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Tuesday 09.12.06

« Brad Adkins Will Take You On A Walk | Main | Two Talks »

Two must reads

As Melia pointed out in the comments earlier, Jerry Saltz does his version of a reality check regarding art (probably as a work up to his next Babylon article, due out soon). Does art change the world? Well any action creates some change of course but leadership matters more of course. Thus a better question is, which leaders look at art as a way to sharpen their take on the past, present and future? Would most of the art today help a leader with a truly reflexive and probing intellect all that much? Frankly, most of the allegedly important art today spends more energy limiting its context and exposure to questions rather than sticking its neck out so as to expand exposure and gain more contextual examination. I'm not talking about populism, just expressing a wish for an often nonexistent climate that could promote more critical examination.

Back to Jerry's article, I did like the picture included of the Marc Grotjahn, whose delicate "butterfly" abstractions seem to reference the old missive about how a Lepidoteran flapping its wings in Ohio can help create a hurricane in Taipei. The funniest bit was the conclusion about art being like a cat not giving instantaneous or direct feedback... or is it a parallel to how the Greeks used a certain ambivalence as a useful element in their art? Ok it goes back way farther back than the Greeks, into Mesopotamia at places like Ur but for most history challenged Americans this digression this is a moot point.

Also, there is this rather wide-ranging interview with Charles Saatchi in the Guardian. Nobody seems to know what the next thing (or two) will be these days but history does favor the bold. Saatchi is bold, which appeals to me in this era of too-much trend analysis. That said his USA Today show looks kinda dull, even very 2004. As expected I like the Grotjahn and the Schmidberger (they have legs), everything else seems pretty much old news that we heard years ago or heard better from other artists. An example: Banks Violette vs. Matthew Barney (not in the show cause hes older)? It is no contest, I dont even like Barney much but still he's was more relevant to American art in 2006 than Violette.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 12, 2006 at 0:54 | Comments (0)


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