New York

“Northern Visions,” Bard Breivik, Olle Kaks, Lars Englund

Bonlow Gallery

Museums can clearly be bought—by fashion designers and nations. Valentino at the Met, and Britain, Italy, and now the Scandinavian countries at the Guggenheim. Are times so hard that governments must consistently be called upon to pick up the tab? Is it that, at a time when the credit of both nations and art seems overextended—when the one-world idea is blocked by the stagnant idea of the nation and when most artists have nothing to tell us about except their careers—each needs the other for support? Two weak planks make one strong board, as the proverb says, so maybe two pretensions equal one pertinence.

One doesn’t mind seeing the artists, however they got to the museum, but why must they be seen in a nationalist context before any other? Does the restoration of this context imply that stylistic and content considerations don’t really matter any more—that all that matters is that art

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