Monday, May 31, 2010

Trescott on the Corcoran's director

"Greenhalgh said the Corcoran, under his tenure, not only had to repair its physical plant but also relationships with Washington's donor and arts communities, which began to look at it as troubled rather than innovative.

"The Washington public is not the shyest in the world. One received advice from all over about what should happen," he said. "This place had to be systematically fixed. We had to think about the roof. The college numbers had been flat for a generation. So many galleries had been turned over to storage." The cost of needed repairs was estimated to be $40 million at one time.

By August, Greenhalgh said, all of the galleries will be reopened, the permanent collection reinstalled, a suite for contemporary art established and a new initiative, called NOW, created to showcase emerging contemporary artists."
Read the Washington Post story here.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the exhibition program for the new NOW initiative. I hope that it surprises me in a good way. My past experience with what current museum curators' consider "emerging artists" and what the rest of the art world considers "emerging artists" are way different.

It didn't use to be that way. In the past, museum curators used to take chances.

Way back in the 80s, when the Whitney Museum gave some American artists their first ever museum exhibition, that was a great definition (for me) of what a museum can do for a true emerging artist. I won't even mention the names.

So for Sarah Newman or whoever at the Corcoran is putting together (or has already put together) the NOW exhibition schedule: if the artists who are being selected for NOW have already had a museum exhibition, then you're too late and they have already emerged.

Work harder and seek out the truly emerging artists that are making a name for themselves all over the place and not just New York and haven't yet had a single museum show, like someone did for Gerhardt Richter in the 80s.

I can think of a few names right off the top of my head and it's not even my job.