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Bloggy and Travelers Diagram both mention a Herbert Muschamp article in the NY Times about the Ellsworth Kelly "proposal" for the World Trade Center site: a simple collage with a solid green trapezoid pasted over a photo of the site, connoting green space. Of course nothing of the kind will ever be seen in the real world, but the Whitney has acquired the collage and is treating it like a major statement (it is a nice piece). Muschamp's support makes me roll my eyes, though. Here's a comment I wrote on bloggy's page:
Absolutely, a large greenspace would have been the most poignant and elegant solution. As if! (Land values must be utilized! Investments recouped!) Muschamp is getting all mushy about minimalism here but let's not forget he's a prime exponent of delirious maximalism, as embodied in the work of Rem Koolhaas and the execrable Frank Gehry. The Kelly tribute is more than a little disingenuous considering Muschamp's role in promoting "more is more."What happened was, two years late for the collage to be considered as a serious proposal, Kelly sent it to Muschamp in a Fed Ex box as a ...gift? (Not sure exactly). Muschamp writes himself into the story as the noble fellow who felt the design too profound and important to keep and who arranged for its acquisition by the Whitney. Then he pens a tribute that seems both untimely (where was all that research on burial mounds two years ago?) and patronizing (since Muschamp supported the rather busier designs of both WTC finalists at one time or another). Perhaps after Muschamp's embarrassing flipflop on the Libeskind proposal, this is his way of just not thinking about the whole thing.