Yesterday Kish, Russell and I walked over to the Columbus Museum of Art to check out the new wing, which has been open for about two months. Since then, the new wing, and some related renovations, have been the subject of an advertising blitz in the Columbus area, with lots of billboards advertising the Bellows and O’Keefes in the permanent collection.
So how is the new space? To my untrained eye, it’s well done, with high ceilings, good lighting and lots of room to place and position the outsized pieces that modern artists often produce. During our visit, the new space was hosting work by Paul Feeley — whose sculpture Karnak, located outside the new addition, is pictured above — and a very interesting exhibition about the Pace Gallery in Columbus, Eva Glimcher, the art lover who was its motivating force, and some of the artwork that the gallery featured. The space itself was well-suited to both of the shows, and looks like it has the flexibility and size to handle just about anything.
The CMA still has a ways to go — some of the attempts to get people to interact with the artwork, by voting on favorite pieces or leaving post-its with their thoughts on what an abstract piece might represent, don’t really work in my view — but the new addition is a huge step in the right direction. When we were there, there was a pretty good crowd strolling through the galleries. If the CMA can use this new addition to join the Wexner Center, CCAD and the galleries around town in increasing the artistic footprint in Columbus, it will have been worth every penny.