Artforum Reviews Jacob Kassay Press Release


Huh. I guess Artforum's back-of-the-book review section does not purport to ignore the art market's overdetermining forces any more.

Ben Carlson's review of Jacob Kassay's show this summer at L&M Arts in Los Angeles is framed around the burning question, "Does Kassay's work properly account for the auction hype and thus, its own presence in this high-end gallery?"

But L &M Arts' interest in this young painter is no mystery: Regardless of their merit, Jassay's silvery-reflective monochromes made a splash at auction last fall. Anticipating the cynics, the staff penned a press release that was quick to distance Kassay's older output from the new work he made for this show. Calling attention tot the differences in surface treatment, it announced that his most recent paintings would feature a "surprising yet deliberate lack of reflection."

[part where 29-yo Kassay is chided for not taking better hold of his secondary market and is as yet found to be no Ryman or Kelly omitted]

Offered a chair at the high rollers' table, Kassay could have made only one compelling move--a wager with the potential to break the bank. Of note: His Paris dealer, Art: Concept, has already offered public assurances that the artist is not about to meet the market's demand for more of the same. In fact, had Kassay overperformed (or overproduced) this summer, he might have presented a distance from these overdetermining forces or even productively embraced them...It appears, however, he's chosen to ignore them altogether. [ellipsis original]

Some day, maybe the discussion of what we see when we look at Kassay's distorted, mirror-like work will not be characterized by such a surprising yet deliberate lack of reflection. But that day is not yet.

Previously: On Jacob Kassay and collaboration

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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about this archive

Posts from May 2016, in reverse chronological order

Older: April 2016

recent projects, &c.

Chop Shop
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

eBay Test Listings
Mar – Dec 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -

Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

"Exhibition Space"
Mar 20 - May 8 @apexart, NYC

HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.

Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Canal Zone Richard
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99