Art Fairs


Mata Moana by Robert Henri, 1920

Mata Moana by Robert Henri, 1920

I regard the salons of Paris and the big annuals as institutions detrimental to art. Art should not be segregated to a certain six weeks in the year. Art should be persistent; exhibitions should be small. Everyone enjoys Fifth Avenue, because there a series of very small exhibitions occur in the dealers' galleries. We enjoy them all, for they are not beyond our endurance and because they are divided into groups, a group in each gallery; we are thus enabled to see more and enjoy more than were they smashed together in one great hodge-podge. And on Fifth Avenue art is persistent; we can always find something there in all seasons.

The Big Show should not be desired. All over the world art has been made into a three-ringed circus with salons. All who are familiar with modern art history know the "salon pictures" as a special and very overgrown and mongrel breed.

--Robert Henri, 1926


Wow! Someone who can actually write, is writing about art. Now that is something you won't find anywhere on the Internet. Henri was brilliant. Thanks for the pertinent and timely quote.

Instead of returning to the great circle jerk in the sky known as the art blogger network, I decided to bail completely many months ago. I don't visit them anymore and I simply don't care what they have to say. Returning to brilliant thinkers or writers like Henri is so much more worthwhile. I can't even make it through one paragraph of contemporary art talk bullshit, whether it appears online or in print. I don't care about appropriation art, bad or ironic painting, photo based claptrap, excruciatingly bad and self consciously fragmentary video crap. Fuck them all. Eventually they will have to cannibalize one another because there won't be any scapegoats left for them to gang up on. I pity the person who decides to wade through the mounds of shitty art and art writing out there, only to find themselves filled with contempt and disillusionment.

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