Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

Weekend roundup

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  • If you think art critics are little more than low-cost art consultants whose job it is to tell you how to spend a spare $107 million, I have the critic/piece for you: Holland Cotter, who offers up this shopping list. For me, a critic’s role is to consider why the great rises above the good, to note what’s important and to suggest why it is so, to offer a voice that engages more than the pursuit of red dots (or the hope therefore). The commercial sector obviously dominates the New York art scene now more than ever; but isn’t that exactly when you want prominent art critics to assert their independence, to provide something other than market-oriented examination? Evidently the NYT thinks an art critic’s  job is to provide shopping lists to the surrounding trading floor. Sad, and a blow to the field.
  • Also, there is not much dumber than assigning a critic to review an art fair. I mean, no one reviews Barnes & Noble.
  • Christopher Knight reviews a very odd, Jeffrey Deitch-organized, nearly pop-up exhibition of post-Warholian abstraction at MOCA. You can practically hear Knight screaming, “WTF?!” (Also, what happened to the intellectual and historicizing rigor of that museum’s exhibition-and-scholarship program? A Mercedes-Benz ad-cum-exhibition made possible by the Deitch’s delaying of a serious Jeremy Strick-era exhibition, and now… Oye.)
  • In the NYT, Carol Kino looks at ’70s Buffalo. The legacy of the artists in “Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avant-Garde in the 1970s,” the Albright-Knox show about which Kino writes, is evident in the work of Buffalo native Cory Arcangel. On last week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast, Arcangel talked at length about how important Buffalo artists were (and are) to him.
  • In the NYT, Sylviane Gold looks at a Wadsworth Atheneum exhibition built around three Andrew Wyeths in the museum’s collection.
  • In ARTnews, Roger Atwood profiles Ernesto Neto.
  • I’m not the only one noting the resurgence of trompe l’oeil: Hilarie M. Sheets takes to ARTnews to note similar.
  • The Washington Post’s Philip Kennicott reviews Joan Miro at the National Gallery.
  • This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features one of our greatest living artists: Robert Irwin. An exhibition of Irwin’s newest work is on view now at Pace Gallery in New York. Download the program, subscribe via iTunes, subscribe via RSS and/or view images of art discussed on the show.
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  1. CW says:

    I think you’re being a bit hard on Cotter. The editorial is simply voicing a fantasy that any art lover has indulged in at some time or other: imagining the type of art collection they would build/curate if they had a spare million+ lying around. And I completely agree with his “shopping list” (which I think is a mischaracterization). What if more collectors looked beyond big name (male) contemporary artists towards both lesser-known contemporaries(especially women & non-white artists) as well as forgotten old masters (whose work often IS a comparative steal)? The art world would become a much more interesting and dynamic place.

  2. I like Cotter’s take on how better to spend 120 million.
    Years ago I painted a small piece as part of a series called “It’s My Life” which has been exhibited at ARKELL.
    “The Scream Unheard” was painted from huge personal angst with my usual expressionist voice. It will never be for sale, but one similarity to Munch: how skewed and questioned such a work can be. A visitor to my site commented “We have all had hard times in school at least once” and thus the tragedy of our family was dismissed. Humbling that what we hope to express as artists eludes us and that the misinterpretation begins even before one is dead for a century!

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