Warhol, Picasso? Yawn

By Gopnik, Blake | Newsweek, September 10, 2012 | Go to article overview

Warhol, Picasso? Yawn


Gopnik, Blake, Newsweek


Byline: Blake Gopnik

New geniuses are just waiting to be discovered.

For art critics, Groundhog Day now seems to come in September. Looking over this fall's major exhibitions, we see the same big names on offer last year, and the year before that, and before that: van Gogh, Picasso, and Warhol.

No sane critic could doubt the talent of these stars, and this fall's shows drill down into them. Becoming van Gogh, opening Oct. 21 at the Denver Art Museum, aims to track the artist's measured steps toward his final great works. (The mad genius will be replaced by the systematic innovator.) Picasso Black and White, at the Guggenheim Museum in New York from Oct. 5, will show how that master could make brilliant pictures without resorting to color. (The contrast to Henri Matisse, his chroma-mad rival, ought to become clear.) And Regarding Warhol, again in New York but at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from Sept. 18, will match the Popster with 60 of his heirs, charting his unparalleled influence.

Timothy Standring, who is curating Denver's van Gogh celebration, refers to his artist as "almost Shakespearean" in stature and range, and insists that Denver deserves this first chance to see him in depth. He argues that great masters provide the best fodder for serious curatorial thought: "The more important the artist, the more narratives you can tell." Fair enough--but isn't there also the chance that less touted figures might yield fresher stories? We aren't choosing the wrong names, said one senior curator, "we're choosing the right ones too many times." There's no doubt art lovers will come running to this season's blockbusters and will get lots out of them. But we can't be sure they'd get any less pleasure from forgotten masters, if they too were promoted as geniuses.

Let's remember that some of today's stars, such as Caravaggio and Vermeer, were barely known when they got their first museum shows toward the middle of last century. By constantly confirming our cliched list of greats, curators risk billing all other talents as also-rans. Genuflecting to genius again and again strikes me as more Old World royalist than American and democratic.

Arthur Wheelock, of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., made a big splash in 1995 with his insanely popular Vermeer exhibition. Since then, however, he's become famous as a rare champion of the art underdog, mounting almost annual shows of Dutch masters who need resuscitation. "[Gerard] ter Borch has elements of genius that Vermeer doesn't have. I believe Vermeer's reputation has gotten out of control," Wheelock says. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Warhol, Picasso? Yawn
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.