From a single column in a profile of Paul Chan by Calvin Tomkins in last week’s New Yorker:
[Happiness] was the first piece of Chan’s to appear in an art gallery, and several reviewers took notice. Roberta Smith, in the Times called it “a brilliantly imagined work.” […] “My birds” drew respectful, though not ecstatic, reviews when it was shown at Greene Naftali in 2004. Jerry Saltz, in the Village Voice, praised the work’s “extravagant eye-popping color;” […] Carol Greene had no trouble placing all five editions of the new work in major collections, however; there is a deep emotional undercurrent to Chan’s videos, a sense of longing and even pain which is strangely moving. “Whatever he does is charged,” the artist Rachel Harrison, who has known Chan since 2002, said. “It feels like it’s exploding.”
Just a reminder:
Roberta Smith and Jerry Saltz are married.
Greene Naftali(Carol Greene’s gallery) is a blue-chip Chelsea gallery, the kind most often reviewed in both the Times and the New Yorker.
Rachel Harrison also shows at Green Naftali.
So, all these serious commentators are really all in the family.
Gross or just the way of the world? Both.