PRINT December 1998

Peter Plagens

1. “RECOGNIZING VAN EYCK” (Philadelphia Museum of Art) A painter friend of mine in Chicago who deejays on the side once explained to me the reason he had so many more old rock ’n’ roll records than new ones. “I like the best of the new,” he said, “and the best of the old, and it just so happens that there’s a lot more old.” In art, old really has the edge, but—given the way artists crank out stuff nowadays—it sometimes seems like there are fewer old works than new. So here I’m gonna go with old. Back when men were men and pictures were little and took a long time to make, Jan van Eyck painted a pair of almost identical Saint Francises in the Wilderness (one about 5 by 6 inches, the other about a foot on a side), which are two of the best paintings ever done in the history of the entire world. Really.

2. WILLIAM KENTRIDGE (Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego) If you care about

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 get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the December 1998 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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