December 2, 2007

Monumental absence at the New Museum

Unmonumental: The Object in the 21st Century,” curated by Richard Flood, Laura Hoptman, and Massimiliano Gioni. New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY. Through March 23.

The only notable thing about painting in the New Museum's inaugural show is its absence. In the NY Times, Roberta Smith reviews the exhibition, which she sees as a nervy dare to all curators. Quit equivocating, take some risks and start a brawl. "This show says no to a lot: expensive materials or fabrication processes that result in shiny (read lulling) surfaces. It says no to heavy machinery and computers, to displays of bravura skill. ('Unskill' is one of the words in the show’s useful glossary.) It says no to feeding the stream of paintings, installation works, big-screen videos and Dolby-sound films that turn today’s biennials and international exhibitions into such entertaining spectacles. It also turns its back on the most usual suspects, including Jeff Koons, Bill Viola, Gerhard Richter, Matthew Barney, Louise Bourgeois, Rachel Whiteread and even Banks Violette."

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