Delighted to see NYTer Nicolai Ouroussoff take a look at MOCA Detroit, or MOCAD, this morning. Of all the NYT arts crue, it’s Ouroussoff and Roberta Smith who write most intelligently about art museums and institutional issues. (Michael Kimmelman tends to suggest wackiness, such as that the Getty absorb/merge with the best museum in LA. Groan.) Today Ouroussoff gives us this to ponder:
Mocad creates a casual and intimate relationship between art and viewer, shrugging off the weighty air of authority and privilege that is typical of so many museums. It takes us back to a time when making art and architecture could be a act of dissent.
I like this idea. I don’t know what it’s future is; will more museums think about building this way in the future? I kind of doubt it — donor$ like polish because it advertises their sophistication. But there’s something about the grittiness of the Baltimore Contemporary that challenges a viewer as much as the art on the walls does. Same with the CCA’s Wattis galleries.