My latest review is up at the L Magazine. The teaser below:
Large exhibitions require a strong first room, in the same way an essay needs an engaging opening paragraph — both frame the way we think about what we see and read. To wit, the Takashi Murakami retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum might have done better with the more than 90 works on view had the entry point of the show been better put together. With an initial explosion of Vuitton logos on canvas, jellyfish screens, slick commercial animations and transformer anime characters, the context given to the work certainly runs closer to commerce than it does fine art. Not that I have a problem with the pop culture aspect of the work, it just seems an awful onus on the viewer to then have to pick out from the exhibition the fine art tradition that also informs his art. Of course, Murakami will tell you Japanese culture sees these distinctions less than Westerners, that they aren't actually that important. He may be right, but that doesn't erase the purpose of a museum: to highlight the creative practices inherent to fine art.
To read the full piece click here.