TAM's exhibition, What's New, Pussycat? closed March 6, 2011. TAM's next exhibition, Gateway Japan, is as of this writing, scheduled to open March 26, 2011. (Hopes and thoughts.)
During The Time Between Shows (see this link for more information, please
http://writer.torranceartmuseum.com/2011/03/time-between-shows-part-ii.html), this blog checked in with TAM's curator and director Max Presneill.
We'll be presenting one question and one answer during an eleven-day period.
Today's question and answer --
Jeremy Rosenberg: How was What's New, Pussycat? received? And what are useful criteria for deciding how any show has been received? Does quantity of attendees matter? Quality of critical reviews? Volume of tweets? Reaction of the artists involved?
Max Presneill: WNP was a big one -- in reputations of the artists involved, in the amount of buzz and attention. We had a really big opening and the number of visitors was high over the entire run. I don’t know what the exact figures were (they are being tallied up now) but they were very good. Of course sheer numbers does not tell you if a show was good or not. Nor does the amount of reviews or tweets, etc.
For me the criteria of the quality of an exhibition is a more subtle affair – ones own judgment, those of ones peers too, both count. It is a critical evaluation a bit like how anyone can tell when furniture is well laid out in a room (for the install), well lit, etc. In some ways it is a success if people like it and do not even notice the hand of the curator -- if things just seem to be well placed, the flow through the space is smooth, the works lit so you don’t even pay that attention and most importantly of all, if the theme is strong enough to encourage conversations about the show and the works selected for it create an engaging experience. The artists themselves are often the harshest critics of these matters so having them happy is a big plus too.
Tomorrow: Kristin Klosterman and Laddie John Dill.