From Roberta Smith's 3/31/2002 NYTimes review of the 2002 Whitney Biennial -
"...the fear of form that is rife in contemporary art today. By form I mean the transformation of materials and subjects into something beyond themselves, something new and strange or wonderful to experience, something that expands our understanding of a medium, something whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
From Roberta Smith's 7/07/2006 NYTimes review of Uncertain States of America: American Art in the 3rd Millennium at Bard College -
"I would call all these strategies fear of form, which can be parsed as fear of materials, of working with the hands in an overt way and of originality. Most of all originality...
....Fear of form above all means fear of compression— of an artistic focus that condenses experiences, ideas and feelings into something whole, committed and visually comprehensible."
RELATED: scroll down a little here to see Roberta's full 2002 review. Always interesting to go back and read these.