Artspeak pop quiz! Dia: Beacon edition.

Dia: Beacon
Dia you understand me? (Photo by ricksterbot.)

Roving correspondent Mlle. Connasse finds herself stateside this week, so she popped in for a day-long visit of the Dia: Beacon over the weekend, where she encountered some terrific artspeak while admiring the Beuys, the Smithsons and the Serras. She was so moved by the mind-boggling quality of the prose, that she couldn’t resist cabling in some of the more eye-crossing delights. The following bits refer to a single artist:


In each of his works, [the artist] relentlessly examined issues of similarity and difference, likeness and identity.

The recognition of the specificity of each element informs the viewer’s appreciation of the relation of the individual to the collective, of the singular entity to the larger series, and of repetition to order.

Anyone want to venture a guess on which artist the writer might be describing? Get the list of artists here. No cheating.

Posted by C-Monster.





  1. SanSuzie

    I’m gonna go with Beuys first, serra second. At least that’s how I feel about those works. About Smithson I’d be more likely to say:

    La da la la la, la da la la la da la
    La da da la la la Bobby Smithson yeah
    La da la la la, la da la la la da la
    La da da la la la Bobby Smithson yeah
    La da la la la, la da la la la da la
    La da da la la la Bobby Smithson yeah
    Lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo
    Lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo
    Lo lo lo lo lo lo Bobby Smithson
    Lo lo lo lo lo lo Bobby Smithson

    (sung to tune of chorus of Bobby McGee)

  2. Susan

    Much as I want to say “Blinky Palermo,” on account of that is one of my FAVORITE names in modern art, I’m gonna go with Robert Ryman. I mean, if you gotta say something about the art, this one-size-fits-all drivel would work….

  3. GiGi

    How about these titles of actual talks at the last meeting of the College Art Association in Dallas? One is a fake. Guess which one.

    Gendered Economies: Masculine Markets and Feminine Reproduction in Early Modern Art

    A Figure in the Margins: “La Pomme d’Ebène,” Surrealism and the Post-World War II Body

    Foreign Characters: Visualizing Identity in the 21st-Century Guatemalan Highlands

    The Matrix Medieval Reborn: Frankenstein and “Quasimodo”–Architects of Revival and the Making of an Artis
    Searching for a Modern Opicinus in Louisiana: Psychoanalysis and Outsider Art

    The City as a Shirt: Visual Culture across Mediums in the Ancient Andes

    Transgressive Males, Aggressive Females: Genitalia in the Art of Louise Bourgeois and Georgia O’Keeffe

    Takin’ It to the Street and Stickin’ It to the Man: Cultural and Political Resistance in Contemporary Sticker Art

    The Girl with a Child in Her Eyes: Cuteness as Hierarchy Solvent in Morrison, Manet, and Ayu

    Mallarméan Cinepoetics: “Expanded Cinema” in Early and Late Vanguardism

    Severed Torsos and Metaphorical Transformations: Christina of Sweden’s Sala delle Muse and Sala di Clytie in the Palazzo Riario-Corsini

    Outing Hysterical Men: Artists and Neurological Scientists of Male Hysteria

    Tongue Kisses: Language, National Identity, and the Complications of Desire

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