I took in the artists in the
collection preview at the new Whitney with my artist friend carol heft.
My relationship with this museum is long and bumpy. As a child I
remember in the mid 50's going to the Whitney when it was behind and
connected to the Moma on 54th street. You would go through a door in the
Moma and find yourself in the Whitney, sort of like an unloved
stepchild. For years I thought I had dreamed this but no it was true.
In 1970 when I was 23 I was included in the sculpture
annual, the youngest artist at that point to ever be shown in an annual.
After that another sculpture annual, an inclusion in a show here and
there, but then nothing, complete and total neglect for my art until
last January when they finally acquired a piece of mine. Nothing new
I think the new building is a partial success,
the large lobby is by and large very uninviting and way too corporate
looking. What is it with museum lobbies? I always feel that I'm going to
miss my plane or I'm on my way to surgery. Its way too cold but maybe
they will figure out how to make it more inviting. I also thought that
the elevators are too small and don't know if the one large one will be
available for patrons. However the galleries themselves are very nice,
and I like that the elevators opened up in the galleries themselves,
just like the old Whitney.
The views of the city from the galleries and
especially the terraces are great, and the galleries themselves are
spacial and well lite, and there are toilets on every floor. The art
that is now up is on the whole very good, sometimes great, sometimes
thrilling with many examples of unknown, or rarely seen artists. It was
strange to be in this new Whitney and the choice of location was a
brilliant move on their part. I can't predict the future for this place
will it become a tourist magnet like the Moma or just be the good new
old Whitney,spectacular but still low-keyed. Since I don't have to pay
to get in I will no doubt be a regular visitor here. After we saw enough
art we went to a diner nearby called Hector's and Carol treated me to
lunch. I had a ham and cheese omelet with french fries and rye toast and
Carol had the turkey panini.