A reader made this comment on the Plagens: Cont. Art’s Success was a Big Fake post:
There’s no denying that contemporary art is selling less now than in the last few years – pretty much in line with everything in the country, like cars, shirts, vacuum cleaners, etc. – but for me and my art-loving friends, frankly, I’m just as excited about art, artists, galleries and museums than I’ve ever been. Contemporary art is doing no worse, and is in no worse shape for extinction, than iPods, High-Def TVs or anything else. And that photo in the Newsweek article showing that fantastic Alex Katz painting got me more viscerally excited than I’m sure Plagens would have hoped. Wait until Betty Freeman’s legendary Hockney painting blows away estimates – I’d like to see what Plagens will write then.
Plagens and Cotter and all these other old-fashioned, bitter traditionalists have their story to tell, and aren’t letting any contrary evidence get in the way. People are still buying, at galleries, fairs, and auctions. People are still hungry for “the new.” Hopefully quality will improve, but this “death of contemporary art” narrative is so short-sighted. Too many people, both here and abroad, are invested in it, both financially and aesthetically, and it still offers a commodity – beauty – that is in short supply.
Brother, Can You Spare a Painting? (Newsweek)