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By the Numbers: The New Museum's "Skin Fruit."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When the controversy surrounding the Jeff Koons-curated "Skin Fruit" bubbled to the surface last November, New Museum director Lisa Phillips told The New York Times that the exhibit would provide New Yorkers with a unique opportunity to see a prized art collection from abroad -- the implication being that the show would consist of little-seen artists and/or works. "We think the public will be the beneficiaries of Dakis's very generous agreement to allow works from his foundation to cross the ocean," she said at the time.

So the burning question is, now that the exhibit is open, how "new" is the New Museum's "Skin Fruit?"

We spent the better part of an afternoon poking around the internet and came up with an answer: not very. The show is heavy on men and figures from Western Europe and North America. Not to mention artists who have already been shown in New York.

Our by-the-numbers* rundown:

50: Total number of artists in "Skin Fruit"

45: Number of artists in "Skin Fruit" who are from, live or work in North America or Western Europe

35: Number of artists who are male (Tim Noble and Sue Webster have been left out of this count, since they work as a pair)

30: Number of artists who live and work in the United States

39: Number of artists in the show who also figure in MoMA's permanent collection

39: Number of pieces by Connecticut-born Robert Gober in MoMA's permanent collection, an artist who received an entire room dedicated to his works at "Skin Fruit."

15: Number of artists in the show who also figure in the Guggenheim's permanent collection

12: Number of artists in the show who have had solo exhibits at one of New York City's major museums (Met, MoMA, Whitney or Brooklyn) in the past 10 years

3: Number of artists in the show who also figure in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

0: Number of artists in the show from Latin America or Africa

* Note: Some of these figures are estimates drawn from various institutions' online collections, which many not be complete.

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