I think that this Fall season is shaping up as a tipping point in the art world. Why?
Well, this from Charlie Finch –
“When it recycles the same half-dozen Hollywood personalities and tries to market news about a handful of art dealers and collectors as fresh stuff, the art world is advertising the fact that it contains a couple of thousand not very interesting people who are awfully satisfied with themselves long after their celebrity shelf date has expired… Add to this the fact that the artworks themselves are simply a long parade of tired visual one-liners that would embarrass Marcel Duchamp and bore Andy Warhol and, Miami, we have a problem. “
If you spend more than twenty minutes with the three-floor extravaganza, you’re loitering. The New Museum could just as well not have done the show while saying it did. The effect would be roughly the same: expressing a practically reptilian institutional craving for a new art star.
The aughts began with buzzing border-to-border energy and happy complacency. But instead of the love spreading and everyone becoming “famous for fifteen minutes,” by decade’s end art-worlders fixated on a tiny clique of mostly male, mostly high-priced artists: Murakami, Hirst, Eliasson. Warhol’s dictum was infernally inverted to “In the future, only fifteen people will be famous.”
(He goes on to write that the piece of the “aughts” is Koons’ Puppy. Koons actually had this topiary made at Documenta in the early 90s in order to apologize for his Cicciolina series. Rather than a 21st Century harbinger of new art forms, it is a fin de siecle piece of an exhausted, mannered and decadent Postmodernism. What EXACTLY is going on with Jerry these days?)
The Warhol of the period that “Pop Life” is interested in is a boring churner-outer of market fodder. He had been a social observer, and he was still that in a way, but his relationship to his subject had changed: He had gone from satire to sucking up. His art was “disturbing” only because it was tedious to think about it. Since he died, academia and the market have gone to work on him in their different ways but with the same effect: We’re now conditioned to think of everything he did as loaded with significance. But what we see by him in “Pop Life” are images that look as dull and distracted as the mind that created them must have been at that particular point.
Now maybe it’s not fair to lump artists together but, that’s what happens when things begin to look and feel the same. Some artists are stronger than the others but they all seem to embody an aesthetic, a feel, a zeitgeist that is beyond its due date. Many of us are fed up having this late Postmodernism shoved down our throats in EVERY institutional encounter. So after trying and trying and trying we just can’t get no…