Saturday, October 28, 2006

Waiting to Exhale Sigh

As I mentioned before, the massive collection of artwork by DC area artists which has been assembled for the permanent collection of the District and which is on view at the Wilson Building, is the closest that the capital city of the United States has ever been to having a "DC Artists Collection," since unlike all other major American cities, Washington does not have a physical "Washington Art Museum" and most area museum curators tend to look at their buildings as "national" museums and thus generally tend to ignore DC area artists.

I say that I am waiting to exhale, because I am holding my breath to see what the local DC area art critics write about this collection. I am told that over 1,000 RSVPs have been received for the opening, which is October 31, 2006 from 5-7PM, so this is clearly a major and important art event in the capital.

The collection has already received massive press and television coverage -- for Washington, DC that is -- such as a great piece by Jessica Gould in the WCP on Oct. 19, a piece in Intowner's October issue, an article coming in the first November issue of the Current newspapers, and article coming soon in the Express, maybe an article this coming week featuring the opening in the Wash Post Metro section, and next Thursday, maybe the District Extra cover. Additionally both Channel 4 News (on Oct. 25) and Channel 8 News (also on Oct. 25 and 26) have had features on the collection.

And I can predict (and maybe breathe now), that because it is a collection of DC area artists, and because it is a very large collection, and because it is a public (and apparently already popular) collection, they'll have either nothing to write about it (and by their apathy continue to show the District's arts media anemic insight into the District's dynamic art scene), or...

I hope that they'll prove me wrong, and do write extensively about the Wilson Building Art Collection, but I predict that:

- Blake Gopnik, the intelligent and erudite Chief Art Critic of the Washington Post will (a) ignore it, or (b) write about it and dismiss it, or use it to continue to preach his dated Greenbergian agenda.

- Joanna Shaw-Eagle, the elderly and experienced Chief Art Critic of the Washington Times will cover it, and offer us a detailed description of the collection.

- Michael O'Sullivan, the savvy Washington Post's Weekend section Chief Art Critic (and the only WaPo critic in "tune" with the DC area art scene), will probably cover it and offer the only true insight into this important collection.

- Jessica Dawson, the young freelance writer who pens the "Galleries" column for the Style section of the Washington Post will either (a) ignore it, or (b) cover it in a small dismissive little mini-review.

- Jeffry Cudlin, the award-winning Chief Art Critic for the Washington City Paper, may cover it (if his packed schedule as an Associate Adjunct Professor at Maryland allows it), and offer us an intelligent review, but will probably highlight the weaknesses that exist in any massive public art endeavor.

Let's see over the next few weeks if I've nailed this.