Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Truth about Tangent

Image hosted by

There is a lot of "cushioning" or soft words said about art these days. Writers use this fancy trick of describing the art and not critiquing it. This was a problem in art school. If a weak student had a critique the others softened the blow and didn't call them out. Everyone has their own opinions of what makes good art but there are some basic principles to go by, especially if you are having a solo show at a gallery. I don't necessary believe that negativity is something to focus on, but some of the best critiques were the brutally honest ones that made you reject or accept what was said. If more people were willing to open their ears to some criticism, hey, they might even grow a little?

Given the limited galleries for Detroit artists to show, I will try and remain objective about the Tangent opening last night. First can I say, “I miss you Mitch (Cope)!” Under Mitch’s reign at Tangent there were many high caliber shows, including Denise Whitebread Fanning’s plaster figures overlooking shaking birds.

Image hosted by

Figuratively Speaking is a collection of charcoal and pastel drawings by artist Marnie Fender. The drawings, all figurative, are studies and just that. They have a nice quality and the woman can draw but there isn't anything past the rendered figures. The show lacked personality and an artist's voice. Again, I try to soften my words because I hate seeing any of Detroit artists' torn into, but I feel that Tangent could have found a more developed artist to show. Tangent used to be a gallery of risks and now it is a safe? I am only critical of the work because of the grand space it is show in. The work seemed tiny and student-like. The real critique should be for Tangent's director not using the full potential of the gallery.

Image hosted by


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I missed th opening (Sorry ANN!) but based on the photo you put up I would not agree that the artist can draw. Plus all that stuff you said.

About Mitch: I miss him dearly. I was a frequent visitor to Tangent when he directed it. As a matter of fact I once aspired to show there. Not anymore. It is now a bad suburban gallery in an incredible urban space.

Someone recently said that "Mitch has lost his Mojo." This was in relation to his nepotistic relationship with a few artists, whose (once inspired but now ) repetitous work he continues to curate. Time will tell if he's going to make any waves again.
I really really really hope so.

much love

1:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home