Friday, December 16, 2005

Barry Schwabsky seems like he has his head screwed on straight


This review of Art Since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism by Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois and Benjamin H.D. Buchloh was written by Mr. Schwabsky and published in the Nation.

He starts off pointing out something so obvious that even I had managed to miss it (for my entire life!) "A [Art] historian is assumed to be a credentialed academic, a professional, while a critic may be something else altogether--what the art theorist Thierry de Duve once nicely described as someone 'whose profession it is to be an amateur.'" I very much like that description. Unfortunately, it has not been in use for a while. As he points out Art Historians haven't written criticism for a good long time.

He then proceeds to take apart, piece by piece, the 688 page tome. Some of the better points, his story about Lynda Benglis's advertisement in Artforum, and the story about Philip Guston at the end. I also quite like his lines like "...this hardly makes for a trustworthy textbook" and how he uses his personal recollection to disassemble the book. Blah, blah, blah. I for one won't be getting it.

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