All the News That Fits
News: Larry Rinder has resigned his post as curator of contemporary art at the Whitney Museum in New York. What does this mean? The New York Times delicately suggests it's a shakeup under (relatively) new museum director Adam D. Weinberg, who has already fired one curator, and is "talking" to a handful of independent curators, causing an explosion of speculation on who's in, who's out, and what's next. If you think it's tough being an artist, try being a curator. So many hopefuls, so few good positions. It's brutal.
At any rate, Rinder is coming out west to take a position as dean of graduate studies at San Francisco's California College of the Arts--not too shabby. With the departure of Rinder, a little whiff of glamour goes, too. Whether the Whitney needs glamour is, of course, debatable.
Corrections: With regard to the sculpture that appeared for a week or so on Broadway Avenue, there were originally five (not four, as I wrote) figures, and the work did not appear with a press release claiming it was guerrilla art. This is absolutely true--the work arrived in a void. What I was writing about was the public's (and the media's) tendency to throw the rather specific designation "guerrilla" at anything and everything that appears unexpectedly, causing the term to pretty much lose all significance. It has now joined such once-useful words as "edgy," "eclectic," and "postmodern," wherever it is that used words go.
I do get plenty of press releases for "guerrilla" projects, including the announcement by the artist so infuriated by the Broadway sculptures that she had to tag them. But I did not receive one for the sculptures themselves. My apologies for the sloppy intimation, and I stand corrected.
Props: Wasn't I like a proud papa at the Cornish BFA art and design show last week? I was, I was. Last year I taught two semesters of Theory and Practice of Art Criticism at Cornish, and while I can't realistically take one whit of credit for the work by the graduating seniors who I happened to have taught, I was as pleased as if I'd made it all myself.
The show is up through May 7, and includes Lance Wakeling's pile of all the letters that appear in Exodus cast in plaster (In Arts News, Jan 1), plus some of his photographs of people who collect things and their collections; Sonya Stockton's oddly but dearly upholstered objects (a phone, an anvil); Julia Gfrörer's portraits of her friends--wan, contemplative--as the 14 holy helpers; Michelle Sciumbato's wood-panel scribble drawings, which seem to represent some kind of information, embedded if not encoded; and Elisheba Johnson's therapy-speak coloring book. Plus other works I can't mention because I've run out of space, but let me just say that this year's show looks pretty good, and it is always animating and interesting to see artists in the process of becoming themselves.