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Monday 12.05.11

« First Friday December 2011 | Main | Plazm 20 years, closing reception »

Monday Links

Well it was ABMB weekend and refreshingly instead of the obligatory and inane pieces on how art is a hot investment there were numerous substantial opinion pieces on the state of the art world. Art, no matter how much it costs is simply a way to understand that which resists understanding... it should be as much if not more of a personal existential investment as it is a monetary expenditure. That is the one thing I really like about collectors in Portland, nobody... no matter how much they spend is doing it just for show.

Jerry Saltz takes on the Carsten Holler (AKA art as playground) show. On a similar note I discussed and compared Holler and Alfredo Jaar at length last week. The sense is that this type of show is designed to draw in audiences rather than hit the right notes... ie be challenging rather than diversionary entertainment put on by the 1%. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater though, sometimes a carnival show can shake up the status quo.

Charles Saatchi blasted art oligarchs who collect and inflate the blue chip art market rather than develop a deeper relationship. This typical art rant means something only because Charles Saatchi is saying it and therefore has the weight of a man who has been wrongly accused of much the same thing. The difference is he has taste, faith in the difficulties of Art and has catalyzed not just careers but entire art movements; YBA, Leipzig etc. There is a learning curve and serious collectors like Saatchi and Broad are special. They have done it for a long time and it is obvious they keep their own counsel as patrons... they aren't simply acting on the tips of advisers, they developed a certain personal biography through the art they collect and present.

To get at the issue from a different angle, how about a look at the crossroads of art and neuroscience. I'm always shocked at how much the art world doesn't look at or exploit scientific approaches.

Also, it is Turner Prize time... if only Northwest shows at major museums like the CNAA's had similar ability to generate discussion? Too often they are a cavalcade of already past their prime names or a bouillabaisse of so many artists that an actual curatorial thesis is impossible to form... making the institution's intrigue the defacto subject rather than the host of avenues for new understanding.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 05, 2011 at 12:06 | Comments (0)


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