PRINT May 1988


Son of Sublime

CONTEMPORARY ART AND CRITICISM ARE heir to two conflicting parents, a duality that remains unresolved in our recent history. On the one hand we have seen art that emphasizes esthetic experience for its own sake, and on the other, art that deemphasizes or even spurns the esthetic in the name of social or cognitive involvement, or a combination of the two. And now, in an interaction of art and art criticism, there are signs of an inchoate urge to combine these dichotomous realms.

Much has been written about the art that has come to be called “simulationist,” and from many different points of view. One part of this response has been a criticism in the art’s own image. So much a partisan effort is this “simulationist criticism” that so far, anyway, most of it comes either from the artists themselves or from those who curate the work. It is not critical in the usual senses, then, but promotional,

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