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NY Times slams the Carnegie International


Ken Johnson was in a pissy mood when he saw the show, and he gives it a good slap upside the head this morning. (Read here. lrrfartblog, artblog)

He labels the show as one full of “designer art” (graphic design, illustration, fabrication by fabricators) — and dismisses the lot, artist by artist. First off, his point’s debatable — graphic design, illustration and fabrication are there, surely, but it’s not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of what I saw. And secondly, so what? Is not the entire art world awash in art that’s design and design that’s art. Johnson’s complaint is so 20th Century!


Just one example: As “low points” in the show, he picks Isa Genzken‘s mini-Apocalypses created from Partyland toys, plastic champagne cups and other bric-a-brac (shown); and Katarzyna Kozyra‘s “Rite of Spring” multi-channel video projection (top).

Libby and I told you about them previously. While Genzken’s was not my favorite in the show, Kozyra’s was. In both cases, the art contained a little humor, was thoughtful and in Kozyra’s case, compelling.

Johnson, who I usually admire as a reviewer, here, reaches for the low bar and whacks away. It’s a shame.