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Goldberg Variations

Glenn Goldberg Correction

I have been contacted by well known local artist Glenn Goldberg, and asked to make corrections regarding statements I’ve made here and elsewhere about his contacting SVA to complain about Dave Hickey’s statements in his lecture.


Received Saturday September 26, 2009:

hi loren
i hope you are well.
i want to be very clear about something..i did not contact SVA regarding the Dave Hickey lecture. i do not know where you got that information from, but it is entirely incorrect. please retract that statement as it is false. it inappropriately could imply my desire to censor dave hickey, which i have absolutely no interest in doing. i struggled with his comment and believe i came to understand his intention rather quickly after reviewing the video posted on your site.
thank you.

glenn goldberg


Dear Glenn,

thank you for your clarification. I will add your letter to the ongoing dialog regarding this matter at my blog at
I apologize for not contacting you personally to find out who you’ve spoken with or what you’ve said in relation to this series of events, seems I received some bad information, and didn't take the time to check with you personally. I am glad that you have reappraised Hickey’s statement (bad joke) and I wouldn’t imply that you were expressing anything more than honest disagreement and critical disapproval.

Thanks again for getting back to me on this matter,


Finch weighs in on Hickey

Charlie Finch does not like Dave Hickey. Not at all. Although the "bunch of Jews making a bunch of money" comment does not trigger Finch's distaste in his recent Artnet screed.

Instead he takes Hickey to task as a "bulbous phony" who "tickles his audience with hoary signifiers" and "constantly preens his own self-regard", who "has fashioned a career out of his own intellectual laziness interfacing with the naiveté of his student audiences".

Them's fightin' words. Is it a case of two 800 lb. gorillas unable to get along? (A reference to the clash of giant egos, not to corporeal majesty.) Finch denounces Hickey as a pretentious panderer who gears his talks to elitist but gullible art world groupies. The "bunch of Jews" comment clearly documented in the Kalm video is not mentioned, but Finch does manage to cite a "T-Rex" aside as well as use a screenshot from that same video.

One can only imagine what Hickey thinks of "a bunch of Finch". Perhaps that will be part of his next talk.

Hickey's racism

I agree with Glen Goldberg. I also was disgusted by Hickey's comment and attitude that art just makes "a bunch of Jews making a lot of money" And to see a packed audience of artists let that go is distressing. Loren your notion that Hickey was trying to be provocative and give an answer from the perspective of a "regular" (uninformed) American ... hick, seems to me a weak justification for racism, that if addressed to Blacks or woman or perhaps another minority would just not be tolerated with such obvious complacency by the audience. Hickey comments are inaccurate and racist and ugly.