The grotestque that is the art of Trump's hair
. Ugh, this political season is gonna be brutal on anyone sensitive to aesthetics and meaning.
Getting blue and naked for Spencer Tunick is a thing
. The generalist press does love nudity, though there is a serious history of blue nudes in the art of Picasso and Matisse. Also, I suppose the blue skinned Smurfs have lost their cultural profile enough to make this project serious enough to undertake.
What does and doesn't make for good museums
, the Art Newspaper asks around. First of all, museums rarely take real risks and the main thing they do is transpose egalitarian ideals in the context of often expensive and otherwise elitist objects. Where they usually founder is by seeing themselves as too much repositories, which they aren't. In fact museum's are vehicles for experiences (history, context and intellectual juxtapositions) rather than mere estate sales for the rich. That said because institutions require patrons they often cater too much to the act of pursuing them, blunting their intellectual and social edge. This is because curators as a class have been losing their voices within major museums. In fact, having strong curators dedicated to specific fields that act as ombudsmen and aesthetic chefs for all classes is what makes a museum different than more entertainment driven venues or smaller university spaces where the curator is expected to do director duties as well. Ultimately the biggest mistake museums make is valuing the building over their curatorial staff. Very good staff can also inform the design process but typically only the best museums can afford inspiringly flexible curators and sensitive/perceptive architects who can accomplish that. Instead, most museums simply do what most other museums have done.
The predictable thing about the Portland2016 biennial that doesn't work is the institutions
... and the non institutions (which are always doing these things) do work occasionally. The fact that the writer thought Portland felt "isolated" (it isn't, we have a lot of internationally active artists) means this show didn't succeed so much as happenm which is like most scattershot regional biennials that are long on participation and short on sophistication. In 2011 I wrote an essay on the mistakes that regional surveys make and they still haven't learned a thing
. Every single non themed large survey show I've seen in the Pacific Northwest is primarilly a social event (salon shows = "friendraising" unless they have a discerning focus). It is good that people might go and seek out far flung shows but as such this is a juried more than a curated project (that is a not a slight but a simple discernment and fyi it is likely I have known Grabner longer than anyone in Oregon from back when we were both in similar group shows together in Grad School). Predictably here, the best stuff will be where the artists found the venue, knew their terroir
and did something inspired (I haven't seen anything focused enough to be amazing yet though). Ultimately that is no different than any month in any art scene. Also, the fact that she didn't find that much environmentalism and landscape (I've curated shows on both) means she didn't get that full of a cross section (one had to pay to apply) and many of those artist are active outside Oregon and saw this biennial as not particularly worth the effort. I'll touch on this in depth later but juried biennials as a model are a weak zombie format and a spent force.
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