Art Vent

Letting the Fresh Air In

Art Fairs

Art Vent Letting the Fresh Air In

March 6, 2011
So many art fairs, so little art! Okay, I only went to the ADAA Art Show at the 67th Street Armory, Pulse, and the Independent…and that was enough to let me know I didn’t want to brave the crowds at the piers.  I always like the ADAA show because I see things of actual substance, and at Marian Goodman’s booth, a bunch of Gabriel Orozco’s delightful interventions on money and airline tickets (tiny, $35,000, and worth every penny) that knock my socks off whenever I’m lucky enough to see some.

The other two shows….arggh! I commented to a friend that it all looked like eighth grade, and he said worse, because eighth graders would be more adventuresome: here you can see the minds of the artists and the dealers at work, and it’s all very calculated. So many junky-looking watered-down versions of Rauschenberg’s brilliant Combines, which were made…wake up, art world!...OVER FIFTY YEARS AGO. Or stuff intending to be shocking when what, besides a David Wojnarowicz film from the 80s, could possibly be shocking—to adults, that is—in 2011? Then there was the plethora of paintings and sculptures decorated with glitter and sequins, as if glitter and sequins were the radical materials they might have been four decades ago.

However there is something that‘s truly radical for our times, and it is called development. For the uninitiated, this is when an artist finds a form and makes it his/her own to the point that it becomes new.  Try it!—but be warned, it might take more than five minutes.

Meanwhile I did, in recent weeks, see something that rang true—a drawing by Chuck Nanney at Invisible Exports on which is written: “Everything I do has been done before by a feminist in the seventies.”

Or Lucas Samaras, who did it all.

'Photo-Transformation', Polaroid SX-70 print by Lucas Samaras, 1973, Getty Museum