Sep 04, 2007

it's ok to blame the building, too

The SF Chron’s Kenneth Baker had a front page piece this weekend about the issues at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco @ the DeYoung. I found the tone of the piece to be a bit odd – it’s clear that Baker doesn’t like what’s happening out in the park, but laid most of the criticism at the feet of unnamed “local artists, art dealers, collectors and other frequent museumgoers.”

The one thing that I found refreshing, though, is the criticism of the building. Most people you talk to love it. It’s bright and shiny (figuratively, not literally) and has brought people back into Golden Gate Park. I think the building’s great for parties (esp weddings!), but find the experience of actually looking at art in the building to be lackluster. Here’s the relevant graf:

The installation of artworks at the de Young consistently gives the impression of overcrowding. Promises to donors to keep certain works perennially on view explains this to some extent. But Cornell pinpointed the ultimate problem: For all the size and sheen of Herzog and de Meuron’s immense new building, “I think to say that the museum doesn’t have the space it needs is a fair criticism.”

If you want to follow all the fun about FAMSF, check out Modern Art Notes. Tyler Green’s gonna have a field day as this unravels…