Giorgio Morandi's paintings make me think that artists may not totally choose, or even control, their subjects or style.

Jerry Saltz

Jerry Saltz

Profession: Critic
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

Where Cezanne captured and intensified shards of the eternal (every pear far more sharply defined than it could be in life), Monet portrayed the changeability and flux of every moment. 'The Water Lilies' give you a jittery, amorphous sense of a world seen at the speed of light.

Art is for anyone. It just isn't for everyone. Still, over the past decade, its audience has hugely grown, and that's irked those outside the art world, who get irritated at things like incomprehensibility or money.

Put yourself in the position of an up-and-coming artist living in early-sixteenth-century Italy. Now imagine trying to distinguish yourself from the other artists living in your town: Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, or Titian. Is it any wonder that the Italian High Renaissance lasted only 30 years?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is unsurpassed at presenting more than 50 centuries of work. I go there constantly, seeing things over and over, better than I've ever seen them before.

I wish I could write about shows outside New York. I often feel like the last person to know anything, because I almost never get to leave town, and when I do, I tend to go for three days max. Seeing between 30 and 40 shows a week in 100 or so galleries and museums takes up nearly all my time.

Ofili is still a champion. It would be a huge mistake to think otherwise.

I love Rauschenberg. I love that he created a turning point in visual history, that he redefined the idea of beauty, that he combined painting, sculpture, photography, and everyday life with such gall, and that he was interested in, as he put it, 'the ability to conceive failure as progress.'

Megacollectors suppose they can enter art history by spending astronomical amounts.

It took me twenty years to get Steven Parrino's work. From the time I first saw his art, in the mid-eighties, I almost always dismissed it as mannered, Romantic, formulaic, conceptualist-formalist heavy-metal boy-art abstraction.

The Met is not only the finest encyclopedic museum of art in the United States; it is arguably the finest anywhere.

Robert Rauschenberg was not a giant of American art; he was the giant. No American created so many aesthetic openings for so many artists.

Wolfgang Tillman's stunning large-scale pictures, being shown for the first time, were so offhand I failed to see them as art.

Chris Ofili's suave, stippled, visually tricked-out paintings of the nineties, with their allover fields of shimmering dots and clumps of dung, are like cave paintings of modern life. They crackle with optical cockiness, love, and massive amounts of painterly mojo.

A canon is antithetical to everything the New York art world has been about for the past 40 years, during which we went from being the center of the art world to being one of many centers.