Willem de Kooning is generally credited for coming out of the painterly gates strong in the forties, revolutionizing art and abstraction and reaching incredible heights by the early fifties, and then tailing off.

Jerry Saltz

Jerry Saltz

Profession: Critic
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

Art is good, bad, boring, ugly, useful to us or not.

Artistic qualities that once seemed undeniable don't seem so now. Sometimes these fluctuations are only fickleness of taste, momentary glitches in an artist's work, or an artist getting ahead of his audience (it took me ten years to catch up to Albert Oehlen). Other times, however, these problems mean there's something wrong with the art.

Although I adore the Italian High Renaissance, I'd rather look at Mannerism. The former is ordered, integrated, otherworldly, and grandiose; it leaves you feeling hungry for something flawed and of-the-flesh.

The style of ancient Egyptian art is transcendently clear, something 8-year-olds can recognize in an instant. Its consistency and codification is one of the most epic visual journeys in all art, one that lasts 30 dynasties spread over 3,000 years.

Works of art often last forever, or nearly so. But exhibitions themselves, especially gallery exhibitions, are like flowers; they bloom and then they die, then exist only as memories, or pressed in magazines and books.

When the purse strings tighten up at museums, the institutions usually cut back and cancel shows. That's exactly the wrong reaction. In fact, now is a good time for them to loosen up - a chance to breathe and experiment a little - and go for the juicy solution lurking in their own basements.

Recessions are hard on people, but they are not hard on art.

I have a soft spot for art that, in terms of subject matter and material, is in bad taste.

All of Koons's best art - the encased vacuum cleaners, the stainless-steel Rabbit (the late-twentieth century's signature work of Simulationist sculpture), the amazing gleaming Balloon Dog, and the cast-iron re-creation of a Civil War mortar exhibited last month at the Armory - has simultaneously flaunted extreme realism, idealism, and fantasy.

New Yorkers only cross water for visual culture if the water is an ocean. The East River throws us for a huge loop. If we started going to Queens and the Bronx for visual culture, many of our rent, space, and crowding problems would be over indefinitely.

Decades ago, Gerhard Richter found a painterly philosopher's stone. Like Jackson Pollock before him, he discovered something that had been in painting all along, always overlooked or discounted.

Just as Pollock used the drip to meld process and product, Richter 'found' and used the smudge and the blur to ravish the eye, creating works of psychic and physical power.

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

It's art that pushes against psychological and social expectations, that tries to transform decay into something generative, that is replicative in a baroque way, that isn't about progress, and wants to - as Walt Whitman put it - 'contain multitudes.'