Matthew Jennett (01/16/2002)
Regarding the posting of the excerpt of Donald Kuspit's review:
The references to yahooism, barbarism and Muchenwald are certainly misplaced when speaking about Still, and come down to the usual and expected cheap shots often used to undercut the work of some of America's greatest artists and writers, e.g. Ezra Pound. As someone who had an early and profound encounter with Still's work, I would like to assert the fact that his creations remain true to me, even as the work of painters like Rothko seem sadly exploited because of their pathological content. I feel proud of Still's achievement and proud of my appreciation of it. I salute the honesty of Kuh's review reprinted at this site.
Kuspit on StillMary Webb
Donald Kuspit wrote a review of the latest show of Still's work at the Hirschorn and posed the following question:
"The question is whether Still's paintings, for all their esthetic sophistication and sacred sentiment, are an expression of American yahooism. Are they simply an artistic version of America First -- America being the self-declared land of freedom (and Still is very American in his assertion that he has freedom and the decadent Europeans don't) -- or are they paintings that are so pure, in Greenberg's sense of giving their all to the medium, that we can forget the shrill stupidity and know-nothingism of Still's barbaric statements about European artists and thinkers, which seem to liquidate them à la Buchenwald?"