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Apparently not. Shocker.
Posted by WFM on March 26, 2013 at 4:32 PM · Report this
Josh Bis 2
I remember when Miles wowed the judges with a stunt like this on Work of Art. At least he had the excuse of being exhausted by a reality competition?
Posted by Josh Bis on March 26, 2013 at 4:48 PM · Report this
stinkbug 3
Dreamy Tilda can do no wrong.
Posted by stinkbug on March 26, 2013 at 4:54 PM · Report this
We can put Lindsey Lohan in a box as a response.
Posted by jiberish on March 26, 2013 at 4:55 PM · Report this
a nude attractive, hispanic person would be better; someone less recognizable than Swinton.
Posted by ry coolage on March 26, 2013 at 5:29 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 6
Normally something like this would strike me as insanely narcissistic and boring, but I think Tilda Swinton is one of the most interesting actresses on the planet. She is one of a very short list of women on earth I would pay to see laying around in a box (two others that spring to mind are Grace Jones and Isabella Rossellini). If this were going on at the Seattle Art Museum, I would have already gone to see it.

In other words, it is my unwavering fascination with Tilda Swinton that overrides my repulsion of watching some idiot laying around napping in a box.

Or... what @3 said.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on March 26, 2013 at 6:51 PM · Report this
samktg 7
I have a hard time caring. The last interesting thing MoMA did was the Rivera exhibition last year. The current Inventing Abstraction show is a travesty.
Posted by samktg on March 26, 2013 at 11:46 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 8
Yes, Swinton is a fascinating actress, but she is not art. I made it 8 lines into the article before I felllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll....
Posted by OutInBumF on March 27, 2013 at 12:55 AM · Report this
cressona 9
samktg @7, I was all psyched about going to the "Inventing Abstraction" show before it closes mid-April and eventually had to nix my travel plans. How did it miss with you?
Posted by cressona on March 27, 2013 at 8:51 AM · Report this
Clara T 10
It would be art if her blanket were a vivisected coyote.
Posted by Clara T on March 27, 2013 at 8:52 AM · Report this
samktg 11
@9, It purports to be a concise history of, well, the invention of abstraction. But it reads as ahistorical claptrap. It starts with a work by Picasso from 1910 or '11, giving the impression that abstraction burst fully formed, Athena-like, from his head, inciting the trend. Nearby are a few Blaue Reiter-era Kandinsky's, which is a bit more accurate, but before you get to other important Blaue Reiter works by Franz Marc, you jump to Paris to look at works by Frantisek Kupka. The entirety of the show jumps around like this, encouraging comparisons between works and artists based solely on formal appearance. Works and artists joined by local trends and movements are broken apart, eliding the heterogenous development of "abstraction" in favor of a pan-European narrative that is much more linear. Additionally, the narrative presented is almost solely one of formal development, trends in wider history are largely ignored (it's almost as if the Russian revolution and WWI are irrelevant, according to MoMA).

You may have seen the web of connections MoMA has been using to justify their narrative. It is suggestive of a Europe-wide community of artists with several key players around which this particular history is organized. It's a clear effort to update Alfred Barr's 1936 description of the same history, but what emerges in the museum is an almost identical, if expanded, heroicized formal history independent of any wider history.

That said, it's a very pretty show. The formal development they present works really well to draw visitors through the exhibition. The walls, painted alternating shades of grey, also assist with moving visitors through, and serve to unify the space without distracting from the content of the show. The works on view are for the most part quite good, and their formal attributes are matched with those of neighbors in such a way that the aesthetic effect is heightened. It's very good storytelling. Just not very good history.
Posted by samktg on March 27, 2013 at 12:22 PM · Report this
cressona 12
samktg @11, thanks for filling in your critique.

I'm sure I would have enjoyed it considering, as you said, "That said, it's a very pretty show." And considering that I'm not so up on the historical connections. If someone asked me about the foundations of abstraction, Kandinsky and Malevich would come to mind. I'd have no idea where to fit Picasso into that, so they could have slipped that one past me.

My consolation prize is going to have to be this show instead. And the Barnes.
Posted by cressona on March 29, 2013 at 12:33 PM · Report this
@11 and @12: Thanks so much for your writings.

On a related note to historicization versus aesthetic isolation at MoMA, I can't help but think of the recently deceased Thomas McEvilley's influential 1984 Artforum review of MoMA's "Primitivism" show:…

Since you've seen the show, @11, do you think there are interesting thought-links to be made here? I'm headed to NY later this spring, so the show is on my mind.
Posted by Jen Graves on April 1, 2013 at 11:04 AM · Report this
samktg 14
@13, Hm, the current show actually did make me think about the 1984 "Primitivism" show. Both are predicated on the idea that look-alike = mean-alike, and very careful choices were made to make sure formal "affinities" are/were spotted between works. McEvilley notes the teleological Hegelian spirit in the the Western art-historical myth, and points out its presence in that review of the 1984 show. That "self-realizing tendency of Universal Spirit" is played up pretty strongly in the 'Inventing Abstraction' show, too.
Posted by samktg on April 7, 2013 at 9:21 PM · Report this

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