Sunday, May 31, 2009

Creative Stifle

How to be an artist? Or more rather how not to be an artist? Yes, be afraid, be very afraid of being ridiculed, laughed at and questioned as to your sanity. Be afraid of being analyzed, asked questions like "have you stopped making the black paintings because you're not depressed anymore?" Or, can you make it to fit my couch in my colors, lilac and lavender?

We deliberately stifle our own creativity and those of others who dare.

From an article in HR Magazine of August 1999 reviewing a book enitled "Orbiting the Giant Hairball."

The first chapter dares to ask how society has managed to stifle genius and hamper creativity even among schoolchildren. When MacKenzie visited elementary schools to talk about his job, he asked the students how many of them were artists. Although almost all of the first-graders said yes, only one or two sixth-graders claimed to be artists. Adults too can unleash their creative genius if they are strong enough to risk ridicule and challenge the status quo.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

No Whining re Modern Wing Today

The Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago is spectacular, a must see. I'm quoting from Paul Klein's Art Letter post below:

"The opening of the Modern wing at the Art Institute is significant cause for joyous celebration.  The building is beautiful, the space dramatic and the installation sensitive and informative.  Not forced or artificial like I’ve seen too often, here are pairings and groupings where important pieces inform one another and rooms are dedicated to a single artist.  Enlightening. I felt like a tourist dropped in an unknown, thoughtful, considered, glorious, confident, consummate museum.  And then I looked out the window. I was at home."

I entered the Modern Wing via the bridge from Millennium Park over the street. The whole setting from the Gehry bandshell past the Anish Kapoor "Bean" past the Pritzker Foundation to the third floor entry to the Art Institute constitutes one of the most magnificent and yet friendly public spaces in the world. Like Paul Klein I was home. I saw many, many old friends on display, paintings that had been out of sight for years. The building is suffused with a magnificent light throughout that makes the paintings glow and pulsate. Unlike the huge, intimidating entry hall at the Tate Gallery London Turbine Room, the main entry hall is large without being oversized, and is light and airy. The work throughout is grouped and hung so that they are easily seen and awed at. Gerhard Richter has his own room, the Giacommetis dance in their space, the Joseph Cornell boxes are back.

I don't know if it's worth the admission fee, you know how I feel about that, but geesh, go there, it's been a long wait.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

837 Words from Art Institute of Chicago re Entry Fee

Here it is, 837 words on the Art Institute of Chicago's admission fee structure starting TODAY, May 23, 2009...not merely is this link from the Art Institute's own website, but I pulled it via an article in Modern Art Notes called "Museum Cannibalism: Pricing Out Visitors."

Just as young people, the middle-class and the less fortunate can least afford access to the great collections in Philadelphia and Chicago, their museums are making it harder for people to visit.

For the museums it comes down to simple math: Endowments are down, government grants are down and private donors and foundations apparently aren't inclined to give enough to prevent admissions hikes. Museums are facing a tough decision: Cut (even more) staff, or raise admissions costs. Philadelphia and Chicago are (in part) choosing to maintain staff and other infrastructure instead of maintaining public access at current price levels.

The problem with looking to admissions costs as the place to make up revenue is this: Admissions are not substantial contributors to most museums' bottom lines. At the Philly Museum, for example, admissions made up just 3.2 percent of program-related expenditures in FY 2006.

At Chicago it's a little bit different; few major museums are more reliant on admissions for revenue. Nine percent of AIC's FY 2006 museum-based expenses were covered by admissions fees, down from 11.2 percent the year before. Yesterday the museum admitted to the Chicago Tribune that the increase was 'needed' because the AIC had to cover operating costs, which have risen (in part) because the AIC is opening a new addition this year. AIC director James Cuno effectively argued that because the museum has more space and higher operating expenses because of the addition, visitors -- who didn't green-light the AIC's expansion -- have to pay for it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Roles of Our Local Museums in Chicago?

From an article in The Art Newspaper announcing the opening of the Art Institute of Chicago's Modern Wing.

(Chicago also has a Museum of Contemporary Art, but its director, Madeleine Grynsztejn, considers the institutions’ roles complementary rather than competitive. “The MCA creates art history and the Art Institute summarises it,” she said.)
Wow, the certainty of Grynsztejn's statement truly frightens me. I've been to the MCA a number of times and find that institution to be woefully wanting. The work on exhibit is frequently obscure, difficult to understand and intellectually inaccessible.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Who The Hell Does She Think She Is?

For every woman who was complimented by a professor who told her that her work was just like a man's, for every woman who was asked by well meaning men if she could balance family and art. Who the hell doesn't have problems balancing? And it's not about the illusory genes thing, it's about allowing serious artists to make their work and attempt to be recognized. It's as simple as that people.
A movie called Who Does She Think She Is?

Schools Kill Creativity

From the website, not related to the airlines, British educator Ken Robinson talks about how schools kill creativity; it's worth 20 minutes of your life to click, watch and listen.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Why Museums NEED to be FREE!

[caption id="attachment_745" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="Jacob Lawrence, "Ballots""]Jacob Lawrence, "Ballots"[/caption]

Because the Met and the Harlem Library nurtured the young Jacob Lawrence. From an article in Arts "He [Jacob Lawrence] also accompanied various mentors on trips to downtown galleries and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, eventually going by himself on foot, 60 blocks south of his home territory. While still a teenager, he developed an appreciation of early Renaissance art, the murals of Jose Orozco and the paintings of Arthur DoveJohn Marin and Kathe Kollwitz."
"I think of Lawrence whenever museums rise their admission fees. He remembered the MET being free. He wanted to go, and the Met let him in. (Robert Frost: Home is the place where, when you have to go there,They have to take you in.)"

Here is an Art Journal article that talks about the Art Institute of Chicago's disgusting and vile plan to raise their admissions prices. In the interest of full disclosure I am a member at the lowest possible yearly rate.   The best compromise is to adopt a pay what you can policy AND encourage memberships but leave the door open.