Storr Slams Saltz & Smith!

Storr Slams Saltz & Smith!

Postby CAP » Sat May 02, 2015 11:26 am

A local spat in New York between Robert Storr – eminent curator and currently head of Yale School of Art - and the Fred and Ginger of New York art criticism, husband and wife team Jerry Saltz ( and Roberta Smith (NYT). Some of the transcription is missing from the above link (via another link is via the New York Observer. This is about criticism as social media vamping, mostly. The discussion starts off distinguishing between kinds of art criticism. Who a critic writes for, how and why and then shifts to Saltz and Smith in particular. As far as Storr is concerned there’s too much of a personality cult cultivated by both – aided and abetted by social media, especially Jerry’s lively FB page. At least I’m told it’s lively – never been there, personally. That's only fanned Jerry's tendency to go off half-cocked.

Rob also does a thumbnail survey of the rest of the field, from Hal ("Open the bay door, HAL") Foster and 'Bookworm' Buchloh to Schjeldahl, Schwabsky, Hickey, Finch and even Danto, so it's not like he obsesses over Jerry 'n' Bobby. But they are the big names; the ones everyone is going to pick up on. But Storr being Storr, he is letting you know how closely he monitors the whole field - i.e. that old chestnut - 'the current state of criticism'. So it's not really a snap judgement, this. He was ready for this one. ;)

The discussion was meant to be a local thing, on Yale radio, but got picked up elsewhere, firstly by Walter Robinson, as far as I can see and that in itself alerts me to other art world political moves. I’m OK with Storr (actually would have loved to have had him as one of my PhD examiners, years ago). But why he should be poking his head out of Yale now, starts to look a little suspicious. He is apparently coming up to the completion of his second term as Dean at Yale, and the talk is of him quietly retiring to do his own painting (interesting) but with all the rumblings at MoMA recently, I can’t help wondering if his name hasn’t come up as a possible replacement for Glenn Lowry? Storr’s position vis-a-vis the cosy relationship Jerry and Bobby had with MoMA takes on a slightly different complexion in that regard.

But, just puttin’ that out there... 8-)
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