A LITTLE MORE than a year ago, a variety of news outlets reported that an estimated 350 hopeful artists had lined up outside the entrance to fabled New York contemporary art space White Columns—the site of numerous groundbreaking exhibitions, including “Artist/Critic,” 1983, “The New Capital,” 1984, Group Material’s “Resistance (Anti-Baudrillard),” 1987, and Fred Wilson’s “The Other Museum,” 1990. As it happened, these people were not queuing up to see artwork; nor were they there to protest an exhibition or, more predictably, to talk with staff members about show proposals. Rather, these hungry souls were at White Columns to vie for one of fourteen coveted spots on Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, a reality TV show (executive producer: Sarah Jessica Parker) that is doing with artists what Project Runway has done with fashion designers and what Top Chef has done with cooks:
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