Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Place your bets please

The list of artists chosen for the Venice publication shows you can’t please any of the people all of the time. To prove the point, here are the lists of artists in four exhibitions that aimed to show the best of the best when they were selected.

The first is a 1961 survey exhibition selected by Peter Tomory, the second was presented by the National Art Gallery in 1986, and the third is the City Gallery’s Prospect show of 2001. Then, to show this hard-to-pick phenomenon is global and timeless, one of Dorothy Miller’s famous summary exhibitions for the Museum of Modern Art. This one from 1952.

Auckland Art Gallery: Contemporary New Zealand painting 1961
Ted Bracey, Dorothy Bramwell, Andre Brooke, Helen Brown, Betty Clegg, John Coley, Melvin Day, Bryan Drew, Tim Garrity, Susan Goldberg, Rudolf Gopas, Frank Gross, Louise Henderson, John Holmwood, Ralph Hotere, WRM Jackson, William Jones, Hamish Keith, Doris Lusk, Colin McCahon, Quentin McFarlane, Lois McIvor, William Mason, Rachel Miller, Milan Mrkusich, Brian Mudge, Althea Northey, Graham Percy, Margot Philips, Alison Pickmere, Frances Rutherford, John Ryman, Freda Symonds, PM Slight, Pete Smith, Michael Smither, John Pine Snadden, Malcolm Warr, Graeme Wilson and Toss Woollaston.

National Art Gallery: Content/Context 1986
Gretchen Albrecht, Stephen Bambury, Mary-Louise Browne, Bronwynne Cornish, Paul Cullen, Julian Dashper, Shona Rapira Davies, Margaret Dawson, Neil Dawson, Victoria Edwards, Jacqueline Fraser, Di Ffrench, Alberto Garcia-Alvarez, Jeffrey Harris, Christine Hellyar, Robert Jesson, Morgan Jones, Richard Killeen, Vivian Lynn, Mary McIntyre, Robert McLeod, Ian McMillan, Richard McWhannell, Paratene Matchitt, Julia Morison, Maria Olsen, Don Peebles, Peter Peryer, Matt Pine, Pauline Rhodes, James Ross, Marie Shannon, Sylvia Siddell, Marte Szirmay, Pauline Thompson, Philip Trusttum, Barbara Tuck, Merylyn Tweedie, Greer Twiss, Warren Viscoe, Gordon Walters, Denys Watkins, Christine Webster, Arnold Wilson, Toss Woollaston, Jane Zusters.

City Gallery Wellington: Prospect 2001
Laurence Aberhart, Gretchen Albrecht, Hannah and Aaron Beehre, Gavin Chilcott, Bill Culbert, Tony de Lautour, Brett Graham, Kirsty Gregg, Bill Hammond, Michael Harrison, Ralph Hotere, Sean Kerr, Richard Killeen, Leigh Martin, Richard McWhannell, Julia Morison, Simon Morris, Milan Mrkusich, Ani O'Neill, Fiona Pardington, Michael Parekowhai, Anton Parsons, Seraphine Pick, Phil Price, John Pule, John Reynolds, Natalie Robertson, Caroline Rothwell, Ross T Smith, Jim Speers, Yuk King Tan, Andrew Thomas, Terry Urbahn.

MoMA: 15 Americans 1952
Edward Corbett, Fredrick Kiesler, Herbert Ferber, William Baziotes, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Clifford Still, Bradley Walker Tomlin, Richard Lippold, Thomas Wilfred, John Glasco, Irving Kriesberg, Herbert Katzman, Herman Rose, Edwin Dickinson.

COMMENTARY: A reader noted that Peter Tomory was not trying for a best of the best exhibition but only intended "showing a 'representative' sample of 'serious' work across the country".