Art critics are never quite shilled in the same way as critics for other avenues of culture. Yes, our reviews likely get listed on CVs and not read, adding some vague imprimatur to an artist's career that might help move some product, but we're never exploited in quite the same way, as say, the movie critic, whose thoughtful well-composed reviews (okay not always) get diced into a few words to grace a promotional poster. Oh, if only some art critic (someone from October would be nice, or Texte Zur Kunst at least) would say "the number one feel-good hit of the summer," or "I laughed, I cried ... they'll be talking about this one for decades."
Alackaday, we art critics are gladly too verbose and, well, critical.
As a small token of post-holiday soporific haze of gifting and drinking, we at ArtSlant decided to dispense a few movie quotes for future posters for artists. If Gagosian continues his world domination, it's likely to happen anyway, why not help it on its way?
A gift? Yes, a gift. Not all gifts are welcome though, now are they? And doesn't the old saw go that there's no such thing as bad publicity?
For this purpose, we've plucked out lines from the work of our critics, Christina Catherine Martinez and Kara Q Smith, from this past year's notable hits and misses for your reading enjoyment.
Kara Q Smith
Humans seem the hardest animals to catch.
Whitney Lynn at Steven Wolf Fine Arts January 7th, 2012 - February 18th, 2012
Though I shiver in the warmth of vinyl and the perfume of old books, unfortunately, the answer is no.
Christina Corfield at Johansson Projects January 26th, 2012 - March 17th, 2012
Rineke Dijkstra, Olivier, Quartier Vienot, Marseille, July 21, 2000, C-print, 49-5/8 x 42-1/8 in.; Courtesy of the artist.
The gentle peeling of layers of meaning began to unfold all over again, as six twelve-year-olds leave a museum.
...I don’t want Marioni telling women what they can or can’t do or to tell artists anywhere what the rules for art are: no matter how high the form of art, no matter how cold or free is the beer.
Tom Marioni and Pat Steir at Crown Point Press, April 5, 2012 - May 19, 2012
The darkness does not seem devoid of its truth, like the hand, it helps the connections Carner is making radiate through his reminiscing.
Deric Carner at Romer Young Gallery, June 15, 2012 - July 21, 2012
They run together in the end like the New Yorker cartoons, inevitably and most tellingly, leaving one unable to remember any of them at all.
David Shrigley at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, June 22, 2012 - September 23, 2012
Both archival and current, the embedded rhetoric here was a conversation killer. Let’s move on.
Carolee Schneemann and Gay Outlaw at Gallery Paule Anglim, November 14, 2012 - December 22, 2012
Frank Marshall, Binki, 23.6 in. X 23.6 in., Archival Giclee Print, 2010. Courtesy the artist and Bekris Gallery.
Christina Catherine Martinez
...from Mapplethorpe to Motörhead to Mad Max and back again...
Frank Marshall at Bekris Gallery, November 19th, 2011 - January 27th, 2012
Style can be a very dangerous thing.
"Notes on Style, Violence"
We all have ways of giving release to our sense of anomie.
Illegitimate Business, Group Exhibition, at Will Brown, January 27, 2012 - March 4, 2012
I have trouble with evocation. It’s got to be put into words; at least, I’d really like to believe that everything can be put into words. That’s probably very naïve, or sad, or both.
Alice Tippit at Important Projects, March 2, 2012 - April 1, 2012
Supposedly it’s been a long time coming. But if print is dead, where did all these fucking magazines come from?
"How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Magazines"
We have yet to designate a word for female genitalia that falls squarely between the crass (pussy) and the clinical (vagina, “female genitalia”).
Hannah Wilke at Gallery Paule Anglim, April 4, 2012 - April 28, 2012
Usually, exhibitions organized around a technique or medium rather than a concept tend to come off as crafty rather than curated—the whole enterprise tends to knock ideas a notch (or two, or three) below form.
Flection, Group Exhibition, at Hedge Gallery, June 21, 2012 - September 1, 2012
The archetypes are being created faster than we can smash them, but if Sherman didn’t have to pick, than we don’t either.
Cindy Sherman at SFMOMA - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, July 14, 2012 - October 8, 2012
Should we be content with the possibility of this experience, or create new ones in the shadow of it, standing god-like over some of man’s greatest achievements, with putter at the ready?
Earth Putt / Putt Works at Will Brown, August 12, 2012
In the meanwhile, McGee’s mechanized mannequins dressed as taggers will continue to sweep their arms robotically over the walls, spray cans in hand, with nothing coming out.
Barry McGee at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, August 24, 2012 - December 9, 2012
Once houses and food become art, they are no longer fit to live in, or eat.
"Let Them Eat Pop"
Charles Burchfield, White Picket Fence, Ca. 1965, Watercolor, charcoal, and chalk on joined paper, 53 x 40 inches; © The Charles E. Burchfield Foundation/ courtesy Fraenkel Gallery and DC Moore Gallery.
I don’t think their visions of nature are out to teach me anything. I think they just want me to go away.
Charles Burchfield, Ralph Eugene Meatyard at Fraenkel Gallery, September 6, 2012 - October 27, 2012
Yes, thanks to the Philistines of Cyberspace the word CURATOR is being stretched to the very limits of semantic significance....
"Overlapping Histories: Curatorial Practices in San Francisco"
(Image at top: Jeffrey Augustine Songco, Peace Poles 1-10 (installation view), 2012; kiln-dried redwood, enamel paint, leather, studs. Courtesy the artist and Steven Wolf Fine Arts, San Francisco. Photo taken by Kara Q. Smith.)