The art critic who would find an issue with just about anything - from the air he breathes to the sun in the sky.
After reading his appalling review of Yayoi Kusma's Infinity Mirrors at the Broad, Mr. Knight struck again by popping up in another article in ArtNews. Initially I was convinced his criticism fell only in the spectrum of Kusama but was relieved to know that no one is safe from his succinct insults on Contemporary Art. His latest gripe was with Adrián Villar Roja 's show at the Geffen Contemporary Space in Little Tokyo. Replicating art pieces Rojas utilizes these elements to demonstrate a relationship between art and space. A few questions are considered : How would viewers move through the space? How can the space be modified to accommodate the art? What items should be moved and what can stay in its original place? Rojas' objective is to provide a visual timeline of how a space begins and ends - the creation, the preservation, and decomposition. Will the art or the space survive? What should we draw our focus to? Diaoism describes this with water - strong, yet weak. Able to conform and change based on its environment. While the space can change and survive the movement of the art, the art itself (as seen with the Bicycle sculpture) cannot survive without human intervention.
There is hardly any art critics that will be bold enough to express their disappointment for not one but two exhibitions in 9 days. Knight seems to not be fond of work that challenges a viewer's ability to see the perspective of the artist. Work with extensive technical requirements are more his bread and butter. Contemporary Artists from his standpoint seem to provide no 'it' factor than their predecessors. One must wonder why he even bothers to attend the shows. A deadline perhaps? We all need to pay the bills by some means. A sticking point may be not the concept of the show but the fact that Rojas disagreed that Duchamp's work was not preserved in a manner that was 'respectful'.
Knight needs to start embracing the new era of Contemporary Art. The shift from technical masterpieces to work that invokes conversation may be considered trendy but relevant. Is it so scary that the possibility of Duchamp's work was relevant then and not now? His unwillingness to explore the topic is all too sad.
Adrián Villar Roja's "The Theater of Disappearance" is being held at Geffen Contemporary in Los Angeles now until May 13, 2018.
Adrián Villar Roja, "The Theater of Disappearance (detail)," 2017, mixed media Christopher Knight / Los Angeles Times