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Behind the Virtuous Folly of Curating MoMA PS1’s Insane New Survey

Hundreds of artists in one show: what could go wrong?
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Source: Courtesy the Artist/Courtesy of MoMA PS1

When MoMA PS1 sent out the list of artists for its new show Greater New York (October 11, 2015–March 7, 2016) readers could be forgiven for thinking there'd been an error. The list went on and on ... and on ... with a final tally of 157 artists and over 400 artworks. (For context, the New Museum Triennial, which is also a survey, but with a global rather than regional perspective, included just 51 artists.)

Perhaps it's because of the exhibition’s scope. The last three Greater New York shows (the first was in 2000) were meant to showcase new, younger talent. In the last few years, however, the art market has done an excellent job of doing just that, which PS1's curatorial team readily acknowledges in the introductory text: "With the rise of a robust commercial art market and the proliferation of art fairs, opportunities for younger artists in the city have grown," they write.