Tuesday, February 24, 2009

'80s antiquities and other dated punchlines

Richard Prince, for a while, combined cartoons with different punchlines and produced artworks that were nothing but detached antique jokes.

So it is now appropriate that the Metropolitan Museum of Art is presenting, from April 21 through August 2, "The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984," a most odd historical cutoff point, since 1984 was roughly when that generation of New York artists began to be copied by the rest of the country. I suppose that is the snide point of this historical survey; when the rest of the country has learned how to copy it, it is over. (One of my mentors said many years ago regarding an essay on deconstruction he was writing at the request of a publication that will remain nameless because I do not remember what it was, "When the nuns and the Republicans want you to explain it to them, you know it is over.")

Of course, copying a generation of self-conscious copyists offered the potential of metacopying, and I did a fair amount of that in my time. I also produced an artwork in which I critiqued one of my own artworks and offered a rebuttal by the artist.

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