Ed Driscoll

The State Of The State Of The Art

Opinion Journal goes in search of the base truths of modern art:

Once in a while a news story so speaks for itself that it threatens to put commentators out of a job.

In this year’s summer show at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, “Exhibit 1201” is a large rectangular tablet of slate with a tiny barbell-shaped bit of boxwood on top. Its creator, David Hensel, must be pleased to have been selected from among some 9,000 applicants for the world’s largest open-submission exhibit of contemporary art. Nevertheless, he was bemused to discover that in transit his sculpture had gotten separated from its base. Judging the two components as different submissions, the Royal Academy had rejected his artwork proper–a finely wrought laughing head in jesmonite–and selected the plinth. “It says something about the state of visual arts today,” said Mr. Hensel. He didn’t say what. He didn’t need to.

Meanwhile, James Lileks checks in on the state of modern architecture:

As for the building