of Bucking the Artworld Tide
Published on May 15, 2020, Bucking the Artworld Tide garnered the following reviews (for full review, click on the source):
“Solidly argued and thoughtfully presented. . . . The collection’s eloquent prose and well-developed point of view make it a thought-provoking and often enjoyable read even for those who disagree. Kamhi’s passion for her subject is undeniable and makes even the more technical aspects of the work accessible. An illuminating, strongly opinionated, and enthusiastically acerbic critique of today’s art world.”
“Shakes the foundation of today’s art establishment, challenging its basic tenets. . . . Buttressed by ample scholarship, extensively footnoted, Bucking the Artworld Tide constitutes a worthy successor to Kamhi’s prior book. . . . Merits a place in any collection of books of interest to visual artists, art lovers, and art educators.”
“[T]his pull-no-punches essay collection deriding abstract art and its postmodernist successors . . . makes a passionate and effective argument that such work is ‘incomprehensible to the poor viewer.’ . . . [R]eaders who find abstract and conceptual art baffling will be thrilled . . . to have their opinions confirmed by this clearly argued critique . . . well researched and thoughtfully written.”
“Part of the joy of reading Kamhi’s work is that she preempts and answers [the] niggling questions we have. . . . [She] answers such questions with eloquent discourse, communicating her arguments so clearly (and with humor) that it is easy to forget she’s often tackling complex ideas.”
“Kamhi presents a compelling case against the modernist and postmodernist inventions that have come to dominate the artworld since the early twentieth century. . . . [N]ot content to sit back and preach to the choir. . . , she is most often a loner in the public sphere questioning those in positions of cultural authority and provoking debate by the sheer heft of her scholarship, humanism, and honesty.
. . . While acknowledging her profound indebtedness to Rand’s major insights regarding the nature and function of art, [she] takes issue with [her] on particular works and periods of art, noting that Rand was ‘a generally poor mentor when it came down to specifics.’”
“Michelle Kamhi has the integrity, fortitude, and courage to stand strong against the fraudsters, to buck the tide, which is no small accomplishment. . . . [She] debunks [them] and we profit from her vision and strength.”
See also Diane Donovan’s Pick of the Month.