In all honesty, I am slightly frighten to say the following. It seems to me that nearly everyone is enamored with this abstract art exhibit, so to criticize it seems blasphemous. However, I cannot help feeling that this exhibit is mediocre or at least not all that it is made out to be.
I understand why it is so popular. It is loud, colorful, and unique, but let us not mistake ostentatiousness for ingenuity or quality. On the contrary, let us be weary of art that throws itself in your face so aggressively.
It’s an exhibit designed to be photographed by the viewers and which begs you to post those images on instagram. Can we just admit that such a model is inherently presumptuous? It’s art that says “look at me. I’m pretty”. In my opinion, needing that much attention seems desperate, as though the artists have something to prove and need constant affirmation to feel good about their work.
In case I am not being clear enough, I was not a fan of all the photography going on during my trip to the Renwick. I found that the art, much like the photography, played to the ego. The art, in all its “abstractness”, is meant to make viewers feel as though they are having some kind of intellectual experience. However, the reality is that art which works that hard to be interesting is unlikely to have any profound meaning behind it. Similarly, the encouragement of photography appeals to the ego of the modern museum-goer. Today, people feel that everything they do is so interesting and cool that everyone they know will want to see it. Therefore, they post it on some variation of social media. By encouraging people to post their photos of the exhibit, Renwick appeals to the attitude of self-importance that plagues modern society. The exhibit was, in a word, presumptuous.