PRINT March 1996


The Art/Fashion Thing

WHEN I VISITED Andy Warhol’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1989 and filed my first feature-length article for Artforum, what impressed me as much as the work itself was the great comic spectacle of his museumification as it played itself out in the commentary surrounding the show. In the face of the most contemporary of contemporary artists, both detractors and advocates suddenly turned into 19th-century connoisseurs quibbling over the relative “quality” of the early versus the late work, trying to sort out the “real art” from the dissipated spectacle. At its worst the discussion degenerated into sheer parody: the show’s curator likened the camouflage paintings to Monet’s water lilies and even praised the Maos for their “symphonic complexity.” This isn’t to say there is no “art” in the record the great white specter left of his passage through the last half of this century,

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the March 1996 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.