Thursday, March 23, 2006


Thursday, March 23 at 7:30pm:
The College for Creative Studies' WOODWARD LECTURE SERIES presents KLAUS KERTESS, curator and writer Co-sponsored by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MoCAD)

KLAUS KERTESS founded the famed Bykert Gallery in New York in 1966, representing Chuck Close, Ralph Humphrey, Barry Le Va, Brice Marden, and Dorothea Rockburn, among others. Kertess is a contributing editor to numerous publications and has written on many contemporary artists such as Le Va, John Chamberlain, Robert Irwin, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Roni Horn. Kertess has held curatorial posts at the Parrish Art Museum in Southhampton, New York and the Whitney Museum of American Art, where he curated the 1995 Whitney Biennial. Kertess has conducted a graduate seminar at the School of Visual Arts in New York since 1997, and he lectures and conducts critiques throughout the United States. Close to home, Kertess is the curator of the inaugural exhibition of the new Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, set to open on Woodward Avenue in Midtown Detroit in fall 2006.

This lecture is free and open to the public Wendell W. Anderson Jr. Auditorium
Walter B. Ford II Building Frederick Douglass and John R. Streets CCS campus
Call CCS' Center Galleries for more info: 313-664-7800


Anonymous Anonymous said...

is there a website for mocad and if so what is it.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to the lecture this evening and it left me flat. I may be sounding provincial but there is not one artist from Detroit to be included in the inaugral exhibition. Apparently Mr. Curator approached an artist from Detroit but was turned down. Sounds peculiar. He does hope one artist from Detroit will be included though. It doesn't appear that we'll have a chance to celebrate our own this time around. How unfortunate. Seems to me the opening of MoCad should celebrate Detroit artists not the international star crew the curator has assembled. Anyone else feel similarly?

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is impossible to believe that Kertess couldn't find a single Detroit artist, or alternate, to be part of Detroit's inaugural MOCA-D show. A sad day for the art community.

Did anyone in the audience call him out on this one?!

This is fucked.

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is pathetic. I can't believe he couldn't find a single Detroit artist to include in the show.

This isn't something to celebrate if it excludes the best Detroit has to offer. It says we're not good enough. And that's fucked.

How can Detroit ever join the rest of the art world if it's own institutions turn their back on it?

Didn't anyone in the audience take him to task on that one?!

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boycott the opening! Betrayal!

11:46 PM  
Blogger art blogs are fun said...

I will have a full summary tomorrow on the mocad lecture.

Let's just say that I felt like I went through the whole 12 step program with mocad - anger, annoyance, frustrations...and finally ended with acceptance.

11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The website for mocad is

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can think of any number of Detroit artists who would be a great addition to the ones he mentioned at the lecture.....Kara Walker, Nari Ward, Barry McGee, and I forget the others.

I dont necessarily think that the entire show should be Detroiters, or even half; but there has to be one that will fit into and add to that dialogue.

Overall, the addition of this museum will be a great thing for the region.

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it very strange that the one Detroit artist that Kertess approached turned him down. I wonder about their particular reasoning for such a decision. Did it feel like tokenism,in order to passify the Detroit art's community it could be said that at least one of us got in?

I think there should be more than one Detroit artist represented in the opening and perhaps suggest a relationship with larger art themes with the addition of artists that have international reputations. I think such an approach would fare far better for the region.

8:35 AM  
Blogger John Azoni said...

I also found it odd that he couldn't find any detroit artists to participate. He's doing a lecture at CCS for gosh sakes. I mean come on...the room is filled with detroit artists! Scott Hocking took him on a tour of Detroit...he didn't think to ask Scott to participate?

8:44 AM  
Blogger John Azoni said...

did anyone else find him to be extremely monotonous?

I'm not sure if that was his sense of humor but I found the lecture hard to sit through in general.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it may be that my head is clouded by too many rumors now, but i recall that when a group of us sat down with marsha miro last june she told us kertess would curate in 8 artists, 6 of them from ny and 2 from here. somehow that seemed equitable.

now that deal is no longer on the table, i expect they'll hang a few detroit artists in a separate smaller gallery -- and say they done us right. i do believe detroit knows segregation when it sees it, and such a token isn't parity.

then again, they may not even do that.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Show me a Detroit artist who deserves to be mentioned with the likes of Kara Walker and Barry Mcgee and then you can complain about being left out. Why can't this city be happy with the fact that it is getting to bring international artists to the city which in the long run is good for all artists in the city. I feel the attitude like this is as much to blame for the state of art in Detroit as it is the gallerists and collectors, why the sense of entitlement? If you want attention, go out and earn it!

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah and no offense, I like his work a lot but Scott Hocking is not deserving of mention with Kara Walker and Barry Mcgee

10:47 AM  
Blogger John Azoni said...

what makes those artists so great is not their art necesarily, but their name. They've been around the block more so people just put them on a pedestal. I don't think you should look at them like art gods, because they're not. Sure, they do great art, but so do a lot of detroit artists. I don't think that kara walker and barry mcgee would approve of someone making them out to be better than everyone.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not better than everyone, but they are great and I don't see a lot of great art in detroit. Good art yes, even some really good art, but not great.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sure would like to know who is that Detroit artist who turned down the show. What was their motive for doing so? That would reveal a lot about the underpinnings of this first show.

If only someone else on that board was there to fill in the blanks as to future exhibitions. Not necessarily specific details, but general themes. After all, if this one exhibition is in the works, others must be also....I wouldnt think they would want to be left hanging after this first one. I think that more information would have made the audience a little more receptive to Mr Kertess' position.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

detroit is a cultural backwater and
detroit artists are an untalented
group that is why they are in detroit. you should be gratefull
mocad is bringing in a ny curator and great artists from outside detroit.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bigtime, why do you want to stir up schitt? Are you really angry, or are you just bored?

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the one detroit artist kertess approached, and declined, is the aging recluse Gordie Newton. he's hardly part of the detroit art scene anymore. kertess visited his studio 30 years ago with sam wagstaff.
that's a 30 yr old moral: why it's important to include detroit artists in these exhibitions, such efforts will force the incoming curators to actually look at current detroit art.

and to say all detroit art is shit is stupid. it would be easier to say it of all new york art. but i won't because there are good artists in both cities.

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stylistically, Gordon Newton wouldnt be a bad choice to show along with the other artists. If two Detroit artists were to be selected as rumored, I would vote for Sestok or Luchs, though, of that earlier a choice of Scott Hocking, Ed Brown, Kate Russo, Senghor Reid, Christian Tedeschi, or Clint Snider as representative of younger artists. To have Sestok in an exhibition like this would be great because there needs to be more scholarship on his body of work. Newton is great but the DIA has done shows on him and a major book published.

This latter group may not have the 'resume' as mentioned in another thread, but when the DIA did the INTERVENTIONS show in 95 one of the artists was Scott Stephanoff, who was at that time a CCS student. He came off real well in that exhibition.

It doesnt surprise me, though, that Newton would decline. He has always been a sort of loner who shunned spotlight.

1:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leoqueen, I think the artists you've mentioned are a fine group but not up to par with the intent of a Contemporary Art Museum. I don't think their work is committed to broader artistic issues. So much of what is produced in Detroit is about Detroit, unfortunately that's as far is it goes and it also makes much of this groups work so easily palatable to much of the artistic population here. We live in a region that is far greater than the city of Detroit alone. I think perhaps the search must be expanded.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry that I, too, am responding anonymously, but I must. I can't say that I am taken by curatorial stance of the first exhibition (at least via slide presentation), but it's not because a Detroit artist isn't included. There are several artists whose work is extremely fine, but I am tired of Barry McGee's accessible graphics. He (along with the rest of the selected artists) could, however, make incredible work for Detroit's newest museum. I applaud the efforts of those behind MoCAD and wish them the best of luck (and I sincerely hope Kara Walker's challenging work does not find itself overly offensive to our diverse community - MoCAD will have a big reponsibility with this).
And regarding the issue of adding a Detroit artist, we must realize that most of the artists in Mr. Kertess's exhibition create installation based work. That really narrows the pool of artists that Detorit has to offer. I am sure if he were selecting an exhibition of paintings, works on paper or sculpture, he would have found many more artists to fit his position. As for the one he did invite, maybe he or she has other obligations - like a show in New York, or isn't interested in the scale of work necessary for the space (or how raw the space currently is), or doesn't like the others artists he or she would be showing with.
This exhibit is the first of hopefully many more to come. We might be surprised to find Detroit represented in many future projects.
Finally, if Newton was the artist that Klaus invited, why can't we be happy for him and his continued recognition as one of Detroit's best artists.

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, can you please define what those "broader artistic issues" are that the artists I named should be committed to?

I am not trying to be difficult or argumentative....I just want to understand what these perimeters are.

Also....could all of the posters who wish to be anonymous choose some sort of handle that will make dialogue easier? Its hard to tell which anonymous is which when one wants to respond.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

leoqueen might i suggest that you do some reading to discover what i mean by broader artistic issues.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


leoqueen asked a question in a manner that is attempting to avoid the pointless mudslinging these comments sometimes devolve into.

why not try to support this effort?


11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous, I answered your question in the way I did in order to achieve some clarity on just what are your objections or observations of the artists I listed.

"Broader artistic issues" can mean just about any damn thing. I interpret your very curt response to mean just one thing....that you dont really want to engage in purposeful dialogue if it doesnt mesh with your own thoughts.

I dont need you to tell me how much or how little reading I need to do on this subject. How presumptious of you.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walker's work is definitely not safe; just wait until you see how people react to it. There should be some educational forums to go along with this show so it doesnt exist in a vacuum. Start first with the mayor and the council so they dont go "off" like Giuliani did when SENSATION opened in NY.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But isn't that what MOCAD wants? Come on, Kara Walker's cut out paper slaves and masters, and McGhee's graffitti decorating the outside of the MOCAD for a start? They're banking on a strong reaction to make the headlines.

9:00 AM  

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