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Should the Whitney’s Breuer Become an Architecture Museum?

In a New York magazine article, Justin Davidson calls for the Whitney’s Breuer building to be turned into an architecture museum, a space devoted to exposing a side of the practice that we don’t normally see. Davidson points out New York’s lack of an institution to educate the public about architecture. But is that what the Breuer is meant for? As the Whitney moves downtown, we’re faced with different possibilities for the iconic building. Could an architecture museum take the place of a huge contemporary art museum in the architectural icon?

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New Year’s Resolutions for the Art World

The new year is always a time of idealism. We want to improve ourselves, lose weight, find success in a new career: everyone has high aspirations. Why shouldn’t we do the same for the art world? Here’s a list of resolutions I have for the contemporary art community in 2011. There are some suggestions, some criticisms and some predictions, but what they all have in common is a desire to foster a better public artistic dialogue, free of some of the snares we encountered over this past year. Click through for a small flash of optimism before what promises to be a roller coaster ride.

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What is “American” Art?

The purpose of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ new Art of the Americas wing to provide a space to tell the entire story of American art. Yet visitors may be surprised to find the ground floor of the new wing occupied by Aztec, Mayan and Native American art, sharing space with early colonial work. The new galleries question the idea that “American” art is solely defined by work created in the United States, tied to the too-strong connection between “America” and the colonial US. The MFA instead presents art from this era of both Americas, South and North, as a continuum, part of a dynamic intercultural milieu. But how far does the museum go in redefining what we mean by “American” art?

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Ten Twitter Personalities Worth a Year-End Look

Sometimes, the internet is boring. It’s a tough truth to bear, but it is true nonetheless, and I deal with that fact when it rears its ugly head. But what brightens up those dreary internet days for me aren’t just the websites I check out for news and info, they’re the personalities that I rely on to get that info to me: their senses of humor, senses of the surreal and their ability to hand-pick and hand present stuff that I want to see. Here are ten Twitter personalities that I love hearing from, and I think you should check out for the New Year, and beyond.

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Why Ed Winkleman Did #Rank at the Seven Miami Art Fair

How many of the estimated 46,000 artists, dealers, collectors, and lookyloos that checked in at Art Basel Miami Beach actually made the 35-minute car trip from the stunning South Beach to industrial Wynwood for the Seven Art Fair is still unclear.

Seven was to Basel what Independent New York was to the Armory Show. An art fair (ok fine, temporary exhibition forum), yes, but set up as a museum-like display rather than sales booths, more concerned with theme and content than commodity object. Curatorial considerations made intelligent relationships between artists from different galleries, instead of an “art world greatest hits.” Because of the elimination of sales booths, the pressure was off. Here, dealers seemed to be interested in discussing ideas.

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Steve Lambert’s Anti-Advertising Agency Takes a Long Coffee Break

Yesterday, someone suggested to me that artist Steve Lambert’s Anti-Advertising Agency was calling it quits after six years of producing some of the most socially engaged work around. For those who may be unfamiliar with the group, they actively co-opted the language of advertising and public relations to question and parody its pervasiveness in our lives. The ominous looking header on the homepage of the Anti-Advertising Agency, complete with start and end dates, pushed me to contact Lambert about what’s happening with his artistic brainchild.

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Towards Transparency and Justice, Learning from Wikileaks and Wojnarowicz

What do Wikileaks and the art world’s response to the censorship of David Wojnarowicz’s “A Fire in My Belly” by the Smithsonian have in common? Both make public what elites want to keep secret. They illustrate how little, if anything, can be hidden anymore and demonstrate how the more something is concealed the more the demand for it to be revealed grows.

What the complex and seemingly unrelated stories of Wikileaks and the censorship of “A Fire in My Belly” at the National Portrait Gallery’s Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture highlights is how insiders, or those with insider access, can use their privilege to unsettle the status quo when it isn’t working anymore.