Thursday, February 5, 2009
Dr. Downtown needs a chill pill
The RISD Chace Center... Providence Journal critic David Brussat has taken a few not unexpected shots at this building, in fact he has been downright mean. His assessment is neither thoughtful nor well argued but he does write for the state's only major newspaper and so it is difficult to ignore his self-absorbed ramblings. In short, his criticism boils down to something to the effect of: "this facade doesn't fit my narrow idea of beauty, therefore it is junk." This is his basic boilerplate. Sometimes, as was the case with the Chace Center, he adds this nifty addendum: "anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool, oh and by the way, the emperor seems to be naked." Well, Dr. Downtown is wrong again, but don't take my word for it. Other more qualified critics have weighed in with favorable reviews but don't just take their words either. Keep an open mind and go see it for yourself: walk around the outside of building, go up the stairs, explore the terrace and the other interesting public spaces on the way to Benefit street. By all means go inside! Check out the galleries and look out the windows. If you do that you will have done much more than Brusset took the trouble to do.