2012 in Review
Though there was no shortage of great debuts around town in 2012, it felt like an especially strong year for rediscoveries—exhibitions that offered the chance to revisit artists that the New York market and most mainstream art histories have, for various reasons, overlooked. All around town, museums and galleries presented artists who are late in their careers and who have shown little in New York in recent years (or in recent decades)—if they have even shown here at all.
If you listen carefully, you can hear the howling from curatorial and critical circles about the Metropolitan Museum’s blockbuster, “Regarding Warhol.” Organized by Mark Rosenthal with Marla Prather, Ian Alteveer and Rebecca Lowery, the exhibition is a Trojan horse: under the guise of examining the influential Pop artist, the Met has crept through the gates of contemporary art curation. The haphazard display, which looks cobbled together from auction-house catalogues (rather than from art history books), functions less as a thoughtful exhibition than as a three-dimensional press release for the traditionally more historically focused museum’s plans to expand into new art. It’s a land-grab, a wild claim to exciting territory. Its raison d’être is more institutional positioning than visual persuasion. It is bold, impolitic—and interesting.
Soho alternative gallery Artists Space today released some details about its planned fall retrospective of the work of the collective Bernadette Corporation, and it sounds like it is going to be a wonderfully heady affair. For one thing, the show carries the title “Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years.”