David Moos to leave the AGO
David accomplished a lot in his seven years, it can't be argued; what is, constantly, it seems, among the Toronto art community, is whether David's accomplishments served the gallery in the way that they ought to have.
I'm going to elaborate here, because the tiny bit in the paper is way too brief to include all the interesting stuff. No cloak and dagger, that I know of, but I spoke to David this afternioon, and he'll be serving as a private art advisor (his words) to local patrons in furtherance of acquiring significant international contemporary works both for institutional donation (like his old bosses) and their own collections. He called it a "missing piece of the puzzle" here, and a role that needed to be filled.
I also spoke to Matthew Teitelbaum, who said the search has begin in earnest for David's replacement. In the interim, Teitelbaum said the gallery's new Executive Director of Curatorial Affairs, Elizabeth Smith, would be "rolling up her sleeves on the contemporary side" and curating a couple of shows herself. Smith, who came from Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, specializes in art and architecture from the mid-20th century to present (which sounds a lot like Moos's portfolio, in fact).
In the spirit of brevity (and, ahem, respect), I'd like to observe some high points: Iris Haussler's astonishing "He Named Her Amber," the acquistion of David Altmejd's "The Index," last summer's lovely "At Work" triumverate of Agnes Martin, Eva Hesse and Betty Goodwin.
Of course, Moos, with a PhD from Columbia on AbEx giants Jackson Pollock and Clyfford Still, has played a major role in bringing MoMA's outstanding "Abstract Expressionist New York" show to the AGO in May (he's staying with the gallery just past the opening). But more than anything, I want you all to tell me. So discuss, why don't you?
A post-script note to the nit-picky: "At Work," of course, was not curated by Moos (something I kinda figured out in reviewing it; thanks for your help, though) but would have come from within his department, at least in part (the Goodwin portion coming from the Canadian side) and therefore would have been assembled at least in part under his guidance and approval. To not give him credit for the assemblage -- particularly the signifcant loan of Agnes Martin's "The Islands," from the Whitney -- would not be giving him due recognition for what I felt was the highlight of the AGO's year. And I'm not goign to do that, am I?