Christopher Knight ran a strange piece a few weeks ago complaining that commercial interests had crossed the line in American museums. One of his tendentious points of evidence was to complain that distinguished curator and scholar John Elderfield had been hired by the Princeton University Art Museum. What was Elderfield’s disqualification? Apparently creating well-regarded shows for a major commercial gallery negated the man’s 33-year tenure at the Museum of Modern Art.
Now here’s Rachel Donadio giving a very good overview of the Fondation Cartier show of 350 works of African artitsts called Beauté Congo:
Others questioned the possible commercial implications of the show, since Mr. Magnin acquired work by some of the artists featured here in building up the holdings of Jean Pigozzi, a businessman, with what Mr. Magnin said was the largest collection of African contemporary art in the world, with 12,000 works.
Hervé Chandès, the director of the Cartier Foundation, said he wasn’t concerned. “If André hadn’t been there, I couldn’t have done the exhibition,” he said. “I needed someone with the knowledge of the artistic life of Congo.”