Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Good Writing From Jerry Saltz

Man Jerry Salt is my hero a must read.

There used to be shared story lines of contemporary art: the way artists developed, exchanged ideas, caromed off each other’s work, engaged with their critics. Now no one knows the narrative; the thread has been lost. Shows go up but don’t seem to have consequences, other than sales or no sales. Nothing builds off much else. Art can’t get traction.”

(P.S. Over the last ten years a photography narrative has developed, see Roe Ethridge, Alec Soth and abstract photography)

“…a generation of academically trained critics were taught to believe they should write in impenetrable language and refrain from opinion and negative criticism.”

Owing in part to the Chelsea condo-and-office boom, even the successful ones are fighting for their financial lives. The excellent Postmasters Gallery just saw its West 19th Street rent raised to $30,000 a month and will have to move. Other mid-level Chelsea dealers are being priced out as well. Longtime gallerist Casey Kaplan told Bloomberg News, “You won’t find much experimentation if the rents continue to escalate …those kinds of galleries won’t be here.” Postmasters’ owner, Magda Sawon, has explained that “mid-range galleries are going to just vanish from Chelsea,” adding, “the whole middle is basically pulverized.” Even if they survive, I wonder whether a much bigger shakeout is about to happen, one that makes art resemble any mainstream business—just another culture industry that’s eaten itself alive.”

“But shouldn’t these dealers be looking for young talent rather than vying to show Lawrence Weiner and Shirin Neshat? Maybe everyone will all eventually share Richter and Prince, who will just relocate every five years.”


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