Jerry Saltz discusses what the Art World needs to do in 2017
. Right now art has become a bit too pleased with itself and isnt challenging itself or its audiences enough. As Robert Hughes once wrote art had become too much of "a vocation" rather than "an avocation." Curators and artists need to find the edge rather than the safe middle ground for their careers. It will take some visionary collectors to support it rather than just rely on advisors and "best practices" that perpetually turn art's wild intellectual and physical brambles into well manicured golf courses that make art the Pet of the rich. It takes integrity. I'm working on a big piece for PORT on this to kick 2017 in the arse.
Why are so many Universities putting so much energy into their art museums?
The two in Portland that could are Reed and Lewis and Clark. Something tells me L&CC is the more likely bet. I like it better than a lot of private museums and that wealth has to go somewhere... better to make it public. That said a private space with some realy integrity, insight and edge can make a huge difference. For example this project in LA has promise
but I can think of a hundred solid ways to spend less and do more, especially in Portland.
Peggy Guggenheim's grandson continues to show integrity is not dead, and even though she wasnt his favorite person he defends her legacy from the Guggenheim Foundation
's handling of her collection. She was a pain... most great artists and patrons are demanding as well (curators and critics too... though personally I only become prickly when Integrity
is at stake, otherwise life is too short).
Now the Oregonian has published a very soft rather damage control piece on Disjecta
. Frankly, you'll learn more from the short blurb at the end of this post on PORT from last year
. If Disjecta doesnt seem like it can survive without its founder, then its because its founder made it that way. To be frank, the Portland2016 Biennial was a diffuse mess because they could not execute the kind of ambitions amidst personalities/skillsets they had to juggle. There is a place for that kind of personality but not when an institution's budget gets over say 80k a year and it helps if it exists only as a small project space. His art knowledge was never impressive and seemed to focus on names over execution. The fact it went on as long as it did show how forgiving Portland can be and there is a laundry list of problems. I'm quoted in the article as are other people with damning 1st hand knowledge. Basically, it was cherry picking the most charitable statement I gave and it seems to be edited a certain way... another reason the Oregonian has ceased to be relevant (last time was what 15 years ago?). Regardless, the fact that the Hail Mary play was doomed tells one a great deal. It is not a private club... frankly a problem with many arts orgs in Portland but that wasn't the true issue was it? I do feel bad for the situation but it is one he created and never managed to outgrow.
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