PRINT December 1984


An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture, Art Dealers, and Jedd Garet

WE WAITED SEVERAL MONTHS after the exhibition’s opening to get the catalogue for “An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture,” the show that marked the reopening of MoMA last spring. The tentative rumor that Kynaston McShine, curator of the exhibition, might have a viable defense of his blatant fiasco is now allayed. His statement is as processed as the show. And in an odd way the catalogue serves a purpose: it acts as a coffin and puts the show to rest. But since the exhibition was dead before it even opened.all the coffin holds is a couple of bones. Stick it in your aquarium.

Kynaston McShine, An International Survey Of Recent Painting And Sculpture (New York: The Museum of Modern Art), 364 pp., 700 black and white illustrations.


A SWANK PRODUCTION THAT screams it’s a book and not a catalogue. A coffee table number replete with ravishing full-page color reproductions. Robert Pincus-Witten’s text brings a quote from the marvelous Miss Jean Brodie to mind. As enunciated by Maggie Smith: “For those who like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like.” Is he or isn’t he writing soap? Who cares what Jedd wore at RISD?

Seeing the paintings all together reconfirms the artist’s iconographic concern with stylization into stereotype which in turn arises from a prepossessing architectural/decorator fetish. The poses on the pedestal are definite Punk Hellenic Cool.

Robert Pincus-Witten, Jedd Garet, (Pasadena, Calif.: Twelvetrees Press), 175 pp., 20 black and white illustrations, 65 color plates.


DESPITE AN UNFORTUNATE SUBTITLE—“The Powers Behind the Scene Tell How the Art World Really Works”—The Art Dealers, fortunately, is not a “How To . . .” book. More than anything it demonstrates that there are no set rules for having a successful gallery. What comes across most strongly is the individualism of the 32 dealers included. Not gossip; instead, the book adopts a serious address which allows it to resolve itself into an important historical document, into agreeable biographical reading essential for anyone interested in the history of, and around, art of the latter half of the 20th century. Generously illustrated with examples of the artists’ work, the compilation comes together as what’s usually termed a good book.

Laura de Coppet and Alan Jones, The Art Dealers (New York: Clarkson Potter), 320 pp., 286 black and white illustrations.


Nicolas A. Moufarrege is an artist who lives in New York.