Jonathan Griffin

Criticism and essays on art and culture

Tag: Andrea Fraser

Prospect.3

Various venues, New Orleans

Paul Gauguin, Under the Pandanus (I Raro te Oviri), 1891, oil on canvas, 98 × 121 × 9 cm

It is odd to reflect that the idiosyncratic Prospect is the United States’ largest international art biennial. Its first iteration, in 2008, received an enthusiastic critical response but was still finding its infrastructural feet – as was New Orleans only three years after Hurricane Katrina or ‘the great storm’ (people in the city prefer not to humanize it with a name). Read the rest of this entry »

Take It or Leave It

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

Gober September 12

Large-scale historical shows, when done in a certain way, can be intellectual steamrollers. A museum exhibition is a powerful rhetorical device; gallery after gallery of judiciously selected aesthetic material beside didactic wall texts can make a particular hypothesis or observation seem indisputable, or a historical moment appear satisfyingly coherent. 
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