Jerry Saltz reviews the Venice Biennale and finds the art world on the brink of a sea change. Or, at least, he feels the whole thing has reached an end point which he dubs “the curator problem:”
it’s hard to imagine anything more conservative today than an institutional critique. That sort of work is the establishment. My beef is with the experience that “Making Worlds” produces. It’s just another aesthetically familiar feedback cycle: impersonal, administratively adept, highly professionalized, formally generic, mildly gregarious, aesthetically familiar, totally knowing, cookie-cutter. It is time we broke out of that enervated loop. […]
Just as curators love art that critiques institutions, megamoguls love art that critiques them. (The week after the Biennale opened, the Basel Art Fair featured much art that critiqued art fairs.) Most of Pinault’s art is about the market, and is made by market darlings: Richard Prince, Mike Kelley, Rudolf Stingel, Marlene Dumas, Luc Tuymans, Takashi Murakami. Everything here looks dried up and checked out. Good art looks dead; bad art looks dead. Even Jeff Koons looks like he is making work that has no reason to be on this earth. It’s hard to say if the grandiosity of the settings, the shallowness of the taste, or the art itself made this show look so bad, but it is impossible to visit these two spaces without thinking that a phase of art is over and that it is time for art to start again.
Entropy in Venice (New York Magazine)