QUEEN OF NIGHT
by Jerry Saltz
Kara Walker, Mar. 4-Apr. 1, 2006, at Sikkema Jenkins & Co., 530 West 22nd Street, New York, N.Y. 10011With all due respect to the legions who argue otherwise, it is totally bogus to claim that art is about beauty or that the two are even connected. Goya's stupendous Saturn Devouring His Children
isn't beautiful, nor is Duchamp's bottle rack or Thomas Hirschhorn's recent blood-and-modernism installation. Over time these works may alter definitions of beauty, but it's an oversimplification to say that art and beauty are innately bound. It's as empty, dogmatic, patronizing, misleading and limiting as saying art is about sincerity, wonderment or any other absolute value.