- With a significant exhibition at the Asia Society coming in September, Iranian post-war art will finally get a moment in the New York spotlight reports Robin Cembalest in ARTnews.
- Carol Diehl unloads on Ken Johnson’s review of the Wolfgang Laib installation at MoMA.
- Also in ARTnews, Richard B. Woodward on the intersection of etymology and (exploitative?) documentary photography, aka ruin porn.
- A couple of standouts from the Martha Schwendener-edited, extra-super-mega-meta, ‘alternative ideas’-themed Brooklyn Rail: Blake Gopnik on how art criticism’s retreat into the art ghetto denies the broader world engagement with progressive ideas, Paul Schimmel on the promising future of artist-created foundations, Christopher Knight on fixing/replacing the NEA, and David Carrier on the over-priced, over-featured exhibition catalogue.
- In Worcester Magazine, Doreen Manning tells the story of how the Worcester Art Museum is conserving a rare pair of Hogarth portraits, from beginning (funding!) through process. Neat, thorough piece.
- Behind the scenes of the ICA Philadelphia’s “Glitter and Folds” with artist Field Kallop and her diamond dust.
- In Frieze, Negar Azimi writes thoughtfully against Arab Spring-era Revolution Art.
- In the Washington CityPaper, Kriston Capps drops his second Hirshhorn bubble-centric piece in a week. It’s difficult to reconcile Capps’ tone and new-found enthusiasm for the project with what his reporting has uncovered. To recap: Capps reported over the weekend that the Hirshhorn has officially delayed the opening of the bubble for at least the third time. The project has been so long-plagued by poor fundraising that the naming rights Bloomberg, LP has acquired will expire (May 2014) before the museum’s targeted opening date (fall 2014). In the 38 months since the project was announced, Hirshhorn director Richard Koshalek has raised only $4 million in outside funds for it. That’s a lot of going-nowhere slowly, and the Hirshhorn’s institutional focus on a folly shows in lax fundraising for the museum’s art-focused mission (oh yeah, art!). Yesterday Capps reported that with just months to go before the museum’s trustees vote the project up/down, the museum has hired a fundraising consultant to do what Koshalek hasn’t been able to do: Find enough money to fund the project. However, the museum won’t name the consultant because the contract’s not done yet. (With mere months. To go.) Capps quotes Smithsonian executive Richard Kurin saying that the full cost of the bubble project — a minimum of $15 million — was presented to Hirshhorn trustees only two meetings ago, almost three years after the project was announced. Finally, Capps reports that the Smithsonian has commissioned a study that will, in short, determine if the whole thing makes operational sense. (From a mission-orientation point-of-view, it makes no sense at all. The Hirshhorn is an art museum and bubble has nothing to do with art. Besides, the Hirshhorn already has a perfectly good, recently upgraded events space.) Capps has lots of great details about the bubble project (someone should really report on the rest of the museum’s finances…), but in collecting firewood he seems to have missed the forest: The bubble project has lacked direction, purpose and planning. Worse: The museum’s leadership has wasted three years on the idea when it could have been doing what contemporary art museums do best: Telling the story of art in our culture, acquiring art, expanding its role in its community.
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green