Andrew Solomon

  • Les Célébrités

    ANDY WARHOL FORCED US to come to terms with the principle of the artist as celebrity, with the notion that people paint as much to become famous as to communicate the insights that stir their souls. What Andy could not have predicted, however, Is the more recent principle of the celebrity as artist, of people becoming famous in order to show their art as much as to be hailed in the streets. In the last few years In New York, we have seen David Lynch exhibited at Castelli Graphics and Dennis Hopper at Shafrazi. Work by Jerry Garcia, of the Grateful Dead, has materialized on Spring Street. Diane

  • The Art of Perestroika Part II

    THE FIRST CHANGE WROUGHT BY perestroika in the lives of Soviet artists was an expansion of the audience for their work. That audience has come to include an apparently endless influx of Western critics, curators, gallery dealers, and collectors eager to examine, criticize, and respond to work originally intended to transmit coded communications. But, whereas it was comparatively easy for artists to negotiate the situation on their home turf, it is virtually impossible for them to sustain that dialectic now that they are traveling to countries in which secrecy itself is not a priority, in which

  • Bookbinding

    ABSTRACTION REDEEMS OBVIATED forms. So the new kinds of painting that emerged at the end of the 19th century were devoted to proving wrong Paul Delaroche’s famous assertion upon seeing a daguerreotype that “From this day on, painting is dead.” More utilitarian forms than representational figuration passed unmourned with the era of the Industrial Revolution. The carriage gave way to the automobile, the wood-burning stove to the oven, the quill to the ballpoint, with, Luddites notwithstanding, only gestural nostalgia or inexpedient sentimentality. But our post-Modern era mourns its own passing as

  • The Art of Perestroika

    IN THE LAST EIGHTEEN MONTHS, the situation of the Soviet avant-garde has undergone a significant transformation. Perestroika—the political and economic restructuring—has freed Soviet artists to exploit the many ways in which their situation remains unchanged, as they practice their dangerous and humorous elusions not only on the ministry of culture and its official adherents, and on one another, but now on the Western critics, curators, and buyers who are currently invading Moscow as well. What is most impressive is that the art’s change in disguise—from a seeming absence of meaning to a seeming

  • Something Borrowed, Something Bloom

    THAT OUR HISTORICIST ERA is also an estheticist era, one in which sheer attractiveness often seems to reign both in art and in the mundane, has considerable bearing on the apparent fact that ours is above all a synthetic era, one in which the greatest art is merz art—a matter of wittingly random collages. The return to the past can seem to be a way of giving up on the future, and it can have the chilling quality that the most seductively popular nostalgic things always have. But the 1980s’ self-conscious preoccupation with the past—manifested in the manic borrowings of both “high” and popular

  • Missing sign language.

    VISITORS TO MANY OF the rooms on the first floor and mezzanine of the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, a wing built to contain art of the 20th century, will find on the walls short paragraphs in large type, usually offering some biographical information about the artists represented, a brief guide to the emotions that the work of those artists has been held to engender, and, sometimes, a history of the museum’s acquisition of the works shown. But at this date—five months after the opening–they will also find on the first floor two conspicuous rectangles of