Well, and so The Metropolitan Museum of Art has finally reopened, after being closed for five months because of the pandemic and leaving a gaping hole in the city's body esthetic. I attended the media preview re-opening the museum on August 26, and sashayed through the biggest of its new shows, "Making the Met: 1870-2020" (through January 3). How nice it was to be back! Read More
Report from the Front
Art criticism, sometimes with context, occasional politics. Published in hard copy 2-4 times a year. New shows: "events;" hard copy rates & how to support the online edition: "works."
Three days later, and a lot more irritated, I report that in the Big Apple, all restaurants and even fast-food outlets like Dunkin' Donuts are now no longer allowed to serve eat-in customers. If I want to go out & do the walking my knee surgeon recommends I am hard-pressed to find someplace to sit down – even if I am toting a takeout cup of coffee. Still, I suppose I should be grateful that I have not yet been struck down by COVID-19, and am still able to report on my visit on Friday, February 29, to "The Art Show," as sponsored by The Art Dealers Association of America and held at the Park Avenue Armory.
I always enjoy "The Art Show" more than The Armory Show, and not only because their attitude toward the press is a lot more civilized than that of the Armory Show. From what I can tell, The Armory Show has recently decided that only sycophants are entitled to press passes, whereas "The Art Show" welcomes all members of the working media. True, because the ADAA show is composed exclusively of U.S. dealers, it customarily displays less art by foreign artists. On the other hand, it is far more open to "historical" art, both European and American, so the percentage of gallery displays that I really want to talk about is higher.
Finally, because this year's edition showcased only about 70 galleries, it was a lot more manageable than the Armory Show – not least, because it was far more generously supplied with seating for visitors. All in all, it was a most pleasurable experience.