(Andrea calls the just-opened Leger show at the PMA a fascinating and dynamic exhibition that captures perfectly the early 20th Century optimism about cities and industry.) Léger, Modern Art and the Metropolis at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) through January 5, 2014, is pervaded with an optimism about industrialization and urbanization at a time, centered on the 1920s, when they were seen as the answer, not the problem, for twentieth-century society. It opens with a wall-sized projection of a film taken by Thomas Edison as he ascends the Eiffel Tower, viewing Paris through its cage of industrial steel. The ... More » »
The commissioner of documenta XIII, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, treated the entire ground floor of Kassel’s Fridericianum (a Neoclassical building from 1779, designed as one of the earliest public museums) as her introductory statement to the 300 plus-artist exhibition centered in Kassel, with outposts in Kabul, Alexandria and Banff. When I reached the phrase in the first label …, suggesting a particular mode of proximity by way of the spacially diffused aggregation of elements that also maintain their own singularities, I realized that the reading, at least, would be hard going. To the right, the large but sparely-installed gallery contained three small, bronze ... More » »
The massive two-museum blast of Dynasty, an exhibition of 40 artists at the Palais de Tokyo and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, is something of a moveable feast of contemporary French art – a collision of dust and Disney with a bit of dinnertime thrown in. The concept, launched by directors Marc-Olivier Wahler and Fabrice Hergott was to invite youngish artists working in France to exhibit two sets of works in each museum. (The two art spaces sit side-by-side looking out towards the Seine River). A stereo effect was anticipated across the vast 5,000-square meters of ... More » »
I’m happy that I finally caught the current exhibition, Adventures in Modern Art: The Charles K. Williams II Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; assembled by a distinguished archaeologist with long ties to the Philadelphia area, the entire collection has been promised, with some works already donated to the museum. It makes a significant contribution to the PMA’s ability to tell the full story of American 20th-century art.
Marcel Duchamp, joker that he was, would certainly be amused at the thought that he’s the subject of an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, of all places. And a lively and fascinating exhibition it is! At least one federal institution is taking a liberal attitude to immigration, albeit legal, as Duchamp became a naturalized citizen in 1955.