Best Defunct Organization - 2000
Gallery Michael Williamses Closet
The thing about the art world is that there's this great gulf between (1) the transcendent beauty of some of the best art and (2) the shallow snob caste and exclusive gallery/museum system that buy and sell these works. The hoops through which a serious artist must jump to make a living are just a big joke, and the pretentiousness of a lot of art is pretty funny, too. The folks at Gallery Michael Williamses (sic) Closet get the joke. That's why they started an art gallery in a large closet in a student apartment in the Loop. That's why the gallery's final show included a simultaneous gallery opening and closing for Gallery 358, a "gallery" measuring 3 by 5 by 8 inches and contained entirely within the closet gallery. That's why they put out a color-copied newsletter specializing in hilarious tales of decadence and non sequiturs, which they then sold from a homemade point-of-purchase display at Star Clipper Comics & Games. These Washington University wiseasses were shut down by complaints and cops, though rumor has it they will soon return elsewhere in the area with a fresh round of exhibit openings at which the mockery and cheap beer flow unimpeded.