Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Monica Majoli at Galerie Buchholz

"There was [pre-AIDs] such a high level of connoisseurship…of everything that people like this were interested in. Of everything. That made the culture better. A very discerning audience, an audience with a high level of connoisseurship, is as important to the culture as artists. It is exactly as important. Now, we don’t have any kind of connoisseur audience. When that audience died, and that audience died in five minutes. Literally, people didn’t die faster in a war. And it allowed, of course, the second, third, fourth tier to rise to the front. Because, of course, the first people who died of AIDS were the people, oh, I don’t know how to put this, got laid a lot. Okay, now imagine who didn’t get AIDS? Okay? That’s who was then lauded as the great artists, okay? If the other people who hadn’t died, if they were alive, if they all came back to life, and I would say to them, Guess who’s a big star? Guess! Guess who has a show on Broadway? Guess who’s like a famous photographer? They would fall on the floor. Are you kidding me? Because everyone else died. Last man standing."
I think this is Fran Lebowitz quoted in the PR (slightly confusing) but also I think this is Hainley quoting her to tell people to shut up? since those not raised on the magazine these are extracted from  - or saw the shift from these soft naturalist men to post-AID's armorized beefcakes - are at a loss for a language they are always translating. And, of course, a prayer for that audience's return.


But so again here Majoli's internal softness against things with harder inclinations. Say, previously the "rubbermen" whose hardedge clouds of humans men suspended, their breath contained in rubber, hanging like mercurial thought bubbles, were almost able to be blown away like a smoke ring. And have you seen her abstractions? Again hard edges but formless nights. Outlines. People disappearing into chiaroscuro, night or light like scalpel. Everyone has an armor in Majoli's paintings, they are armored, depict soft things in armor. Like crabs whose hard shell contains sensitive forms.