1.) The Whitney’s “Landscape,” a show of work from the Whitney’s permanent collection, isn’t a strict landscape show (Flavin?), but it is a reminder that the Whitney needs a place to show their permanent collection. (The Rothko and the Newman are delightful. But no Clyfford Still?) Next summer the Whitney will hang its permanent collection all summer. And it would have been neat-o if the Whitney had slipped its fantastic new Florian Maier-Aichen into the show as well. (It’s on view, three floors away.) (Related: From the Floor did the Whitney this weekend too.)
2.) I’m happy to report that Anne Truitt’s Catawba is back out at MoMA. (It was damaged several months ago.) It’s nestled up against a wall (which is how the Hirshhorn has installed their Truitt for now), but that’s a start.
That’s not to say MoMA’s off the hook regarding security problems. (Why is there reflective glass on a Brice Marden beeswax painting? I mean… talk about unclear on the concept!) I saw lots of examples of guards doing nothing — except talking on their cell phones. In the galleries. Not a supervisor in sight. The most remarkable thing I saw on Saturday was this: I was looking at the fifth-floor Don Judd (yo, MoMA: dust it!) and a woman walked up, only-semi-sneakily gripped it with two hands and pulled and pushed to see if it would move. Fifteen feet away, a guard chattered away on his cell phone and did nothing.
3.) In the middle of the Met’s gallery of 10 Clyfford Still paintings, (the 10 given to the museum in 1986 by Still’s widow Patricia) is a David Smith sculpture. Why? It’s horrible. It destroys the room. (I’m working on a magazine story about Still and the coming Still museum in Denver, so I’m extra-sensitive to all things Still at the moment.)
4.) Among the good news to come out of the resignation of David Levy at the Corcoran: The museum confirmed that it will not consider deaccessioning as a way of balancing its massive budget defecits.
5.) I’m surprised how little comment there has been to the replacement of Paul Signac’s Portrait of Felix Feneon at the entrance to MoMA’s “first” painting gallery. Van Gogh’s Portrait of Joseph Roulin has replaced it.