Tuesday, February 13, 2007

art critic as tool

From Jerry Saltz's latest thing on Artnet -

"For a little more than two years, Moti Hasson Gallery has operated out of a boxy second-floor space in a nondescript building at the fringes of the Chelsea art world, on West 38th Street. Despite mounting good shows, the gallery stayed under the art world’s radar. Now, like other galleries that have had to come to terms with the primacy of the New York art world’s herd-instinct, the gallery has moved into a slick ground-floor space in the belly of the Chelsea beast on West 25th Street. If "Beyond the Pale," the gallery’s inaugural exhibition here, is any gauge, the fringe’s loss is Chelsea’s gain."

So... what is he saying? That he knew of this space when it was on "the fringes" (way up on 38th Street), and knew that they were "mounting good shows"... but didn't want to write anything about them until AFTER they had followed the herd into a slick space in the belly of the beast, so he could make some sort of obvious criticism of it all? I mean, did he ever write about any of these good shows in the two years previous? No.

What is the lesson imparted here?

It's like the review of the Greater NY show, in which he admits that having 31 Columbia graduates and current students in the exhibition of 162 artists feels fishy, yet includes seven of those Columbia students in the nineteen exhibiting artists whose work he chooses to single out. Yes, he teaches at Columbia, those were his students.

It's annoying.

RELATED: it is also like Roberta Smith's review of Swoon at Deitch... in which she talks about seeing Swoon's stuff on the street all around for a couple years, how good it is... but doesn't mention it until reviewing the Deitch show? Why?

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