Art Dirt: Cave Painting, the Death of the Author & Visiting Galleries

by Glasstire January 15, 2023
A painting of two bulls, executed in black on the wall of a cave.

A cave painting from Lascaux, France. During his recent lecture at the Dallas Museum of Art, Jerry Saltz mentioned that viewing cave paintings was one of the most moving experiences he had ever had when looking at art.

Jessica Fuentes and William Sarradet discuss some of their big-picture takeaways from Jerry Saltz’s recent lecture at the Dallas Museum of Art.

“If you’re in art and culture for the long haul, if you’re a lifer, you know cycles happen, and when people start to say something is out, cheesy, or needs updating, these are interesting clues that attitudes have shifted and something is coming up as a consequence.”

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Related Readings:
A Lecture by Jerry Saltz at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Live Virtual Scholl Lecture Series: Jerry Saltz
Jerry Saltz: The Art World Problem
Vulture: Jerry Saltz: My Life As a Failed Artist
Tracey Emin in Conversation with Jerry Saltz
Glasstire: Review: “Philip Guston Now” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Articles of Interest: American Ivy
Wikipedia: Baghdad Battery
Glasstire: LabSynthE and the Lazaret Cave: When Poetry and Paleontology Meet


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Jordan Roth January 15, 2023 - 11:13

Thank you William and Jessica for having this conversation. I attended the talk Thursday and found it entertaining and I’m insightful, and appreciated his acknowledgements that to be an artist, curator, dealer, critic, you’re part of a world that is quite different, and all-consuming than that of a truck driver (an example given because this was Jerry’s first job. In discussing this special artworld, he emphasized (paraphrasing) “work work work work work,” and “stick together” as ways to bolter your position in tht art world and to help sustain it. I thought this perspective was still solid and a later answer to the question “how does an artist make it in Dallas?”, He basically said you can make it from anywhere if you can win over 1 dealer, 2 critics, 2 curators and 4 collectors. Basically if you didn’t have the ability out desire to gain 9 important allies who can fullfill your life’s goal, that maybe you should do something else, where you’ll certainly be more miserable.

I found it daunting that artists should need be followed by at least two critics who could establish dialogue and banner about an artist’s work. Artists, galleries, instutioms are overjoyed to see their exhibitiion written about — and it’s ok if the review isn’t positive. But, in Dallas, where I can count the number of arts artists quickly and easily on less than two hands, Ii wonder how that can happen here. Our tew writers are working mostly part-time and barely getting paid at all. Out of six writers, you might get 4 pieces written every couple of weeks. Some will write about a show that’s already been covered, some will write about they’re friend’s shoes (something that’s bound to happen in a tight community), most will write about shows at the few galleries they frequent. Dallas has a good 18 solid galleries, not so many that a dedicated writer couldn’t Jearn which artists show where and who to call for questions. All of the media outlets point to the fact that their arts coverage budgets are are shrinking an advertisers aren’t interested in art. I packed auditorium of well-to-do people over 40 to listen to an art critic should tell you there’s an interest. If rather know about an important about-to-close exhibitiion than see page after page of high school sports coverage. It’s easier now to be mentioned for catching a ball in a Southlake HS game than to have a significant exhibition.

DALLAS needs more writers and for writers to contribute more often and enthusiacally, knowing how integral they are to survival of the art scene we have and to document our existence. How can we got this to happen?

I met Jerry So it

Jordan Roth January 15, 2023 - 11:15

My last comment was written on an iphone with autocorrect that hates me. Sorry for typos.

Dune-Micheli Patten January 15, 2023 - 11:57

Reading Jerry Saltz’s “My Life As A Failed Artist” was quite illuminating. His transparency is
courageous and refreshing. And his wife’s, Roberta, response/reaction to his long -lost-but-found works as “generic” and “impersonal” is a revelation to good relationship…honesty and vulnerability. I wonder how re-crlebrated those works became after the article. There is a dance, a waltz of two left feet, between Artist and Critic; both a need and a disdain. But I’d say, ‘Sure Jerry, let’s get in the ring; have that fight in public…and naked of course The only rule should be “no hitting below the pelvic- no swiping of the nuts..let’s go crazy!!!


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