Monday, March 06, 2006

A Colossal Agglomeration of Ugly Stuff

Is how Newsday art critic Ariella Buddick describes the Whitney Biennial. She adds on:

"Which would be fine, if the sculptures, videos, paintings and installations sacrificed attractiveness for thoughtfulness, profundity, visceral power or wit. But this year's Biennial is depressingly shallow. Oh, yes, and also heavy-handed, humorless, puerile and just plain boring."
I love it when a critic really goes for the jugular of a review! And this degree of passion in writing about art should be applied to both the positive and negative view of a show.

Buddick writes that
"Curators Chrissie Iles and Phillipe Vergne have selected works that conform to their murky concept of what the state of contemporary American art should be...

This vague herd, we are told, has been busily "challenging concepts," "transgressing boundaries," "blurring lines" and "investigating relationships." ...

I have some news for the curators: There are no boundaries left to transgress. Art can't be liminal in the absence of the thresholds. How can you challenge conventions that have already been burned beyond recognition? There's something almost quaint about the use of these cliches. Where have the curators been for the past 20 years?
I know where: Inside museums.

Read the whole review here

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