Now and then, I suspect that an honest art writer might feel as if he or she is losing it.
PHILADELPHIA — Once upon a time, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, there lived a family of sculptures. They were all smooth, white, and vacant-eyed.
With America Is Hard to See, the exhibition inaugurating its luminous new Renzo Piano building, the Whitney has reclaimed its role among the city’s museums as the engine of the new.
The inaugural exhibition at the new Whitney Museum is not perfect, but it is pretty damn good.
Opening tonight, the New Museum’s NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star purports to offer a time capsule, or, as the museum’s curator Gary Carrion-Murayari put it, a “form of collective memory” documenting a particular time in a particular art scene, namely, New York City in the ’90s.
Lee Ufan’s letter to Stella underscores his ongoing critique of Western aesthetics, which began with the specific objects we associate with Minimalism. Whereas Minimalism, at least as Stella codified it, emphasizes the material presence of an object isolated from the passage of time, the artists associated with Mono-ha were interested in what happened between things, in the dynamics of their relationship as well as in change. Thus, for all the visual affinities between a Western-made object and those made by the Mono-ha artists, these connections have to do with appearance — they are morphological and, at best, superficial.
This year’s Whitney Biennial may be my favorite in memory. I’ve been thinking about it for over two months now and will publish my review here next week but until then I wanted to post some photos that I snapped during the press preview back in February.