chapter  4
14 Pages

Myth and Reality of the White Cube

ByCharlotte Klonk

This chapter argues that the white wall in the modern art museum served and serves as a projection screen for very current visions of society and alters its meaning with each change. At a time when many critics and several conferences are celebrating the end of the dominance of the White Cube in modern art museums, several new galleries have opened that provide almost an apotheosis of this mode of exhibition. However, this White Cube was a fiction, a myth that Brian O'Doherty himself created and that has since dominated the understanding and even self-understanding of modern art museums. Frankfurt' s Stadel Museum in Germany inaugurated a new subterranean hall in 2012 that is itself square and white, yet contains even more, smaller white cubes showing the gallery's contemporary art collection. A first extension to the Stadel was built as long ago as 1921 to house and exhibit modern art.