Mission accomplished. The Museum of Modern Art's wide-open tall-ceilinged super-reinforced second floor was for all intents and purposes built to accommodate monumental installations and gigantic sculptures should the need arise. It has arisen.
Everyone goes to the same exhibitions and the same parties stays in the same handful of hotels eats at the same no-star restaurants and has almost the same opinions. I adore the art world but this is copycat behavior in a sphere that prides itself on independent thinking.
The alchemy of good curating amounts to this: Sometimes placing one work of art near another makes one plus one equal three. Two artworks arranged alchemically leave each intact transform both and create a third thing.
Many art-worlders have an if-you-say-so approach to art: Everyone is so scared of missing out on the next hot artist that it's never clear whether people are liking work because they like it or because other people do. Everyone is keeping up with the Joneses and there are more Joneses than ever.
'Untitled' is a time machine that can transport you to 1992 an edgy moment when the art world was crumbling money was scarce and artists like Tiravanija were in the nascent stages of combining Happenings performance art John Cage Joseph Beuys and the do-it-yourself ethos of punk. Meanwhile a new art world was coming into being.
It took me twenty years to get Steven Parrino's work. From the time I first saw his art in the mid-eighties I almost always dismissed it as mannered Romantic formulaic conceptualist-formalist heavy-metal boy-art abstraction.
If only we could persuade galleries to observe a fallow period in which for two months every other year new and old works of art could be sold in back rooms and all main galleries would be devoted to revisiting shows gone by.
Works of art often last forever or nearly so. But exhibitions themselves especially gallery exhibitions are like flowers they bloom and then they die then exist only as memories or pressed in magazines and books.
A saboteur in the house of art and a comedienne in the house of art theory Lawler has spent three decades documenting the secret life of art. Functioning as a kind of one-woman CSI unit she has photographed pictures and objects in collectors' homes in galleries on the walls of auction houses and off the walls in museum storage.
When money and hype recede from the art world one thing I won't miss will be what curator Francesco Bonami calls the 'Eventocracy.' All this flashy 'art-fair art' and those highly produced space-eating spectacles and installations wow you for a minute until you move on to the next adrenaline event.
While a large segment of the art world has obsessed over a tiny number of stars and their prices an aesthetic shift has been occurring. It's not a movement - movements are more sure of themselves. It's a change of mood or expectation a desire for art to be more than showy effects big numbers and gamesmanship.
Much good art got made while money ruled I like a lot of it and hardship and poverty aren't virtues. The good news is that since almost no one will be selling art artists - especially emerging ones - won't have to think about turning out a consistent style or creating a brand. They'll be able to experiment as much as they want.
It's art that pushes against psychological and social expectations that tries to transform decay into something generative that is replicative in a baroque way that isn't about progress and wants to - as Walt Whitman put it - 'contain multitudes.'
The giant white cube is now impeding rather than enhancing the rhythms of art. It preprograms a viewer's journey shifts the emphasis from process to product and lacks individuality and openness. It's not that art should be seen only in rutty bombed-out environments but it should seem alive.
It's great that New York has large spaces for art. But the enormous immaculate box has become a dated even oppressive place. Many of these spaces were designed for sprawling installations large paintings and the Relational Aesthetics work of the past fifteen years.