Atlas is passion project. I enjoy reading and writing about art. Why not write something? There’s no price for entry to writing. I can only see an upside to setting down my opinions, right or wrong. I have no qualms about sharing these thoughts with as many as are willing to read.
When reviewing or critiquing art, I often consider the difficulty the museum or the gallery must go through to put on a show. I consider the quality of the art I see and the ways I think it is valuable beyond the price list. I consider the artist’s process and conceptual aims. I see all the work as it is.
What I rarely consider is this: the stakes for an artist in exhibiting their work. What type of personal inventory must be a part of any artist’s preparation for an exhibition? No matter how much second guessing or certainty there is, they must gird up their strength and be the strongest public version of themselves to prep for criticism and in many cases, no response. The show is the product of all of the work and that is what we have to judge the artist by. The show, one of my favorite terms in baseball, is the Major Leagues.
In the next year, I will be starting a series to discuss the emotional preparation that comes with showing art from the artist’s perspective. While this is often the time after the work leaves the studio and heads out into the world, sometimes the show is in the studio (a studio visit, open studio hours, etc.). I hope to do these as interviews, where artists can speak to this experience. I hope that by discussing that excitement and anxiety to more people, a greater conversation about what is at stake for the artist will ensue. While I do intend to speak with gallerists and curators as well, as they often have as much to say about who sees the work and how it is presented, I will focus on the artist.
If you would like to begin this conversation with me, feel free email me (jbergman@gmail[dot]com).
Also here are some Museum shows you may not have realized you should go see!
-Jeff Bergman December 2014