Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Re: The panel discussion at the Phillips on painting in the 21st century. No, I wasn’t there. I was interested, even if this doesn’t exactly seem like the right moment to be having this conversation. As Tyler said, one wonders if any discussion about the death of painting should include an appropriately vintage soundtrack--Whitesnake, he suggested.

I’m annoyed that the Phillips doesn’t appear to have recorded any part of it. How can you talk about painting in the 21st century if your website’s still in the 20th? Why let an event vanish into the ether, undocumented? Hopefully someone will at least post their notes on the discussion.

I particularly would’ve liked to hear what Andrea Pollan had to say, but it appears that her segment was cut short due to other speakers running over. Which makes me sad, but also makes me regret having missed it a bit less.

From what I’ve gathered reading Tyler’s post and talking to Kriston, Blake Gopnik’s remarks were interesting (yes, I’ll stick with interesting). He claimed that the problem with painting now is that painters don’t address their work directly to art critics. This is an odd thing to say, but it's pretty much in sync with other sorts of observations Blake likes to make about the art world. Like, for example, when he asserted that art is better when developments in the market aren’t leading or influencing museums—and museums can be left to do their job in peace.

At the time, I thought this was simply a bizarre misunderstanding on Blake’s part. But Blake is a smart guy, and hearing this new curious notion has made me realize that he has a remarkably consistent viewpoint—albeit one not even remotely grounded in reality. He seems to be wandering through a utopian socialist shadow art world, one in which painters don’t try to sell their works, and collectors are shooed away from the boardrooms of institutions, or from contact with curators.

So Blake has a method, a thought process, and a consistent view of how art ought to work, even if he is ultimately wrong. One wishes the same could be said about his colleagues.

Below: Your Whitesnake karaoke moment.


Blogger Unknown said...

I would like to apologize to everyone if it was my reference that led to their exposure to Whitesnake. It was a careless mistake and in the future I promise to refrain from any behavior that may lead to your eardrums being damaged and your brain being thus assaulted.

I still don't understand why a museum and a university partnered to empanel three dealers at a symposium. I mean, can you imagine MoMA putting David Zwirner on a Franz West panel?!

9:32 AM  
Blogger jhcudlin said...

Be honest. You've got a pair of skin-tight leather pants and a glittery trenchcoat--w/big, puffy shoulder pads--hiding in the back of your closet, don't you?

Don't mock the 'snake!

10:30 AM  

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