Thursday, December 02, 2010

Still High on the High

Today's issue of Creative Loafing has a feature article on the role the High Museum plays in the promotion of contemporary art and artists in Atlanta and the Southeast.  Much of High Anxiety focuses on the tone of the Museum during the tenure of current Director Michael Shapiro.

Jabbing at the High seemed to reach a zenith this year with the Allure of the Automobile, a block buster show of classic cars presented within the curatorial context of a museum.  The show was a huge success, generating big ticket sales in the midst of the recession's crush on nonprofits.

For me, the notion that the High can be a fulcrum for Atlanta's contemporary art scene is noble, but not an appropriate priority for a general museum.   Reading some of the quotes from the article flashed me back to the London art world circa 1992 and the dismay and shock my colleagues and I expressed when one of our instructors had the audacity to bad mouth Damien Hirst.  The young and hip will always be drawn to the young and hip.

My advice?  Support the arts community and enjoy the energy of new ideas you will see in Atlanta's smaller galleries (and on our bridges and walls).  But don't miss either Dali: The Late Work or Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting.  If the High is selling out, I'm buying.

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