Sunday, June 27, 2010

Maureen Gallace

Maureen Gallace "Summer Rainbow, Cape Cod (2006)

This pleasant little painting
has the distinction
of being the only
non-conceptual art
in the collection of
Donna and Howard Stone
now on exhibit at the Art Institute.

Nice, isn't it?

But remarkable?

No more so than
thousands of other
good contemporary landscapes
I've seen over the last five years.

It only stands out in this show
because everything else is so wacky.

Or, actually, not really wacky,
more like boring,
since conceptual art rests entirely
on the principle of authority
which is rather basic
to humans as a social animal.

The blank canvas
is only important
if an important person
designates it as such.

The contents of anyone's
pocket or purse
is far more interesting
than the entire
Donna and Howard Stone Collection.

But in searching back over the past 50 years,
it looks like this exhibit
is the very first
private collection
of contemporary art
to go on display at the A.I.C..

Is that one reason
why the museum built the Modern Wing?

So it could validate
the contemporary collections
of board members?

Note: Maureen Gallace was also the only landscape painter to have a one-person exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago since 1980. (and maybe even earlier than that - my research just didn't go back any further)


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