28 Avril 2010

Skin Fruit: Art’s Sweeter on the Inside

By Rose C. Levy

While strolling in New York’s East Village in 1985, Dakis Joannou happened into the now notorious International With Monument gallery, where he immediately fell for the piece One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (1985) by Jeff Koons and bought it. That was to be the first piece of a personal collection now considered by many to be one of the best in the world, a collection you can see if you’re in Manhattan before the 6th of June.
This exceptional exhibition at the New Museum, Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection, takes up four out of 5 of the museums floors, features approximately 100 works from over 50 countries, and is made up of many mediums including sculpture, works on paper, paintings, installations, and videos. The curator, Koons himself, who had his first major museum exhibition at the New Museum, is not only the reason Joannou started collecting; he’s also become a personal friend of the collector.
 
Everybody’s talking about this exposition, and it’s not only because of the hotshot artists on display. For one reason, the collection is much more mainstream than the artworks typically displayed at the museum, which is known for its determined exhibitions of talented, under-appreciated artists, and the only one in New York entirely dedicated to presenting contemporary art. Another reason is because Dakis Joannou is on the museum’s board of trustees.
 
 
 
Roberto Cuoghi, Pazuzu, 2008. Epoxy, solventvarnish, fiberglass, polystyrene, and steel, 234 1/4 x 116 1/2 x 98 1/2 in. The DakisJoannou Collection, Athens
 
Non-conformists screaming uncle
 
Very cutting edge since it’s opening in 1977, the New Museum is a haven for radical art lovers, and even has its own progressive website since 2003, Rhizome, the leading online platform for global new media art. News of the exhibition has left the unconventional art community questioning the motivators behind the exposition, and the a-list artists on display have critics claiming regression after such acclaimed cutting edge expositions as Younger than Jesus, curated by the New Museum’s fresh and talented Lauren Cornell and Massimiliano Gioni. The choice of curator is yet another reason disapproving aficionados are slinging mud: why go bling when you have top avant-garde curators in-house? When viewing the exhibition it’s not surprising to learn that the first time curator Koons is actually more comfortable dealing with his collection of old masters than arranging contemporary art, as one can argue the rooms tend to be slightly crowded and the scenographical goals unclear; on the other hand, having Koons select and organize the manipulation of the artwork is exciting, as artist’s tend to notice, appreciate, and draw attention to details that scholastically trained curators might not. Despite the 2-bit ready-made criticism we tend to read about this exposition, important members of the art world have praised it, such as Jeffery Deitch (gallery owner and the new director of MOCA) who supports the idea of “one of the most interesting, radical artists of our time doing an artistic curation of the best contemporary art collection of our time.
 
 
One ball in the equilibrium tank: 2 points for the New Museum
 
In the museum’s defence, it is not uncommon for museums to ask trusties to display their works, and it’s quite logical that a patron of a contemporary art museum has an impressive collection, so why not share it with the public? While the art on display hails from the posh, moneyed stratum of the contemporary art market, it does give the public a chance to view works from the major artistic players of the upper echelon, something that most public institutions do not currently offer. In fact, these are the types of work one is more likely to see on display during exclusive events such as Art Basel or the Venice Biennale than in a museum. Speaking of Venice, one has to wonder if Joannou and Francois Pinault share the same Segalot when one notes the similarity of the collections, to the point even that the same piece by Maurizio Cattelan: All (2007) can be seen here in the exposition, and on display in the renowned Punta Della Dogana, Pinault’s latest palazzo artistico in Venetia. Besides Cattelan, the two collectors also share a penchant for Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Paul McCarthy, Cady Noland, and Richard Prince, among others. One original aspect of the Greek collectors work is the numerous works displayed from his compatriotic artists, which are rarer on the international art scene but not without merit.
Like Pinault, who uses his assets to furnish the most fashionable foundations, which house his own collections, Joannou founded the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art in Athens, at the suggestion of French art critic Pierre Restany, and has been organizing exhibitions and supporting upcoming and established artists since 1983.
Are Pinault and Joannou simply filling a need, by organizing these exhibitions, that hadn’t yet been met? The works tend to be much more controversial than those that grace other well known museums, yet they have that needed touch of wit and reflection that arouses the appreciation contemporary public – which is one of the reasons why the artists presented have become so well liked by multimillionaire collectors.
 
Pealing back the skin (fruit)
In writings regarding the unsettling title of the exposition, the New Museum explains that:  “Skin” and “fruit” evoke the tensions between interior and exterior, between what we see and what we consume.” If we use this to describe the contemporary art world, it’s symbolic of those who are in the know, and who aren’t.
 
Basically the controversy all goes back to the #1 question: Who decides what’s good? Obviously, if an artist’s work is displayed in a museum, the cote goes up. However, the economic downturn of the last 18 months, which has heavily affected the contemporary market, makes it almost impossible to count on anything stabilizing the value of contemporary art, even an exposition in a well known museum.
And honestly, despite a few turnips ( Schedule of the Crucifix by Pavel Althamer, for example ) the collection is good, and merits its worldwide notoriety. It’s also exciting that the public can finally see these works in a public institution and be able to give its own opinion of the high priced art traded in select circles. These artists are, in fact, the movers and the shakers of our era, and we shouldn’t have to wait until they’re “finished producing” to see them in a museum.

laisser un commentaire


La toilette mise à nu

La part animale

L'inclassable Emmet Gowin

Les verts galants

Montmartre au sommet

Femmes berbères du Maroc

Miss Mapple et Mr Thorpe

Si l’Orient Express m’était conté…

Caillebotte à l’état de nature

À l’ouest d’Adams

Le glamour en vogue sur papier glacé

Dries Van Noten dévoile ses sources

Henri Cartier-Bresson : la tête, l’œil et le cœur

Braque met de la couleur aux formes

L’inclassable Félix Vallotton

Le testament Brassaï

Raymond Depardon se souvient

Quand la photo embaume

Rendez-vous en terre inconnue

Ecce homo

Camille Claudel sort de ses réserves

Sergio Larrain, le vagabond solitaire

Cet obscur objet du désir

Ferrante Ferranti, Itinerrances

Costa Gavras, carnets photographiques

Simon Hantaï dans l’art

Ron Mueck s’est fait chair

Photo et photo dans la photo

Keith Haring : pop et subversif

Oscar Niemeyer : de la courbe au cosmos

VENISE, MIROIR CAPTIF DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE ?

Magiques Philippines !

Impressionnant Boudin

Laure Albin Guillot impose la photographie

La fabuleuse collection d'Howard Greenberg

When Art Foretells a Grim Reality

Chagall, plus touchant que jamais

Fifty Shades of Gray

De mémoire d’éléphant

Mary Cassatt at The Mona Bismarck Foundation

Paris à Hollywood

Clichés de France

Don Manuel

Yue Minjun, le clown chinois

Salvateur Dalí

Edward Hopper ou la fabrique de la mythologie américaine

Nous nous sommes tant aimés

Dialogue sur le Grand canal

Picasso, de Chirico, Léger et Picabia : Une moderne Antiquité, musée Picasso, Antibes

THE ANNENBERG FOUNDATION SUPPORTS FRENCH AND AMERICAN COLLABORATION THROUGH THE AMERICAN FRIENDS OF THE MUSEE D’ORSAY

Le Japon... un an après

Et Helmut Newton créa la femme

Matisse, Matisse, Matisse, …

L’héritage Berenice Abbott

David Shrigley: Brain Activity at the Hayward Gallery

Zarina Bhimji at the Whitechapel Gallery, London

Reflet dans un œil d’or

Une aurore boréale nommée Akseli Gallen-Kallela

Doisneau dans les nuits des Halles

Les Stein : une famille et des peintres

La photographie s’expose

Munch moderne

Louis Valtat : à l’aube du fauvisme

En direct de Art Basel

Exposition Figures & Fictions, Photographie Contemporaine d’Afrique du Sud

Haute voiture

FAUVE QUI PEUT

Holy Daughters par Prune Nourry

« Et à part Monet ? » : les expositions d’art du XIXe siècle à Paris

Basquiat à l’honneur au Musée d’art moderne de Paris

Le rideau tombe sur l’Exposition Universelle

Pierre Ducellier dit Windorf (1944-2007) : un Peintre, deux vies, deux livres

Les grandes ventes d’art contemporain de novembre 2010 à New York

Marrakech Art Fair

Arles en Bleu

LaM s’ouvre - Première exposition publique d’art brut en France

Rashid Rana - Perpétuel Paradoxe - Musée Guimet

Les Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles : 40 years of existence

Happy Days à Aix en Provence- Rétrospective François Arnal

Angel Fernandez de Soto - Christie's Londres

La Peau de l’Ours, André Level et Pablo Picasso

Mind the Gap

Hopper, "Si on pouvait le dire avec des mots, il n'y aurait aucune raison de le peindre"

Art Basel 2010

Une artiste en voie de (pro)création : portrait d’une jeune artiste qui s’empare de la science

David Reimondo à la Galerie DiMeo à Paris

Interview de Mattieu Nicol, un des commissaires et responsable presse/partenariats de REVELATION, foire de photographie contemporaine

Death, Sex, Punishment and Springtime in Paris

Enchères records à New York, Vol record à Paris !

JAMES HOWARD- BLACK MONEY- London, 22 April through 21 May 2010

Débat Street Art à la NM Galerie avec ArtyParade en tant qu'intervenant !

BEN, « strip-tease intégral »

PAUL GAUGUIN, VERS LA MODERNITE

Skin Fruit: Art’s Sweeter on the Inside

Henri Michaux & Franklin Chow : traversée du temps, traversée de l’espace

Une vibration inaudible à l’oreille nue…*

Chic un dessin !

Art Paris, une foire digne d'un chenil !

Parade à l’Armory Show

Créés en 2008, les Brit Insurance Design Awards sont au Design ce que les Oscars sont au Cinéma.

Too great, Toorop !

« Turner et ses peintres » au Grand Palais : coup commercial ou véritable innovation ?

Du nouveau au Louvre ? Oui mais du contemporain !

Have a Coke for Islam! Adel Abidin exposes at the Kiasma Museum for Contemporay Art, Helsinki, Finland February 12th – April 25th 2010

Le design comme invention

Aimer avec un pinceau, éduquer avec un regard

Performance de Fabien Breuvart le soir du vernissage de Paris Photo 2009… ou « l’art brut » photographique

Ventes de New York: Sotheby's 1 – Christie’s 0,5

La Fiac 2009 : une foire enfin internationale à Paris

Feu d'artifice de Fabien Giraud et Raphaël Siboni, FIAC 2009

Avec l’éclatement de la bulle, la Frieze apparaît beaucoup moins pétillante