Massive Links! Schutz @ Feuer: Mud-slinging or Muck-raking? | Donald Judd’s Disparity | David Salle Is One Smart MoFo

by Paddy Johnson on May 5, 2011 · 2 comments Massive Links

Dana Schutz, "Swimming, Smoking, Crying", 2009, 45 x 48 inches

  • I spent the majority of yesterday responding to a post by Adam Yarinsky at The Design Observer before throwing in the towel for the day. He’s reviewed David Raskin’s “Donald Judd” and Marianne Stockebrand’s “Chinati: The Vision of Donald Judd“, and seeing as how I haven’t read either book and the writing isn’t exactly in web-ease, I don’t have much valuable to say. Of course, that’s never stopped me before, so a minor quibble: Yarinsky likens the undulating play between Judd’s crooked box-within-a-box form to Raskin’s labeling of apparently contradictory elements in Judd’s work and I’m not sure that makes sense. I know this sounds like nitpicking, but a box that looks one way at angle A and another at angle B simply demonstrates the basic principles of perspective. Contradiction would occur if the object exhibited two opposing characteristics at the same time. Yarinsky’s second example makes much more sense: the cube’s dull reflectivity creates at once a strong physical presence and a seemingly immaterial constitution.
  • Worth a visit? Second Thoughts on the Memory Industry, is a day-long symposium on how we commemorate slated to run this Saturday. Art Spiegelman and Lawrence Weschler will be presenting along with about 20 or so other artists, critics, historians etc. Rob Pruitt is not on the list, which makes me a little sad. His Anna Nicole Smith tombstone is one of my favorite works of art.
  • Looks like David Salle’s long fight with 80’s backlash has finally ended. Emily Nathan interviews the artist for Artnet and it’s great (hat tip: Jerry Saltz).  A quote or two:

    In my view, to have value, a work of art has to do many things simultaneously — well it doesn't have to do anything, really — but let's say that one idea is that it can both offer a kind of immediate visual pizzazz, and at the same time can unfold slowly over time, its meaning deepening and its complexity ripening, while the immediacy of its visual impact never fades. That is what we as artists strive for.


    I think it's pretty much a truism that meaning changes. There is another chestnut that occurs to me here — a slightly more highbrow one. Wittgenstein tells us: “For the meaning of something, consider its use.” What critics often do is to come at something with a specific use in mind — the use to which the painting will be tethered. That's the job of the critic — they stand between the work and the end-user. But the use will change over time. It's subjective, contingent, personal. I'm glad if I contributed something that was useful to someone at some point. Sometimes I'm surprised at what people find to say about my work, but it doesn't feel limiting in any way. I would also say that an interpretation is never a final one — so far.

    Also, also,

    It's a myth that all interpretations are equally valid. An interpretation has a better chance of holding up if it is based on close looking. Really, attentive looking heads misinterpretation off at the pass. Of course, some kinds of misinterpretation are productive — and fun.

    I particularly like this last quote, but then, I would.

  • Will over-rated artists Elmgreen & Dragset change my opinion of their recent work with a transformed submarine wharf in Rotterdam? Who knows. While we do know they plan to make a city, apparently all details will remain a secret to maximize the surprise. I guess this should help keep peanut gallery members like me quiet for the a while. We’ll see how long that lasts.


jameskalm May 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm

David Raskin is my wife Kate’s cousin, and even though I also haven’t yet read the Judd book, I can assure you, it’s a friggin’ masterpiece (can I get my free copy now David?)

Anonymous May 5, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Just a note that anonymous comments will not be published. If you want to gossip, your name has to be attached to comment.

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