- On the occasion of this new Sara Campbell book on Norton Simon, Christopher Knight points out how similar Simon and Eli Broad are. You’ll be amazed. Suzanne Muchnic, who wrote a Simon biography, reviewed Campbell’s book. Little known fact: All that art-killing glass that’s over paintings at the Norton Simon Museum? Simon’s idea. Now that he and his widow are no longer with us, the museum should be removing it as fast as it can, but isn’t.
- With Smithsonian chief G. Wayne Clough scheduled to speak in Los Angeles today, Knight takes him to the woodshed.
- In a related story, the allegedly national NYT art critics have been great on the Smithsonian fiasco. /sarcasm
- On Facebook, Jerry Saltz writes about what he considers the false separation between art and craft. (Has he reviewed any shows of what might be considered craft? Or is he a contributor to the false separation he identifies? Also: Saltz recently tweeted that his Facebook page/comments are now open to all. I’m still blocked, but presumably anyone else will be able to click through that link.)
- The Getty is deaccessioning eight paintings, including this quirky Lorenzo Lotto.
- Jasper Johns, Michael Crichton and Greg Allen’s continuing quest to ‘complete’ a Rasuchenberg combine. (Also: here.)
- Ham-handed Smithsonian public relations?: The SI granted a Clough interview to Lee Rosenbaum, whose ‘gays-are-icky,’ should be neither seen nor heard, awfully-darn-close-to-bigotry-revealing defense of Clough’s censorship has been a two month-long embarrassment — but which is also a take with which Clough himself may be comfortable. [Update: In the Huffington Post, Rosenbaum referred to gays and lesbians as “emotionally charged subjects” and indicated that exhibitions that include gays and lesbians were “highly provocative” and may be “likely to offend.”] Rosenbaum on her own interview: “I know what you’re thinking: The Smithsonian looked kindly on my interview request because I’m one of the few (if not the only) commentators who supported Clough’s decision to remove David Wojnarovicz’s “A Fire in My Belly” from the National Portrait Gallery’s landmark show.” Yup, pretty much. FWIW: Over the last seven weeks I’ve repeatedly asked the Smithsonian for a Clough Q&A. They’ve repeatedly deflected my requests. That’s OK. One of the privileges of critichood is being free to speak one’s mind regardless of whether PR people ‘reward’ you with plum interviews or not. (Fortunately, most art world PR people are smart, long-sighted pros: MAN’s history of Q&As is a good indication of such.)
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green