This Monday there is just one link, Jerry Saltz on the problem with mega galleries
. Jerry is pretty fair here and the main problem is understandable, the lack of constraints leading to a lack of edge. I liken it to the Frank Herbert Dune model
. In that book the Fremen have to make the most of an incredibly inhospitable planet which sharpens them as a force, conversly the mega galleries do seem like foregone conclusions where critical debate doesn't even seem to matter (though this is a problem everywhere)
. It a done deal and that is the whole shape of the problem (though the case of Matthew Day Jackson does indicate that some shows are not too big to fail).
At the same time mega galleries are too easy a target. To me it seems like the mega collectors (who make mega galleries possible) are less about being patrons who wish to be challenged than simple trophy hunters. It is why I appreciate mega collectors like Eli Broad, the Kramlichs and the Papajohns
. There is depth and a cumulative civic program to what they do but ultimately the best art comes when one patron decides to support an artist of infinite ambition, rather than one who already has infinite resources... kinda like when Peggy Guggenheim got behind Jackson Pollock or Gertrude Stein pitted the best of the best in civil competition with one another. Even Judd needed Heiner Freidrich and Philippa de Menil. I wish I could mention them by name (they seem to want to be low key) but I do really like what these collectors are doing with Doug Aitken
Overall, some artists like Richard Serra
naturally work on a huge scale. For others it resembles Axl Rose's infinitely overproduced album Chinese Democracy, which was so far removed from what made Gun's n Roses work as a band.
Thanks for signing in,
. Now you can comment. (sign
(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by
the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear
on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)