Jerry Saltz quotes

  • Put yourself in the position of an up-and-coming artist living in early-sixteenth-century Italy. Now imagine trying to distinguish yourself from the other artists living in your town: Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, or Titian. Is it any wonder that the Italian High Renaissance lasted only 30 years?
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Artist #Italian #Years

  • To engage with art, we have to be willing to be wrong, venture outside our psychic comfort zones, suspend disbelief, and remember that art explores and alters consciousness simultaneously.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Psychics #Venture

  • When people in stadiums do the Wave, it's the group-mind collective organism spontaneously organizing itself to express an emotion, pass time, and reflect the joy of seeing the rhythms of many as one, a visual rhyming or music in which everyone senses where the motion is going.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #People #Joy #Mind

  • Billions of photos are shot every year, and about the toughest thing a photographer can do is invent an original, deeply personal, instantly recognizable visual style. In the early nineties, Wolfgang Tillmans did just that, transforming himself into a new kind of artist-photographer of modern life.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Artist #Years #Style

  • Art is a way of showing the outside world what your inside world is like.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #World #Way

  • 'Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era,' the Whitney Museum's 40th-anniversary trip down counterculture memory lane, provides moments of buzzy fun, but it'll leave you only comfortably numb. For starters, it may be the whitest, straightest, most conservative show seen in a New York museum since psychedelia was new.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Summer #Art #New York

  • Art is changing. Again. Here. Now. Opportunities to witness this are rare, so attend and observe.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Opportunity #Art Is

  • In art, scandal is a false narrative, a smoke screen that camouflages rather than reveals. When we don't know what we're seeing, we overreact.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Camouflage #Narrative

  • The greatest work of art about New York? The question seems nebulous. The city's magic and majesty are distilled in the photographs of Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #New York #Cities

  • Artists working for other artists is all about knowing, learning, unlearning, initiating long-term artistic dialogues, making connections, creating covens, and getting temporary shelter from the storm.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Artist #Creating #Knowing

  • Outside museums, in noisy public squares, people look at people. Inside museums, we leave that realm and enter what might be called the group-mind, getting quiet to look at art.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Squares #Museums

  • Abstraction is one of the greatest visionary tools ever invented by human beings to imagine, decipher, and depict the world.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Tools #Visionaries #World

  • Summer is a great time to visit art museums, which offer the refreshing rinse of swimming pools - only instead of cool water, you immerse yourself in art.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Summer #Art #Swimming

  • It took the Metropolitan Museum of Art nearly 50 years to wake up to Pablo Picasso. It didn't own one of his paintings until 1946, when Gertrude Stein bequeathed that indomitable quasi-Cubistic picture of herself - a portrait of the writer as a sumo Buddha - to the Met, principally because she disliked the Museum of Modern Art.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Years #Museums

  • When museums are built these days, architects, directors, and trustees seem most concerned about social space: places to have parties, eat dinner, wine-and-dine donors. Sure, these are important these days - museums have to bring in money - but they gobble up space and push the art itself far away from the entrance.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Wine #Space

  • Photography is the easiest thing to make, and one of the hardest things to make well.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Photography #Hardest #Wells

  • Art usually only makes the news in America when the subject is money.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #America #News

  • Appropriation is the idea that ate the art world. Go to any Chelsea gallery or international biennial and you'll find it. It's there in paintings of photographs, photographs of advertising, sculpture with ready-made objects, videos using already-existing film.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Ideas #World

  • Mission accomplished. The Museum of Modern Art's wide-open, tall-ceilinged, super-reinforced second floor was for all intents and purposes built to accommodate monumental installations and gigantic sculptures, should the need arise. It has arisen.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Museums #Sculpture

  • Marlene Dumas is one of the two or three most successful female artists alive, if you judge by prices. I've never reviewed her work, because I find nothing in it to get excited about no matter how hard I look.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Successful #Artist #Two

  • Mark Grotjahn's large new paintings abound with torrents of ropy impasto, laid down in thickets, cascading waves, and bundles that swell, braid around, or overlap one another.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Braids #Painting #Wave

  • Many say an art dealer running a museum is a 'conflict of interest.' But maybe the art world has lived an artificial or unintentional lie all of these years when it comes to conflicts of interest.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Running #Art #Lying

  • John Baldessari, the 79-year-old conceptualist, has spent more than four decades making laconic, ironic conceptual art-about-art, both good and bad.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Years #Ironic

  • The style of ancient Egyptian art is transcendently clear, something 8-year-olds can recognize in an instant. Its consistency and codification is one of the most epic visual journeys in all art, one that lasts 30 dynasties spread over 3,000 years.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Journey #Epic

  • Probably only an art-worlder like me could assign deeper meaning to something as simple and silly as Tebowing. But, to us, anytime people repeat a stance or a little dance, alone or together, we see that it can mean something. Imagistic and unspoken language is our thing.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Dance #Art #Silly

  • The giant white cube is now impeding rather than enhancing the rhythms of art. It preprograms a viewer's journey, shifts the emphasis from process to product, and lacks individuality and openness. It's not that art should be seen only in rutty bombed-out environments, but it should seem alive.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Journey #White

  • The alchemy of good curating amounts to this: Sometimes, placing one work of art near another makes one plus one equal three. Two artworks arranged alchemically leave each intact, transform both, and create a third thing.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Two #Three

  • Now people look at 'The Scream' or Van Gogh's 'Irises' or a Picasso and see its new content: money. Auction houses inherently equate capital with value.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #People #House #Irises

  • I love art dealers. In some ways, they're my favorite people in the art world. Really. I love that they put their money where their taste is, create their own aesthetic universes, support artists, employ people, and do all of this while letting us see art for free. Many are visionaries.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #People #Support

  • Of course art world ethics are important. But museums are no purer than any other institution or business. Academics aren't necessarily more high-minded than gallerists.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Museums #Important

  • Many museums are drawing audiences with art that is ostensibly more entertaining than stuff that just sits and invites contemplation. Interactivity, gizmos, eating, hanging out, things that make noise - all are now the norm, often edging out much else.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Drawing #Museums

  • Lucian Freud's career affirms that the only thing an artist can do is remain true to whatever vision, (lack of) talent, or ideas that happened to pick them in order to be made known to the world.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Artist #Ideas #Order

  • Living and working for four decades in a Bologna apartment and studio he shared with his unwed sisters, Morandi painted little but bottles, boxes, jars, and vases. Yet like that of Chardin and the underappreciated William Nicholson, Morandi's work seems to slow down time and show you things you've never seen before.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Bologna #Jars #Bottles

  • If only we could persuade galleries to observe a fallow period in which, for two months every other year, new and old works of art could be sold in back rooms and all main galleries would be devoted to revisiting shows gone by.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Two #Years

  • I'm noticing a new approach to art making in recent museum and gallery shows. It flickered into focus at the New Museum's 'Younger Than Jesus' last year and ran through the Whitney Biennial, and I'm seeing it blossom and bear fruit at 'Greater New York,' MoMA P.S. 1's twice-a-decade extravaganza of emerging local talent.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Jesus #Art #New York

  • I wish I could write about shows outside New York. I often feel like the last person to know anything, because I almost never get to leave town, and when I do, I tend to go for three days max. Seeing between 30 and 40 shows a week in 100 or so galleries and museums takes up nearly all my time.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #New York #Writing #Museums

  • I see around 100 shows a month, going from Niketown-size palaces where you feel like yelling, to storefronts in Bushwick. Each has to pay the bills; keep artists happy; and cope with collectors (oy!), curators (ay-yi-yi), critics (woo-hoo!), and occasionally plumbers. That their fiscal life often hangs in the balance only adds to the energy.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Artist #Yelling #Balance

  • I see 30 to 40 gallery shows a week, and no matter what kind of mood I'm in, no matter how bad the art is, I almost always feel better afterward. I can learn as much from bad art as from good.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Feel Better #Matter

  • I often find myself privately stewing about much British art, thinking that except for their tremendous gardens, that the English are not primarily visual artists, and are, in nearly unsurpassable ways, literary.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Garden #Thinking

  • I like something about George W. Bush. A lot. After spending more than a decade having almost physiological-chemical reactions anytime I saw him, getting the heebie-jeebies whenever he spoke - after being sure from the start that he was a Gremlin on the wing of America - I really like the paintings of George W. Bush.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Wings #America #Saws

  • I don't plan out my visits rigorously, but I do have a list of about 125 New York galleries, alternative spaces, museums, and so forth that I visit regularly. That's the closest thing I have to a strategy: I go to a lot of places, many that artists don't visit.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #New York #Artist #Space

  • If the Frieze Art Fair catches on, I imagine at least two great things happening. First, we will once again have a huge art fair in town that isn't too annoying to go to. More importantly, Frieze may finally show New Yorkers that we can cross our own waters for visual culture. That would change everything.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Two #Water

  • Imagine it's 1981. You're an artist, in love with art, smitten with art history. You're also a woman, with almost no mentors to look to; art history just isn't that into you. Any woman approaching art history in the early eighties was attempting to enter an almost foreign country, a restricted and exclusionary domain that spoke a private language.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Country #Art #Mentor

  • In some ways Lawler is a conceptual Diane Arbus. She's a stalker who takes advantage of situations. She pulls back curtains, causing normal things to look freakish and the freakish to turn mundane.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Normal #Looks #Way

  • Koons's work has always stood apart for its one-at-a-time perfection, epic theatricality, a corrupted, almost sick drive for purification, and an obsession with traditional artistic values.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Epic #Sick #Perfection

  • Kinkade's paintings are worthless schmaltz, and the lamestream media that love him are wrong. However, I'd love to see a museum mount a small show of Kinkade's work. I would like the art world and the wider world to argue about him in public, out in the open.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Museums #Media

  • It took me twenty years to get Steven Parrino's work. From the time I first saw his art, in the mid-eighties, I almost always dismissed it as mannered, Romantic, formulaic, conceptualist-formalist heavy-metal boy-art abstraction.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Boys #Years

  • Just as Pollock used the drip to meld process and product, Richter 'found' and used the smudge and the blur to ravish the eye, creating works of psychic and physical power.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Eye #Creating #Psychics

  • Jeffrey Deitch is the Jeff Koons of art dealers. Not because he's the biggest, best, or the richest of his kind. But because in some ways he's the weirdest (which is saying a lot when you're talking about the wonderful, wicked, lovable, and annoying creatures known as art dealers).
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Talking #Wicked

  • It's great that New York has large spaces for art. But the enormous immaculate box has become a dated, even oppressive place. Many of these spaces were designed for sprawling installations, large paintings, and the Relational Aesthetics work of the past fifteen years.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #New York #Past

  • It is not possible to overstate the influence of Paul Cezanne on twentieth-century art. He's the modern Giotto, someone who shattered one kind of picture-making and invented a new one that the world followed.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Giotto #World

  • In the seventies, a group of American artists seized the means not of production but of reproduction. They tore apart visual culture at a time of no money, no market, and no one paying attention except other artists. Vietnam and Watergate had happened; everything in America was being questioned.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Mean #Artist #America

  • I don't often go to curator or artist walk-throughs of exhibitions. For a critic, it feels like cheating. I want to see shows with my own eyes, making my own mistakes, viewing exhibitions the way most of their audience sees them.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Cheating #Mistake #Eye

  • Make an enemy of jealousy and envy. As fast and soon as you can…. The art world is high school with money.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #School #Envy

  • Art is good, bad, boring, ugly, useful to us or not. It does or doesn't disturb optical monotony, and succeeds or fails in surmounting sterility of style or visual stereotype; it creates new beauty or it doesn't.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Style #Doe

  • Artistic qualities that once seemed undeniable don't seem so now. Sometimes these fluctuations are only fickleness of taste, momentary glitches in an artist's work, or an artist getting ahead of his audience (it took me ten years to catch up to Albert Oehlen). Other times, however, these problems mean there's something wrong with the art.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Mean #Years

  • The New York art world readily proves people wrong. Just when folks say that things stink and flibbertigibbet critics wish the worst on us all because we're not pure enough, good omens appear.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #New York #People

  • Yes, 85 percent of the art you see isn't any good. But everyone has a different opinion about which 85 percent is bad. That in turn creates fantastically unstable interplay and argument.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Different #Opinion

  • Recessions are hard on people, but they are not hard on Art.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #People

  • More and more in the art world are becoming moralistic, telling artists and critics what they should and shouldn't write, do, or make art about. Never mind the intellectual hypocrisy of this: Those who violate the clublike code are made out to be wrong, immoral, corrupt.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Writing #Hypocrisy

  • Nearly a half-century on from feminism, simply being a woman artist is still a revolutionary act. And getting one's work shown continues to be met by enormous inbuilt resistance.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Artist #Feminism #Half

  • Don’t go to a museum with a destination. Museums are wormholes to other worlds. There are ecstasy machines. Follow your eyes to wherever they lead you, stop, get very quiet, and the world should begin to change for you. And if you see me, say something! We can talk about it together.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Eye #Museums #Other Worlds

  • After too much art that made too much sense, artists are operating blind again. They're more interested in the possible than the probable, the private that speaks publicly rather than the public with no private side at all.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Too Much #Sides

  • I am all for art's finding a large audience. But the way that's happening now, with big works filling big galleries and bigger shows, is mostly stopping statements from being made. Or heard. Or talked about. Or really examined. It's watering things down.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Stopping #Way

  • Auctions are bizarre combinations of slave market, trading floor, theatre and burlesque... a lot of people are going to be making a lot of excuses or maintaining that they were never part of this.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #People #Theatre #Auctions

  • Megacollectors suppose they can enter art history by spending astronomical amounts.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Spending #Art History

  • Sometimes good art jumps out at me; most of the time I see bad art, or see nothing at all and just drift, feeling weird, pretending to be fine.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Feelings #Sometimes

  • Scandal is only human.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Humanity #Scandal #Humans

  • Energy and art go where they will.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Energy

  • Certainty sees things in restrictive, protective, aggressive ways, and thus isn't seeing at all.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Doubt #Way #Aggressive

  • While the space for artists and curators has increased enormously, maybe, just maybe, that's left room for too many people calling themselves artists and curators who are simply not up to the term.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Artist #Space #People

  • Rumors sound of galleries asking artists for up-sized art and more of it... Everything winds up set to maximum in order to feed the beast. Bigness is not all bad. There's something pleasing about large, well-lit spaces. But the bigness has also led to a narrowing of sensibilities, by making it very hard for any but the glitziest works to get traction.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Order #Wind

  • All great contemporary artists, schooled or not, are essentially self-taught and are de-skilling like crazy.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Crazy #Self

  • Don't talk. I can't hear myself see.
    -- Jerry Saltz

  • Art schools are partly the villain here. (Never mind that I teach in them.) This generation of artists is the first to have been so widely credentialed, and its young members so fetishize the work beloved by their teachers that their work ceases to talk about anything else. Instead of enlarging our view of being human, it contains safe rehashing of received ideas about received ideas. This is a melancholy romance with artistic ruins, homesickness for a bygone era. This yearning may be earnest, but it stunts their work, and by turn the broader culture.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Teacher #Art #School

  • Art is a self-replicating force.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Self #Force

  • Too many younger artists, critics, and curators are fetishizing the sixties, transforming the period into a deformed cult, a fantasy religion, a hip brand, and a crippling disease.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Artist #Disease #Hips

  • Those who love him love that he sells the most art; they take it as a point of faith that this proves Kinkade is the best. But his fans don't only rely on this supply-and-demand justification. They go back to values.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Fans #Demand

  • There's something pleasing about large, well-lit spaces. I love that dealers are willing to take massive chances in order to give this much room to their artists. Most of all, I love that more galleries showing more art gives more artists a shot.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Order #Space

  • There's one Baldessari work I genuinely love and would like to own, maybe because of my Midwestern roots and love of driving alone. 'The backs of all the trucks passed while driving from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, California, Sunday, 20 January 1963' consists of a grid of 32 small color photographs depicting just what the title says.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Sunday #Color #Roots

  • The very paradigm of revolution, of right versus wrong, good versus bad, is a relic with no bearing on the present. Yet artists, exhibitions, and curators valorize the sixties. People who wrote about these artists 30 years ago still write about them in the same ways, often for the same magazines.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Writing #Artist #Years

  • The reason the art world doesn't respond to Kinkade is because none - not one - of his ideas about subject-matter, surface, color, composition, touch, scale, form, or skill is remotely original. They're all cliche and already told.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Skills #Ideas

  • 'The Panorama' is also the last place anywhere in New York where the World Trade Center still stands, whole, as it stood in the early morning of September 11. I can also see the corner where I saw the first tower fall and howled out loud. Seeing the buildings again here is uplifting, healing.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Uplifting #Morning #New York

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art is unsurpassed at presenting more than 50 centuries of work. I go there constantly, seeing things over and over, better than I've ever seen them before.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Museums #Metropolitan

  • 'Untitled' is a time machine that can transport you to 1992, an edgy moment when the art world was crumbling, money was scarce, and artists like Tiravanija were in the nascent stages of combining Happenings, performance art, John Cage, Joseph Beuys, and the do-it-yourself ethos of punk. Meanwhile, a new art world was coming into being.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Ethos #World

  • Urs Fischer specializes in making jaws drop. Cutting giant holes in gallery walls, digging a crater in Gavin Brown's gallery floor in 2007, creating amazing hyperrealist wallpaper for a group show at Tony Shafrazi: It all percolates with uncanny destructiveness, operatic uncontrollability, and barbaric sculptural power.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Wall #Cutting #Creating

  • When I criticize Joseph Beuys or Francis Bacon, nobody calls those opinions anti-male. Putting female artists or their subject matter off-limits is itself sexist and limiting.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Artist #Matter #Limits

  • There are many, many art worlds. Art contains multitudes.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #World #Multitudes

  • Being critical of art is a way of showing art respect.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Way #Art Is

  • All great contemporary artists, schooled or not, are essentially self-taught and are de-skilling like crazy. I don't look for skill in art...Skill has nothing to do with technical proficiency... I'm interested in people who rethink skill, who redefine or reimagine it: an engineer, say, who builds rockets from rocks.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Crazy #Rocks

  • Works of art often last forever, or nearly so. But exhibitions themselves, especially gallery exhibitions, are like flowers; they bloom and then they die, then exist only as memories, or pressed in magazines and books.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Memories #Flower

  • Willem de Kooning is generally credited for coming out of the painterly gates strong in the forties, revolutionizing art and abstraction and reaching incredible heights by the early fifties, and then tailing off.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Strong #Height

  • Where Cezanne captured and intensified shards of the eternal (every pear far more sharply defined than it could be in life), Monet portrayed the changeability and flux of every moment. 'The Water Lilies' give you a jittery, amorphous sense of a world seen at the speed of light.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Light #Water #Giving

  • When the purse strings tighten up at museums, the institutions usually cut back and cancel shows. That's exactly the wrong reaction. In fact, now is a good time for them to loosen up - a chance to breathe and experiment a little - and go for the juicy solution lurking in their own basements.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Cutting #Museums #Juicy

  • When money and hype recede from the art world, one thing I won't miss will be what curator Francesco Bonami calls the 'Eventocracy.' All this flashy 'art-fair art' and those highly produced space-eating spectacles and installations wow you for a minute until you move on to the next adrenaline event.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Moving #Hype

  • The last time money left the art world, intrepid types maxed out their credit cards and opened galleries, and a few of them have become the best in the world.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #World #Lasts

  • The art world is an all-volunteer force. No one has to be here if he or she doesn't want to be, and we should be associating with anyone we want to.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Volunteer #World

  • Robert Rauschenberg was not a giant of American art; he was the giant. No American created so many aesthetic openings for so many artists.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #Giants #Aesthetic

  • Poor Georgia O'Keeffe. Death didn't soften the opinions of the art world toward her paintings.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Art #World #Georgia

  • Our culture now wonderfully, alchemically transforms images and history into artistic material. The possibilities seem endless and wide open.
    -- Jerry Saltz

    #Culture #Artistic #Possibility