By Marcia Tucker
This engrossing memoir brings to bright existence the behind-the-scenes struggles of Marcia Tucker, the 1st girl to be employed as a curator on the Whitney Museum of yankee artwork and the founding father of the recent Museum of up to date paintings in long island urban. Tucker got here of age within the Sixties, and this lively account of her existence attracts the reader at once into the burgeoning feminist move and the buzz of the hot York artwork international in the course of that point. Her personal new methods of pondering led her to take principled stands that experience replaced the best way artwork museums ponder modern paintings. As curator of portray and sculpture on the Whitney, she geared up significant exhibitions of the paintings of Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, and Richard Tuttle, between others. As founding father of the hot Museum of latest artwork, she prepared and curated groundbreaking exhibitions that frequently inquisitive about the nexus of artwork and politics. The booklet highlights Tucker's dedication to forging a brand new approach whilst the present one proved too slim for her expansive imaginative and prescient.
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Extra info for A Short Life of Trouble: Forty Years in the New York Art World
Pencil maintenance was part of my job. An essential one, I gathered from the look on his face. “I thought I told you to sharpen these,” he screeched. “They are not sharpened! ” he bellowed. I smiled and said, “Because you’re not doing it the right way. ” He turned white, then pink, then purplish red. ” he screamed. ” And so I did. I crammed my meager personal effects into my bag and walked out the door. Fresh from my first firing, I leapt onto Michael’s lap and told him what I’d done. He didn’t look quite as happy as I had hoped he would, but after a celebratory drink or two he calmed down and we stared out into space, trying to envision our future.
For the oral part, you entered an enormous room with a long table at its head, where five stern professors in dark suits were seated. You walked the length of the room toward them, shook hands formally with each, and then reached into a bowl to withdraw a slip of paper on which your destiny was written. There, in formal French script with its elegant curlicues of blue ink, was the name of an artist and the title of a work. Instantly, you were supposed to launch into a learned discourse on all aspects of the work, the artist, the school, the period, and even the condition of the canvas, delivered in rapid-fire French while a loud timer ticked the minutes away—ten, to be exact.
I hadn’t moved to the suburbs with him, even though his emphysema had gotten worse and he was frightened and desperate for my companionship. I had refused, despite his constant reminders that his apartment was big enough for us to share and wouldn’t cost me anything. Instead, I was living in a place that, in my dad’s view, was only a short step up from a hovel. Still, it was my life, and I was determined to live it my way. a short life of trouble 35 One Friday, about eight months after I’d started working at the museum, I was hunched over my desk typing, my sack dress bunched around my knees, a stray hair falling in my eyes.