Who is doing rigorous, historicizing contemporary group shows these days?
No one at the Norton Museum of Art. According to Carol Vogel, two Norton curators plan to comb this year’s Miami art fairs for 50 objects out of which they’ll build a group show.
“Palm Beach is 62 miles from Miami, and during Art Basel there will be hundreds of collectors and tens of thousands of works of art,” Norton curator Charles Stainback told Vogel. “We are going to try to make the best informed decisions.”
In Stainback’s telling, curating a contemporary art exhibition equals shopping. (Apparently Stainback hopes that his next job will be at the New Museum.)
And if that last quote wasn’t silly enough, how about: “In a compressed period of time we are injecting a curatorial eye, pulling out what is significant to give the public an educated judgment about what’s going on in art now,” Stainback said.
Uh, no. More like a look at commercialism. It’s not a good sign for the health of contemporary art scholarship when a professional art museum curator can’t distinguish between what dealers are selling and what artists are making.