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Installation view of Zoe Leonard’s Tree (1997), and photos by Roger Ballen
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by Jerry Saltz

While a large segment of the art world has obsessed over a tiny number of stars and their prices, an esthetic shift has been occurring. It’s not a movement -- movements are more sure of themselves. It’s a change of mood or expectation, a desire for art to be more than showy effects, big numbers and gamesmanship. It’s a shift from theatricality to actual drama, from art about selling art to an art that’s serious and ironic at the same time, eager for audiences but not slick and accessorized. Some of it is really good; some already looks like neo-Romantic dreck.