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Tuesday 11.20.07

« Building... with balls? | Main | Dead Air »

More parlor games and MoMA

H.C. Westerman

Tyler Green has been playing a parlor game centered around reimagining MoMA's galleries. My take is that Americans pretty much needed Alfred Barr to simplify the polyglot that was avant-garde art for Yankee consumption. Barr's brilliant solution was Picasso and since he had helped MoMA to acquire Les Demoiselles d' Avignon the museum was in a good position to make that case. Following curators like Rubin and Varnadoe picked a different hero artist to key the installation to; Jackson Pollock. The thing is I believe Americans are now ready for a more complex worldview and MoMA needs to accept that challenge to avoid becoming not only just a museum of 20th century art but a museum of 20th century ideology. Personally I agree that Pollock is a lynch pin argument but I also agree with Tyler that by foregrounding another giant like Clyfford Still and lesser lights like John McLaughlin it could really shake things up. Hell, I'd throw in an Andrew Wyeth and lots of H.C. Westerman's just to flay the monogenic discussion away from just one artist. Westerman isn't talked about enough, he's actually way more influential than is typically recognized. I'm all for an allout assault on monogenic thought in America and would greatly appreciate it if MoMA would take up the intellectual torch... even Alfred Barr didn't think as monogenically as his installations implied... they were arguments for a certain time, now we need new arguments.

Also, as I mentioned yesterday that Jerry Saltz is also asking MoMA to shake up its gender blend. Worth linking to again... definitly want to see a Lynda Benglis retro.

Last but not least, Miami is just weeks away and here is a rundown of the fairs. Sure it's a mess and way too much art but I enjoy the levelling effect that the art avalanche has. For me at the end of the day if anything remains worth noting it's probably worth noting. The Pacific Northwest will be highlighted more this year than ever before. More on that as the time gets closer.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 20, 2007 at 11:44 | Comments (0)


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