A very significant Lynda Benglis that has been hiding in a sewage treatment plant might see the light of day
in public display again soon. The piece in question, The Wave (the wave of the world) was originally created for the 1984 world's fair.
We are still tracking the Crystal Bridges State of the Art project... here's a little info on how they found those 10,000 artists
. They visited about 10 artists in Portland last summer. The research logistics of this kind of approach alone are daunting. Also, after the apparent punt that was this year's Whitney Biennial
many are wondering if this will be yet another show that uses artists to create an intentionally indecipherable spectacle designed to serve the institution and not much else?... or a real digestion of what is going on in art in a way that isn't a rigged marketing exercise? What people hunger for is a show that has a kind of integrity to it, willing to both make mistakes and uncover things that truly rise above the fray and reveal our world in a way we hadn't taken fuller stock of. A show where the artist's work is allowed to clear its throat. It is very rare these days when it is often easier to just pack redundant ideas together so that everything is just a simple exercise in comparative degrees (edging out more idiomatic developments). I much prefer shows like the 2001 and 2004 Site Santa Fe biennials, which had strong clusters of work that posited very different ideas/work in stark relief around central themes. Fetishing genre over case by case content (or worse careerist connection mongering regardless of the critical issues of the day) is the death of a thousand small cuts that most group shows today suffer from these days. One thing is certain, a lot is at stake for this well endowed institution. The critical response to the show will define the museum's success as a national player... nice to see an institution risking this much.
The truly great Richard Tuttle on exploring life in art.
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