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Monday 04.13.09

« Talkin bout the next Jesus? | Main | post-apocalyptic volcanoes »

Monday links and good advice

Mickalene Thomas at Lehmann Maupin's Glamour Project

One-time (before grad school at Yale) Portlander Mickalene Thomas had a whole page in the times last week, look for PORT's in depth interview with her in the coming days.

Jen Graves put the smack down on Seattle's art scene. Frankly, I think the whole issue is just how self conscious they are... measuring themselves by nearby cities is weird (Portland was that way maybe in 2001 but our top artists got over it). Remember when the Seattle PI got so bent out out shape about the Whitney visiting Portland and their eventually choice of Portland's MK Guth? In Portland half the scene felt like... another visit from the Whitney and again? more stalking from New York! The best advice is just stop being concerned about "other" adjacent cities and focus on owning Seattle's intrinsic paradoxes of place... if you've got the goods you know it. We've improved on our art history already, here's one of Portland's biggest contributions to art history, here's another , here's another and another etc. In Portland, maybe only only DK (like it's 1999) Row cares about measuring against Seattle. It's very accurate to say that the better artists in the Portland scene just view it as a nearby place to do a show but most don't see it as terribly strategic for them (not bad, but not key...). Still most in Portland have friends up there and it's a nice place. Frankly, just a successful show in Portland or Vancouver BC wont really help much either, it's more about creating a network and Canada as a nation wide system has a great network... 3 or 4 excellent shows across Canada and you are ready for international attention (or already have it). Oh and by the way Seattle, be more proud of Steven Holl, yes the failure of BAM probably cost him the MoMA commission but he's redeemed himself several times over now!

Update: Regina Hackett's response to Graves is part of the Problem... it's self conscious shopping list of thing's Seattle has spent money on, but doesn't focus on intellectual or experiential rigor. Self consciousness isn't a terribly fine trait if it's your primary attribute. Look, it isn't just the institutions and their donor base, it;s the character of the city and Seattle has nothing to be ashamed of... yet there is all this intense loathing that somehow misses the point?

The Pritzker Prize for 2009 goes to an architect who prizes integrity over histrionics, Peter Zumthor. Maybe the art world will get the memo?.. or is our attention going to go to practices that are predictablyyounger than Zarathustra year after year? I think depth and integrity are the new black for 2009-2010.... its why young artists are so terribly interested in Richard Serra, Robert Smithson and Donald Judd all of a sudden?

Edward Winkleman has advice on approaching galleries, here's Part 1 and Part 2. Look, it isnt hype or social schmoozing that gets you IN... it's appropriateness and fit. Frankly, if you can't tell, then you are not going to be a good fit. Also, being outwardly desperate isn't going to help, getting a gallery a professional situation.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 13, 2009 at 10:00 | Comments (0)


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