Michael Kimmelman does it again. With his usual arrogance, he proves that he does not like art.
Of all the shows in Europe - or even in Germany -, Michael, you could not find one to speak about in more edifying terms?
The Botticelli show at the Städel Museum is the first big survey devoted to him in the German-speaking world. The galleries are annoyingly jammed. It’s like rush hour all day in there.
Am I the only idiot around who still doesn’t quite get his popularity? [...]
You might say Botticelli represents a bygone ideal of high art, with its literary roots in rhetoric and poetry, which is to say only that what attracts so many people to him today surely has to do with something else. Is it all that decorative panache and those pretty, melancholy young women? I suspect, as with van Gogh and Rembrandt, it also has to do with the way he devised a signature style that acts like an advertisement for himself. [...]
The myth of the pining, profligate lover, craving religious consolation in extremis and dying forgotten only to be rediscovered many centuries later as an artistic genius, accounts for his popularity too. His suffering is like van Gogh’s ear, the perfect fictive yeast for celebrityhood.
The truth is something else.
It’s to do with the vagaries of taste.
First, here's a tip, use your New York Times press pass to get you into shows on the day the museum is closed. That way you don't have to mingle with the commoners. Then you might feel less annoyed and find the time to explain why it's so bad for an artist to have a signature style and yet vague taste at the same time.