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The introduction of the new Washington City Paper column, “Beneath Contempt” by Glenn Dixon, is aptly named. City Paper’s publication of this scatological attempt at art criticism is beneath contempt.
While an agenda of well-informed, tough criticism is a viable tack for a writer to take, Dixon clearly lacks the skills and knowledge to pull it off. City Paper has had on its staff tough critics who have both praised and criticized art, including Lee Fleming and Martha McWilliams. However, these critics differ from Dixon in that they back up their criticism through their extensive knowledge of art and art history. Tell me, confidentially, what are Dixon’s credentials?
This column is not asking the big questionis anything original going on in Washington?but is instead the sophomoric rantings of an unsophisticated amateur. Galleries in this city have certainly been taken seriously by nationally known curators and critics alike. Where do you suppose museums in this city purchase the artwork by Washington artists?
Dan Cameron, Janet Koplos, Jane Addams Allen, Michael Brenson, and George Melrod are some of the national critics who have endorsed Washington artists. Is your unknown and politically inept, newly self-proclaimed critic Mr. Dixon putting his writing on the line with these important folk?
It is ironic that just last week I was so concerned about the exposure of the galleries of Dupont Circle that I was going to the next publicity meeting to ask to redirect our budget to weekly ads in Washington City Paper.
To trivialize the art in Washington not only shows a lack of knowledge but shows a great deal of contempt for the thousands of readers who would appreciate valid art criticism. This city cries out for competent and responsible writing.