POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
Installation view, Skin Fruit, New Museum. Photo: AFC
Wow. Time Out New York’s Howard Halle really hates Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection, an exhibition currently on view at the New Museum. Let’s run down the list of zingers:
- a perfect storm of wretchedness brought on by the collision of too much wealth and too little taste
- a consensual hallucination—one in which everyone agrees that NewMu board member Joannou is some sort of Medici, instead of an overleveraged resort developer with an eye for flashy, often puerile art.
- The show looks like a yard sale of pushed buttons, or more to the point, given the emphasis on grotesque figuration, like the cantina scene from Star Wars.
I have three additional criticisms of my own to add.
- Almost no wall text. Does collector Dakis Joannou or curator Jeff Koons really like Robert Gober? The viewer is never told why seemingly countless works by the artist are included and the exhibition’s composition doesn’t make that clear.
- The show’s theme — Here’s-some-stuff-I-bought-that-Jeff-Koons-likes — relies only on the celebrity status of the show’s participants as a draw to the show. I can experience Jeff Koons sensibility in his art, why do I need to witness it with a bunch of objects he’s demonstrated he has no investment in?
- Other collectors do it better: One need only look to 30 Americans or the Hernan Bas exhibition at The Rubell Collection to know others have curated their exhibitions much more skillfully. Notably they launched those exhibitions without using a museum for which they are a trustee as the venue.
Normally I wouldn’t reduce feedback on a show to a series of bullet points, but frankly I don’t think this exhibition deserves much more than this.