Archive for the ‘The New Criterion’ Category

Bob Ross and the art historical canon

If we take Henri Matisse’s famous assertion that art should be something like a good armchair in which to rest from physical fatigue at face value, we might end up with something approaching the “happy [x]” philosophy of Bob Ross, whose message was perfectly suited for television—the medium which help to spread it. I discuss […]

Summer reading suggestions

A couple of months ago I came across a fascinating little book published by Frieze in 1998. It was a bibliography intended to help young artists to become better young artists. The material was solicited from a few dozen art world people (artists, critics, curators) by Jerry Saltz, who also edited the volume. The same […]

Tony DeLap Retrospective at the Laguna Art Museum

One of the bast museum shows I have seen in a while turned out to be a retrospective of a local artist in a local museum. My review of it is on The New Criterion site.  

On the latest decision-making by the University of Wisconsin bureaucracy

My alma mater, UW-Madison, has been making some very unsettling choices lately. More on that in my latest blog post  “The user-centric university” in The New Criterion dispatches section.

Why chromophobia of #MeToo does not make any sense

  The #MeToo’ers got their aesthetic affiliation all wrong as they went for Puritanism—one of history’s archetypal patriarchies. In my latest contribution to The New Criterion, I discuss how the movement’s desire to disassociate itself from traditional trappings of femininity, including color, is incongruent with their professed embrace of the oppressed “other.”

Manchester Art Gallery “Challenging a Victorian fantasy” is a clumsy publicity stunt

In the latest tragical-comical episode linking the art world and the #MeToo movement, a group of artists and activists, with the help of the gallery’s curator, removed a seminal Pre-Raphaelite artwork from the wall of the Manchester Art Gallery “to initiate a discussion.” My analysis of what happened was just published in Dispatches section of […]

I am shocked! Why risqué paintings do not need warning labels

#MeToo is in the news again (still), now going after paintings with unpalatable content. My article “A Warning about the Balthus Warning,” just posted in the Dispatch section of The New Criterion. It explains why it is a very bad idea to decide whether an artwork deserves to grace museum walls based on how offensive […]

Be Careful What You Wish For: A little piece of Soviet style totalitarianism in our own backyard

My article “The art world’s ‘hidden enemy’” on the subject of purges for sexual misconduct in the art world is out in the Decemer issue of The New Criterion. (The New Criterion, Volume 36 Number 4, on page 86). Here is the full text of my article: The art world’s “hidden enemy”  While preparing my […]