From one of the most trustworthy critics, in the NYTimes, commenting on Morley Safer’s piece about the world of art on 60 Minutes:
“Have [the super-rich and speculators] ruined art? No, they’ve just created their own little art world that has less and less to do with a more real, less moneyed one where young dealers scrape by to show artists they believe in, most of whom are also scraping by. Mr. Safer should visit that one sometime, without the cameras, and try to see for himself, beyond the dollar signs. Either that or he should just come clean: He could not care less about the new or how it makes its way, or doesn’t, into the world and into history.”
Arthur Danto might argue against “the new” and suggest that art history is over, but Smith is absolutely right about where someone ought to be looking for the real struggle, and how the artist’s old companion, despair, is a lot more prevalent than big money wherever that effort is taking place.