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The BEST show I ever saw was the 1980's Picasso Retrospective at N.Y.'s MOMA. It was opening day, and the excitement, the crowd, the sheer epic nature of the show- it was enough to turn a Picasso doubter into an admirer. In that case, the crowd added to the impact- the reality was that art WAS exciting and something to clammor for. Strangely, I didn't mind- it all seemed to go with N.Y.
Since then, though I think I'm always ready to be moved, I have seen several BIG shows, most of which try too hard to sell themselves, the crowds arrive as if they've been there, done that..... Maybe we are spoiled by having so much familiarity with the work that its hard to impress us even up close. But I agree that usually, time to be intimate with the real artwork is shrinking. You just have to share the experience with more and more people!
I guess my favorite shows are the ones that give me more than my expectations.
What do you think?
M.W. Savage Elem.