new-york

“Follies”

Leo Castelli Gallery

There were three aspects to this exhibition. First it presented the architect as superstar, the destiny of art on his or her sturdy shoulders; second, it raised the issue of the relationship between art and privilege; third, it offered a profound meditation on the generic nature and selfish use of art. Each aspect impinged on the others, as if to dissolve them in itself. The catalogue includes Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Landscape Garden,” which argues that only great wealth, affording one “exemption from the ordinary cares of Humanity” and freeing one from ambition, positions one to realize “the richer productions of Art,” to create the most “novel forms of Beauty.” Many of the artists’ texts pay homage as much to the privilege of wealth as to the novelty of the art they propose to build—indeed, there is a strong suggestion throughout that the highest art is only for the economically

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