Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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March 16, 2009
O come let us a-door him

Sanford Schwartz's recent glowing review of P. Schjeldahl's collected art criticism include the following observation:
To read [Schjeldahl] on as silly and yet memorable a detail as the difficulty people always had figuring out how to use the doors at the Mary Boone Gallery when, back in the 1980s, it was on West Broadway is to understand that there is no aspect of everyone's experience of the art life that Schjeldahl misses or can't enhance.

TiR theorizes that the Schjeldahl passage referenced is this one:
Note that the Mary Boone Gallery -- semiotically most informative as well as the most successful of '80s art emporiums -- maintains a locked "back door" on the street near its open front door.

(Boone's design is about stages of initiation, starting with the double-glass front doors that offer four theoretical possibilities of ingress: pull the right-hand door, pull the left-hand door, push the right-hand door, and push the left-hand door. The fourth and, for Americans, invariably last-attempted expedient achieves entrance. Observing the nope-nope-nope-YES dance of Boone goers is reliable Saturday-afternoon fun in Soho, varied by the immediate left-hand pushes that call attention to members of the cognoscenti).

from The 7 Days     Art Columns, 1988-1990, pgs. 139-40, originally published as "Gallery-Phobia," Aug. 16, 1989

Schjeldahl's column neglected to mention that, if his ranked order of handedness and double-door combinations held as true for egress as it allegedly did for ingress
                                [not Ingres]
                         ,    then Boone, in fact, was quite considerate:

Her doors' design made it as quick and easy as possible for Americans who detested her art and wanted out of her gallery to flee.