Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

Weekend roundup, alas

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  • Dozens, likely hundreds of commercial art exhibitions have opened in New York this season. As plenty of people noted on Twitter, the NYT failed to detail why the one that deserves a artist profile is Dan Colen’s show at Gagosian. Colen’s work is more expensive than it is newsworthy — and profile-writer Carol Vogel (saw that one coming, didn’t you?) never argues for her subject’s newsworthiness, for why he deserves umpteen inches instead of, say, Jennifer Steinkamp, Rachel Owens or George Underwood. Consider it the latest example of Vogel writing in service to (the biggest single player in) the art market instead of to journalism and the latest embarrassing moment for the NYT’s culture section. In a related story, how often can Carol Vogel keep demonstrating a lack of awareness of what journalists do and still have a platform/beat? (I could keep going and going…) It’s kind of amazing… and kind of revealing about how disinterested the NYT is in substantive reporting on art.
  • Just as whackadoodle is this ‘WTF-and-why’ story from LATer Jori Finkel. Summary: Gallery opens in Los Angeles. That’s worth 568 words? Lots of galleries have opened in LA in recent months and years. What was the last one to get 568 words? Somewhere a PR person was made joyous… which is pretty much the only reason this story got written. Does the LAT no longer have editors who can say ‘no’ to such puffery-in-print?
  • Fortunately the LAT still has Suzanne Muchnic around to tell the long-running story of the conservation of a David Alfaro Siqueiros mural.
  • Another odd moment this past week came from the Phillips Collection, which announced that you can help the museum pay for recent fire damage by donating $5 or $10 via text message. The press release was promptly picked up by the NYT and Artinfo. But wait, didn’t the museum and/or the contractors who may have started the fire have insurance?! “It’s impossible to say at this point what the actual insurance settlement will be, and there are sure to be several points of negotiation,” a museum spokesperson told MAN. So is the museum ‘using’ the fire to raise money? Maybe. The press release certainly, er, omitted mention of insurance coverage and likely insurance payments. At least the museum is offering free admission through September.
  • The NYT may have embarrassed itself with the Colen story, but it featured other notable work this weekend: Holland Cotter’s review of the Gerhard Richter drawings show at The Drawing Center and Ted Loos’ story on what shouldn’t be an unexpected exhibit (but is) at the National Portrait Gallery.
  • ‘German impressionism?’ asks the Houston Chronicle’s Douglas Britt. Yup, answers the MFA Houston.
  • Christopher Knight’s look at Trevor Paglen’s new book reminds me how ridonkulous it is that Paglen has never exhibited in Washington. #ArtMuseumsAsleepAtTheSwitch
  • LA Weekly critic Doug Harvey is always at his best when looking at Lari Pittman. UPDATE: Speaking of #AsleepAtTheSwitch, that link is to a Christopher Miles piece.
  • Speaking of Harvey… wait, are Tim Hawkinson and Steve Roden the same person?
  • Indeed: While the evangelicals-dominated right-wing wants to go all Fahrenheit 451 on a major religion, museums preserve and display its culture.
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  1. […] at Gagosian soon. This prompted critic Phyllis Tuchman to tweet that profiles of artists, deserving and not, magically appear in the NYT after an artist moves to Gagosian: “Join Gago Gallery, finally […]

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