Monday, August 31, 2009

Status quo

The IBJ is reporting that arts funding will be maintained in 2010 at $1 million, down from $1.5 million from last year but the same as this year.

A paltry sum to say the least. I'll leave it at that for now.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Anne Chu

Anne Chu, Court Lady, 1997; oil, casein on wood, unpainted plywood

Forgive the bad iPhone photo but I had no idea this Anne Chu was at the IMA until yesterday. It's in the Asian galleries, not contemporary. Thought some of you might want to know.

*** UPDATE: I just found out this piece has been installed in the Asian collection for 4 years. Apparently I need to spend some time exploring things not on the 3rd floor.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Is there a trend here?

Yesterday over at On the Cusp, Scott reported about an artist who guerrilla-style installed a piece at the IMA and apparently has done so at 12 other institutions across the country. Well, yesterday's Seattle Times reports a similar story only this time the artist installed his papier-mache sculptures outside at the Gas Works Sculpture Gardens and states that it has been "gifted to the citizens of Seattle in the spirit of awakening."

I mentioned in the comments section of Scott's post that I was somewhat torn on how I felt about this. I have always been in favor of the guerrilla exhibit. I feel if no one is going to give you a break than you need to make the break yourself. I often take inspiration from Maurizio Cattelan who once stole the contents of a neighboring gallery the night before the opening of his own exhibition and claimed it as his own. The key is - and here's the trick - you've got to know how to pull it off. Both the stunt at the IMA and in the Seattle sculpture park are pretty tired and played out. In both cases I figure no harm, no foul. But the reason we love contemporary art is the creativity and ingenuity when the art is at it's best. I'd quite frankly would like to see a little more of that around town.

Disclaimer: I am not condoning any guerilla exhibitions at the IMA or any other fine institution in town or any other sort of vandalism. As I said above, that idea is tired. But may our fine city be your canvas.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The IMA's most imporatant acquisition

When the Indianapolis Museum of Art is mentioned in the same breath as it's museum peers across the country or around the globe, the topic of conversation is most likely about the physical size of the collection or the current state of the endowment. With a few exceptions (Josefowitz collection, etc), rarely is there mention of an iconic work. We have no La Grande Jatte, no Demoiselles, no Michael Jackson and Bubbles. Other than the ubiquitous Robert Indiana Love sculpture does anything else immediately come to mind? Certainly we all have favorites but are there masterpieces?

Miller House, Columbus, IN designed by Eero Saarinen. Photo via IMA website.

Everything changed when the IMA acquired The Miller Home in Columbus. Let this be our Guernica. Even during the reduced pricing caused by a recession it is becoming increasingly more difficult for any institution to acquire a significant work, painting or otherwise, that is why this priceless gem is even more special. The only downfall is with the obvious limitations of architecture, it's 45 minutes away from the museum and surrounded by neighbors who I am sure hate all the gawkers (myself included) that try and sneak peaks at the famed home. The challenge for the IMA will be making this home accessible while respecting the wishes of neighbors. The best part of the IMA is having 10 extra minutes and dropping in to visit Sandback or Cezanne. Sadly that won't be possible with 'our' Saarinen, but the ultimate success of this acquisition will ultimately depend on how well the IMA handles this balancing act.