one of the pieces home. I think Tyler shares this fascination.

Anyway, I'm always a little perturbed when a writer proclaims his disdain for art that's about language--sort of like, as I've mentioned before, Dave Hickey curating the 4th annual SITE Santa Fe biennial. Hickey wrote that for him, the job of the curator should be simply to prepare the site, and arrange and install beautiful works. Leave the job of sussing out meaning to critics--critics like, say...Dave Hickey? How convenient.


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