The reviews have been streaming in steadily since the opening of the Barnes Foundation, the collection of early modernist masterworks of Dr. Albert C. Barnes, on Saturday at its more centrally located site along Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The building, designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, at a cost of $150 million, replicates the galleries of the original structure while expanding its footprint to add new amenities like a central court, a café, a gift shop and an auditorium—a total of 93,000 square feet, compared to the original in Merion, a suburb of Philadelphia, which was only 10,000 square feet. The critics are all over the place on the new building. Here’s a cheat sheet of where some of them stand.
Damien Hirst’s 11-gallery spot-painting exhibitions is probably impossible for just about single working critic to review.
Even the most frugal writer making the worldwide Gagosian tour—crashing on couches, taking trains throughout Europe, etc.—would need to spend at least a few thousand dollars on airplane tickets to cross the Atlantic, the Pacific, the U.S. and the gigantic gap between the Gagosian outposts in Athens and Hong Kong. Though critic Adrian Searle floats the rumor that one journalist is making the trip, it is hard to believe any publication—or even major media company—would be willing to back the sojourn.
Week in Art Criticism
As we move into the second half of October, much of the art crowd is off in London for Frieze. Next week, a good portion of it will move to Paris for FIAC, returning to New York as temperatures begin to drop and dealers ready their second shows of the season. Nevertheless, critics have been busy on these shores. In The New York Observer this week, Will Heinrich reviewed Algus Greenson’s just-closed “Invitation to the Voyage” and declared that it “could easily pass for a small museum show.” Below we offer a quick look at what critics are saying elsewhere.