Without oversight, the art world might be ruled by spectacle and sales. We hear a lot about record-setting auction prices, blue-chip artists, and art fair attendance figures. All well and good for the beneficiaries, but these are just parts of a much more nuanced arts ecosystem.
Too easily eclipsed is the fact that most art is made by people who have plenty more on their minds than making money. Which is why a critic with the humanistic temperament of Holland Cotter is so important, and so refreshing to read.
About Holland Cotter
Cotter is a Pulitzer prize–winning writer, a poet, and the recipient of CCA’s 2014 honorary doctorate in fine arts. He writes weekly reviews and more extensive essays for the New York Times, where he’s been a full-time critic since 1998.
Cotter is hardly strident -- he’s more like an endearing watchdog -- and his thoughtful writings encourage readers to consider the value of aesthetic and intellectual adventurousness. He also consistently draws attention to artists and perspectives that might otherwise be overlooked.
It’s an important role, and he carries it out with engaged responsibility and humbleness.