The New York Times’ website has a clip from Michael Kimmelman who is reporting on the Venice Biennale. He talks about feeling bored by the work at first, but the longer time he spent looking the more he liked what he saw. I was moved by his account of the Gonzalez-Torres installation:
Mr. Storr [commissioner for the exhibit] has also picked two works by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, the Cuban-born American who (posthumously) represents the United States. His pavilion, put together by Nancy Spector of the Guggenheim, is the biennale’s most elegant by far. Gifted beyond reason at turning hard-nosed Minimalism into humble, humane art, Mr. Gonzalez-Torres (1957-96) gets the tribute he deserves. I returned a few times to a sepulchral white room in the pavilion where a rectangular carpet of licorice candies (you may take one if you wish) evokes a gravesite beneath a rectangle of scrimmed skylight. My heart leapt.
The Times also published a bigger and even better shot of the tapestried structure by El Anatsui which I couldn’t resist posting here. (For more about this go to Slow Painting and the posting from June 14th, “Tessellated, Lumpy, Glittering.”)
Kimmelman’s final comment struck me as apropos to what I’ve been able to glean from his reporting as well as some other bloggers on site:
This is quiet art. Much of this biennale murmurs, it doesn’t shout. The art world these days often bellows and struts. I doubt this biennale will be recalled as groundbreaking or dynamic , but it is an independent show, strong in its convictions.
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