There is an extraordinary blur between Galleries and Museums.
What is seen and what is known? The more I see the less I know.
Art has entered into a pool, perhaps an excruciatingly large Ocean of encrypted information, that is no longer protected nor revered.
The walls of a museum have no walls -- they have crumbled, succumbed to the onslaught of pictorial news and images, an anarchistic collage connoting confusion.
Galleries, successful galleries, portend to be museums, and museums act as galleries for board members and contributors (mostly monetary). We are left with the frightened, overhyped, steroid infested museums, struggling for acceptance, survival and activity. Many are architectural showpieces. Museums self constructed edifices for Piano, Pei, Gehry, Meier and others, with impressive housing, innards vacant, airy and cold, contents purely incidental.
Might I state unabashedly, I love both galleries and museums. I was literally weaned on them in Chicago growing up. The Art Institute, the Museum of Science and Industry, just to name a few. The Museums of today do have a place but seem to be in fear of becoming a relic, lost to the digital virtual world, and through this they are in fact becoming a relic. Can this movement be averted, or should it?
To be clear I live and work in Los Angeles, so I am Southern California-centric.
It seems Museums and galleries are caught in between reflections and expressions. Curators lingering in a dangerous purgatory leaving many artists wayside, de-emphasizing their vision, rather their focus is on the fit of the art within a preconceived concept or idea for a "show". A bit like writing an art review, then going to see the art exhibit, and hatching in its contents to ally with the writers vision.
The result is generally awkward, upside down and confusing, ungraspable for the potential art client, collector, future collector and museum attendee. Once a year they come up with a safe blue chip exhibit, for the whole family. A kind of Knotts Berry Farm, oh yeah and a museum as well.
A chasm that leaves museum heads and gallery directors scratching their heads, dumping off easily, or not easily, new show concepts to their promotion departments. How are we to brand this exhibit under the auspices of integrity, create general interest both pedestrian and allude to the qualities of the erudite?
Is Blum and Poe in Culver City that different from a slice of the Geffen Contemporary MOCA?
Is it coincidence that Mr. Deitch, formerly a highly successful gallerist, is now the head of MOCA in Los Angeles?
No need to scratch your heads. The answer is B- as in No and No.