The New Whitney: A Reply

A critic of Dalrymple’s earlier review (here) of New York’s new Whitney Musem says to look at this piece in the Guardian for “a more balanced” view. Dalrymple’s reply in City Journal asks whether the review in the Guardian is really better or just more “evasive and cowardly”.

Does “trumpeting awkwardness” in some way cancel out ugliness, and if so, why? Does the boldness of a criminal make his act any the less criminal? Note also that the author refrains from saying whether he (as against, presumably, most people) finds the building shockingly ugly. Nor is there any explanation as to why the ability to read “thin slivers of sense” (would it be better or worse if they were thick slices instead?) from “the great industrial bricolage” should—whatever to do so actually means—be a virtue in a great public building ostensibly dedicated to art.

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