Globe critic is so done with endless monochromatic panels masquerading as art

Everybody has their breaking point and Sebastian Smee's apparently came at an ICA exhibit that involved the artist arranging a series of monochromatic panels in a row (or sometimes just a single giant panel covering an entire wall) and Smee just loses it and symbolically throws his critic's notebook against the wall and screams "Enough with this crap already!" Only he's a well regarded critic, so he uses much longer, more erudite words.

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I stopped questioning some time ago...

While I try and enjoy abstract works, I too am often bewildered as to what constitutes "art". And when I feel like I just don't get it, I smile a small smile and remember a great friend of mine who was with me many years ago as we both stood examining a Jackson Pollock painting at MOMA in NYC. A couple walked up to the painting as we stood there and the man turned to his companion and said "Big deal, paint drippings all over canvas, I could do that."

My friend turned to the couple and quietly and politely said to the gentleman "But you didn't, and you didn't do it in 1950".

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Poop, mud, sticks, and straw

We could make a cowpat in the middle of the monochromatic panel and stick sticks in it for visual variety ... or would that be too 1990s?

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Thank you

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I had forgotten how much I missed Sister Wendy and her profound and sensible approach to art.

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Pollock didn't just start out

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Pollock didn't just start out doing drip paintings... your friend's view is one often repeated and too simplistic.

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Thank you

I was just trying to share what I thought was a funny story about perspectives, but I guess since neither of us were art scholars, what was silly to us was offensive to you. Sorry for spoiling your day.

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Art...

“Avant-garde is French for bullshit”
― John Lennon

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said....

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...the guy married to this:

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That was Great!

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Heart-felt, cathartic, classic, old-school Yoko. It made me feel better. And she was 77 when she did that. Thanks!

Some of her conceptual pieces have changed the way I see the world, although they can also be a little on the cute side at times. I loved her all-white chessboard (a comment on war) and her "Cross to Hammer a Nail In" (you got to climb a ladder and try it), which were both at the ICA long ago.

If you want to blame someone for this color-block stuff, take it out on Ellsworth Kelly. He was the master of the "this is a shape with a color" game.

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ICA Exhibit

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I remember Yoko's "hammer a nail in the cross" exhibit at the ICA. I hammered one. It evolved from her earlier "hammer a nail into a white canvas" piece. The golden age of performance art.

The all white chessboard is called "Play It By Trust". I'm not sure how it's a comment on war, but it's certainly a comment on trust.

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Chess = War

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Chess is an ancient game of war strategy, played with two opposing armies. But if both armies look alike, it's hard to recognize the enemy.

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2001 Retrospective at MIT/List

I wonder if you are thinking of the 2001 Yoko Ono YES Retrospective that was at the MIT/List Art Gallery? I remember that exhibit well and think both of the pieces you mention were included, among many, many others, including a few collaborations with her husband, (who I think was a pop star?) I attended the exhibit in December of that year, following the tragedy of 9/11 and a very stressful few months afterward related to work pressures. It's striking how many of her works I vividly recall almost 15 years later, how the "viewer" is an active participant in each creation, and the overall message of mindful positivity, which was such an appreciated antidote to what was happening in the world and in life.

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Saw the MIT show, too

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And loved it. But the Ono show I remember most fondly was at the old ICA on Boylston in 1990. ( I am getting up there, but still immature for my age.) And, yes, her work sticks in my mind in a way that few other contemporary works do.

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Was that the one she passed

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Was that the one she passed out string and small cards to the audience? I became a fan that day. The card is still in the pocket of the jacket and makes me smile whenever I pull it out to wear.

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I remember that cross

A friend of mine started pulling the nails out with the hammer, which greatly impressed the staff and other patrons.

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Oh no.

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I actually like some of her pieces (including some of the ones mentioned here). I just never enjoyed much of her "music-like performances." And that was even after I got over the whole Beatles break-up/your friend is going out with a person you hate kind of thing and was able to look at her work on its own merits.

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Bad mood in the Globe Arts Dept?

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Ty Burr dumped all over Woody Allen today too.

I guessing Henry cut back on the A/C cost and the heat is making them cranky.

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Oh, did he go to the free

Oh, did he go to the free night last night, too?

While strolling with me through this exhibit, my girlfriend whispered "I don't get it. Do you get it?" I told her you're not supposed to get it. She didn't buy it. I guess we should have read the artist statements.

Anyway, the other current exhibits were more interesting. "In Search of Vanished Blood", Geoffrey Farmer, and the Transcending Material stuff.

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Probably Not

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Critics go to either press openings or, at smaller museums, they might go to a VIP opening, before the member/public openings.

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Visual Art

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If you have to explain art, it isn't art. And if I could do the exact same thing, it isn't art.
In my humble non artists opinion.

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Counterpoint.

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Art is anything that is not necessary for survival.

Caveman chases bison off a cliff to kill it for food? Not Art.
Caveman leans over cliff and spits on bison? Art!

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And now for something....

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If you have to explain art, it isn't art.

If you don't get art, then it's not art TO YOU.

To me, Monty Python is art. To my wife, it's a bunch of men in various states of unusual dress, shouting and carrying on.

(To which I tell my wife, "YES. EXACTLY! That's why it's funny.")

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Endless monochromatic panels?

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Endless monochromatic panels? Sheesh, he must REALLY have had it with the new style of development these days in lower income neighborhoods!!

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Sounds like

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Smee was on the phone with Comcast in the ICA.

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