"The Old, Weird America," which was organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston and came to DeCordova in 2009, is a good model for expanding the museum's horizons. Exhibits should integrate folk art, yarn bombing, steampunk, and street art sculptures like Joshua Allen Harris's plastic bag critters that inflate on sidewalks from the air of New York subway trains passing underneath. Hire the folks who mow designs into the grass at Fenway Park to cut designs into DeCordova's lawns. Look to Boston's history of innovation for robotics like Boston Dynamics' Big Dog, new playground design like the Alexander W. Kemp Playground at Cambridge Common, and the history of Bauhaus in New England (major examples are just down the street from DeCordova).
It wouldn't hurt for DeCordova to take cues from neighbors like the Institute of Contemporary Art (which has recently shown sculpture by Charles LeDray, Tara Donovan, Anish Kapoor, Misaki Kawai), Tufts University Art Gallery (Mark Dion, Saya Woolfalk, Mr., Ilya and Emilia Kabakov), the RISD Museum (Lynda Benglis, Marcel Breuer), Wellesley College's Davis Museum (El Anatsui, Fred Sandback), and the Museum of Fine Arts (Dale Chihuly). What has DeCordova presented that compares?
The schedule of the coming year's exhibits at DeCordova — Tory Fair, Gary Webb, the "Wall Works" group show opening in June, and the group show "Temporary Structures," with Ant Farm, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Vito Acconci — look to be more vital than the past year. And Kois has helped align DeCordova's financial stars. Will the museum find the aesthetic vision to take advantage of this moment?
DECORDOVA SCULPTURE PARK AND MUSEUM, 51 SANDY POND ROAD, LINCOLN | THROUGH AUGUST 28 [VON RYDINGSVARD] AND DECEMBER 31 [GOLDSWORTHY]
Read Greg Cook's blog at gregcookland.com/journal.