The Easel

27th September 2022

Crushed between the fronts

To the relief of many, this year’s Documenta, the highly influential five yearly survey of contemporary art in Germany, has closed. From its beginning in June, organisers, German politicians and the press have traded accusations of antisemitism and racism. Listening to the curators, it seems likely that they and the organisers had divergent objectives. “It’s a dreadful embarrassment” says one critic. “The whole thing has rotted into a festival of bad faith and victimology”.

The Art World in an Age of Rage

A fiery essay on how fraught race relations in the US can impact art museums. (Its inclusion does not imply that The Easel endorses its views.) When museums ignore work by artists of colour or don’t hire qualified curators of colour, they are asking for trouble. Ditto for the work of female artists. What’s the solution? The writer thinks that “race-based expectations” could have a “paralyzing” effect on museums. Yes, just as does the persistent exclusion of groups of artists from museum walls.