The Whitney museum is more accustomed to getting attention—often in the form of brickbats hurled—for its biennial exhibition that takes the temperature of the art world. But the unqualified success of its new building has director Adam Weinberg on guard to other dangers:
“It’s not that we court controversy,” says Mr Weinberg. “But to believe in the work of the present is to believe there are alternative ways of seeing the world — and that’s a radical act, because it’s saying the status quo is not the only way things should be.”
Today, however, Mr Weinberg has a different problem — a frenzy of interest in contemporary art. Auction prices have been rocketing and visitors pouring into museums.
He worries that contemporary art is primarily coming to be seen as entertainment. “It’s one of the most important challenges we face,” he says. “While art can be entertaining, if it’s simply about entertainment, that’s an issue.”