Is Charlie Finch feeling left out? In his new column on artnet, Finch downplays the New Museum’s Dakis controversy–by throwing out several blind items he thinks are even bigger, yet unacknowledged scandals, including a claim he made in his Urs Fischer smackdown two weeks ago that, apparently, no one noticed, cared about, or believed:
The Fischer show is nothing but market driven, specifically by one collector with a heavy position in Fischer who has contributed mightily to the cost of the show and will handsomely reap the awards at future auctions. This is why Fischer provides the gullible, conformist art crowd with a whole floor of shiny boxes bedecked with consumer images, that is nothing more than a dull rehash of Andy’s Brillo boxes.
Do you see the difference in subversive mojo between a jarring one-off like [Warhol’s] Tunafish Disaster, which continues to project real dread and uncertainty, and a charlatan like Fischer regurgitating the Duchampian template for the cynical purpose of market domination? It’s not that difficult, pass me a spare rib.
I can’t think of anything less eyebrow-raising than a collector who buys a lot of an artist’s work also supporting his museum show. But Finch somehow sees Fischer’s case as atypical. So who’s the manipulator? Looking at the list of sponsors, it could really be anybody [anybody but Dakis, he says]: I see Peter Brant, Adam Lindemann, Eugenio Lopez, Francois Pinault, Steven Cohen, and David Teiger. Pinault’s already given Fischer a show in Venice. Lopez, Cohen, and Teiger aren’t really speculator types, at least on Fischer’s level or the compressed time frame Finch is hinting at. So that leaves Brant and Lindemann. And Finch’s “spare rib” non sequitur could be a reference to Adam.
But then, so what? Adam’s not hiding his Fischers; he puts them on his lawn. And he’s not ducking the market, either. He backed a gallery, then married one of the partners, and he rather famously netted $15 million by flipping a Koons heart sculpture, via Sotheby’s, right back to/through Gagosian. Whoever they turn out to be and however big or small the scandals, Finch’s blind items are really just meant to bolster his own insider status when the larger conversation seems to be passing him by.