At what point in an artist’s career is a career-length survey useful and revealing? Ten years in? Twenty?
It seems to me — I have no data to support this — that the trend is for commercially successful artists to attract curatorial interest earlier and earlier. As a result, there’s been something of a curatorial rush to perceived market quality.
I thought of this issue yesterday as I started to put together my list of interesting, try-to-see fall exhibitions. “Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels,” a “ten-year survey” of Dana Schutz’s paintings and drawings, will open at the Neuberger Museum of Art on September 25th. It is curated by the Neuberger’s Helaine Posner and will travel to Denver and Miami. [Image: Schutz, Swimming, Smoking, Crying, 2009. Collection of Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas.]
Is that too soon for an exhibition to be scholarly, contextualizing or, well, meaningful? Late last year the Wexner Center for the Arts and curator Christopher Bedford launched a traveling Mark Bradford survey. That show is now at the MCA Chicago. I started thinking about the whole ‘too soon?’ question in my first post on that show.