“The market is so hot, and the demand is so great, it’s getting harder to find great art.” – Art Basel, June, 2007 NY Times
In this season of Art festivals, Venice, Basel, and Documenta, I have decided to stay here in Washington and tend to the more pressing issues of our season in Hell. Nevertheless, news continues to stream in from Europe, where the usual coterie of collectors, dealers, and hungry art patrons are in search of “Great Art.” Two years ago we found the 2005 Venice Biennale an elusive, slippery idea, as we conducted a Situational Tour through the Venetian canals and narrow alleys. Eventually we wound up at the Giardini and completed the task of reclaiming the US Pavilion. Now the task is clear: great art must be erased and in its place, an art that mediates between a crumbling political landscape and what is left of the deteriorating hope in the power of art.
It’s getting harder to find great art because it is getting harder to make art speak above the rising decibel of noise of the art world clamoring for great art.