This year has been an odd one in the visual arts. It seems that at this frenzied 11th hour of the millennium, artists and art institutions have behaved contrary to expectations: Instead of bold technical experimentation, bawdy body art (Karen Finley is finally -- fortunately -- passé) or cheap provocation, the year has witnessed a resurgence of art that is decidedly introspective, intellectual and quiet in nature. The Venice Biennale was heavy on video art, but by now that medium is hardly radical -- it rubs shoulders in the canon of high art with oil painting and sculpture. The biggest art controversy of the year isn't really about art at all: Damien Hirst's segmented cows and the elephant-dung Madonna at the Brooklyn Museum of Art make a convenient soapbox for New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, but the brouhaha should have little or no effect on how and why art is made and... More >>>