AFC Responds to Art Critics: Get Real!

by Art Fag City on March 15, 2010 · 84 comments Events

POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
Installation view of Skin Fruit at The New Museum

Art critics just don’t get it. Cronyism is a fact of life, and the sooner we start acting like doormats, the less The New York Observer’s Adam Lindemann will have to think about such pesky subjects. Here’s a list of reasons Lindemann offers in support of the New Museum’s “Skin Fruit” an exhibition of work culled from Dakis Joannou’s collection and curated by Jeff Koons and why he’s wrong.

Lindemann: Museums don’t have enough money to run properly, so this show is a solution.

AFC: This sucks, but it’s not like the only option at a museum’s disposal is to borrow from a collector who’s on their board and hire an artist who has no experience curating to organize the show. The New Museum could always launch fewer shows. I’d rather see a few really good exhibitions than a lot of crappy ones.

I should note that while I am sympathetic the idea that perhaps the museum got caught in a tough time, and this solution was the best they had, naming Jeff Koons as the curator undoes a fair amount of good will I’m willing to lend. It’s like the museum had a competition to come up with the show that employed the largest number of poor decisions.

Lindemann: But thunder has been drained from museums and commercial galleries are launching better shows.

AFC: That’s not true. The Met’s Picture Generation was better than any show I saw at a commercial gallery last year, including Gagosian’s much lauded Manzoni retrospective or Picasso (“uncut” as I like to call it). I’m tired of hearing about how the slanted scholarship of commercial venues bests the work of that done at Museums.

Lindemann: Sometimes a show devalues the work in a collection. Why isn’t anyone talking about that?

AFC: Typically in the lead up to a museum exhibition the value of the artists in these shows increases, regardless of whether it falls after the case. It seems exceedingly unlikely that Dakis Joannou would not profit in some way from this show.

Lindemann: In America, when you accept someone’s money there are strings attached. As such, we should just accept the fact that Joannou chose his friend Jeff Koons to curate the show, because if the museum didn’t it would loose Joannou’s support.

AFC: This is speculation and therefore not an argument for anything.

Lindemann: Joannou is not underwriting the show.

AFC: Good.

Lindemann: MoMA director Glenn Lowry told me museums are not a democracy and I believe him! The New Museum should work with their friends if they want.

AFC: Connections oil the art world, but they aren’t and shouldn’t be the only lubricant. The New Museum needs look beyond it’s doorstep every once and a while if it wants to build a reputation as a world class institution.

Lindemann: The idea that it’s wrong of museums to hang work that is potentially for sale is crazy!

AFC: I wasn’t aware there was much debate on this subject. What ethical debates over The Whitney Biennial and Younger Than Jesus have I been missing?

  • http://www.zacharyadamcohen.com/ Zachary Adam Cohen

    Dakkis may indeed profit from Skin Fruit in one way or another. But that is a short term profit that is hardly sustainable. I personally think that Skin Fruit will actually decrease the value of the work shown in it.

    otherwise, i like this point counterpoint. And you are right on when you say fewer shows as opposed to more crappy ones!

  • http://www.zacharyadamcohen.com/ Zachary Adam Cohen

    Dakkis may indeed profit from Skin Fruit in one way or another. But that is a short term profit that is hardly sustainable. I personally think that Skin Fruit will actually decrease the value of the work shown in it.

    otherwise, i like this point counterpoint. And you are right on when you say fewer shows as opposed to more crappy ones!

  • http://www.zacharyadamcohen.com/ Zachary Adam Cohen

    Dakkis may indeed profit from Skin Fruit in one way or another. But that is a short term profit that is hardly sustainable. I personally think that Skin Fruit will actually decrease the value of the work shown in it.

    otherwise, i like this point counterpoint. And you are right on when you say fewer shows as opposed to more crappy ones!

  • http://www.zacharyadamcohen.com/ Zachary Adam Cohen

    Dakkis may indeed profit from Skin Fruit in one way or another. But that is a short term profit that is hardly sustainable. I personally think that Skin Fruit will actually decrease the value of the work shown in it.

    otherwise, i like this point counterpoint. And you are right on when you say fewer shows as opposed to more crappy ones!

  • kurokowa

    I was told by a high level administrator there that as a result of all the shipping and installation that this was one of the most expensive shows they have ever put on. Therefore Lindeman’s argument doesn’t hold water in this instance.

    As for value of work going up as a result of exhibition there, Urs sold the entire second floor of his exhibition as one work to one collector. There’s only about 10 or 15 collectors in the world that can pull off that kind of purchase. Artist’s don’t list on their CV’s the amount of time work spent in storage. They list exhibitions because it is relevant to value.

  • kurokowa

    I was told by a high level administrator there that as a result of all the shipping and installation that this was one of the most expensive shows they have ever put on. Therefore Lindeman’s argument doesn’t hold water in this instance.

    As for value of work going up as a result of exhibition there, Urs sold the entire second floor of his exhibition as one work to one collector. There’s only about 10 or 15 collectors in the world that can pull off that kind of purchase. Artist’s don’t list on their CV’s the amount of time work spent in storage. They list exhibitions because it is relevant to value.

  • kurokowa

    I was told by a high level administrator there that as a result of all the shipping and installation that this was one of the most expensive shows they have ever put on. Therefore Lindeman’s argument doesn’t hold water in this instance.

    As for value of work going up as a result of exhibition there, Urs sold the entire second floor of his exhibition as one work to one collector. There’s only about 10 or 15 collectors in the world that can pull off that kind of purchase. Artist’s don’t list on their CV’s the amount of time work spent in storage. They list exhibitions because it is relevant to value.

  • Critic’s critic

    It’s all well and good that Adam Lindemann makes the argument he does in his Observer article. But I for one would have been smirking a little less had he been bold enough to implicate himself in the following paragraph (my additions/suggested revisions are in brackets):

    [“Alleged problem with the show”:]
    This represents a “dizzyingly insular circle of art world insiders.”

    [Lindemann’s “rebuttal”:]
    The prior Urs Fischer show at the museum was curated by Massimiliano Gioni, who is close to Maurizio Cattelan, who is close to Dakis, who is close to Jeff Koons. Both Dakis and Mr. Koons are close to Jeffrey Deitch. [I, Adam Lindemann, myself belong to the “exclusive group of funders and supporters” Massimiliano Gioni thanked in the Urs Fischer catalogue and I am a collector of Fischer’s work, installation shots of which at my Montauk home were included in the New Museum exhibition catalogue.] Is this a problem? Or is this all part of some cabal? If one is offended by power cliques, get out of the art world-it’s full of them.

  • Critic’s critic

    It’s all well and good that Adam Lindemann makes the argument he does in his Observer article. But I for one would have been smirking a little less had he been bold enough to implicate himself in the following paragraph (my additions/suggested revisions are in brackets):

    [“Alleged problem with the show”:]
    This represents a “dizzyingly insular circle of art world insiders.”

    [Lindemann’s “rebuttal”:]
    The prior Urs Fischer show at the museum was curated by Massimiliano Gioni, who is close to Maurizio Cattelan, who is close to Dakis, who is close to Jeff Koons. Both Dakis and Mr. Koons are close to Jeffrey Deitch. [I, Adam Lindemann, myself belong to the “exclusive group of funders and supporters” Massimiliano Gioni thanked in the Urs Fischer catalogue and I am a collector of Fischer’s work, installation shots of which at my Montauk home were included in the New Museum exhibition catalogue.] Is this a problem? Or is this all part of some cabal? If one is offended by power cliques, get out of the art world-it’s full of them.

  • Critic’s critic

    It’s all well and good that Adam Lindemann makes the argument he does in his Observer article. But I for one would have been smirking a little less had he been bold enough to implicate himself in the following paragraph (my additions/suggested revisions are in brackets):

    [“Alleged problem with the show”:]
    This represents a “dizzyingly insular circle of art world insiders.”

    [Lindemann’s “rebuttal”:]
    The prior Urs Fischer show at the museum was curated by Massimiliano Gioni, who is close to Maurizio Cattelan, who is close to Dakis, who is close to Jeff Koons. Both Dakis and Mr. Koons are close to Jeffrey Deitch. [I, Adam Lindemann, myself belong to the “exclusive group of funders and supporters” Massimiliano Gioni thanked in the Urs Fischer catalogue and I am a collector of Fischer’s work, installation shots of which at my Montauk home were included in the New Museum exhibition catalogue.] Is this a problem? Or is this all part of some cabal? If one is offended by power cliques, get out of the art world-it’s full of them.

  • Critic’s critic

    It’s all well and good that Adam Lindemann makes the argument he does in his Observer article. But I for one would have been smirking a little less had he been bold enough to implicate himself in the following paragraph (my additions/suggested revisions are in brackets):

    [“Alleged problem with the show”:]
    This represents a “dizzyingly insular circle of art world insiders.”

    [Lindemann’s “rebuttal”:]
    The prior Urs Fischer show at the museum was curated by Massimiliano Gioni, who is close to Maurizio Cattelan, who is close to Dakis, who is close to Jeff Koons. Both Dakis and Mr. Koons are close to Jeffrey Deitch. [I, Adam Lindemann, myself belong to the “exclusive group of funders and supporters” Massimiliano Gioni thanked in the Urs Fischer catalogue and I am a collector of Fischer’s work, installation shots of which at my Montauk home were included in the New Museum exhibition catalogue.] Is this a problem? Or is this all part of some cabal? If one is offended by power cliques, get out of the art world-it’s full of them.

  • Critic’s critic

    It’s all well and good that Adam Lindemann makes the argument he does in his Observer article. But I for one would have been smirking a little less had he been bold enough to implicate himself in the following paragraph (my additions/suggested revisions are in brackets):

    [“Alleged problem with the show”:]
    This represents a “dizzyingly insular circle of art world insiders.”

    [Lindemann’s “rebuttal”:]
    The prior Urs Fischer show at the museum was curated by Massimiliano Gioni, who is close to Maurizio Cattelan, who is close to Dakis, who is close to Jeff Koons. Both Dakis and Mr. Koons are close to Jeffrey Deitch. [I, Adam Lindemann, myself belong to the “exclusive group of funders and supporters” Massimiliano Gioni thanked in the Urs Fischer catalogue and I am a collector of Fischer’s work, installation shots of which at my Montauk home were included in the New Museum exhibition catalogue.] Is this a problem? Or is this all part of some cabal? If one is offended by power cliques, get out of the art world-it’s full of them.

  • Mead McLean

    This whole thing seems a little onanistic, but as long as the art is good, who cares? Of course, if the art sucks, then that’s another story.

    This reminds me of the way local (in the middle of nowhere) indie studio/galleries will curate last-minute shows from whatever art is laying around because they didn’t feel like making an effort that month. It seems a little lazy, so in that sense, I’d agree. Don’t be lazy and try to publicize it as something fantastic.

    On the other hand, there is that constant pressure to keep people coming in the doors. Go figure.

  • Mead McLean

    This whole thing seems a little onanistic, but as long as the art is good, who cares? Of course, if the art sucks, then that’s another story.

    This reminds me of the way local (in the middle of nowhere) indie studio/galleries will curate last-minute shows from whatever art is laying around because they didn’t feel like making an effort that month. It seems a little lazy, so in that sense, I’d agree. Don’t be lazy and try to publicize it as something fantastic.

    On the other hand, there is that constant pressure to keep people coming in the doors. Go figure.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    The show isn’t any good.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    The show isn’t any good.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    The show isn’t any good.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    The show isn’t any good.

  • R.

    I’m with you on the first point. I certainly don’t want to dismiss the ethical issues surrounding the relationship between trustees and museums, but allowing Koons to curate was the nail in the coffin, and strikes me as an admission that the show is nothing but fluff with marquee names. I might have been able to take the show slightly more seriously if a legitimate curator organized it. With that said, who wants to bet that no one at the New Museum wanted their name to be attached to what will surely be considered one of the worst decisions in the institution’s history?

    Also, so much of the museum’s press materials and statements surrounding this show speak about Dakis’ generosity as a trustee, his acumen as a collector, etc. as if his motives were totally philanthropic here — why not just place his collection at the museum’s disposal and let the curators decide when and how to use works from it? I would have less of a problem with this show if it wasn’t “Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection” as opposed to a well-curated show with an interesting theme that happened to borrow from a private collector/trustee.

    Given the depleted resources of museums and cultural institutions, a tighter relationship with funders and trustees may be an (unfortunate) fact of life, but isn’t there a way to deal with it without completly tossing all integrity out the window?

  • R.

    I’m with you on the first point. I certainly don’t want to dismiss the ethical issues surrounding the relationship between trustees and museums, but allowing Koons to curate was the nail in the coffin, and strikes me as an admission that the show is nothing but fluff with marquee names. I might have been able to take the show slightly more seriously if a legitimate curator organized it. With that said, who wants to bet that no one at the New Museum wanted their name to be attached to what will surely be considered one of the worst decisions in the institution’s history?

    Also, so much of the museum’s press materials and statements surrounding this show speak about Dakis’ generosity as a trustee, his acumen as a collector, etc. as if his motives were totally philanthropic here — why not just place his collection at the museum’s disposal and let the curators decide when and how to use works from it? I would have less of a problem with this show if it wasn’t “Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection” as opposed to a well-curated show with an interesting theme that happened to borrow from a private collector/trustee.

    Given the depleted resources of museums and cultural institutions, a tighter relationship with funders and trustees may be an (unfortunate) fact of life, but isn’t there a way to deal with it without completly tossing all integrity out the window?

  • R.

    I’m with you on the first point. I certainly don’t want to dismiss the ethical issues surrounding the relationship between trustees and museums, but allowing Koons to curate was the nail in the coffin, and strikes me as an admission that the show is nothing but fluff with marquee names. I might have been able to take the show slightly more seriously if a legitimate curator organized it. With that said, who wants to bet that no one at the New Museum wanted their name to be attached to what will surely be considered one of the worst decisions in the institution’s history?

    Also, so much of the museum’s press materials and statements surrounding this show speak about Dakis’ generosity as a trustee, his acumen as a collector, etc. as if his motives were totally philanthropic here — why not just place his collection at the museum’s disposal and let the curators decide when and how to use works from it? I would have less of a problem with this show if it wasn’t “Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection” as opposed to a well-curated show with an interesting theme that happened to borrow from a private collector/trustee.

    Given the depleted resources of museums and cultural institutions, a tighter relationship with funders and trustees may be an (unfortunate) fact of life, but isn’t there a way to deal with it without completly tossing all integrity out the window?

  • R.

    I’m with you on the first point. I certainly don’t want to dismiss the ethical issues surrounding the relationship between trustees and museums, but allowing Koons to curate was the nail in the coffin, and strikes me as an admission that the show is nothing but fluff with marquee names. I might have been able to take the show slightly more seriously if a legitimate curator organized it. With that said, who wants to bet that no one at the New Museum wanted their name to be attached to what will surely be considered one of the worst decisions in the institution’s history?

    Also, so much of the museum’s press materials and statements surrounding this show speak about Dakis’ generosity as a trustee, his acumen as a collector, etc. as if his motives were totally philanthropic here — why not just place his collection at the museum’s disposal and let the curators decide when and how to use works from it? I would have less of a problem with this show if it wasn’t “Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection” as opposed to a well-curated show with an interesting theme that happened to borrow from a private collector/trustee.

    Given the depleted resources of museums and cultural institutions, a tighter relationship with funders and trustees may be an (unfortunate) fact of life, but isn’t there a way to deal with it without completly tossing all integrity out the window?

  • mlm

    Crony capitalism is all the rage. Keeping the big guys big is the point of our society, at least at the moment. Why should museums which are in fact major businesses (check out publications and gift shops)function differently?

    Maybe each disenfranchised artist should send a back scratcher to the New Museum. Consider it a gigantic installation/performance piece.

  • mlm

    Crony capitalism is all the rage. Keeping the big guys big is the point of our society, at least at the moment. Why should museums which are in fact major businesses (check out publications and gift shops)function differently?

    Maybe each disenfranchised artist should send a back scratcher to the New Museum. Consider it a gigantic installation/performance piece.

  • Brian

    This exchange feels like Modern Art Notes Redux, though I think it is useful to keep these kinds of conflicts of interest in the ‘fore. Somehow I remember this blog being a lot less sympathetic to these oppositionalities in the past, so I welcome this post.

    That said, I am not sure it makes sense, entirely, to emphasize Koons’ abilities as a curator as part and parcel of the larger problems at work. In fact, though there are lots of objections to be raised with the nepotism at the New Mus, considering Koons as curator is one of the more interesting aspects of this show. The guy has a critical eye for placement, but I overstate the obvious here. Lots of nails in the coffin indeed, but there are some benefits to this kind of Empire-building.

  • Brian

    This exchange feels like Modern Art Notes Redux, though I think it is useful to keep these kinds of conflicts of interest in the ‘fore. Somehow I remember this blog being a lot less sympathetic to these oppositionalities in the past, so I welcome this post.

    That said, I am not sure it makes sense, entirely, to emphasize Koons’ abilities as a curator as part and parcel of the larger problems at work. In fact, though there are lots of objections to be raised with the nepotism at the New Mus, considering Koons as curator is one of the more interesting aspects of this show. The guy has a critical eye for placement, but I overstate the obvious here. Lots of nails in the coffin indeed, but there are some benefits to this kind of Empire-building.

  • Brian

    This exchange feels like Modern Art Notes Redux, though I think it is useful to keep these kinds of conflicts of interest in the ‘fore. Somehow I remember this blog being a lot less sympathetic to these oppositionalities in the past, so I welcome this post.

    That said, I am not sure it makes sense, entirely, to emphasize Koons’ abilities as a curator as part and parcel of the larger problems at work. In fact, though there are lots of objections to be raised with the nepotism at the New Mus, considering Koons as curator is one of the more interesting aspects of this show. The guy has a critical eye for placement, but I overstate the obvious here. Lots of nails in the coffin indeed, but there are some benefits to this kind of Empire-building.

  • Brian

    This exchange feels like Modern Art Notes Redux, though I think it is useful to keep these kinds of conflicts of interest in the ‘fore. Somehow I remember this blog being a lot less sympathetic to these oppositionalities in the past, so I welcome this post.

    That said, I am not sure it makes sense, entirely, to emphasize Koons’ abilities as a curator as part and parcel of the larger problems at work. In fact, though there are lots of objections to be raised with the nepotism at the New Mus, considering Koons as curator is one of the more interesting aspects of this show. The guy has a critical eye for placement, but I overstate the obvious here. Lots of nails in the coffin indeed, but there are some benefits to this kind of Empire-building.

  • Brian

    This exchange feels like Modern Art Notes Redux, though I think it is useful to keep these kinds of conflicts of interest in the ‘fore. Somehow I remember this blog being a lot less sympathetic to these oppositionalities in the past, so I welcome this post.

    That said, I am not sure it makes sense, entirely, to emphasize Koons’ abilities as a curator as part and parcel of the larger problems at work. In fact, though there are lots of objections to be raised with the nepotism at the New Mus, considering Koons as curator is one of the more interesting aspects of this show. The guy has a critical eye for placement, but I overstate the obvious here. Lots of nails in the coffin indeed, but there are some benefits to this kind of Empire-building.

  • Brian

    This exchange feels like Modern Art Notes Redux, though I think it is useful to keep these kinds of conflicts of interest in the ‘fore. Somehow I remember this blog being a lot less sympathetic to these oppositionalities in the past, so I welcome this post.

    That said, I am not sure it makes sense, entirely, to emphasize Koons’ abilities as a curator as part and parcel of the larger problems at work. In fact, though there are lots of objections to be raised with the nepotism at the New Mus, considering Koons as curator is one of the more interesting aspects of this show. The guy has a critical eye for placement, but I overstate the obvious here. Lots of nails in the coffin indeed, but there are some benefits to this kind of Empire-building.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Are you saying I was less sympathetic to the NuMu position or to the conflict of interest case presented by MAN? I’d say it’s more of the former, but I’m not sure how you’re reading it.

    Anyway, Koons is up front and center on this one because I saw the show recently and it’s a testament to what good curating can do for an exhibition in its lack there of. Koons is only a good curator in theory. In practice, he never sees art, and is therefore unable to draw out any meaningful threads from the work past his own interests. And unfortunately his interests cast onto Joanou’s collection hasn’t amounted to much.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Are you saying I was less sympathetic to the NuMu position or to the conflict of interest case presented by MAN? I’d say it’s more of the former, but I’m not sure how you’re reading it.

    Anyway, Koons is up front and center on this one because I saw the show recently and it’s a testament to what good curating can do for an exhibition in its lack there of. Koons is only a good curator in theory. In practice, he never sees art, and is therefore unable to draw out any meaningful threads from the work past his own interests. And unfortunately his interests cast onto Joanou’s collection hasn’t amounted to much.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Are you saying I was less sympathetic to the NuMu position or to the conflict of interest case presented by MAN? I’d say it’s more of the former, but I’m not sure how you’re reading it.

    Anyway, Koons is up front and center on this one because I saw the show recently and it’s a testament to what good curating can do for an exhibition in its lack there of. Koons is only a good curator in theory. In practice, he never sees art, and is therefore unable to draw out any meaningful threads from the work past his own interests. And unfortunately his interests cast onto Joanou’s collection hasn’t amounted to much.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Are you saying I was less sympathetic to the NuMu position or to the conflict of interest case presented by MAN? I’d say it’s more of the former, but I’m not sure how you’re reading it.

    Anyway, Koons is up front and center on this one because I saw the show recently and it’s a testament to what good curating can do for an exhibition in its lack there of. Koons is only a good curator in theory. In practice, he never sees art, and is therefore unable to draw out any meaningful threads from the work past his own interests. And unfortunately his interests cast onto Joanou’s collection hasn’t amounted to much.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Are you saying I was less sympathetic to the NuMu position or to the conflict of interest case presented by MAN? I’d say it’s more of the former, but I’m not sure how you’re reading it.

    Anyway, Koons is up front and center on this one because I saw the show recently and it’s a testament to what good curating can do for an exhibition in its lack there of. Koons is only a good curator in theory. In practice, he never sees art, and is therefore unable to draw out any meaningful threads from the work past his own interests. And unfortunately his interests cast onto Joanou’s collection hasn’t amounted to much.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Are you saying I was less sympathetic to the NuMu position or to the conflict of interest case presented by MAN? I’d say it’s more of the former, but I’m not sure how you’re reading it.

    Anyway, Koons is up front and center on this one because I saw the show recently and it’s a testament to what good curating can do for an exhibition in its lack there of. Koons is only a good curator in theory. In practice, he never sees art, and is therefore unable to draw out any meaningful threads from the work past his own interests. And unfortunately his interests cast onto Joanou’s collection hasn’t amounted to much.

  • Peter

    Who really cares about any of this outside of NYC?

  • Peter

    Who really cares about any of this outside of NYC?

  • Peter

    Who really cares about any of this outside of NYC?

  • Peter

    Who really cares about any of this outside of NYC?

  • Peter

    Who really cares about any of this outside of NYC?

  • Brian

    You seemed to acquiesce pretty quickly in the face of the Deitch conflicts of interest in your past posts, so maybe I am unfairly conflating that kind of institutional insularity with this one, which clearly has more of a fat cat/smoking jacket kind of feel to it. I think many, myself included, wanted the conversation to continue about how these debates should be discussed at-length and not reduced to an “oh, let’s not assume there is corruption before the authorities have properly vetted the situation.” According to this post, you are throwing the entire baby out with that very same bath water. I am mixing metaphors here, I apologize.

    As for Koons never “seeing art,” I assume you to mean he isn’t part of the contemporary conversation? Not sure whether I can say so or not, but there are plenty of shows curated by artists that are of interest. I try not to evaluate these projects according to standard or contemporary curatorial conventions, but what insights they might give both to the work itself, and the artist’s own project. This is especially evident in non-profit and artist-run spaces, but the same can be said for these kinds of emerging institutions.

  • Brian

    You seemed to acquiesce pretty quickly in the face of the Deitch conflicts of interest in your past posts, so maybe I am unfairly conflating that kind of institutional insularity with this one, which clearly has more of a fat cat/smoking jacket kind of feel to it. I think many, myself included, wanted the conversation to continue about how these debates should be discussed at-length and not reduced to an “oh, let’s not assume there is corruption before the authorities have properly vetted the situation.” According to this post, you are throwing the entire baby out with that very same bath water. I am mixing metaphors here, I apologize.

    As for Koons never “seeing art,” I assume you to mean he isn’t part of the contemporary conversation? Not sure whether I can say so or not, but there are plenty of shows curated by artists that are of interest. I try not to evaluate these projects according to standard or contemporary curatorial conventions, but what insights they might give both to the work itself, and the artist’s own project. This is especially evident in non-profit and artist-run spaces, but the same can be said for these kinds of emerging institutions.

  • Brian

    You seemed to acquiesce pretty quickly in the face of the Deitch conflicts of interest in your past posts, so maybe I am unfairly conflating that kind of institutional insularity with this one, which clearly has more of a fat cat/smoking jacket kind of feel to it. I think many, myself included, wanted the conversation to continue about how these debates should be discussed at-length and not reduced to an “oh, let’s not assume there is corruption before the authorities have properly vetted the situation.” According to this post, you are throwing the entire baby out with that very same bath water. I am mixing metaphors here, I apologize.

    As for Koons never “seeing art,” I assume you to mean he isn’t part of the contemporary conversation? Not sure whether I can say so or not, but there are plenty of shows curated by artists that are of interest. I try not to evaluate these projects according to standard or contemporary curatorial conventions, but what insights they might give both to the work itself, and the artist’s own project. This is especially evident in non-profit and artist-run spaces, but the same can be said for these kinds of emerging institutions.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Oh yeah, the Deitch thing. I never took a “this potential conflict of interest has to be policed” position so I wouldn’t call it acquiescing. I don’t want be the art world’s hall monitor, wagging my finger at the slight hint of conflict.

    This case is much more sensitive because there are already all kinds of indications that cronyism is occurring. As for Jeff Koons not seeing contemporary art, I do mean he doesn’t look at a lot of contemporary art, not just that he’s not in the scene. People who work closely with him have told me as much. That’s a problem if you’re curating from a large collection like Joannou’s because the artist isn’t familiar enough to draw out meaningful themes. Vic Muniz got around this in the show he curated at MoMA by drawing meaning only from the object itself, and this was a great success. The same can not be said of Koon’s show. Skin Fruit is no where near as successful of any of the similarly curated shows at the Rubell Collection or Yedhessa Hendeles, and the show sheds very little new light on the artist’s own projects. By these stardards the show is a failure.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Oh yeah, the Deitch thing. I never took a “this potential conflict of interest has to be policed” position so I wouldn’t call it acquiescing. I don’t want be the art world’s hall monitor, wagging my finger at the slight hint of conflict.

    This case is much more sensitive because there are already all kinds of indications that cronyism is occurring. As for Jeff Koons not seeing contemporary art, I do mean he doesn’t look at a lot of contemporary art, not just that he’s not in the scene. People who work closely with him have told me as much. That’s a problem if you’re curating from a large collection like Joannou’s because the artist isn’t familiar enough to draw out meaningful themes. Vic Muniz got around this in the show he curated at MoMA by drawing meaning only from the object itself, and this was a great success. The same can not be said of Koon’s show. Skin Fruit is no where near as successful of any of the similarly curated shows at the Rubell Collection or Yedhessa Hendeles, and the show sheds very little new light on the artist’s own projects. By these stardards the show is a failure.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Oh yeah, the Deitch thing. I never took a “this potential conflict of interest has to be policed” position so I wouldn’t call it acquiescing. I don’t want be the art world’s hall monitor, wagging my finger at the slight hint of conflict.

    This case is much more sensitive because there are already all kinds of indications that cronyism is occurring. As for Jeff Koons not seeing contemporary art, I do mean he doesn’t look at a lot of contemporary art, not just that he’s not in the scene. People who work closely with him have told me as much. That’s a problem if you’re curating from a large collection like Joannou’s because the artist isn’t familiar enough to draw out meaningful themes. Vic Muniz got around this in the show he curated at MoMA by drawing meaning only from the object itself, and this was a great success. The same can not be said of Koon’s show. Skin Fruit is no where near as successful of any of the similarly curated shows at the Rubell Collection or Yedhessa Hendeles, and the show sheds very little new light on the artist’s own projects. By these stardards the show is a failure.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Oh yeah, the Deitch thing. I never took a “this potential conflict of interest has to be policed” position so I wouldn’t call it acquiescing. I don’t want be the art world’s hall monitor, wagging my finger at the slight hint of conflict.

    This case is much more sensitive because there are already all kinds of indications that cronyism is occurring. As for Jeff Koons not seeing contemporary art, I do mean he doesn’t look at a lot of contemporary art, not just that he’s not in the scene. People who work closely with him have told me as much. That’s a problem if you’re curating from a large collection like Joannou’s because the artist isn’t familiar enough to draw out meaningful themes. Vic Muniz got around this in the show he curated at MoMA by drawing meaning only from the object itself, and this was a great success. The same can not be said of Koon’s show. Skin Fruit is no where near as successful of any of the similarly curated shows at the Rubell Collection or Yedhessa Hendeles, and the show sheds very little new light on the artist’s own projects. By these stardards the show is a failure.

  • Brian

    >>By these stardards the show is a failure.

    Wish I could articulate my opinions this fast and easy. Never entirely sure a failure is just a failure, or a cigar a cigar . . .

  • Brian

    >>By these stardards the show is a failure.

    Wish I could articulate my opinions this fast and easy. Never entirely sure a failure is just a failure, or a cigar a cigar . . .

  • Brian

    >>By these stardards the show is a failure.

    Wish I could articulate my opinions this fast and easy. Never entirely sure a failure is just a failure, or a cigar a cigar . . .

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Spend five years blogging and you too will have this skill.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Spend five years blogging and you too will have this skill.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Spend five years blogging and you too will have this skill.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Spend five years blogging and you too will have this skill.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Spend five years blogging and you too will have this skill.

  • Some Painter

    One point that is totally wrong in Adam Lindemann’s article is that Dakis Joannou did not ask Jeff Koons to curate this show. The New Museum did.

  • Some Painter

    One point that is totally wrong in Adam Lindemann’s article is that Dakis Joannou did not ask Jeff Koons to curate this show. The New Museum did.

  • some curator

    Than New Museums are kind of real bores too!
    The curating of the show is not any good.

  • some curator

    Than New Museums are kind of real bores too!
    The curating of the show is not any good.

  • some curator

    Than New Museums are kind of real bores too!
    The curating of the show is not any good.

  • some curator

    Than New Museums are kind of real bores too!
    The curating of the show is not any good.

  • some curator

    Than New Museums are kind of real bores too!
    The curating of the show is not any good.

  • some curator

    Than New Museums are kind of real bores too!
    The curating of the show is not any good.

  • Bruno

    Lindemann: MoMA director Glenn Lowry told me museums are not a democracy and I believe him! The New Museum should work with their friends if they want.

    Response to Mr Lindemann:
    Museums may not be democratic. But they still benefit from tax exemptions. That means that the taxes that the State doesn’t collect from museum trustees and donors cannot be used for other important things such as schools, highways, better subways, (missiles, nuclear bombs, etc.) That’s why some people get angry when they see a museum become a private club…

  • Bruno

    Lindemann: MoMA director Glenn Lowry told me museums are not a democracy and I believe him! The New Museum should work with their friends if they want.

    Response to Mr Lindemann:
    Museums may not be democratic. But they still benefit from tax exemptions. That means that the taxes that the State doesn’t collect from museum trustees and donors cannot be used for other important things such as schools, highways, better subways, (missiles, nuclear bombs, etc.) That’s why some people get angry when they see a museum become a private club…

  • Bruno

    Lindemann: MoMA director Glenn Lowry told me museums are not a democracy and I believe him! The New Museum should work with their friends if they want.

    Response to Mr Lindemann:
    Museums may not be democratic. But they still benefit from tax exemptions. That means that the taxes that the State doesn’t collect from museum trustees and donors cannot be used for other important things such as schools, highways, better subways, (missiles, nuclear bombs, etc.) That’s why some people get angry when they see a museum become a private club…

  • Bruno

    Lindemann: MoMA director Glenn Lowry told me museums are not a democracy and I believe him! The New Museum should work with their friends if they want.

    Response to Mr Lindemann:
    Museums may not be democratic. But they still benefit from tax exemptions. That means that the taxes that the State doesn’t collect from museum trustees and donors cannot be used for other important things such as schools, highways, better subways, (missiles, nuclear bombs, etc.) That’s why some people get angry when they see a museum become a private club…

  • Bruno

    Lindemann: MoMA director Glenn Lowry told me museums are not a democracy and I believe him! The New Museum should work with their friends if they want.

    Response to Mr Lindemann:
    Museums may not be democratic. But they still benefit from tax exemptions. That means that the taxes that the State doesn’t collect from museum trustees and donors cannot be used for other important things such as schools, highways, better subways, (missiles, nuclear bombs, etc.) That’s why some people get angry when they see a museum become a private club…

  • http://thirddecade10.blogspot.com/ deepblue

    Hi, I see a lot around the argument corruption sucks but if the artworks are good lets focus on the good aspects and Joannou is actually making us a favor for showing such great artists.

    I dont agree. Even if the show was any better (some critics went as far as to say that it is good, but then again, everything is ‘good’ if you really have the Poets urge…), it is our responsibility as citizen of a democracy and not of a ‘circle of friends’ to put forward our scepticism on what seems to be corrupted in our foremost cultural sector: public museums.

    I am against conceptual art but even if Joannou collected the most exquisit dutch masters (which Koons collects btw….) I would still find a problem here. (so many ppl accuse those of us ‘moralists’ for not merely liking this kind of art when this is not true, the fact that i choose to be open and state that I dont like conceptual art is my own sense of ‘ethics’)

    Anyway, I am angry with the way some journalists and critics dared to cover up all sceptics and find no flaw but they even went further, as i said, accusing the sceptics as ‘moralists’ (and not simply as moral ppl), making us appear like a bunch of loonies in a perfectly round world that doesnt need them. We are needed! Since those near to the world-changing powers (the wealthy, the ‘capital’ if you prefer) in media and institutions are not going to speak up.

    It is also their duty in my opinion to anser to sceptics with the level of frankness and intellectual sincerety that is expected from people in the high levels of culture.

  • http://thirddecade10.blogspot.com/ deepblue

    Hi, I see a lot around the argument corruption sucks but if the artworks are good lets focus on the good aspects and Joannou is actually making us a favor for showing such great artists.

    I dont agree. Even if the show was any better (some critics went as far as to say that it is good, but then again, everything is ‘good’ if you really have the Poets urge…), it is our responsibility as citizen of a democracy and not of a ‘circle of friends’ to put forward our scepticism on what seems to be corrupted in our foremost cultural sector: public museums.

    I am against conceptual art but even if Joannou collected the most exquisit dutch masters (which Koons collects btw….) I would still find a problem here. (so many ppl accuse those of us ‘moralists’ for not merely liking this kind of art when this is not true, the fact that i choose to be open and state that I dont like conceptual art is my own sense of ‘ethics’)

    Anyway, I am angry with the way some journalists and critics dared to cover up all sceptics and find no flaw but they even went further, as i said, accusing the sceptics as ‘moralists’ (and not simply as moral ppl), making us appear like a bunch of loonies in a perfectly round world that doesnt need them. We are needed! Since those near to the world-changing powers (the wealthy, the ‘capital’ if you prefer) in media and institutions are not going to speak up.

    It is also their duty in my opinion to anser to sceptics with the level of frankness and intellectual sincerety that is expected from people in the high levels of culture.

  • http://thirddecade10.blogspot.com/ deepblue

    Hi, I see a lot around the argument corruption sucks but if the artworks are good lets focus on the good aspects and Joannou is actually making us a favor for showing such great artists.

    I dont agree. Even if the show was any better (some critics went as far as to say that it is good, but then again, everything is ‘good’ if you really have the Poets urge…), it is our responsibility as citizen of a democracy and not of a ‘circle of friends’ to put forward our scepticism on what seems to be corrupted in our foremost cultural sector: public museums.

    I am against conceptual art but even if Joannou collected the most exquisit dutch masters (which Koons collects btw….) I would still find a problem here. (so many ppl accuse those of us ‘moralists’ for not merely liking this kind of art when this is not true, the fact that i choose to be open and state that I dont like conceptual art is my own sense of ‘ethics’)

    Anyway, I am angry with the way some journalists and critics dared to cover up all sceptics and find no flaw but they even went further, as i said, accusing the sceptics as ‘moralists’ (and not simply as moral ppl), making us appear like a bunch of loonies in a perfectly round world that doesnt need them. We are needed! Since those near to the world-changing powers (the wealthy, the ‘capital’ if you prefer) in media and institutions are not going to speak up.

    It is also their duty in my opinion to anser to sceptics with the level of frankness and intellectual sincerety that is expected from people in the high levels of culture.

  • http://thirddecade10.blogspot.com/ deepblue

    Hi, I see a lot around the argument corruption sucks but if the artworks are good lets focus on the good aspects and Joannou is actually making us a favor for showing such great artists.

    I dont agree. Even if the show was any better (some critics went as far as to say that it is good, but then again, everything is ‘good’ if you really have the Poets urge…), it is our responsibility as citizen of a democracy and not of a ‘circle of friends’ to put forward our scepticism on what seems to be corrupted in our foremost cultural sector: public museums.

    I am against conceptual art but even if Joannou collected the most exquisit dutch masters (which Koons collects btw….) I would still find a problem here. (so many ppl accuse those of us ‘moralists’ for not merely liking this kind of art when this is not true, the fact that i choose to be open and state that I dont like conceptual art is my own sense of ‘ethics’)

    Anyway, I am angry with the way some journalists and critics dared to cover up all sceptics and find no flaw but they even went further, as i said, accusing the sceptics as ‘moralists’ (and not simply as moral ppl), making us appear like a bunch of loonies in a perfectly round world that doesnt need them. We are needed! Since those near to the world-changing powers (the wealthy, the ‘capital’ if you prefer) in media and institutions are not going to speak up.

    It is also their duty in my opinion to anser to sceptics with the level of frankness and intellectual sincerety that is expected from people in the high levels of culture.

  • http://thirddecade10.blogspot.com/ deepblue

    Hi, I see a lot around the argument corruption sucks but if the artworks are good lets focus on the good aspects and Joannou is actually making us a favor for showing such great artists.

    I dont agree. Even if the show was any better (some critics went as far as to say that it is good, but then again, everything is ‘good’ if you really have the Poets urge…), it is our responsibility as citizen of a democracy and not of a ‘circle of friends’ to put forward our scepticism on what seems to be corrupted in our foremost cultural sector: public museums.

    I am against conceptual art but even if Joannou collected the most exquisit dutch masters (which Koons collects btw….) I would still find a problem here. (so many ppl accuse those of us ‘moralists’ for not merely liking this kind of art when this is not true, the fact that i choose to be open and state that I dont like conceptual art is my own sense of ‘ethics’)

    Anyway, I am angry with the way some journalists and critics dared to cover up all sceptics and find no flaw but they even went further, as i said, accusing the sceptics as ‘moralists’ (and not simply as moral ppl), making us appear like a bunch of loonies in a perfectly round world that doesnt need them. We are needed! Since those near to the world-changing powers (the wealthy, the ‘capital’ if you prefer) in media and institutions are not going to speak up.

    It is also their duty in my opinion to anser to sceptics with the level of frankness and intellectual sincerety that is expected from people in the high levels of culture.

  • Brian

    I agree with Deepblue. There is so much faux criticism surrounding these conflicts of interest that both the politics of the critique itself and the analysis of art (which is really the central concern) gets lost in a whirlwind of hyperbole and overstatement. We all need to breathe in through our noses and out through our mouths for a bit to properly evaluate these complicated situations, whether it involves public museums, private collections or commercial galleries.

    One thing that these kinds of blogs, unfortunately, help to foster is a forum where opinion (which is largely irrelevant in actual criticism) dominates and people feel entitled to say something is good, bad or ugly without any critical scaffolding to support their claims. It’s easy to say something is bad. It’s difficult to unpack why or, god forbid, suggest alternatives.

    Too much simple dismissiveness on display and not enough actual experience or time put into thinking through these issues. Intellectual sincerity is a good call.

  • Brian

    I agree with Deepblue. There is so much faux criticism surrounding these conflicts of interest that both the politics of the critique itself and the analysis of art (which is really the central concern) gets lost in a whirlwind of hyperbole and overstatement. We all need to breathe in through our noses and out through our mouths for a bit to properly evaluate these complicated situations, whether it involves public museums, private collections or commercial galleries.

    One thing that these kinds of blogs, unfortunately, help to foster is a forum where opinion (which is largely irrelevant in actual criticism) dominates and people feel entitled to say something is good, bad or ugly without any critical scaffolding to support their claims. It’s easy to say something is bad. It’s difficult to unpack why or, god forbid, suggest alternatives.

    Too much simple dismissiveness on display and not enough actual experience or time put into thinking through these issues. Intellectual sincerity is a good call.

  • Brian

    I agree with Deepblue. There is so much faux criticism surrounding these conflicts of interest that both the politics of the critique itself and the analysis of art (which is really the central concern) gets lost in a whirlwind of hyperbole and overstatement. We all need to breathe in through our noses and out through our mouths for a bit to properly evaluate these complicated situations, whether it involves public museums, private collections or commercial galleries.

    One thing that these kinds of blogs, unfortunately, help to foster is a forum where opinion (which is largely irrelevant in actual criticism) dominates and people feel entitled to say something is good, bad or ugly without any critical scaffolding to support their claims. It’s easy to say something is bad. It’s difficult to unpack why or, god forbid, suggest alternatives.

    Too much simple dismissiveness on display and not enough actual experience or time put into thinking through these issues. Intellectual sincerity is a good call.

  • Brian

    I agree with Deepblue. There is so much faux criticism surrounding these conflicts of interest that both the politics of the critique itself and the analysis of art (which is really the central concern) gets lost in a whirlwind of hyperbole and overstatement. We all need to breathe in through our noses and out through our mouths for a bit to properly evaluate these complicated situations, whether it involves public museums, private collections or commercial galleries.

    One thing that these kinds of blogs, unfortunately, help to foster is a forum where opinion (which is largely irrelevant in actual criticism) dominates and people feel entitled to say something is good, bad or ugly without any critical scaffolding to support their claims. It’s easy to say something is bad. It’s difficult to unpack why or, god forbid, suggest alternatives.

    Too much simple dismissiveness on display and not enough actual experience or time put into thinking through these issues. Intellectual sincerity is a good call.

  • Brian

    I agree with Deepblue. There is so much faux criticism surrounding these conflicts of interest that both the politics of the critique itself and the analysis of art (which is really the central concern) gets lost in a whirlwind of hyperbole and overstatement. We all need to breathe in through our noses and out through our mouths for a bit to properly evaluate these complicated situations, whether it involves public museums, private collections or commercial galleries.

    One thing that these kinds of blogs, unfortunately, help to foster is a forum where opinion (which is largely irrelevant in actual criticism) dominates and people feel entitled to say something is good, bad or ugly without any critical scaffolding to support their claims. It’s easy to say something is bad. It’s difficult to unpack why or, god forbid, suggest alternatives.

    Too much simple dismissiveness on display and not enough actual experience or time put into thinking through these issues. Intellectual sincerity is a good call.

  • sasha

    The cool guys club has been established and nobody is supporting the young artists these days. So i agree with mim, they are keeping the big guys big, it’s as if there is no room for a fresh breeze of air that is sorely needed at this point in time. Thanks again money. Why don’t people like the “skin fruit” show? is it maybe a little seen already? I think the answer might be yes. Art is supposed to stick a finger in the eye of society, when and why did that stop being the prerogative?
    “Museums don’t have enough money to run properly, so this show is a solution.” really?

    Common, you guys. You are the NEW Museum, make your own friggin’ rules! Be creative! I think that it’s sad when the creative professionals of this world lack creativity, maybe that means it’s time for a new generation to step up. Perhaps the reason you aren’t doing so great is because you are playing it safe as shit. Art was never about comfort.

    http://sophieok.blogspot.com/

  • sasha

    The cool guys club has been established and nobody is supporting the young artists these days. So i agree with mim, they are keeping the big guys big, it’s as if there is no room for a fresh breeze of air that is sorely needed at this point in time. Thanks again money. Why don’t people like the “skin fruit” show? is it maybe a little seen already? I think the answer might be yes. Art is supposed to stick a finger in the eye of society, when and why did that stop being the prerogative?
    “Museums don’t have enough money to run properly, so this show is a solution.” really?

    Common, you guys. You are the NEW Museum, make your own friggin’ rules! Be creative! I think that it’s sad when the creative professionals of this world lack creativity, maybe that means it’s time for a new generation to step up. Perhaps the reason you aren’t doing so great is because you are playing it safe as shit. Art was never about comfort.

    http://sophieok.blogspot.com/

  • sasha

    The cool guys club has been established and nobody is supporting the young artists these days. So i agree with mim, they are keeping the big guys big, it’s as if there is no room for a fresh breeze of air that is sorely needed at this point in time. Thanks again money. Why don’t people like the “skin fruit” show? is it maybe a little seen already? I think the answer might be yes. Art is supposed to stick a finger in the eye of society, when and why did that stop being the prerogative?
    “Museums don’t have enough money to run properly, so this show is a solution.” really?

    Common, you guys. You are the NEW Museum, make your own friggin’ rules! Be creative! I think that it’s sad when the creative professionals of this world lack creativity, maybe that means it’s time for a new generation to step up. Perhaps the reason you aren’t doing so great is because you are playing it safe as shit. Art was never about comfort.

    http://sophieok.blogspot.com/

  • sasha

    The cool guys club has been established and nobody is supporting the young artists these days. So i agree with mim, they are keeping the big guys big, it’s as if there is no room for a fresh breeze of air that is sorely needed at this point in time. Thanks again money. Why don’t people like the “skin fruit” show? is it maybe a little seen already? I think the answer might be yes. Art is supposed to stick a finger in the eye of society, when and why did that stop being the prerogative?
    “Museums don’t have enough money to run properly, so this show is a solution.” really?

    Common, you guys. You are the NEW Museum, make your own friggin’ rules! Be creative! I think that it’s sad when the creative professionals of this world lack creativity, maybe that means it’s time for a new generation to step up. Perhaps the reason you aren’t doing so great is because you are playing it safe as shit. Art was never about comfort.

    http://sophieok.blogspot.com/

  • sasha

    The cool guys club has been established and nobody is supporting the young artists these days. So i agree with mim, they are keeping the big guys big, it’s as if there is no room for a fresh breeze of air that is sorely needed at this point in time. Thanks again money. Why don’t people like the “skin fruit” show? is it maybe a little seen already? I think the answer might be yes. Art is supposed to stick a finger in the eye of society, when and why did that stop being the prerogative?
    “Museums don’t have enough money to run properly, so this show is a solution.” really?

    Common, you guys. You are the NEW Museum, make your own friggin’ rules! Be creative! I think that it’s sad when the creative professionals of this world lack creativity, maybe that means it’s time for a new generation to step up. Perhaps the reason you aren’t doing so great is because you are playing it safe as shit. Art was never about comfort.

    http://sophieok.blogspot.com/

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