The signatories, a mix of members and members-elect, include Kara Walker, Dread Scott, Ed Ruscha, Jack Whitten, Judith Bernstein, and Peter Saul.
A group of local artists, activists, and community members is demanding that the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston “pull the show.”
Despite being a craft dating back over 30,000 years, fiber work only started to get sculpturally experimental in a serious way in the 1960s and 70s.
This morning, as Boston mourned yesterday’s tragedy, its major art institutions announced free admission to the public, “a place of respite for our community” in the words of the Museum of Fine Arts.
The fool, or jester, or clown is a well-established archetype in Western culture. We are taught that jesters provided entertainment for monarchs, prattling around in brightly colored costumes, poking fun at the court milieu while criticizing their masters and mistresses through their satire. The art world is pretty much like a royal court, right? It’s a self-serious, self-reinforcing community built around a central hierarchy. So who is our most perceptive clown?
In the latest news in the battle for arts funding in the US, The Art Newspaper reported yesterday that the Boston Mayor has greatly increased payments under his Payment in Lieu of Taxes scheme that asks nonprofits, including museums to make “voluntary” contributions to city services such as the fire and police department.
The Boston art media are getting into a tiff, arguing if the newly redesigned ICA Boston is irrelevant-on-arrival. The Diller Scofidio+Renfro-designed home has actually heralded a new high point for a museum that is becoming one of the Northeast’s most dynamic, interesting contemporary art institutions.
Boston artists understand that the city’s contemporary art community lacks punch. After all, they’re the ones in the middle of it, surrounded on all sides by curators, galleries and critics. As artists have responded to the problems set out in my series on the Boston contemporary art scene, their comments point towards a working answer for one question: how could the Boston art community be made better for the city’s artists?
Is it possible for an entire city to have an inferiority complex over its own art and artists? At times it certainly seems like Boston does. Between ignoring traveling retrospectives of local artists, devoting gallery space to art world circuit card-holders, and hemorrhaging curators, this city’s scene sometimes looks a lot like a branch office of New York: understaffed and passing on its best to the mothership.
In my previous article on Hyperallergic, I discussed Greg Cook’s view that Boston’s contemporary art scene lacks ambition and a drive to push itself further. I believe that what we need to overcome in this city is not just this inferiority complex but a specific Boston identity.
Greg Cook is proud to be a yokel. As an art critic for The Boston Phoenix weekly, an independent blogger and artist, Greg is a staunch fan and supporter of the Boston contemporary art community. What bugs him about this city’s art scene is that he might have a better opinion of the scene than it does of itself. In a series of blog posts on his New England Journal for Aesthetic Research, Greg has outlined a Yokelist manifesto for a Boston art community with enough confidence to drive itself to greater heights, art world capital or not.