Art Review: ‘Unorthodox’ faces paradox at the Jewish Museum in NYC

By Ken Johnson
Foreground, from left, three sculptures by Diane Simpson: “Apron IV,” “Peplum IV,” and “Yoke.” Credit Jake Naughton for The New York Times
The world of contemporary art may be a fractious place, but there’s one thing that almost everyone involved agrees about: Orthodoxy is bad. Slavish obedience to any dogma — aesthetic, academic, political, religious and otherwise — is anathema to Modern and contemporary art. Independence, freedom, originality, authenticity, critical thinking, defiance of authority and so forth: These are the prevailing values of art today, and they are what most progressive art schools try to teach. Unorthodoxy is today’s orthodoxy. That’s a paradoxical problem for “Unorthodox,” the Jewish Museum’s new exhibition of putatively unorthodox works by 55 artists from around the world. [link]