Has the ARTIST become the DECORATOR?

Jerry Saltz
Richard Hell 1975

"Our culture now wonderfully, ­alchemically transforms images and history into artistic material.
The possibilities seem endless and wide open
" - Jerry Saltz

one lighting fixture by Jean Perzel, 1970

"I belong to the blank generation and I can take it or leave it each time

I belong to the ______ generation but I can take it or leave it each time"

-Richard Hell, "the blank generation"

In Jerry Saltz's recent article "Generation Blank" he reflects on the youth artists of this generation, and reflects upon their work at Venice 2011. He states, "Their art turns in on itself, becoming nothing more than coded language. It empties their work of content, becoming a way to avoid interior chaos. It’s also a kind of addiction and, by now, a new orthodoxy, one supported by institutions and loved by curators who also can’t let go of the same glory days. "

"Neo-Structuralist film with overlapping geometric colors, photographs about photographs, projectors screening loops of grainy black-and-white archival footage, abstraction that’s supposed to be referencing other abstraction -- it was all there, all straight out of the 1970s, all dead in the ­water. It’s work stuck in a cul-de-sac of esthetic regress, where everyone is deconstructing the same elements.... but such obsessive devotion to a previous generation’s ideals and ideas is very wrong." (read entire article here...) I'm still digesting this article... but...

I wonder, has the artist become the decorator, become the blogger become the critic? The internet allows for instant sources of unlimited information, but also speeds the expiration of ideas. We chase our tails only to collapse in exhaustion. We need the new, right, or do we? We are new only to become instantly old. Are artists merely decorating the curators' walls? Must the artist / designer / interior architect / human express their work someway/somehow? Is a passion for aesthetic pleasure an empty quest? Do we cling to what we know, what we feel, or do we erase, and begin again?

Time for some afternoon coffee.

-David John

"Jean Perzel b. 1892, Germany: Jean Perzel was the first designer of distinctly modern lighting and the first to concern himself particularly with electricity - it's nature, potential, intensity, methods of use (semi direct or indirect lighting) - and to design logical, rational and harmonious fittings; he was the first to exploit the potential design of glass while using it to diffuse light. Since 1930 Perzel concentrates on studying the laws of optics and their practical consequences: changing the appearance of objects and faces using the intensity and color of light - amber, light pink or champagne; he attaches a particular importance to the soothing or unpleasant effects on the eye of these different types of light, which's were generally used without principle or restraint."

Roger Vanhevel coffee table 1970
via City Furniture

"when tables become sculpture become a lifestyle brand"

“Yes and in that sense the difference Donald Judd sought to construe between his work and traditional painting is misconceived. It is true that perspective creates the illusion of depth, whereas in Judd’s work there is actual depth, but both create a sense of space in the observer.”

“I must confess that I enjoyed the final rooms of the exhibition. Still to me those boxes and stacks seem little more than decoration, I mean, have you ever been to Calvin Klein’s flagship store on Madison Avenue or to The Hempel in London?

“I know what you’re getting at, MINIMALISM AS LIFESTYLE. The fact that Judd also designed furniture may not speak in his favor. I do think there is a difference between his furniture designs and his art. In his furniture he explored his ideas in relation to a given object’s function, a bed or a chair, in the works he created as art he didn’t have to worry about function.” (taken from here)

Above, altered images of Jean Perzel Sconce via Pavillon Antiques Chicago,
Jerry Saltz article here...Generation Blank