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Art / Enter maximalism.

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An arti­cle in yesterday's NYT House & Gar­den sec­tion extolled the virtues of clut­ter. Kris­ten summed it up nice­ly: Max­i­mal­ism is the new min­i­mal­ism.

"Min­i­mal­ism is easy to copy," Ms. de Lorme said at her unabashed­ly messy desk on a recent morn­ing. "Every­body can do it."

Nev­er­the­less, max­i­mal­ism isn't as easy as it sounds. The author vis­its a Bar­ry McGee exhi­bi­tion at Deitch Projects in New York and finds that clut­ter must be as care­ful­ly arranged as non-clut­ter if it is to work:

Op-art pan­els on the walls. Graf­fi­ti every­where. And one wall I stared at for a long time was cov­ered with small, framed pic­tures dense­ly hung at odd angles, some lay­ered on top of one anoth­er. Like the whole mas­sive instal­la­tion, it looked ran­dom. Of course, it wasn't.

The thing is, Bar­ry McGee was max­i­mal so long ago — Bay-Area-Now-1996 long ago — that it's strange to use him as an exam­ple of a cur­rent max­i­mal trend. I guess well-exe­cut­ed max­i­mal­ism is timeless.The pho­to above is from Bar­ry McGee's max­i­mal mur­al at the Muse­um of Vic­to­ria (fall, 2004).