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MoMA's "Björk problem" is a MoMA leadership problem


#1

Björk’s swan dress at MoMA. Image via Flavorwire

If you are a person with a computer you probably have heard about the overwhelming disaster that has been the Björk show at the Museum of Modern Art, opening to the public this weekend. Just about every New York critic has railed on the exhibition and its curator, MoMA Curator-at-Large and PS1 Director Klaus Biesenbach. Despite mounting several outstanding exhibitions last season, including Robert Gober and Christopher Williams’s retrospectives, MoMA is now coming under fire for a plethora of issues: crazed fundraising and rebuilding after an already lackluster expansion in 2004; knocking down the former American Folk Art Museum; poorly planning for the needs of its masses of visitors; alienating its core art audience; and generally valuing spectacle and ticket sales over scholarship. Who is to blame for this landslide of a slip in judgment?

Here’s Roberta Smith’s take on the exhibition and MoMA’s recent failures in the New York Times:

the Björk exhibition stands as a glaring symbol of the museum’s urge to be all things to all people, its disdain for its core audience, its frequent curatorial slackness and its indifference to the handling of crowds and the needs of its visitors. To force this show, even in its current underdone state, into the atrium’s juggernaut of art, people and poor design is little short of hostile. It superficially promotes the Modern’s hipness while making the place even more unpleasant than usual. Given that the pavilion seems designed to comfortably hold around 300 to 350 people, those Björk fans are going to spend a great deal of time waiting in line or, worse, near the pavilion.

Similarly, over at New York Magazine, Jerry Saltz had some gripes:

“MoMA [is] destroying its credibility … in its self-suicidal slide into a box-office-driven carnival … Tilda Swinton sleeping in a glass vitrine, Queen Marina staring at smitten viewers in the atrium, the trashy Tim Burton show, last season’s gee-whiz Rain Room, and of course the wrecking ball Diller Scofidio + Renfro is about to swing…And notwithstanding some truly excellent revolving exhibitions, the museum is now mainly defined by Lowry and Biesenbach’s funhouse exhibitions and events, which admittedly pack the rafters with paid ticket-holders… The Björk show is another self-inflicted wound in the most important institution to Modernism on Earth. Longtime MoMA watchers find it mysterious that Lowry, dedicated, energetic, and well-intentioned as he is, has not been let go by the trustees. He oversaw one failed expansion. Why allow even a chance at another? The damage done so far and being done again with this show is extensive enough that even with its regular great temporary historical shows, MoMA’s credibility is listing…Whatever else the board has in mind to fix this mess, perhaps it’s time to make Biesenbach just the director of MoMA PS1. I bet he could have done a great Björk show there.”

(Anecdotally, I also must take issue with Jerry Saltz characterizing Yoko Ono as a pop-star, disregarding and downgrading her important contributions to Fluxus that occurred before she happened to marry a famous musician. “I don’t think I’m just being a geezer,” says Saltz, “As I said, museums and pop culture are fine together. And old hat by now. (In May Biesenbach will do a Yoko Ono show.)” Interestingly, this article also coincides with Saltz being banned from Facebook for posting photos of medieval paintings depicting torture and rape scenes.)

What does the future have in store for MoMA? Is it time for Lowry and Biesenbach to step down?


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#2

Thank you for raising this! It is like the big elephant in the room and no one wants to talk about it. MoMA’s recent “curatorial” approach is despicably sensationalist and lacks basic understanding of a meaningful engagement with an artwork beyond the glitz and glamour. It feels like Warhol took over the museum and turned it into an endless pop fest.
And there is nothing wrong with that, but then let us define the role and scope of the museum and what it hopes to achieve and what are its constituent and target audiences.
Aiming for the spectacular and the poppy and the trendy comes at a price. And the dear price that MoMA is currently paying is people questioning its credibility and how faithful it is to its original mission.
I am reminded by an analogy of how Discovery Channel and Natural Geographic changed their somber programming in the early 2000s to the “reality show” model a few years ago. To revamp its image and make it self appeal to “younger” crowds both channels start to introduce “wild”, “freaky”, “scary” terms to describe predators or large lizards.
I think MoMA is facing a crisis in deciding how it can stay relevant in an age where being serious can cost you a lot and how it can outshine the popification of everything around. It is not an easy question, but so far the answers that MoMA (exemplified by the choices of Kliesenbach et al) show very little substance and none of the much needed guts and guile to counter the commodification of everything, from our attention to our autobiographies.


Why are we ascribing competitive models to art and exhibitions?
#3

The exhibition has been justifiably, and near-universally panned (see Jason Farago in the Guardian, M.H. Miller in Art News, Ben Davis on Artnet, Roberta Smith in the New York Times for a sampling). However, the reviews have focused primarily on the execution of the exhibition which is, indeed, a nightmare—the endless line-waiting, relative dearth of actual information about her career, the cloying, infantilizing voiceover of the audio tour, etc. But to be perfectly honest, I can’t quite imagine what a good exhibition about Bjork at a museum like MoMA would look like. That might speak to my own disciplinary biases as an art historian, but my issue here isn’t so much that Bjork isn’t sufficiently accomplished to be deserving of a museum exhibition (she is!), or that there can’t be a place for adventurous pop culture in a museum collection in the same way that the museum highlights film and design, but that I’m not entirely sure what a museum exhibition offers Bjork aside from the veneer of prestige.

Surely she isn’t going to gain a significant new audience from the exhibition, as an emerging visual artist might, nor is her work inaccessible to a broad public outside of a museum setting (as is the case with an exhibition of objects, a live performance, etc.) When it comes to reaching an audience, pop musicians have a distinct advantage over visual artists: Bjork has sold literally millions of albums; the 1993 video for “Big Time Sensuality,” projected onto a wall in the exhibition on an absurdist scale, has upwards of 4 million views on Bjork’s YouTube channel; by contrast, MoMA gets around 3 million visitors over the course of an entire year. While the blockbuster Tim Burton exhibition in 2010 had 810,500 visitors, the trailer for the video Black Lake on MoMA’s YouTube channel has already amassed over 500,000 views in the 3 weeks that it’s been online. And so on.

If you ask any music critic what’s most interesting about Bjork, they presumably wouldn’t say her costumes, as inventive as they may be, but rather her innovative use of microbeats—see, for instance, this extensive interview about Vulnicura in Pitchfork from late January. In fact, something that Bjork has frequently discussed, in that interview and elsewhere, is her frustration about not receiving credit for the complex instrumentals on her albums, which are routinely attributed to male collaborators even though she does the bulk of the work herself. This exhibition does absolutely nothing to correct that perception; arguably, it does the opposite, framing her mostly as an eccentric personality—the weird instruments dotting the atrium (tesla coil, gravity harp), the fornicating robots from the “All is Full of Love” video (1999), and, most egregiously, the ludicrous audio kunstlerroman of Songlines, which, rather than discussing her work proper, narrates the mythological journey of “the girl” towards creative maturity.

It seems to me that someone interested in a “retrospective” of Bjork’s career would be better off watching her videos online and listening to her albums, both of which can be readily accomplished from the convenience of one’s home. On the one hand, all of this attests to the very real shortcomings of the exhibition MoMA created, but also to the nature of her work as a pop musician, even if she has routinely challenged the boundaries of that category over the course of her career.

As poorly conceived as this particular exhibition may be, my sense is that a museum show will necessarily privilege the visual aspects of her practice, not only because it’s an “art museum”—though this is, unfortunately, how MoMA seems to have interpreted the task here, with self-consciously “artistic” presentations that add nothing to the material they’re showing (there is no reason on earth why Black Lake needs to be a two-channel video installation except, presumably, to make it look more like a video installation than what it is: a music video)—but, more generally, because there’s no good way to “exhibit” 9 studio albums, plus soundtracks, live recordings, etc. in a museum context, so you wind up, inevitably, with a bunch of memorabilia like costumes, video props, and notebooks.


#4

Jerry Saltz’s characterization of Yoko Ono is limiting. Fair enough. But in what way is the coincidence of his being banned from Facebook relevant? I dislike him as a critic, but that seems like a low blow disconnected from the thrust of any of this.


#5

Um, how is it NOT relevant? It shows character–he is often not judicious in his characterizations, especially of women. And I’m struggling to understand how the mere mention of the truth (he WAS banned from Facebook for posting photos of medieval paintings depicting rape scenes) is tantamount to a low blow.


#6

http://res.artnet.com/news-upload/2015/03/bies_bird-e1427171325189.jpg
Image via Artnet News

On Artnet News, Christian Viveros Faune just published a massive text detailing Klaus Biesenbach’s missteps, including a lot of juicy facts about the MoMA board’s reception of Biesenbach’s latest antics:

MoMA Bashing Is In

What if you threw a preview party and nobody came?

While that might be a problem for most people, it could signal impending doom for Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) curator Klaus Biesenbach, a man who has been alternately called Herr Zeitgeist and the art world’s walker extraordinaire. According to a well-placed MoMA source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, that is exactly what happened on March 3 at the trustees-only preview for the institution’s ill-conceived Björk retrospective: Board members expressed their dismay at the exhibition by overwhelmingly staying away.

According to that source, the closely monitored 6 PM vernissage let only MoMA trustees and their handpicked guests into the exhibition. Yet the preview for the eponymously named “Björk" show saw just two board members out of a possible 66 attend (that number does not include the museum’s additional 12 Honorary Trustees according to the museum’s website).

At 8 PM, after the doors opened for museum members, press, and sundry folks lured by Björk’s global celebrity, one of the trustees present was heard to remark acidly, “This looks like a nightclub in Ibiza."

Despite the crowds lined up outside the museum to see Biesenbach’s newest addition to MoMA’s recent string of curatorial turkeys, discontent within the famously tight-lipped institution appears to have turned against the German curator.

The principal author of an exhibition that has been called, alternately, a “fiasco" (Jerry Saltz), an “abomination" (Deborah Solomon), and the show that turned “MoMA into Planet Hollywood" (Michael Miller), Biesenbach—the institution’s Übersocial, fame-obsessed, Chief Curator at Large—has seemingly finally come in for some in-house scrutiny. A growing consensus outside the institution says it’s about time. (See: Ladies and Gentlemen, the Björk Show at MoMA is Bad, Really Bad and The 6 Best Takedowns of MoMA’s Appalling Björk Show.)

The organizer of 16 separate MoMA exhibitions as well as more than 50 additional shows at MoMA PS1, where he holds the title of Director, Biesenbach has enjoyed widespread popularity since being named curator at MoMA in 2006. Yet he has received blisteringly bad press in recent weeks.

Besides the nearly universally negative headlines that have accompanied the “Björk" exhibition, questions have emerged lately about Biesenbach’s curatorial autonomy, his problematic celebrity profile, as well as his capacity to keep an appropriately scholarly distance between himself and his famous subjects—boldface names like Tilda Swinton, Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons, Marina Abramović, and, of course, Icelandic songstress Björk.

To make matters worse, these issues have rapidly percolated upwards to the office of MoMA’s Director, Glenn Lowry. With New York Magazine critic Saltz quoting, earlier this month, “long-time MoMA watchers" who find it incredible that the Director “has not been let go by the trustees," and the influential website e-flux declaring days later “MoMA’s Björk problem is a leadership problem," the unthinkable has happened to the once-hosannaed cathedral of modern art—MoMA-bashing is in.

Biesenbach Flying Solo

Several astute museum experts have said that MoMA’s curatorial departments are organized according to an old-timey structure, which people at the institution call the “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" scheme. According to a source, each of the museum’s departments is placed beneath the direct tutelage of Lowry, his Chief of Staff Diana Pulling, and Associate Director Kathy Halbreich.

These departments—Architecture and Design, Drawings and Prints, Film, Media and Performance Art, Photography, Curatorial Affairs, the Department of Painting and Sculpture, as well as Biesenbach’s own independent curatorial republic—are then allotted separate but unequal shares of resources, influence, and power. Headed up by curator Ann Temkin, the department of Painting and Sculpture has traditionally assumed the marquee billing of Snow White—until now, that is.

Sources inside the museum declare that Biesenbach’s free-floating curatorial brief has ballooned in such a way as to upset the museum’s traditional hierarchy; a process they say snowballed after the popular success of the 2010 show “Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present.” These same sources indicate that Biesenbach’s fame-focused curatorial efforts have also become conspicuous at MoMA for escaping significant supervision.

A look at the museum’s organization shows that Biesenbach’s portfolio is unburdened by the presence of other curators—professionals who might execute or, alternately, question his decisions. It’s also widely rumored inside the institution that the Chief Curator at Large reports directly to Lowry’s office. In Disney fairy tale terms, Biesenbach is the new “Snow White"—with a desperate coolhunting twist.

http://res.artnet.com/news-upload/2015/03/MoMA-Org-Chart-01.png
We’ve created a chart of MoMA’s organization based on information obtained by artnet News. Employees subordinate to the directors of each department are represented by a simple person icon.

Rumors about Biesenbach’s unprecedented autonomy suggest that he routinely bypasses Pulling and Halbreich on crucial decisions. This idea, in turn, helps explain the lack of curatorial oversight that has characterized some of Biesenbach’s more recent exhibitions.

How, for example, does one begin to explain the institutional relevance of the band Kraftwerk’s eight-gig show “Retrospective 12345678" staged inside the museum’s atrium in 2012? How, one might ask, do you account for the 2013 spectacle of actress Tilda Swinton sleeping inside a glass box at MoMA—an unacknowledged rip-off of conceptual artist Chris Burden’s four-decade old Bed Piece (1972)?

And what possible defense is there—leaving aside the weird trend-spotting logic involved in awarding a terminally passé musician valuable art historical real estate—for the unmitigated artistic and exhibition design disaster that is “Björk"?

When we asked who worked on the show with Biesenbach, we were told by MoMA personnel over email, “Klaus is listed as the sole curator of the exhibition in our materials: The exhibition is conceived and organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator at Large at MoMA and Director of MoMA PS1." We were also informed that he worked with two curatorial assistants.

MoMA insiders identify all three of these displays—alongside the museum’s commissioned concert and performance event Swanlights, a “meditation on light, nature, and femininity" by musicians Antony and the Johnsons with a 60-piece orchestra at Radio City Music Hall—as instances of unseemly celebrity chasing and gross curatorial overreach. Together with the growing number of gaffes committed by the German curator, such episodes would indicate that Biesenbach is mostly flying solo.

Once MoMA’s golden boy for the museum’s active engagement with 21st-century art, Biesenbach has also produced his share of over-the-top blunders. One important slip-up took place at what should have been a high point for the curator—during the dying moments of Abramović’s 2010 performance.

As recounted by anonymous sources, Biesenbach interrupted Abramović’s precisely-timed 736-hour-and-30-minute marathon action in order to bask in some of the artist’s accumulated megawatt company. Scheduled to endure the performer’s gaze for a quarter of an hour, the curator lasted just eight minutes.

After vacating the chair, applause followed; but it was obvious from Abramović’s expression that something had gone wrong. The problem: Biesenbach had cut the performance short by throwing off its strict time signature. As relayed to artnet News, Abramović was livid.

According to Artforum’s Linda Yablonsky, things quickly went from bad to mortifying at Abramović’s celebratory dinner. Writing in the “Scene & Herd" column, Yablonsky described the excruciating series of events that followed as “the tippling Biesenbach took the podium" to kick off of the evening:

He didn’t thank anyone. Instead he used the moment to make public his two-decade-long unrequited love for Abramović. ‘Look at me, Marina,’ he began. ‘Listen to me, Marina,’ he went on. ‘Why don’t you look at me? You know,’ he then said to the guests, tossing aside his prepared remarks, ‘she can’t see anyone without her glasses,’ thereby negating the experience of all those sitters who thought she was paying special attention to them. This brought loud murmurs… Recalling how he had fallen in love with Abramović, twenty years his senior, at first sight, he said that he believed she had fallen in love with him, too. ‘Biggest mistake of my career,’ he said.

Aghast at the spectacle, Yablonsky added her own lapidary rejoinder. “Though clearly, not bigger than this one," she wrote, channeling the gathering’s dazed chagrin.

The Art World’s Truman Capote

Besides being just plain embarrassing, Biesenbach’s behavior exemplifies what for many—both inside and outside the museum—constitutes the curator’s dangerous obsession with pop stars, as well as a growing compulsion to share in their limelight.

Biesenbach’s pronounced hobby of hanging out with famous people is no secret, since he documents these encounters endlessly on social media—sometimes multiple times a day. At Christmastime, for instance, Biesenbach posted Instagram photos of himself with Lady Gaga, Courtney Love, Abramović, and James Franco. The images appeared in Page Six within hours.

It has also become routine for Biensenbach to escort celebrities rather than artists or patrons to museum events. Among the long list of his red-carpet muses are Australian singer Kylie Minogue, Pablo Picasso’s granddaughter Diana Widmaier-Picasso, Sex and the City actress Kim Cattral, and fashion designers Hedi Slimane and Muccia Prada. An art world Truman Capote, Biesenbach squires these VIPs around town like tabloid-worthy, masscult “swans."

But Biesenbach’s wooing of entertainers and boldface names has also recently run afoul of the blowback police; younger tastemakers, that is, who get the strong impression that Biesenbach’s celebrity friendships answer to baser motives—among them, the curator’s own self-promotion and status-seeking.

Recently, Biesenbach’s groupie-like behavior was called out at a 2014 Art Basel Miami after-party. As reported by Artforum’s Sarah Nicole Prickett, the rapper and performance artist Mykki Blanco confronted Biesenbach at the event. Among Blanco’s accusations—shouted as the singer threw pieces of sandwich in the curator’s face—were that Biesenbach “doesn’t care about black people unless they’re famous," that he merely hobnobs with big-time names like “Mickalene Thomas" and “Kehinde Wiley" instead of supporting black artists, and that the curator “doesn’t like black people, he likes black culture."

Personal animus aside, Blanco has something of a point. Biesenbach’s exhibition record shows that he has organized only one solo outing by a black artist at MoMA and MoMA PS1 since 1996: “On-site 3,” a show by painter Mickalene Thomas.

Elsewhere, Biensenbach has also exhibited less than exemplary conduct when faced with situations that don’t immediately advance his tightly networked professional and social agenda. A recent instance of what might be termed the curator’s “positional conduct" concerns his puzzling lack of support for Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera.

A globally famous figure with a well-known name, Bruguera was arrested in Cuba on December 30 this past year after attempting to enact a pro-democracy performance in Havana’s Revolutionary Square (see: How Tania Bruguera’s “Whisper” Became the Performance Heard Round the World). As documented by his social media footprint, Biesenbach followed Bruguera to Cuba to attend the artist’s aborted performance.

When news spread about the artist’s arrest, Biesenbach reportedly quailed. Sources told artnet News that Biesenbach packed his bags and fled Cuba rather than use his privileged position as a representative of one of the world’s most important art museums to pressure the regime to aid Bruguera (see: Why Is the Havana Biennial Afraid of Tania Bruguera).

After leaving Cuba, Biesenbach posted various entries to his Instagram account from another Caribbean country, possibly the Bahamas (social media is notoriously difficult to use in Cuba). One entry, which resembles a photo used to advertise Sandals Resorts, features a picture of crashing surf. It reads blithely: “finally a lazy stupid tourist beach hour after such a week of worry and turmoil…Tania will need a lot of support from the international art world to go through this further relatively unharmed."

Alarmed at the curator’s lack of urgency, one of Biesenbach’s Instagram “followers," using the social media handle “coriredstone," implored the curator to act on his own counsel. “Klaus, you should do a media blitz ASAP," she wrote with noticeable exasperation, “coordinate w Cuban expats and raise all hell or they may kick [Bruguera] out permanently or worse, lock her back up."

Unfortunately, as of now, no sign of such a “media blitz" exists—this despite the fact that MoMA’s standard-bearer remains uniquely positioned to speak to Bruguera’s case as one of the few global figures who witnessed this watershed act of repression firsthand. (See: Cuban Officials Brand Tania Bruguera a Criminal.)

While it’s certainly important that the Guggenheim and MoMA have both come out in support of the dropping of charges against Bruguera, Biesenbach continues to pass up a golden opportunity to exercise his considerable influence to benefit art’s most essential value—freedom of speech.

Body-Snatching the Place of Bona Fide Artists

To his everlasting credit, Biesenbach became well know in 2012 for having coordinated substantial relief efforts for communities affected by Hurricane Sandy, especially those located near his second home in the Rockaways. For this, the curator drafted an open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and fellow New Yorkers, and turned MoMA PS1 into a temporary shelter for displaced residents.

As one might expect, Biesenbach’s letter was signed by a laundry list of A-listers, including Madonna, Lady Gaga, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Franco. A moment when Klaus and his swans demonstrated that they were capable of more than arty glitz and counterfeit vanguardism, the episode demonstrates a tried and true way well-known entertainers can join lesser-known art world types to achieve important goals. (See: Patti Smith’s Resilience of the Dreamer Celebrates the Rockaways.)

As Choire Sicha wrote in 2012 for Bookforum in a canny piece about Biesenbach’s thorny adulation of celebrity, “Actors and singers (sometimes even dancers) are, on the whole, more famous than actually of quality." This, Sicha says, has been the reason that the performing arts have always had “an uncomfortable relationship with the higher-end curatorial ambitions of the museum." But Biesenbach’s promotion of celebrity and social media buzz at MoMA has effectively turned the old relationship between the museum and pop stardom on its ear.

With Biesenbach’s latest critical debacle, the logic of the new no-brow museum has suddenly become crystal clear. At today’s MoMA entertainers with aspirations to high culture—Björk, Swinton, Hegarty, Franco, et al—have body-snatched the role of bona fide artists (see: Why James Franco’s Cindy Sherman Homage at Pace Is Not Just Bad, It’s Offensive). Despite former board President Agnes Gund’s warning—she told the New York Times last April, “There are a number of us on the board who don’t want to see the museum become a mere entertainment center"—MoMA has taken its crowd-pleasing to carnival extremes. Under such circumstances, who can blame board members and museum staff for being troubled by or outright deploring Biesenbach’s starfucking curatorial regime.

Recent reports from sources inside MoMA indicate that the attendance numbers for “Björk" are disappointing based on museum projections. (MoMA’s response to artnet News queries is that the museum “does not release mid-run attendance figures," and that it has “reached capacity" for one component of the cramped exhibition, while wrangling “consistent but manageable queues" for the show’s other two installations.) If true, flagging attendance for this spectacularly bad show suggests that a corner may have been turned—there’s only so much negative press MoMA can receive without it impacting their gate. This bodes badly for Biesenbach’s next commemoration of celebrity culture, “Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971," scheduled to open in May (see: Yoko Ono to Have Solo Show at MoMA in 2015).

Yet the museum’s secretiveness also points to how difficult it is to read—or write about—an immensely powerful institution that protects its own and circles the wagons at the least sign of a perceived threat or schism.

When artnet News reached out to Biesenbach and the museum for comment on the relentless criticism “Björk" has received, the curator declined to comment—an attitude very much in keeping with the institution’s imperious style.

And so it goes at the world’s most important museum of modern art. As one anonymous source told us: “Lots of trustees are unhappy with Biesenbach right now, but breaking ranks is a big deal. Change will come about only when the trustees who are in dissent get enough ammo to make their will explicit."

On the heels of what many critics argue is the worst MoMA exhibition of all time, no moment seems more propitious for a change than now.


#7


Jerry Saltz’s burning MoMA press pass. Image courtesy Observer

And the saga continues! Jerry Saltz has now reportedly burned his press pass in protest of MoMA, reports the Observer:

In a move that’s slightly more punk rock than his previous extracurricular activities—such as guest-starring on Girls or live-tweeting a trip to the eye doctor—Jerry Saltz has gone rogue, and lit his MoMA press pass in a sea of flames. Burned the thing to a crisp. And while perhaps this fit of pyromania may simply be Jerry playing out his puerile tendencies, as he often does, maybe it’s an empowering bit of protest art, an act of defiance against the recent celebrity-centric programming at the country’s greatest stronghold of contemporary art. Let such rebellion ring forth through avenues of Instagram, let the transgression ride waves of retweets on Twitter! For this is a work of revolution. The Third of May 1808. Guernica. Jerry Saltz Burning His MoMA Press Pass.

And though the whole public incineration thing—coupled with not-too-kind words for a certain recent show put on by Chief Curator at Large (or, maybe, former Chief Curator at Large?) Klaus Biesenbach—probably made clear his current thoughts regarding MoMA at the moment, that didn’t stop Laura Hoptman, a curator in the painting department, from cheerily inviting the critic to come see “One Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and other Works” on Tuesday.

“It’s gonna be mind blowingly great,” she wrote in the Instagram comments.

(Mr. Saltz on “The Forever Now,” which was curated by Ms. Hoptman: “If MoMA is the Ferrari of Modernist museums, ‘The Forever Now’ is driving it like a Prius: something made to have minimum impact on the environment while making people feel okay about something troubling.”)

What’s more, he probably doesn’t need the little piece of paper that is a press pass, because he’s a former TV star and probably the most easily recognizable art critic in the country. As a MoMA reception employee mentioned, also in the Instagram comments, “Who are you kidding Jerry? We let you in with or without a pass. Xo.”

And look, this is probably just another stunt from a guy who loves them, but on the off chance Jerry Saltz really is staying away from the Museum of Modern Art for a while, that’s a bummer. We were looking forward to his review of the next Klaus Biesenbach show at MoMA: “Yoko Ono: One Woman Show: 1960-1971.”


#8

What’s up though, in this article, with likening KB to a “walker,” and referring to his “swans,” and the Truman Capote stuff? Faune doesn’t do anyone any favors by being so hetero in his distaste…