Landlord Colors at Cranbrook Art Museum @ Hyperallergic
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. — Scrawled directly on the wall in the second gallery of Landlord Colors: On Art, Economy, and Materiality at the Cranbrook Art Museum — the culmination of a three-year project by Andy Warhol Foundation Curatorial Fellow Laura Mott — are the red, spray-painted words: Si tú eres artista, vamos a sufrir. It translates to: If you are an artist, we will suffer. The statement is part of a work of the same title by Cuban artist Ezequiel O. Suárez. It’s meant as a direct commentary on economic disparity and opportunity in his native country following the Cuban Revolution, but it’s also a fitting motto for a terrifically ambitious exhibition that attempts to juxtapose the art and economic conditions of Detroit over the last half-century with those of various international locales in recent history: the Italian avant-garde from the 1960s to the 1980s, including the Arte Povera movement; authoritarian-ruled South Korea in the 1970s, which encompassed Dansaekhwa and Korean monochrome painting; Cuba after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s; and Greece, following the 2008 financial crisis.
If the dozens of works on display at Cranbrook weren’t enough food for thought, the exhibition is paired with the Material Detroit series, curated in close collaboration with Taylor Renee Aldrige and Ryan Meyers-Johnson. The latter takes the exhibition beyond Cranbrook’s hallowed grounds to points of inspiration within Detroit’s communities.
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2 Comments on “Landlord Colors at Cranbrook Art Museum @ Hyperallergic”
Cedric TaiAugust 28, 2019 at 7:50 pm
Great critical writing! I was going to write something too to figure it out, but you really got to the heart of it! Also this is bound to happen when you’ve got a lot to chew on:
“An earlier version of this review mischaracterized a sentiment expressed in the curator’s catalogue essay. This passage has since been removed for clarity.”
This is my biggest fear when wanting to write out theories where I want to talk about things between the lines, but it’s also the kind of thing that is bound to happen…
Sarah SharpAugust 28, 2019 at 11:17 pm
Yeah, the catalogue cited a work that was different than the work in the show, I got confused. It doesn’t really change my main point, but it’s important to acknowledge error and try to set the record straight.