Let it be

Looking at [“Dancing Around the Bride” at the Philadelphia Museum], I regretted how much time we all spent trying to explain [Duchamp’s, Cage’s, Cunningham’s, Rauchenberg’s, and John’s] theoretical innovations: the dethronement of art, the declassicizing, decentering. We thought we had to, in order to get people to take an interest in this new kind of art. But we shouldn’t do it anymore. Duchamp’s nude descended the staircase a hundred years ago. Cage sat down and didn’t play “4′ 33″ ” sixty years ago. Cunningham stuck his foot into Johns’s “Numbers” fifty years ago. Most of the public is never going to like such things. Most of the public doesn’t like modernism. Let it be.

Joan Acocella, “Bride Wars,” New Yorker, Dec. 24, 2012