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Marianne Boesky Gallery and Marlborough open joint project: Another Look at Detroit
Henry Ford Museum, 1959 Plymouth Advertisement, "Good Taste is Never Extreme", 1959. Paper (Fiber Product), 10 1/2 x 14 inches 26.7 x 35.6 cm. Photo: From the Collections of The Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan.

By: Todd Levin

NEW YORK, NY.- A joint project between Marianne Boesky Gallery and Marlborough Chelsea, Another Look at Detroit presents works and objects by over fifty artists, designers, and cultural contributors. The focus of this exhibition is the city of Detroit as a creative center, historically through to today. Spanning a period of 150 years, and taking place at both galleries’ Chelsea spaces, this exhibition is by no means a comprehensive survey. Rather, Another Look at Detroit intends to portray a vision as sprawling and complex as the biography of the city itself.

This is not an exhibition about geopolitics or macroeconomics or global finance. This is not an exhibition glorifying the misguided aesthetics of destruction porn. It is neither a feel-good exhibition trying to accentuate the positive, nor an attempt at organizing a proper historical overview of how a city was birthed and decayed.

This exhibition is a sprawling tone poem evoking the city where I was born and raised, a place I still feel deeply in my identity. A soliloquy by someone returning home, but not to the place they once knew.

Detroit was born in July 1701. In the 19th century, the city was the center of the nation’s carriage and wheel trade and stove industry. Henry Ford, a farmer, built his first automobile plant in Highland Park in 1899. General Motors was founded in 1908. A century later, on June 1, 2009, General Motors declared bankruptcy. This followed Chrysler, which had done so a month earlier. On July 18, 2013, Detroit filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of history.

Now, Detroit can no longer be ignored. Detroit has become epic, symbolic, historic - hip, even. Detroit is the birthplace of mass production, the automobile, the cement road, and credit on a mass scale. America’s way of life was built here. Now, it is the unemployment capital, where half the population does not work a consistent job. Detroit, which once led the nation in home ownership, is now a foreclosure capital. Once the nation’s richest large city, Detroit is now its poorest. Detroit, by some estimates, is 40% vacant.

Since its beginning, Detroit has been a place of perpetual flames, and not just the fires spewing forth from furnaces smelting iron transported directly to the River Rouge foundry, where it was poured into molds to make engine blocks. Three times the city has suffered race riots and three times the city has burned to the ground. The city’s flag acknowledges as much - Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus - we hope for better things; it shall rise from the ashes.

People ask, “Where is the hope in Detroit?” This exhibition posits that some of that hope resides in Art. Not just Art itself, but those who create it, support it, critique it, curate it, exhibit it, and buy and sell it. There must be something that makes us want to continue. To believe in and support Art, in whatever manner our abilities allow, is to believe in that continuation.

We have believed in that kind of creativity. I know I still do. If I didn’t, why would I be bothering to curate such an exhibition? Certainly not to sit here and make a public announcement of the Apocalypse.

To share one’s critical feelings about the past, to try to describe and assess the present - all that implies a firm belief in a future.

Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus.



Today's News

June 27, 2014

'Paparazzi ! Photographers, Stars and Artists' opens at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt

Rediscovered painting by Artemisia Gentileschi achieves $1.2 million at Sotheby's Paris

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, transfers eight illicitly trafficked antiquities to Nigeria

The Barnes Foundation presents 'The World is an Apple: The Still Lifes of Paul Cézanne'

Germany seeks to keep effective ban on Adolf Hitler's manifesto 'Mein Kampf' reprints

Marianne Boesky Gallery and Marlborough open joint project: Another Look at Detroit

Rare 'Macdonald' viola created by Antonio Stradivari fails to sell at Sotheby's auction

Mapping It Out: An Alternative Atlas of Contemporary Cartographies edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist

Old meets new in 16 stunning hybrid images of London's bridges from Museum of London Docklands

'Ming: The Golden Empire' opens at National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh

The Fifth Season: Group exhibition opens at James Cohan Gallery in New York

Rare guitar that survived wrath of The Who's Pete Townshend is top lot in Bonhams Entertainment Sale

Masterpiece London's 5th edition opens with a $20 million sale by British jewellers Symbolic and Chase

Photographic Object, 1970: An ambitious historical exhibition opens at Hauser & Wirth

Texas collection of Comedias Sueltas and Spanish Theater available for research and in online database

Paintings and works on paper from the 1960's-1980's by Anne Truitt on view at Charlotte Jackson Fine Art

Silent Exchange: The landscape photography of Charlie Waite on view at the National Theatre

Exhibition of seminal works by Mario Schifano opens at Luxembourg & Dayan in London

'Sun Ra: When Sun Comes Out: Ephemera 1956-1975' opens at David Nolan Gallery

Pinker's paean to Kouebokkeveld artists set to soar at Strauss & Co's June auction

Exhibition at Secession brings together works of art and ‘everyday’ objects

Ideas in Things: Group exhibition opens at Maria Stenfors in London

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