Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

Thursday links

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  • 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.)
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  1. Your deeply offensive and completely erroneous mischaracterization of my views (in quotes, no less) as “gays-are-icky” and awfully-darn-close-to-bigotry (not in quotes, but just as slanderous) has absolutely no basis in fact or in the text of anything that I have ever written. On both my CultureGrrl blog and the Huffington Post, I have repeatedly called for the landmark “Hide/Seek” show to travel to other venues or, failing that, for other museums “to follow the National Portrait Gallery’s lead in mounting their own exhibitions, exploring and elaborating on similar themes.” These are hardly the words of a homophobe. A retraction of your slur is definitely in order.

  2. Tyler Green says:

    I have added a link to the piece in question. Rosenbaum’s description of my use of quotes is inaccurate.

  3. The fact that “Hide/Seek” is “highly provocative” and “likely to offend” (my Huffington Post quotes) is supported by the firestorm that, in fact, erupted over the show. But the exhibition did not offend ME—quite the opposite. One of the reasons why this show is so important and worthy of replication elsewhere is that it DOES (as fully intended) push the envelope and break new ground. My views on this are completely clear, unless my words are taken out of context and misconstrued.

  4. Tyler Green says:

    I’m more interested in what Rosenbaum actually wrote in her piece than in her attempts to re-present what she said. I suspect readers will be as uncomfortable as I was with Rosenbaum’s so-called delicate suggestion about including gay people in our history (or not).

  5. […] painting. On the other hand: the Pasadena powers that be may take the study as reason to perpetuate Norton Simon’s fetish about covering paintings with “art-killing” glass (which absorbs some […]

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