Amen to Dave Tetzlaff’s remarks .
And in response to an earlier comment about (thankfully a small number)
critics who act like royal jerks—point well made.
I have two further mall thoughts.
1. I personally have never thought that illustrations for a critical essay
are anything but an “aide-memoire”—a note, a sketch to help the reader of the
essay imagine or remember what the critic is describing. The critical essay
can never be mistaken for the actual viewing of the original. (There are many
variations of this for scholars/critics. I used to ask students if they had
seen the original Star Wars and when they said yes questioned them further if
they saw it in its original 70mm format, and if not if they could really say
they had seen/experienced it. Was a 16mm print of a 35mm film ever an adequate
representation of the original? Was a VHS or DVD edition ever adequate. BTW,
at one point you could actually buy a Stan Brakhage approved WHS copy of Dog
2. I think that those artists closest to the big time art market are often
much more concerned with high quality reproductions, which are after all one of
the hallmarks of the art book trade. I think it’s a good thing that the Warhol
Foundation, say, tries to control the quality of the reproductions available in
various formats (art print, poster, coffee mug, etc.). And most of the time
high end international exhibitions have really nice illustrated catalogues for
the show as it travels from major museum to major museum.
But the lowly critical essay in a journal, newspaper, or even art magazine is
trying for something different than giving someone a nice coffee table book
memorializing that show they attended at the Met, or the Tate, or whatever.
(Snarky remark abut Millenmium edited out.)
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