Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Critical Statements

Peter Schjeldahl has made it easier for me to go with my core feeling that the Urs Fischer show at the New Museum is way disappointing and shallow. In particular in his review last week, he mocks the museum behind the show:
It’s all nicely diverting – but from what? If you spend more than twenty minutes with the three-floor extravaganza, you’re loitering. The New Museum could just as well not have done the show while saying it did. The effect would be roughly the same: expressing a practically reptilian institutional craving for a new art star.
Holland Cotter makes MoMa look just as silly. It made Gabriel Orozco’s work look concrete, planned and loud (when it just ain’t). And Cotter's depicts the deference paid to art-starness as frankly smarmy:
During the installation of his exhibition in the kind of white-walled MoMA gallery that that he once spurned, Mr. Orozco, tousle haired and rumpled, received a visit from the museum’s immaculately groomed director, Glenn D. Lowry, whose red silk tie matched his pocket square. “Hola!” Mr. Lowry said, sweeping into the nearly empty gallery, where just a few pieces had been uncrated. “Exciting, exciting.”
The irreverence is refreshing. It is. Would I reject any approach by either of museum? Of course not.

This is how Schjeldahl ends his review this week of the Orozco show, which he views as art historically sensitive:
Pleasure is the only trusty teacher and guarantor of seriousness in art. Why is that so easy to forget?
If by pleasure, he means interest, passion, curiosity, I’d have to agree – even in light of Monday’s post.

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