The enthusiasm with which some critics have greeted “Picturing ‘Greatness,’” the photography exhibition organized by artist-photographer Barbara Kruger, is the best example of the swoon for anything that seems new at the Museum of Modern Art.[1] Anything that looks as if it breaks with the past has become cause for celebration. Even if shows are terrible or ho-hum, they are encouraged as instruments in the overthrow of an ossified regime. Questionable work is praised for fear the place will backslide into more shows about formalist experiment and great men. Denounce old MOMA and crown the new. People have stopped looking at art; they’re reviewing the institution. They’re pushing a program of sweeping change, even if this only means circling back to traditions long ago discredited.

Andy Grundberg, photography critic for The New...

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