The only thing that redeems this toxic bit of ranting—which is the same rant we've heard about art for a century, every time someone doesn't like The New—is that last few paragraphs, in which a rebirth of something spiritual is looked forward to.Otherwise, this is the most toxic sort of arts criticism, utterly negative, utterly unredemptive. It's enough to make some artists slit their own wrists in response.If critics want something more uplifting to come out art, then they need to start by cleaning out their own workshops. Stop writing about what they hate, and start writing about what they love.
Well, I definitely agree with your last sentence, Art. But I have to say, having once worked in the art world (back in the 70s), there is a good deal going on there that is deplorable. And such has been the case for quite a long time. The guy who owned the gallery I worked for once went to a conceptual show in New York, sat down in a chair, and put a sign next to himself saying "Seated Man, $5,000." What is bothersome is that I know so many very talented painters and sculptors who go unrecognized because they lack any skill at self-promotion and would, in any event, find that sort of thing distasteful. Which, of course, brings us back to that last sentence of yours and the contribution critics could make.