The Whitney’s Great Opportunity

“The Whitney could at this moment electrify everyone by changing the game entirely. It should take a page from London’s enormous, and enormously fantastic-for-art, Tate Modern. Rather than continuing its uphill battle of trying to build an uptown addition that will be outdated the day it opens, the Whitney should rethink its paradigm and reinvent itself.”

Trumping The Public Good?

A week or so ago, Chicago architecture critic Blair Kamin publicly blasted a ten-foot kiosk erected in the city’s downtown loop by developer Donald Trump to advertise his planned new 92-story hotel/condo building. As it turns out, The Donald doesn’t take criticism particularly well. “Trump argued that the kiosk is justified because he spent $18 million to rebuild the superstructure of Wabash Avenue next to his tower… [But] the significance of this battle transcends the tiny stretch of North Michigan Avenue sidewalk where Trump’s kiosk was planted. Cities around the country are struggling with similar conflicts…”

Slatkin Joins Indiana U

The university will become Leonard Slatkin’s “academic home.” “The conductor, 61, seems to be putting together his life after the National Symphony Orchestra, which he exits as music director at the end of 2007-’08. In August the Nashville Symphony named him music advisor; last year he took on the titles of Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic and of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.”

Network TV’s Crazy Season

“It’s almost comic. Viewers want consistency. They want to know a show is on a certain night at a certain time — without fail, every week. But with five broadcast networks to pick from (don’t mention cable or the Internet), and an average of about 30 new shows to choose from, not to mention returning series, viewers can be excused for being confused. It takes them weeks to sample, to settle in. But in the TV business, weeks of waiting cause executives to go temporarily insane. They start playing tricks, like moving shows to special nights and times.”

Painter Buys Pollock (Or Not)

A painter and long time admirer of Jackson Pollock buys a painting that may be a Pollock (but then again may not be). The price was $61,000. “The 15-minute auction opened at $25,000 Wednesday evening but dropped to $10,000 when no one bid and then to $5,000 before the bidding heated up. ‘I’ve been looking at them for 40 years. My gut tells me this is real’.”