There are art critics out there—wags you might call them—who take the dim view that contemporary art is going to the dogs. But for Jessica Dawson, a former art critic for the Washington Post (who moved to New York four years ago), there’s literally nothing wrong with the idea. Indeed, Dawson is one of the organizers of dOGUMENTA, an exhibition mounted explicitly for dogs that will run August 11-13 at Brookfield Place near Battery Park City. Dawson partnered with Arts Brookfield for the show, which will consist of outdoor installations mounted around the site at doggie eye-level, making it easier for furry, four-legged connoisseurs to engage with the art.
Dawson says she got the idea from her experiences visiting galleries in Chelsea with her faithful companion Rocky, a Maltese/Yorkshire Terrier mix. Listed as the show’s co-curator along with Dawson and fellow human Mica Scalin, Rocky’s evident response to the work he and his master encountered convinced Dawson that there is huge untapped canine audience for art. Enter dOGUMENTA, which partially takes it name from documenta, a massive exhibition of contemporary art which takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany (this year’s edition, running from April through September, will also take place in Athens, Greece). As to whether pooches will find dOGUMENTA nothing to sniff at or something to poop on, only time will tell.