Et tu, Michael Kimmelman?

WTF (What the fuck for those unfamiliar with Twitter abbrevs)  is going on here? First I read Patricia Cohen (of the venerable NY Times Art Section) telling us that Sarah Thornton, Felix Salmon, Will Gompertz and Dave Hickey (whoever half of them are) have been attacking the art world.

Then I find Michael Kimmelman calling the latest post-Modern architectural splendor a “throwback” and insultingly terming it a “bathtub.”

After waxing ecstatic over art boxes strewn about the desert by a megalomanic like Donald Judd or marvelous Matthew Barney’s adventures with Vaseline, Kimmelman is having problems with a bathtub shaped museum? Is that where the line for ridiculousness in Post-Modern art has been abruptly drawn? After supporting tedious and repetitive Post-Modernist absurdity  writing criticism for the Times, all of a sudden Michael Kimmelman is drawing the line at a bathtub-shaped building?

On top of that, Kimmelman and Co. are way, way late to the game. Artsy Fartsy Danto had his own disillusion somewhere slouching towards Gommorah (After the End of Art, 1997) after which he would go on to swoon in ecstasy gazing into the eyes of Marina whatever-her-last name is at MoMA (Museum of Multimillionaire Art). After After the End of Art Donald Kuspit declared his outright disgust in The End of Art (2004).  Can’t either of these guys come up with something a bit more original than the End of Art? The Excruciating and Interminable Death-Rattle of Art? How I Made a Comfortable Living Hyping the Art Bubble? They’re in the supposedly creative class and that’s the best they can do? No wonder they  stand in awe  before a Dan Flavin colored fluorescent tube. Who coulda ever thunk of somethin’ like that? Just wild! Wild and crazy stuff! Wow… must be art. It sure couldn’t just  be colored fluorescent tubes that all those monied collectors are snatching up and art museums are celebrating.

But are we finally really approaching  the much-heralded Real End of Art we’ve heard so much about by every single fucking art critic doing their utmost to end it? Or is this just the simulacrum of the End of Art? Will the revolution be televised? Will it go out with a whimper instead of a bang? Will I blink and miss it as I sit in a stupor in front of a youtube video? When will someone realize the next step after Damien Hirst is a vivisected human being in formaldehyde? (The “attractive 24-year-old artist Jackie Traide has already given us the hint:

So many deep questions. We’re up shit creek without a paddle if these art critics are going to bail on us. They’re the only ones that can explain it!

I notice that Tom Friedman wrote a column titled “Send in the Clowns” in yesterday’s Times and wonder if he’s calling for the next brigade of art yoyos to appear. Of course, I can’t read the column since my gag reflex gets out of control even trying to click on a Tom Friedman link. How people can still read columns by this preposterous head case who spent over a decade cheerleading America’s entry into glories like the Iraq War and  corporations sending  American jobs overseas I have no idea.

It would be so much better if they’d let Thomas Friedman do the Art Criticism and Michael Kimmelman  write the columns telling America how to run the world. All the news and art criticism money can buy.

Sing it, Chrissie:

Here’s some real news:

About trueoutsider

I'm an artist.
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6 Responses to Et tu, Michael Kimmelman?

  1. Abbas Mehran says:

    I believe since Friedrich Nietzsche used the word end (God is dead ),bunch of intellectuals raced each other to announced something dead: end of painting, end of art, end of human, end of history, end of future, end of science, end of everything!!!. The only things not dead yet are those intellectuals awaiting the assurance that everything else is dead, if not, they try to kill to prove themselves..

  2. trueoutsider says:

    Yes, by and large the American intellectual class is singularly useless in providing illumination about much of anything that doesn’t support the ruling elite (i.e. corporate power), which goes a great deal toward explaining why the country and the arts are in a state of total disintegration. However, there are a few great intellectuals, among them Noam Chomsky. Here’s a film that provides an introduction to his thinking. You’ll need to keep clicking through the youtube videos as they come in only 10 minute segments.

  3. gerrybellart says:

    My theory is Kimmelman has hygiene issues.

  4. gerrybellart says:

    As for the gaggle of ‘art writers’ cited by the slob Cohen – you’ll note that three of them are actually finance writers, dealing with the investment side of art – the aptly named Hickey is at best a critic-cum-curator in this company. So why does a scurrilous rag like the NYT think nothing of lumping together finance writers and art critics as ‘art writers’ where they wouldn’t bracket sports journalists with marketing and bio-mechanics journalists as ‘body’ or ‘game’ writers?

    Not just because they have only the vaguest notion of what art is, but because they actually have contempt for something that requires such careful, sensitive individual engagement. Whoah no! Let us tell you what to think. If it’s not advertising it’s not really in the picture for the corporate vulture and cynical fascist mouthpiece. Brecht once said (through one of his characters) “Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun” underlining the ideological threat art always poses. Godard upgraded that to “Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my checkbook…” And that’s pretty much where the NYT stands – ‘the price of everything and the value of nothing’.

    Philistines? – well it’s an Old Testament failing to be sure.

    Just don’t read that shit TOSR

  5. trueoutsider says:


    Me, too. Mental hygeine, firstly. But by and large what characterizes American Art is Puritan “cleanliness is next to Godliness.” Pop, Op, Minimal, Photo-realism… our various “contributions” to Western art are all invariably anal-retentive. Abstract Expressionism was our singular exception but that was derived from European art. Automatic drawing from the Surrealists. Hoffmann providing the theoretical structure. Primarily first-generation European artists were at the core of expressionism. The Greenberg artists sanitized it all. Tye-died canvases… Louis, Noland and Frankenthaler. No unruly paint whatsoever.

  6. trueoutsider says:

    Gerry, I have to check into these art writers since, by and large, I have paid little to no attention to art critics for years if not decades. They’re simply shills. Artists from art school on are simply pushed into trying to make a viable product that they can repeat ad infinitum, to emulate the success of Stella, Frankenthaler, ad nauseum.

    Nobody wants to point to the Emperor’s New Clothes because presumably, they think that if they do the entire sham will fall apart and what then? All their belief in art dashed?

    No. They can wake the fuck up and realize that art is perfectly fine and well. The idiot End of Art people are talking about their own stupid belief systems that they’ve clung to because it gives them some notion of potency… I’m talking about Kuspit, Danto, Storr, and on down the line. The whole lot of them that have supported this sad Neo -Dada rubbish PRECISELY because it arrogantly proclaims its transcendence of the great tradition of painting that preceded it.

    The Biggest Sham On Earth is collapsing. You read it here, so you know it’s true. Spread the word.

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