Conversations with Jimi: Warhol edition
The Cleveland Art Museum is closing its Contemporary Galleries this Monday. This will be done to make some repairs/expand/make more dynamic the design. The galleries will be closed for about 6 months (give or take.) and it of course has gotten press. The plain dealer had this about a week ago.
Part of the process will mean Wall Drawing No. 4 by conceptual artist Sol LeWitt will be destroyed. Why? It’s literally drawn onto a wall and that wall will be gone. The Museum has the license to recreate the work and will.
People who read all of this have been coming to the museum a lot lately. They want to see the contemporary stuff they’ll miss for at least 6 months. This is a valid reason. There are pieces that I’ll be sad to miss for so long.
(Andre Masson’s Don Quixote and the Chariot of Death)
Visitor who read only bits of the article (or that’s how it seems) have been asking about it. They’ve been asking:
What is closing?
When is it closing?
What painting was ruined by the leak? (None were)
Can they see the painting? (Yes.)
Why destroy it forever? (Clearly we aren’t!)
Then this happened:
Visitor: Are they really destroying a painting?
Me: Well…yes a drawing will be destroyed but it’ll be back—
Visitor: Which is it?
Me: Wall Drawing No 4.
Visitor: So weird. Where is it?
Me: Straight ahead. You see the giant painting there by L.K.?
Me: Okay good. On the otherside—
Me: Wait. On the other side is the Warhol (I used this as a marker because on the other side of this wall is the drawing)—
Visitor: You guys are destroying a WARHOL????
Me (sigh): Yes. Yes we are.
Visitor: Why would you destroy a WARHOL?
Me: We’ve grown tired of it.
Visitor: I don’t like this at all. What kind of museum would destroy a WARHOL?
Visitor: You weren’t being serious were you? You almost got me.
Almost got her? Right ALMOST.