New York

Hans Namuth

Leo Castelli

This was a meretricious show; it was about the selling of artists. It was even meretricious stylistically, with the forwardness of the color in these photographic portraits and the posturing of the artists who are their subjects. Why write about it, then, why not let it pass unnoticed into oblivion? Because it is a symptom of that adulation of the artist as a “phenomenon” that Clement Greenberg long ago condemned in the treatment of Picasso, but which is still prevalent. It is a symptom of art’s condition as entertainment, and very much a part of that social order of events in which popular entertainers celebrate themselves. For that reason, I think I should mention none of the artists, who already have enough publicity, but rather deal with the disease. Its symptoms are familiar; the greats are grouped together in a pantheon which not only has about it the aura of hierarchical exclusivity

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