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Installation view of "Unmonumental: The Object of the 21st Century at the New Museum
Photo by David Rager
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Little House
on the Bowery

by Jerry Saltz

I can’t remember there ever being more hope and goodwill toward an art institution than there is right now for the New Museum, as it moves into its new $64 million building on the Bowery. Partly this is because the New Museum, despite having been something of a local mascot over the 30 years since its founding, has never quite hit its stride; it has usually bounced between being audacious and being annoying. Partly it’s because other New York museums have been so uneven about contemporary art. MoMA is adrift, the Guggenheim’s leaders continue to make terrible decisions, and the Brooklyn Museum is a giant wasted opportunity. The general feeling is, this is the New Museum’s last best chance to get it right.