Well, the art world's still in the predictable post ABMB entertainment/money
confluence backlash mode but as I pointed out just before the East
Coast/Saatchi started publishing screeds
... it really does
matter how the artist and institutions lay the ground rules (Alfredo Jaar requires
. Here's the latest:
Kiefer (sometimes one of my favorite artists) believes art is, "not entertainment
Well he's right when it comes to his art, but there is certainly room for entertainment
in art... for example Paul McCarthy's and Richard Serra's sheer audacity is
entertaining. By simply suspending the humdrum of the everyday an artist can
create big A "Art". In Kiefer's case he's working within an exceedingly
serious historical discussion and his show at Tate Modern along with the New
are foregrounding a much needed counterpoint to the sometimes
grating follies of art. I like to think of it as very responsible "older
brother art". Maybe I'm just projecting... I am the oldest in my family
so; Still, Judd, Newman, Serra, Martin and Kiefer all appeal to my "seriousness"
fetish. Which isnt to say I don't enjoy classic Damien Hirst, Murakami, Tracey
Emin and Jason Rhoades as art brats who fulfilled the need to laugh a little
bit at how we fetish seriousness/higher aspirations.
Yablonsky addresses the Miami hangover
addresses Yablonsky and does a nice job of discussing the 99% and the influence
. Though I think he's wrong about the naming rights superseding
the work that director's do in the history books. For example if the Menil's
can't overshadow Walter Hopps legacy in the history books... then no one can!
At the Portland Art Museum both the current Robert J. Pamplin Director Brian
Ferriso and his predecessor John Buchanan are discussed a lot more as watershed
arts leaders than the man who endowed their position and he owns a newspaper!
Perhaps that's why Eli Broad wanted Jeffrey Dietch? Whatever other complications
exist he's one of the few people Broad can't overshadow. If a director is overshadowed
by a patron, it means the director just isn't all that noteworthy or innovative.
If anything the patrons today are less noteworthy than they were in the recent
past, which possibly is lowering the bar for some directorships?
In Portland Art Museum news the same anonymous
donor who funded a temporary curator of photography position has fully endowed
it with a 2 million dollar gift. Great news but because I am a scold there
is a HUGE lesson worth repeating. If this is a jaw dropping bit of philanthropy
for other Portland art institutions to comprehend... it isn't. Yes it is noteworthy
but the gift happened because PAM has had a very clear institutional plan where
a patron can see how the institution is growing up and deepening its commitments.
Rather than some shot in the dark the funding was an inevitability, which then
asks specific patrons to step up. PAM has a wish list of other endowment
. You see, when other Portland institutions are purposefully
difficult to comprehend, major gifts become incomprehensible. The argument that
institutions have failed because of physical plant costs is only partly true...
in the case of PAM, PNCA, Bluesky, Cooley Gallery at Reed, Hoffman Gallery at
L&C, OCAC, Newspace and even the Museum of Contemporary Craft improving
and owning their spaces (while simultaneously doubling down on programs) has
forced the issue with patrons to find a way to save things they love. It's simply
tough to love or even make a case for saving that which is standing still and
not developing. Being elusive is not a good idea for any major funding initiative.
I know the money itself is more meaningful to some other publications but the
how and why here are much more important.
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