The Appendix" is ARTINFO's daily round-up of other reading material from around the world.
- Not Mad: Umberto Eco seems to be enjoying his chance to curate at the Louvre. [The Art Newspaper]
New Museum Controversy Section
Elsewhere, curatorial projects are not progressing as harmoniously. Earlier this year, the New Museum announced plans to stage a February show of works from collector Dakis Joannou's contemporary art collection, curated by artist Jeff Koons. Joannou happens to be a museum trustee and good friends with Koons, who painted his yacht and vacations with him, raising ethical questions, in the minds of some.
Also, the New Museum is currently hosting a show of work by Urs Fischer, who is represented by dealer Gavin Brown. Brown also represents Elizabeth Peyton, Jeremy Deller, and Steven Shearer, who have also had shows at the museum in the last two years. New Museum curator Laura Hoptman's husband, Verne Dawson, is represented by Brown as well, leading to suggestions that the curatorial department has become a bit too clubby recently.
Here, ranked in approximate order from least to most outraged, are where some of the players and commentators stand:
- The New Museum: "This preeminent collection is one that many museums in the U.S. would be honored to exhibit." [The Art Newspaper]
- Dakis Joannou: "Sure, I am a trustee. Would it be different if I weren’t? Some people may think some things. For me, it’s a non-issue. I know who I am and what I am doing.” [New York Times]
- William Powhida: "This trend doesn't bode well for unknown and emerging artists without representation, especially as the gallery system contracts." His cover for the Brooklyn Rail helped spark the controversy. [Powhida]
- Jerry Saltz: "I trust the New Museum. Sadly, it may now have a problem with its credibility." [New York]
- Paddy Johnson, on the Gavin Brown connection: "Let’s face it, that doesn’t look great for the museum. It’s not a great idea to be so closely associated with one commercial gallery." [AFC]
- Christopher Knight of the L.A. Times: "Who really cares enough about the 'dialog' between Jeff Koons and Dakis Joannou to go see a museum show about it?" [@KnightLAT]
- Richard Lacayo: "To put it another way, are shows at the New Museum essential exhibitions, or just the last word in product placement?" [Time]
- Tyler Green: "The New Museum should immediately cancel the show in question and it should announce that it has ended plans to continue its "Imaginary Museum" series." [Modern Art Notes]
- James Wagner: "New Museum commits suicide with banality." [Wagner]