Roberta Smith gives some more context regarding the loss of Helen Frankenthaler and John Chamberlain
. But that is only the tip of a rapidly melting iceberg... we lost Cy Twombly
+ John McCracken too... and with as conservative as the galleries of 2011 seemed to be overall the question has to be what are we replacing them with? These were all very bright artists driven by perceptive and compelling ideals, not merely a series of calculated art world/market differentiation moves. These were artists with beliefs and this brings us back to Alex's Bringing Barr
essay published earlier this week. May 2012 be the year of art manifestos... or at least an a year of art that has ideals?
One of the reasons 2010's Judd conference and exhibition
were important was the way it presented the seriousness of an artist like Judd. The Rothko Retrospective in February at PAM
should be another call to action.
After the continuing Occupy Movement this past Fall I see a larger interest in simply finding a new and better way to invigorate the discussions that comprise human civilization, which most of us take part in... this is simply what artists do (at certain times they do it better than others).
Ideals? Yes! Manifestos? Sorry, but I've already declared 2012 as the Year Of No Artist's Statements, so we have a conflict here. Granted, it is December 30 (!) and I have done nothing aside from private whining to make this happen, so I suppose I'd be willing to put it off for another year if you can assure me that these righteous manifestos will not just be a cover for the usual half-baked whatever. Cheers!
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