The current exhibition at the Hole hardly seems worth reviewing. Portrait of a Generation exists and I spent the time to see it, but you can choose to ignore my complaining. The summer group show is a common event. Some galleries pull the inventory out and call the friends of friends in to curate. Some do more and some do less.
I feel that the constant battle in all of our lives is to Do Better. Most days I feel this as an urge to do better work, but sure sometimes it’s about money or acclaim. I am not interested in self help or positive thinking as a way to attain goals, I just think that if we work harder to do better we can. This show does not Do Better. It comes together as a “look who I know” of the art world. The artists, some 900,000 by the look of the press release, did portraits of other artists. There were high points, but I forget them. They were drowned out by the vague neon glow of the mediocre and the silly.
I don’t know the proprietors of The Hole other than to say that they are Deitch alum and that they like making a scene. I like many of the artists they work with, have worked with and probably will work with. But this show just made me flinch. I would love to see better use of the space then this and better use of the artists in the show. Maybe it is wrong for me to wish this show away, but I do. I call a do over and send all the interested parties back the time spent making this come into existence. When they return, rather than staging a show by the 9th Grade art class of Our Lady of the Rejuvenated Bowery, they might have something with substance. Maybe they would come back with a pared down version of this show, highlighting 20 or 30 things.
It is easy to define a show like Portrait of a Generation by what it isn’t, the group shows abound in Chelsea, LES and all points Art in New York. I applaud the galleries that take time to make real shows out of these group exhibitions and I will do my best to review a few of those in July.