Exhibition Inquisition

The stuff you look at, but don't see.

Posts Tagged ‘Collecting History

Rothko Chapel

with 2 comments

I was in Houston last week for the American Association of Museum’s annual conference.  It was my first time attending, and I learned a lot and networked a lot. (Thanks for the fellowship Getty Foundation!)  As a Californian, my perception of Houston is a bit skewed from reality.  It didn’t help that my freshman year roommate was a frat boy from H-Town, who was fond of boxed wine and drunk driving.   All of my conceptions of Houston were changed during my trip.  Total strangers smiled at me and made eye contact (a strange thing for me).  More importantly, Houston is FULL of art institutions.  I managed to squeeze a major art mecca into my trip and was blown away with the amount of things I saw.  (This was easy to accomplish because of Houston’s concentrated museum district.)  I got to see the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s traveling summer exhibition Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting.  It was kind of dinky, and I’m glad I didn’t have to pay the extra $7 dollars to see it.  What really blew my mind at the MFAH was the Carlos Cruz Diaz show (post to follow soon); I loved it so much, I saw it twice in four days.

Titian’s “Diana and Actaeon” – The Painting that almost got away.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Collecting History: Highlighting Recent Acquisitions

with 2 comments

Museum of Contemporary Art

The wording of the title of the show “Collecting History” creates a convenient ambiguity.  Is MOCA presenting the history of its collecting?—probably not, since these are recent acquisitions, and therefore this is not a show displaying its history. More likely MOCA is claiming with this title that through these acquisitions MOCA is collecting (verb) history.

The introductory wall text is the only “educational” anything in the exhibition.  It has a nice tie-in to MOCA’s previous exhibitions, saying the museum acquired works from these amazing shows.  Some of these shows were critically well received, but these expensive shows were also one of the causes of MOCA’s financial problems.  The intro wall text provides catch-all terms such as “significant works,” “historical, mid-career, and emerging artists,” and also “local, national, and international artists.” So basically anything goes.

Titular Image: Öyvind Fahlström, Africa Banner

Titular Image: Öyvind Fahlström, Africa Banner

Read the rest of this entry »