Facebook screengrab, AFC
Last week, art critic Jerry Saltz updated his Facebook status to read as follows:
Since so many of you don't like the premise of curating a show through the lens of age, I need to know if you like younger artists at all. List three to five artists who emerged AFTER 1999 whose work you would say that you like (don't name yourself or artists no one has heard of but you)
Here’s a surprise: The critic’s Facebook page nearly exploded, and he lost over 65 comments due to heavy volume. Complaints that the shout-outs were “icky” eventually shut down the thread, but not before Saltz offered his own list of artists.
I don’t know that I have a huge problem with asking people to name their favorite artists, though often such a response is made with the hopes of influencing the critic, thus making the exercise seem slightly ego-feeding. More important is the list Saltz published, which was the topic of conversation at many openings I attended over the weekend. “This is the tipping point!” a friend declared, challenging Sharon Butler’s assertion in the Brooklyn Rail two months ago, that it occurred when he joined. “His lists make artist’s careers.” Indeed they do, but how influential is a list buried in a Facebook thread? Unless the social networking site introduces a comment search function, the source will be difficult to find a year from now.
Its influence will really depend on how many people email and blog this list. Saltz sees more art than virtually anyone in the city, so I’m publishing the list here in it’s full context. I think it’s important. POST UPDATED: For clarity purposes I’ve added the full status update.
The list of artists that I posted previously reflects my frustration/anger with curators who mainly chose artists who have already been chosen by other curators; who shun anything that is NOT installation, video, b/w late-late Conceptualism, or art that needs long labels. I love a lot of this art. Yet WAY too many curators are afraid of/hostile to anything VISUAL, MATERIAL, or PHYSICAL. Fear of the Visual.
I went through your 200 plus lists of young artists. Many artists on the lists have been in huge shows (like the Whitney Biennial). Time for me to get vulnerable. My list is in the comment below. I name ONLY women artists working in America who have never been in a Whitney Biennial (I took out a name and added a couple others).
Jessica Jackson Hutchins
Fia Backstrom (last two in 2008 Whit. Bi.)
A FEW GOOD MEN:
Ryan Trecartin (in 2006 Whit. Bi.)
RELATED: Jerry Saltz speaks at the Studio School tonight about recession economies, weeding out crappy artists and other related topics.