New York

“Critics as Artists”

Andre Zarre Gallery

It goes without saying that every critic is a failed artist, bitterly transforming his resentment and disaffection into superfluous analytical bitchiness. Those who can, do, and those who can’t, write criticism. As if to give credence to the stereotype, by and large the works in “Critics as Artists” demonstrated about the same level of quality as a collection of thrift-store paintings; if you were looking for technical virtuosity or esthetic vision, there was no point in looking here, even though taken as a whole the works could have comprised a great conceptual maneuver à la Jim Shaw. To be fair, a few critics/artists managed not to embarrass themselves (such as Peter Plagens and Robert Storr, who both began their artworld careers as painters), and many of the works in the show were small in scale, tentative, private, experimental, indicative more of learning by doing than of tilting at

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