previews

  • The Collections of Barbara Bloom

    Wexner Center for the Arts
    The Ohio State University 1871 North High Street
    May 9–August 8, 1998

    We never will read our obituaries (even assuming we earn one), but artists have a substitute: the big retrospective, in principle triumphant, in practice often uncomfortably mortuary in its obitlike summary of a life. Barbara Bloom stresses the latter quality by staging a retrospective shaped like an estate sale. Inspired, says curator Donna De Salvo, by the auction of Jackie Kennedy’s effects, the artist will show objects from throughout her career (including some new work), likely adding a wrinkle to her specialty sense of the fused presence and absence of the past. Bloom, incidentally, beat James Cameron to the topic of the Titanic (the show is slated to include her 1991 set of the ship’s plates); let’s call her queen of the world.