Wiser Than God


New York is not only a city for the very rich, wrote Joan Didion in 1967, it’s a city for the very young. While the collective romance with the rich has cooled mightily in the past year, youth remains: the paramount example being the New Museum’s messy, marvelous generational , Younger Than Jesus, featuring artists under 33, the age at which Jesus died.

True, the artists of the Jesus generation are beautiful in spirit and body (their body of work isn’t bad, either), but the geriatric set lingers eminently. Look no further than the recent show of Picasso’s late, late work at Gagosian, which has single-handedly repaired the reputation of the master’s painting from 1962–1967.

While not attempting to make such declarations as curator John Richardson did at Gagosian, British curator Adrian Dannatt does have a point to prove: that older artists, despite their infirmities, are still producing work that is vibrant and deserving of notice. Dannatt, along with co-curator Jan Frank, has put together a group show of still-working codgers—from the canonized (Louise Bourgeois, Robert Frank) to the totally obscure (John Fandel, anyone?)—at BLT gallery, across the Bowery from the New Museum. These artists are all at least 50 years older than the New Museum artists, their minimum age being 83, but their art keeps them young. Cheekily titled “Wiser Than God,” the show opened last night.

Could 83 years be the new age of enlightenment?





~ by eaesthete on 05/28/09.

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