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The American Folk Art Museum building at 45 West 53rd Street
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SPACE ODYSSEYS
by Jerry Saltz



Four weeks ago, I wrote a piece arguing that the Whitney Museum should, in effect, divide and conquer. Rather than building a trophy expansion to its uptown flagship, I said the Whitney should devote its great Marcel Breuer flagship to art before 1990 and renovate a gigantic old building on Manhattan’s far West Side dedicating it to art since 1990 (shows like the biennial could still take place uptown). Could it be that the Whitney was listening? Two weeks ago the museum announced that it is "thinking about" a move like this. If this bifurcation took place on a large enough scale -- adding over 100,000 square feet of downtown exhibition space -- everyone associated with this daring move would be considered a hero, and the entire art world would line Tenth Avenue to cheer the Whitney as it moved into its downtown building.

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