Thursday, October 10, 2013
Scads of artists are trying to be junior postmodernists. A phalanx of work has appeared that might be called "Modest Abstraction" or "MFA See, MFA Do." It's everywhere, and it all looks the same. In sculpture there's Anarchy Lite. Those post-minimalist formal arrangements of clunky stuff, sticks, planks, bent metal, wood boxes, fabric, old furniture, concrete things, and whatnot leaned, stacked, stuck, piled, or dispersed around a clean white gallery. There's usually a subtext about wastefulness, sustainability, politics, urbanism, or art history. That history is almost always straight out of sixties and seventies Artforum magazines or the syllabi of academic teachers who've scared their students into being pleasingly meek, imitative, and ordinary."