16 Jun 2006 Art Gallery Displays Junk, Mistaking it for Art
A note from Ed Haislmaier, a member of our board of directors, was so funny I had to share it:
I give you, below, the modern art world’s version of ‘man bites dog.’While stories about art gallery cleaning crews inadvertently disposing of modern art they mistook for junk are no longer a novelty, this is the first I’ve heard of curators inadvertently exhibiting junk they mistook for modern art.
Even more hilarious is the explanation. The excuse is that the art was separated from its display, and thus judged as two different art pieces, resulting in rejection of the art and acceptance of the display — based on the perceived artistic merit of each.
I don’t recall Michelangelo ever having these kinds of problems.
One of Britain’s most prestigious art galleries put a block of slate on display, topped by a small piece of wood, in the mistaken belief it was a work of art.
The Royal Academy included the chunk of stone and the small bone-shaped wooden stick in its summer exhibition in London.
But the slate was actually a plinth and the stick was designed to prop up a sculpture.
The sculpture itself – of a human head – was nowhere to be seen…
I enjoyed the comment by the art museum in its own defense: “It is accepted that works may not be displayed in the way that the artist might have intended.”No wonder the British have a reputation for understatement.