Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Howard Halle Rips New Museum & Gugg A New One

While catching up on my reading, I noticed Howard Halle's complete evisceration of both big contemporary shows in town--Cattelan at the Guggenheim and Holler at the New Museum in the November 30 issue of TIMEOUT NY.  I bashed the Holler show weeks ago,  but Halle (one of NY's most sober and respected critics) went even further.  The money quote is very clear:  "Why would any self-respecting institution mount either of these shows?"  writes Halle.  
Then he goes for the kill.  And it's an indictment of the entire art world especially the Anglo-American one based in New York City and London: 

However you want to frame it--the bridging of high-cultural and low, the mining of the gap between art and life—the ostensibly democratic conceit underlying much of  the big-name art being produced today has been co-opted by the powerful and ossified through incessant repetition, it's become meaningless.   Little more than  populism for  plutocrats, the notion is treated by the art world as an article of faith to be tithed with bids at the auction  house and admissions at the museum door.  But that is all the idea really is now: a belief.  Aping it doesn't  make an artist interesting or important any more than jumping out of a window makes you able to fly.

Unfortunately, Lisa Phillips has spent the better part of two decades implementing that very program--first at the Whitney and now at the New Museum.  

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT475.
    The image can be seen at wahooart.com who can supply you with a canvas print of it.