Tuesday, November 25, 2008


There's an article in the NYT just now on the proposed Berkeley Art Museum. I quite like the new design, although I don't see what the author, Nicolai Ouroussoff, has against the current building (apart from the fact that it's falling down). He writes,
Standing on a rough commercial strip at the campus’s southern edge, the old building is still marred by the big steel columns that were installed after the quake to support its cantilevered floors. Its rough, angular concrete forms and oddly shaped galleries are awkward settings for art.
I beg to differ: its oddly shaped galleries are awesome. I'm also not sure what Ourossoff means by "a rough commercial strip." Surely he doesn't think Bancroft and Bowditch is a rough neighborhood. But then, he does come out with things like
On a local level, the museum could help break down the divide between the ivory tower at the top of the hill and the gritty neighborhood at the bottom.
Gritty, gritty Shattuck Ave.

One thing I do think Ouroussoff did get right is this, the very first line of the article:
I have no idea whether, in this dismal economic climate, the University of California will find the money to build its new art museum here.

Good question. Since, you know, we've fired the lecturers.

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