Mark Hudson, writing in the Telegraph, makes a bold claim about the over-covered Hirst exhibition at the Wallace Collection:
This week we may have witnessed one of the pivotal moments in the history of art. Not only has Damien Hirst, arguably the richest and most powerful artist in history, received the critical pasting of his life, but there’s a sense that our whole perception of what art is, or should be, may have subtly – or not so subtly – shifted.
Unfortunately, that’s the lead of the story, not the conclusion, and the rest returns to the boring and impotent anger at Hirst’s lack of skills. Without engaging in the question of whether Hirst’s work will survive the global credit boom, the notion that our idea of what art is, or should be, has shifted seems grandiose and premature.
Richard Lacayo at Time Magazine does a better job of situating Hirst. The artist showed him some transparencies when Lacayo was writing a profile last Summer:
They didn’t look very promising but I didn’t offer any judgments about them then and I won’t offer any now. You can’t make final judgments based on reproductions or transparencies. But I do remember thinking that when he finally exhibited them he was probably going to be slaughtered by the critics in London, who had gotten thoroughly sick of those endless dot and butterfly paintings being churned out in his name by his assistants, to say nothing of that diamond encrusted skull.
I was pretty sick of all that, too, but I was also sort of moved by Hirst’s predicament. He had become one of the most successful artists in the world without painting anything himself, but at the age of 43 he felt he needed to work in the great tradition to feel validated. It reminded me of the way Billy Joel and Paul McCartney keep trying to write classical music.
But we’re interested in knowing what others think? Has Damien Hirst pushed too far and damaged his reputation?
It Couldn’t Get Worse for Damien Hirst (Telegraph)