Amid the heated debate over the new Barnes Foundation building, discussions of how a museum’s design impacts the art housed inside it are timely— and this is exactly what Paul Goldberger takes up in his latest Vanity Fair article. Complimenting the Art Institute of Chicago’s choice to display the comprehensive showing of Roy Lichtenstein’s work in the Rice Building, Goldberger calls it a “brilliant curatorial move.”
Most people would assume Lichtenstein's pop art would be exhibited in the new Modern Wing designed by Renzo Piano. Instead, the vibrant works of art are mounted in the Rice Building, an elegant space true to classical art museum style. But it’s this very paradox that makes the exhibit so powerful, Goldberger says.
It made clear, better than any wall labels ever could, that Lichtenstein’s subject wasn’t just household objects and comic-strip images of beautiful women, but all of art itself. And architecture, for that matter.
In wondering what the ‘Old Master of Pop Art’ was doing on the wrong side of the museum, Goldberger came to realize that the artist’s work was exactly where it belonged.