New York gets its first new major museum in decades. English National Opera continues its slow-motion implosion. The relationship between art and critics frays. Some counter-intuitive findings about creativity from scientists. And some cultural industries that are booming.
- The Met’s new Breuer Building (the former Whitney Museum) opens to massive expectations. This new building will fundamentally change New York’s art world. At the very least, it transforms The Met’s place in contemporary art. So here’s a first look before it opened. But initial reviews have been cautious. Roberta Smith: “For those who wondered if the Met would challenge the Museum of Modern Art or the downtown Whitney, the two opening shows at the Met Breuer feel more like a toe in the water of contemporary art than the expected plunge.” And The Guardian: “I am not as confident as I’d wish that this new pavilion has the same ambitions and sympathies as the mothership.” And Jerry Saltz: “In a debut show in a new building of an institution putting everything on the line in part to integrate international art, this kind of insular blinkering isn’t just mind-boggling and infuriating, it borders on the criminal.”
- An English National Opera Meltdown: Last fall ENO’s new leader announced the opera company had “turned the page” on its many problems. But by early this year, it was obvious this wasn’t true. has headaches everywhere, not the least of which is money. Then this week the ENO chorus voted to strike to protest big cuts, and ENO senior staff said they would take 20% pay cuts. And now some are calling to just shut the company down.
- So many opinions! Does anyone care? Dan Ozzi wonders: “With every new album available at our fingertips completely for free at the instant of its release for our own personal judgment, you’ve got to wonder: Do we still need the album review?” On the other hand, Amazon reviewers can rabidly dig in with their opinions. It’s scary out there.
- Some Counter-intuitive Findings On Creative Thinking: Cleaning your desk might impede your creativity. Think about some problems in stereotypes and you become more creative. Indulging in irrational behavior might be could for thinking creatively. And small talk isn’t a waste of time, it lubricates important ideas.
- This Week in Cultural Industries Doing Big Business: Hollywood studios are making fistfuls of money. The festival business is making record profits. Netflix is doing so well, that by itself it accounted for half of the drop in traditional TV viewing last year. Broadway is using online lotteries to drive ticket sales. Still there are threats. We’re in the Golden Age of TV, but its success may also lead to its downfall.