Saturday, March 25, 2006

more on mocad

Gordon Newton
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So here is the alleged Detroit artist who turned down the opportunity to show at the new museum - MOCAD
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 Not only was it mentioned (in the comments to the following post) that kertess visited newton's studio 30 years ago - it also helps when the face behind the museum, marsha miro, edited/co-authored the Gordon Newton book - catalog from the DIA show. Gordon Newton, yes is a great detroit artist - but should he be in the new contemporary museum when he was in a show at the DIA more than 20 years ago in 1981!! This just goes to show that MOCAD will not be "kicking out" a fresh show of artists: instead they will play it safe with artists who already have work in regular art museums - not just contemporaries. Why have a new contemporary when this show could have been exhibited at the DIA?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree Gordon Newton is the wrong choice of a local artist. But the better any Detroit artists do the better all artists in Detroit do by the perceived association. Things are rough, but I see a lot of possitive changes and energy beging to form.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a pretty unfair assessment. Roxy Paine will never be in a show at the DIA, Barry McGee will never show at the DIA, Mark Bradford will never show at the DIA...I'm not sure if people have noticed, but the DIA doesn't really show contemporary art (nor doe it have a contemporary curator at the moment). The Daimler Chrysler show was the closest they've come and none of that work would have a chance of being shown at the DIA if it wasn't brought there by one of the “Big Three.”

So many people reading this site seem content to condemn the MoCAD project before it gets off the ground. All of the work Klaus spoke of for this first exhibition is extremely relevant to Detroit, and already seven months in advance of the opening people aren't satisfied. (Give me a fucking break!) The initial complaint was that the organizers were being too secretive, and now that word has gotten out, look how you react. Give it a chance to develop. Give it the benefit of the doubt. Don't pass judgment before it has an opportunity to develop. Anything at this point is better than the nothing we have currently.

I also don’t think you can talk about “playing it safe” if the DIA is the only point of reference. Of course, this first show isn’t as risky as a show that might be arranged at the Whitney or PS1, but Detroit is not New York. Again, this is the first show. Not to mention, given that Klaus Kertess is not a permanent fixture at the museum, it isn’t even indicative of the direction they may be headed. I certainly am not prepared to announce MoCAD as a failure before it’s opened. I for one am excited and I’m appalled that I seem to be in the minority.


2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't think anyone's saying this show *would* be at the DIA ... anymore. I think they're saying it's the sort of show that *should* be a contemporary exhibition at the DIA.

and then have riskier, less-certified showings at MOCAD.


3:36 PM  
Blogger art blogs are fun said...


I am a little taken aback by your stern comments. I am not down on mocad...and if you read my summary of the lecture, in the end I stated that I was just happy that everything is finally happening and that I understand the show they organized. And I am upset the dia has taken steps backwards since the 80's in terms of including local talent. The curator has no clue what detroit needs. I am not ripping on him. He will organize a fine show I am sure. I am only merely commenting that it is weird that the detroit artist considered, already showed at the dia back 20 years - and that that is were they are looking. I am only commmenting b/c I feel that the organizers of mocad seem disconnected with the artist community. The musuem shouldn't be all about detroit artists but don't you think that the community should have some sort of voice in the musuem? I am only venting b/c the project seems to be trucking along without any concern for what the community wants - not only those with assets tied up in the project should have a say.
No one is condeming mocad. We are only having healthy art discussions on what we feel should happen there.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with ann. and no one wants this to succeed more than i do. i've got the scars to prove it.
but such an effort is integral to and indivisible from the art community. allowing them a voice in its creation isn't unrealistic. and allowing them a presence isn't either.

10 years ago i thought we needed a contemporary museum just so we could see all the art in the mags - in the flesh and in our own town. (i don't travel well.)

i now realize how selfish that idea is by itself. i now realize we need to see our own art in such a place as well.

ny has over a hundred museums. many of those show contemporary art and most of those are showing ny artists in some capacity all the time. the same with the galleries. the same with the art magazines. (i'm not naive. i know ny is the capital of the art world. but still...) if you have institutions that promote their indigenous artists, those artists are noticed at home and abroad. if you bring in outside curators to visit their studios, only good can come of it (kertess remembered his visit to newton's).

kertess's notion of putting together a detroit show based on rust and decay reeks of cliche -- but so what, the artists he's chosen are right for the job and excellent choices art-wise.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word has not gotten out.

MOCAD is as secretive as ever. They even threw poor Klaus to the crowd without an introduction by anyone from the museum, without a few words about their vision or focus. Poor Klaus was left to fend these questions himself.

Everyone knew it would be a show of 8 artists from NYC. They've known it was Kertess who was to be the first curator.

The only new thing people now know is that not a single Detroit artist will be participating in this grand event. And with only 7 months left until the grand opening, yes, I hope the community will voice their dissent. That's not a condemnation nor passing of judgement. That's participatory.

7:15 PM  
Blogger detart said...

I think we were all just hoping MoCAD would be more...more fresh, more inclusive, more organized and more professional...there doesn't seem to be a clear vision, let alone any sense that vision can be achieved.

There's little buzz. This could be a real opportunity for Detroit to shine, the best thing that's happened to Detroit in a long, long time. We should all be waiting on pins and needles, counting the days until MoCAD opens. I'm not. Are you?

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For one thing, the art mags will not be able to ignore this...they will be out in full force to review this show and those that come after. Hopefully they will look around them and see the rest of the landscape.

Revolution and George N'Namdi always advertised in them; George had full page ads in both Art in America and ArtNews for the Allie McGhee show recently. No review that I saw, though.

Maybe the October issues of the art mags will cover more of the region.

9:00 AM  

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