Does a Hernan Bas Retrospective Belong at the Brooklyn Museum?


Last week we showed you pics from the Hernan Bas opening at the Brooklyn Museum, and even sat down to interview the artist. So you can imagine our eyebrows were raised when we came upon this loaded charge in Ken Johnson’s review of the retrospective in the New York Times:

“At 31, Mr. Bas, who lives in Miami, is an artist of modest achievement, his career so far more promising than accomplished. So why is he the subject of a big, splashy retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum? That the exhibition was organized by and first appeared (in 2007) at the Rubell Family Collection, a private museum in Miami where Don and Mera Rubell exhibit their holdings, raises some red flags concerning relations between public museums and private collectors.”

Modern Art Notes’ Tyler Green linked to the piece writing that Johnson “raises the right flags about an improper exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum.” Not exactly a good sign.

Have any of you seen the show? If so, what do you think? Is his work too immature at this point for a retrospective?

And more importantly, what do you think of Johnson’s closing point:

“No doubt this is not the last we’ll hear of these issues as museum resources diminish and private collectors offer more and more tempting, money-saving opportunities. It doesn’t always have to be a bad thing, but it will never not be tricky.”