ARTLURKER

A Miami based contemporary art newsletter / blog

Michael Kimmelman Mot du Jour: Innovation

The Literarium, a concept condo tower for downtown Miami courtesy of swampstyle.com. Some ideas are best left as such.

This weeks Mot du Jour is again courtesy of Michael Kimmelman, Chief Art Critic of The New York Times, who generously sanctioned the use of his erudite verbalisms for the purposes of our deified feature. Thanks also to Amir Bar-Lev, award winning Director/Producer who worked with Michael to generate this text.

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When you take an artist like Malevich who does black on white, or Robert Ryman who just does all white on white, a conversation arises within art about what is innovative; what seems to push the conversation forward; and why doing a certain thing in a certain moment  becomes daring. It’s not necessarily about skill. That notion of skill, that pre-modernist idea of skill that something is skillful if it is a representation of something else is part of what modernism got rid of and replaced with a whole lot of other priorities– some of which were other kinds of physical skills some of which were conceptual, just in your head. And this is not unique to art; it’s true in other areas of culture that an idea itself can be important. The black circle on a white canvas may itself not be a physically great achievement, but it is a historical document by a particular artist and like a letter signed by George Washington or Napoleon’s diary (even if there’s nothing particularly interesting in it or if Napoleon didn’t have very beautiful hand writing) it may have incredible significance, and in the market place value too [.]

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Michael Kimmelman is Chief Art Critic of The New York Times. He is now based in Berlin, writing the ‘Abroad’ column for the Times on culture and society across Europe.

For more information on Michael Kimmelman please visit: www.nytimes.com

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Michael Kimmelman Mot du Jour: Innovation