Month by month, if we happen to follow such things, we find ourselves registering, however dimly, contemporary art setting auction records, contemporary art offending archbishops and imams, contemporary art taking its place among the billboards of Times Square, the statuary of Trafalgar Square, and the crowds in the Turbine Hall. Contemporary art is now a painting, now a photograph, now a painting that looks like a photograph, now a video of painted photographs, now a skull encrusted with diamonds, now an empty room with lights going on and off, now a gas chamber, and now merely an unrealised idea (innocuous in itself until you learn that the unrealised idea belongs to the German artist Gregor Schneider—who aims to realise it—and it is to turn a person’s dying into art).
from, “Age of the Arbitrary,” Sebastian Smee, Prospect: http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/age-of-the-arbitrary-contemporary-art/#.UpIIzY2mTQa
This is an interesting book review that also manages to be interesting art criticism. The book being reviewed is, “100 Works of Art that Will Define Our Age” by Kelly Grovier.
I must confess, I love reading book reviews. Sometimes, I enjoy the reviews more than the books! A bad review never stops me from reading a book. In fact, the more polarized the reviews for a book are, the more I must read that book to find out why.