The real thing is more extreme – here's a description from a recent show on the West Coast:
This tenuous ralationship between object and practice situates her practice in an ambiguous territory between self parody and the palimpset of life ... He is drawn to the rhythmic rise and fall that transits between surface and penetration...
But the gallery directors who write these descriptions are very charming and smart and sensible in conversation and put up very handsome shows.
Part of the evolution of this style is from having to write grants and coming up a standardized vocabulary to describe art objects that are "difficult characters." There's also the temptation to throw everything you know, all your favorite philosophical terms – all the spices in your cupboard – into one powerful statement of intent (of which I've been quite guilty). You'll see Wittgenstein, Jung and Rilke cited side by side – who come from completely different universes and would have had no use for each other in real life.
But dance criticism, too, has its own long list of descriptive terms that no longer correspond to experience of dance, or with expired shelf lives.
My own favorite wayward pitch came from an upscale coffee roaster in San Francisco (they also have a store in Brooklyn):
A blend of organic Costa Rican and Mexican coffees, Alma Viva excels as a drip or French press. You don't have to be a Flaubert scholar to realize that the Alma Viva is the Emma Bovary of our blends: snappy and forthright, with echoes of orange peel and toasted almonds when no dairy is added, but demure to the point of passivity with milk or cream. Medium to light roast level.