Artist and critic John Perreault uses the recent exhibition High Times /Hard Times to examine amnesia in art. I have discussed this exhibition here several times; furthermore the topic has also disturbed me for some time. I did one of my Covers paintings about it in 2003, which is the title image here. Perreault’s Artopia art diary blog is usually insightful, but this is one of his best posts yet.
Here’s an excerpt as a tempting taste. then go read the whole piece. It is well worth your time. Link.
We may still look at Pat Steir and Linda Benglis, but they and others who, according to curator Katy Siegel, attempted to expand painting in an anti-painting period (I agree with that designation) are apparently no longer part of the master narrative that has been taken over by post-modern conceptualism. This track is not my master narrative and probably not yours. It is the strictly academic narrative. On the other hand, nowhere in the catalog do I see proof that po-mo is indeed in control. If so, it's funny that the ruins of the modernist master-narrative were quickly filled in, appropriated by postmodernist, antipainting photography. Somebody somewhere must really need a master narrative to make sense of art.
On the other hand, winners are now defined by sales figures. Goodbye, serious critical tomes. Goodbye, museums as gatekeepers. We are becoming an art world where only bad artists have galleries, only bad artists sell.
By the way, Perreault’s Toothpaste