Click here to read the original article, “Mobs,” and click here to read David C. Ward and Jonathan D. Katz’s letter to Jed Perl. Let me make one thing absolutely clear. I have not written a review of “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture.” Nor do I intend to. So while David Ward and Jonathan Katz may welcome “attacks” on their exhibition, they cannot count me among the attackers.
“Some men are almost all mob-self, incapable of imaginative individual responses.” That is D.H. Lawrence, writing eighty years ago, in his essay “Pornography and Obscenity.” It’s the mob-self that controls the culture wars, and those wars may be heating up again right now, swirling around “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” a show that opened at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington in October.
"Thomas Eakins: American Realist," at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is a blandly celebratory event.
Donald Judd had his share of staunch supporters. But you are likely to meet with skeptical responses if you announce that you are captivated by his magnum opus, a composition consisting of one hundred aluminum boxes that is the linchpin of the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. Chinati is where the sculptor made a permanent home for the frequently large-scale work that interested him and some of the contemporary artists whom he admired. It has an eccentric, off-the-beaten-track kind of grandeur that rubs some people the wrong way. The austere forms that Judd (who died in 1994) arranged in and