You don’t have to agree with Hilton Kramer (though I generally do) to appreciate his deadly bluntness, as in this report on his first visit to Dia:Beacon,
the new museum/palace/temple of minimalist art:
As for boredom, well, this was one of those attributes of Minimalism that its champions proudly acclaimed from the outset. “Boring the public,” wrote Barbara Rose in her “ABC” defense of Minimalism, “is one way of testing its commitment. The new artists seem to be extremely chary: approval, they, know, is easy to come by in this sellers’ market for culture, but commitment is nearly impossible to elicit. So they make their art as difficult, remote, aloof and indigestible as possible. One way to achieve this is to make art boring.” By this measure–both the boredom quotient itself and the scale of financial commitment to boredom as an artistic principle–Dia:Beacon’s achievement is destined to remain unrivaled for the foreseeable future.
Speaking as one who finds most minimalism of all kinds stupefyingly boring, I say, yeah! And then some.
2 Blowhards has launched a contest of sorts:
Choosing solely among the products of HFOP (i.e., High-Falutin’ Oil Painting), what would you choose as your favorite female nude?
O.K., I’m game. I stuffed this painting
In the Bag a couple of weeks ago, but it’s always worth mentioning.
Maud Newton (she’s so cool) has posted links
to three recent reviews of The Thurber Letters: The Wit, Wisdom and Surprising Life of James Thurber (what a lame-o title!), including my own piece for the New York Times Book Review (also accessible in the right-hand column) and the “official” New Yorker review by Robert Gottlieb, who has metamorphosed in recent years into a highly impressive critic. Go here, scroll down to “No one goes there much anymore,” and catch up.