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Wednesday 03.21.07

« An Interview with Elliott Erwitt | Main | RE:Dude's Night Out »

So much for a crisis in art criticism

schjeldahl_p.jpg
Still relevant: Mr. Peter Schjeldahl

The best bit of art writing published this March was Peter Schjeldahl's awe inspiring take on Robert Ryman and Franz West etc. He's great, even brilliant with Ryman but gets Murakami wrong of course. Murakami is uber-whoring the drama in a very professional/insidious way that makes the drama very nihilistic. He's basically outflanking the idea starved art world along with Schjeldahl in the process. Why? because he has gotten a lot of credit for the last great idea (the complete flattening of consumption and culture, best showcased at art fairs). Also, I'm enjoying their new website design too, much better and more linkable.

*Update: Holland Carter of the New York Times points out the Locally Organized Gravity show along with Portland's own Red 76. Carter asks a question Ive raised before, is it all just a "feel good cosmetic gloss?" It's definitely a case by case evaluation.

Last week Richard Speer chimed in on Mel Katz at Laura Russo and Jason Fulford at Quality Pictures (a show I like a lot). Fulford's show is hung in an incredibly precise but generous way that gets over that overly controlling/precious attitude that photographers often use as a crutch. The installation makes Fulford something more than just a good image taker.

John Motley nearly always does a good job over at the Mercury. He continues the trend with his review of Thoughtless at Small A... I am a fan of Mitzi Pedersen but I thought the only good thing in this show was Abell's three things (I cant help it I kinda love MXR distortion pedals and feedback). Small A likes to tap-dance on the borderline between disarmingly dry and aridly underdeveloped and this one was mostly underdeveloped. I can say this though, Laurel doesn't overhang the bejesus out of her shows, it's always a thoughtful space.

I liked Regina Hackett's article providing a historical survey of the Seattle Art Museum's contemporary curators, notice how she actually evaluates curators on their curating? What a novel concept! Around here curators often seem to be excuses for human interest stories, and information is published on anything but their programmatic outlook. Needless to say PORT does care about important matters like that, curators aren't in it for popularity contests, instead they serve up exhibitions to be digested, critiqued and if all goes well... enjoyed. Press should be mostly weighted to what they do rather than their personalities.

Jen Graves added her take to the excellent Bruce Nauman neon survey at The Henry in Seattle as well. That man sets a very high bar for all those would be neon artists, every city seems to have at least 3 of them.

Of course PORT has had its own reviews this month including:

Amy Bernstein's take on the Paper Chase at Guestroom.

I took on Adam Sorensen's The Glows at Liz Leach.

Arcy Douglass wrote about Jasper Johns' seminal work Land's End.

Check in tomorrow for Arcy's review of RE: Dudes Night Out. The show is probably the most interesting group show Ive seen in the Pacific Northwest in the last few years (I keep thinking about it and how challenging/satisfying it is compared all the enormous group shows which seem forced and somewhat disrespectful towards the art in favor of art crowds).

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 21, 2007 at 11:05 | Comments (0)


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