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Monday 07.23.12

« Priming the Cultural Pump: Rethinking Portland's Relationship with the Arts | Main | Discussion on KBOO »

Monday Links

Rest in Peace Herbert Vogel, one of the world's greatest art collectors... and among the most generous too. Mr. Vogel and his wife Dorothy gave the Portland Art Museum 50 works of art in 2009.

Biennials, relevance, backlash... all good topics in the LA Times.

The city of Portland has approved the designs for a subtle and stylish new Apple store downtown. The fact that the design commission keeps bringing up the fact that it is different than the surrounding architecture continues to be a problem. Look, new buildings should look new, let the old buildings look old while updating the mechanicals and other systems. That is good urban design, change is good... especially if a design honors its own time. That way the new and old highlight each other and the fact that this has been approved might improve the quality of other projects since most of the new construction in Portland tries to mask the fact that it is new construction (12+ story fake brick buildings anyone?).

Now for our weekly dose of MOCA's sad spiral. Jeffrey Deitch has finally responded to his critics basically stating that he has the support of his core board. That's probably true but the problem is he needs to expand the board and diversify it in order to be successful. Instead, most of his leadership activity has been programmatic, and though that is valid... concentrating on programming without fixing the endemic weakness of the board is worrisome. Then there was this fine article on the way institutions approach their public from Buffalo. Then this LA Times interview summarization by Reed Johnson presents a situation where Deitch feels he's being misinterpreted... problem is if people believe the version that Mr. Deitch denies it means he isn't making any progress on digging out of this mess. He will have to try something different if he wants to succeed. Roberta Smith thinks Deitch should do a 180 from what he has been doing, but honestly I think he's building an subtle exit strategy by not doing those things. If he leaves without fully implementing his plans he can claim a kind of lynch mob of scholarly public opinion thwarted a good plan. If Deitch's inevitable departure (the job doesn't let him be Jeffrey Deitch, which he IS good at) can galvanize a backlash leading to a resurgent and more active board with renewed commitment to curatorial rigor I'll be happy. So far no happy ending in sight though.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 23, 2012 at 11:16 | Comments (0)


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