Amid Mounting Backlash, Museum Administrators Defend Go to Hold off Philip Guston Exhibition

The directors of London’s Tate and Washington, DC’s Countrywide Gallery of Artwork (NGA) have individually…

The directors of London’s Tate and Washington, DC’s Countrywide Gallery of Artwork (NGA) have individually spoken out towards the chorus of dissent that greeted their final decision to postpone by four years a big Philip Guston retrospective, The Artwork Newspaper experiences.

“In today’s America—because Guston appropriated images of Black trauma—the present requires to be about extra than Guston,” NGA director Kaywin Feldman contended, speaking with Hyperallergic in a podcast. “We weren’t geared up for that. And that’s 1 of the reasons why I just want to pause and just feel about what that suggests. Also, related, an exhibition with this kind of potent commentary on race are not able to be done by all-white curators. All people associated in this venture is white. . . . We unquestionably want some curators of color doing work on the task with us. I assume all four museums concur with that statement.”

Tate director Maria Balshaw and Tate Present day director Frances Morris submitted a letter to the Times in which they responded to criticism in that newspaper accusing them of “cowardly self-censorship,” citing inflammatory conditions surrounding race in the US and noting that the British establishment could not have cast forward on your own with the exhibition.

“Tate does not self-censor . . .on the postponement of the Philip Guston exhibition organized by the Countrywide Gallery Washington with Boston, Houston and Tate Modern day. This choice was created in response to the risky weather in the US about race equality and illustration. KKK imagery remains deeply offensive and painful, and ‘ownership’ of representation has never ever been more contested. For the US institutions, their incredibly believability amongst Black and minority ethnic audiences is at stake.

“Proceeding on our possess would not have been possible for fiscal and logistical explanations and would have been disrespectful to our companion museums. We are acutely knowledgeable of the disappointment produced by the postponement and continue to be committed to Guston and to introducing his work to a broader community.”

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