Petty art world feuds are the stuff that entertains us. And Adam Lindemann is happy to keep his tit-for-tat with Jerry Saltz going. Today it’s a review of the reviewers of Cindy Sherman’s retrospective at MoMA. Lindemann praises Bloomberg’s Lance Esplund as the only critic willing to pan the show but picks this little fight over Saltz’s preference of the “difficult” pictures that Sherman made:
“For a decade I was cold on her art,” he writes. “The so-called ‘centerfolds’ … and the lurid scenes that followed struck me as pictorially dull. It was obvious noir, New Wave negativity, overconstructed self-consciousness, I thought; it oozed sleepwalking eighties hipness.” That’s really funny, because anyone who follows the art market knows that Ms. Sherman’s “centerfolds” are her single most successful body of work, the one most coveted by museums and collectors. Isn’t it funny that those are the images he trashes for being too hip? One of them (nicknamed the “Orange Girl”) sold for almost $4 million at auction last year, so perhaps it’s best not to hire Mr. Saltz as your art adviser.
He eventually chimes in with his critic peers: “I went the full Sherman (in 1992), when she made darkness visible in her horrific-beautiful ‘sex pictures’—images I’ve always called, after Goya’s paintings of war, ‘The Disasters of Sex.’ […] It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Mr. Saltz dislikes the “commercial” work (the “centerfolds”) and favors the least commercial work (the “sex pictures”). His method, generally, is to try and sound smart by liking what the market doesn’t.