If it wasn’t clear enough that ArtForum’s website was a joke, and if it wasn’t clear enough that their incestuousness is grounds for doubting the credibility of virtually every word they publish online, then this should pretty much clinch it: ArtForum has a recently former D’Amelio Terras employee reviewing a show at… D’Amelio Terras.
Tyler Green Modern Art Notes
Archive for September, 2005
The Katrina Artists Trust Fund is up and running. It’s administered by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, which is covering all of the funds administrative expenses. This means that 100 percent of donations will go to artists. To donate, click here.
Russell Lee. Acetylene light in Cajun farm home near Crowley, Louisiana. Ignition of acetylene gas is accomplished by flints which are integral in the fixture, 1938.
Early in the 20th century acetylene gas light was one of many sources of light for domestic use. It was a fleeting technology. Unreliable and dangerous, it was eventually replaced by electric light. When Lee, an FSA photographer best known for his series chronicling San Augustine, Texas and Pie Town, New Mexico (previously on MAN), took this picture in 1938, acetylene had long been obsolete—but was still in use in rural Crowley, La.
William Eggleston. Greenwood, Mississippi, 1970s. (From the Getty’s collection of over 40 Egglestons.)
I promised more on the LAT’s Tom Hoving op-ed yesterday, but got so work-slammed that I didn’t have a chance. So on the Hoving:
Are you kidding me? Tom Hoving as cultural heritage preservationist? Hahahahahah! I’m not going to go through the whole piece, but consider the most obvioius bit of hilarity: Hoving says he’s a “good boy” in the “antiquities game” because:
“My track record as a curator and then director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York went from being a rabid collector, willing to grab anything even if I suspected it had been smuggled, to a reformer who helped draft the landmark 1970 UNESCO convention against the worldwide smuggling of cultural patrimony.”
So Hoving was a good boy for what, about 18 months? Because in 1972, Hoving was the central figure in the somewhat scandalous Euphronius affair (many links to the fascinating story here). So two years after he started being a “good boy,” he let his “bad boy” self get the best of him when there was a krater he wanted. Puh-leeze. If there’s one person from whom the Getty should not be taking advice on looting issues, it’s Tom Hoving.
Under Mr. Krens, the Guggenheim seemed less interested in being locally vital than in being marginally relevant globally. The Guggenheim’s hoped-for and actual satellite expansion into Las Vegas, Berlin, Bilbao, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Guadalajara, Mexico and Taichung, Taiwan, received more attention than virtually anything the Guggenheim did on Fifth Avenue.
Those mostly-failures will be an afterthought. Bilbao is a lovely building, but it’s a one-off. No American not-for-profit museum has found a way to make satellite expansion work—ultimately not even the Guggenheim. Bilbao is less an example of Mr. Krens’ success than an exception to his failure. Ms. Dennison’s tenure will be measured entirely by what she does—or doesn’t do—in New York.
Related: MoMA curator Steven Higgins raises the MoMA flag on Pixar. I respond with the MAN flag. (And it’s good that it ended there because this ‘flag’ thing is confusing.) And Greg.MoMA has a Dennison memory.
Some odds-and-ends that didn’t make it into the NYO piece…
- In 2004, the Guggenheim spent over $2M on acquistions, including major pieces by Matthew Ritchie and Rirkrit Tiravanija.
- The Gugg’s NYC exhibition calendar is pretty much filled through 2008. (That’s pretty typical for a major museum.)
- Dennison on collecting: Most good museums collect in line with their exhibition schedule in this way: They launch exhibitions that highlight their collections and the strength of their exhibitions. (Best example: The Walker Art Center.) Dennison says that we should instead expect the Gugg’s collecting to be inspired by/to follow the museum’s exhibitions.
- Whitney boss Adam Weinberg made a good point about the ethically questionable shows that we’ve seen around the country: “I think the exhibitions you’re talking about for the most part are design-related exhibitions, and therefore those exhibitions — be it Armani or Motorcycle or Chanel or whatever — obviously the potentials for this kind of ambiguous relationship is greater. Our purview is different in terms of our mission. While we have done occasional design-related shows, it’s really for the most part not within the purview of what we do.”
Given what I posted yesterday about Tom Hoving, Bob Hecht and antiquities-related gray areas, this is rich: Tom Hoving in the LA Times on how to fix the Getty. More later.
Nota bene: The LAT has another major, major, major Getty story. Don’t miss it. More on MAN later today after I make (at least) one writing deadline.
I was just in NYC for the second full weekend of the fall arts season. Naturally, the inevitable conversation-kickoff among artfolk was: “Seen anything good?” The inevitable answer was: “No, not really. Well, I suppose there’s the Sue Williams show.“
Therefore I was looking forward to the Sue Williams show — but only in the way you look forward to Alka-Seltzer after a bad burrito.
I can review the Sue Williams show in three words: “Gaping and spurting,” and leave it at that. (If you want expansive: picture a Philip Taafe boinking a Keith Haring.) Nothing else was much better. The Joel Sternfeld show at Luhring — which I thought might be fantastic — was less a photography exhibit than a presentation of college-level essays. At Petzel, I saw beer cans with dicks.
If New York is the capital of the art world, the place to see the newest and best, then I want to go into exile. If you’re one of those New Yorkers who thinks that New York is all that matters art-wise, go walk through Chelsea right now and get back to me. It is possible that there are more art galleries in Chelsea than there are good artists… in the world.
Did I see anything good? Yes. The Carla Kleins are the highlights of a strong group show at Tanya Bonakdar. (Klein is featured in BAMPFA’s Matrix series right now. And pssst, Tanya: The Klein images on your website are horrid.) New Found Land at Priska Juschka featured a bunch of interesting takes on landscape in art. DCKT’s Isidro Blasco is playing with new media, which is neat-o. (Disclosure: DC and KT are pals; I did their summer show.) And Sixtyseven’s Generica show is an appropriately goofy show about girlhood and the silliness of American pop culture. That’s it.
There was nothing new in the Yoshitomo Nara show at Boesky or in the Sol LeWitt show at Paula Cooper, but I appreciated the comfort food. The Marcel Dzama show at Zwirner was also more of the market-driven same, but with a naughty streak. All were OK exhibs that were made to move known commodities. Yawn.
And I also saw Bud cans with dicks.
Which brings us to Jerry Saltz’ Babylon VI. I could nitpick a few of Saltz’ lines, but I agree with all of his thinking. New York is deathly dull. The market reigns at the expense of everything else. Saltz isn’t sure what the answer to that is, but offers a couple of alternative spaces as possibilities. As Bruce Springsteen would say, that’s kind of a nice romantic idea. I’m a little skeptical of it. But I don’t have anything better to offer. Instead I think this is the norm: Gallery-crawls as needle-hunts in the haystack of New York.
NEWLY related: The ubiquitous Jerry Saltz opines about his first fall Chelsea crawls.