Recent links of note:
“Art Dealer Sean Kelly on Giving His Prodigious James Joyce Holdings to Morgan Library”
Sarah Douglas, Art News
Since founding his New York gallery in 1991, Sean Kelly has become one of the city’s most prominent gallerists by specializing in the conceptual and performance art that is so highly lauded by the art-world intelligentsia of the current moment. It seems that Kelly’s interests extend beyond the here and now, however. Sarah Douglas of Art News reported this week that over the past twenty-five years Kelly has quietly collected a world-class collection of James Joyce artifacts, which he is now donating to the Morgan Library and Museum. The Morgan will be a perfect home for such a collection, which includes, among its over 130 unique items and 250 supporting documents, four first editions of Ulysses and one of three extant recordings of the modernist hero reading from his own work. An exhibition on Joyce that will include many of the objects is scheduled at the Morgan for 2022, the one-hundred-year anniversary of the initial (and scandalous) publication of Ulysses, the writer’s unquestioned masterpiece.
Also from Art News, Andrew Russeth penned an opinion piece earlier this month on the troubling practice of short-lived, traveling, single-work museum exhibitions that seem devoted more to boosting the value of private collections than to aesthetic merit or historical significance. Russeth argues that the ongoing “tour” of a newly auctioned Jean-Michel Basquiat painting “[emphasizes] the idea of museums as stores of financial value—loci for flows of money—rather than as havens for things that are a great deal more interesting than cash, like history, scholarship, stewardship, and conservation in all their myriad forms.” Fighting against this development is of central importance to our cultural life and heritage. For more on the state of museums, and on what actions we might take to better them, refer to our 2016 symposium, “The Future of Permanence.”
“Serious Alterations to Portland Building by Michael Graves Begin in Oregon”
Ayda Ayoubi, Architect Magazine
A contentious restoration project to a Michael Graves building that is hailed as a premier example of Postmodern architecture began this week. Graves’s 1982 “Portland Building,” located in the Oregon city’s downtown neighborhood, has been a subject of intense debate since its original inception, having endured several demolition movements and recently winning the insalubrious title of “Oregon’s ugliest building.” It looks as if the controversy won’t be going anywhere with this newest restoration. Though many argue the project is both necessary and faithful to Graves’s original intent, others note that it will significantly alter the building’s exterior and damage its status as a historical building. This all comes at a time when many Postmodern buildings seem threatened by the movement’s demotion in the hierarchy of current taste.
From our pages:
“The Devil’s handiwork”
Paul du Quenoy