PRINT Summer 1984


Network: Art in the Complex Present, The Critic is Artist: The Intentionality of Art, and Get the Message?

THREE NEW BOOKS ARE WORTH noticing: three important retrospectives of the discourse on art. They stand out because in various ways and to various degrees they do not merely describe art, but make demands, ask for amends, hold out possibilities; they often describe nonexisting art or art that leaps out from the welter of ordinary art activity. Lawrence Alloway, Donald Kuspit, and Lucy Lippard construct their utopias on different plateaus of expectation.

Of the three, Alloway is the most generous. A populist-reformist, he wants a fairer hearing for unheard voices—the decentralization of museums, the de-commercialization of art magazines, a pluralist breaking-down of elitist barriers. If changes would come in art itself, they would presumably come from the changes in the objective conditions of art-making—and Alloway leaves it at that. Kuspit, however, calls art to task: he summons art to

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