Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Don't Cross Robert Storr


Elizabeth Peyton and Robert Storr at the 92nd Street Y, March 25, 2010. Photo: 16 Miles

It is only Tuesday, but Robert Storr — the dean of the Yale School of Art and a former curator at the Museum of Modern Art — has already levied criticism on two sets of museum officials in two separate New York Times articles this week. Yesterday he lambasted administrators at the Guggenheim for the open-call video-art biennial they are staging with YouTube, and today he has gone after officials at the Brooklyn Museum, seemingly waging a one-man war on the omertà that has typically prevailed in the museum world.

Storr on the Brooklyn Museum:
The quality of their exhibitions has lessened. ‘Star Wars’ shows [are] the worst kind of populism. I don’t think they really understand where they are. The middle of the art world is now in Brooklyn; it’s an increasingly sophisticated audience and always was one.

Storr on the Guggenheim’s video-art biennial:
Hit-and-run, no-fault encounters between curators and artists, works and the public, will never give useful shape to the art of the present nor define the viewpoint of institutions… It’s time to stop kidding ourselves. The museum as revolving door for new talent is the enemy of art and of talent, not their friend — and the enemy of the public as well, since it refuses to actually serve that public but serves up art as if it was quick-to-spoil produce from a Fresh Direct warehouse.