Friday, June 18, 2010


Sometimes, you feel like giving up on curators. It’s not always because the curatorial ideas are bad (often they’re not) and it’s not that the art is always bad (it often isn’t), it’s just that a lot of art doesn’t happily play second fiddle to someone else’s big idea. So when curators amplify an artist’s ideas rather than editing them into their own orchestration, you can get a miracle like the installation of Felix Gonzalez-Torres works at the Fondation Beyeler. 

Curator Elena Filipovic had been given free reign to present Gonzalez-Torres works among the famous masterpieces of the collection. Letting Gonzalez-Torres’s work lead the way, Filipovic never misses a beat creating a vivid set of confluences, conversations and interruptions, each more pleasurable and engaging than the one before. A chain of light bulbs spilling in front of a bossy white Basquiat, a stack of red posters on the floor charming the pants off a severe Mondrian and a gold curtain dividing a gallery full of Bacons and Giacomettis. 

It was breath-taking. Half-way through the exhibition run artist/ curator Carol Bove (bringing in artists as curators? Now there’s a good idea) will undo the show and reinstall it in the same spaces. 

Curation? Bring it on.

Image: Mondrian and Gonzalez-Torres