Yes, But Is It Art?

Sorry but I have to call bullshit on the RISD Museum. Seen here is a piece from the new exhibition, Martin Boyce: When Now is Night, by Scottish sculptor and installation artist . . . well, Martin Boyce.

I was already underwhelmed with the random assemblage of windows and mobiles and whatnot in the first rooms — cavernous areas devoted to not nearly enough stuff — when I discovered that Mr. Boyce had saved the best for last.

I give you, “Now I’ve Got Worry” Mask and L-Bar (1997-1998). This took two years to make? (Is ‘make’ the right word? Lean?) In all fairness this is only one half of the installation. About 15 feet away on the other side of the entrance hangs a small plywood mask trying desperately to hold the wall. The installation appears to be on loan from the artist and may be for sale. (Please note that similar L-bars can be found in the shelving department of Home Depot. I will be glad to come to your house and lean it against a wall for the price of a burrito bowl. No . . . Popeye’s Chicken. Wait, what are we doing again?)

Fearful that I was being hopelessly bourgeois and unsophisticated I consulted with my friend Jennifer D. — herself a talented artist and RISD grad — who had this to say, “OH . . . COME . . . ON.” Jennifer made it clear that she was speaking in all caps.

Show runs through January 31st.

1 thought on “Yes, But Is It Art?”

  1. Ok, I never leave comments here, but I have to this time.

    Beth, you are totally correct. I went to the opening night and sent a text to my son basically saying “this looks like a bunch of furniture from the Container Store that thus dude put together wrong…oh look, the leftover piece is leaning against the wall!”

    Now I LOVE the RISD museum, for a small city Providence is SO fortunate to have such an institution with some great pieces (not enough Dali, but that’s another story) so I will give them a pass on this one. Modern art can be so deep and insightful; this wasn’t even trying!

    JT in The PVD

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