ReactorWeekend

Required Reading

by Hrag Vartanian on February 26, 2012

Elmgreen & Dragset's new Fourth Plinth sculpture, "Powerless Structure Fig. 101" (2012), in London (image via flickr.com/minifig)

This week, whither Santa Fe? a newbie goes to the Miami art fairs, Marina Abramović makes German men cry, Elmgreen & Dragset Fourth Plinth sculpture unveiled, UK’s guerrilla tree sculptor and more.

 Once the second largest art market in the US, one prominent dealer in Santa Fe says:

“The bloom is off Santa Fe a little … It isn’t as popular as it once was. Santa Fe took its tourists for granted, while other communities became more attentive and competitive.”

One of the Santa Fe dealers, Peter de La Fuente, who is the great-grandson of illustrator M.C. Wyeth, sounds like a raging right-winger and blames Obama for the problems:

“I hate to be a snob, but what we’re getting now is a bunch of 99 percenters, and they’re very appreciative, but they’re not collectors,” he said. “The people who are collectors, my clients, are the 1 percent, people who can afford art and fine art and expensive art …

“We [need] to get rid of Obama and let the people make money again. Profit is not a bad thing. It’s what makes this country go.”

De La Fuente later called a reporter back to say he had been too negative in the interview because he was working on a particularly difficult part of a painting.

 An essayist, Mostafa Heddaya, at American Circus went to Art Basel Miami Beach and came back with a heavy case of skepticism:

That the boilerplate pseudo-intellectualism of contemporary art has metastasized worldwide is hardly surprising. Guy Debord, in his landmark treatise Society of the Spectacle, argues that the advent of the post-industrial art museum, which makes coherent an international corpus of art, signaled the eventual demise of art as the product of a historically traceable dialogue. The impossibility of universal communication, and the subsequent splintering of artistic communities that was witnessed with the Dadaists and Surrealists, eventually gave rise to the art fairism we see today. In the art fair we see in its near-totality the contemporary art scene, a tessellation of self-referential work.

 Watch this wonderful video tour of Coop Himmelb(l)au‘s Central Los Angeles High School No. 9.

 A radical 1934 plan drawn up by Norman Sper and recently discovered by Gothamist, proposed damming the Hudson River so that Manhattan and New Jersey would be connected. The plan would’ve created 10 square miles of new land.

 Marina Abramović really loves the fact that she made German men cry. She says it in this article also told me in person at the Art 21 Season 6 screening. (h/t @KopenhagenAI)

 Vernissage TV covers the London unveiling of the Fourth Plinth sculpture by Elmgreen & Dragset.

 In response to the new Elmgreen & Dragset, S[edition] issued 5,000 free limited edition digital “artworks.” A Kick Up the Arts takes issue with the company and what it promises:

S[edition] cleverly throw around words like ‘own’, ‘collection’, ‘certificate of authenticity.’ Art collecting is “instant, affordable, social and enjoyable“ … Don’t get seduced in to thinking you are ‘owning’ contemporary art and this is somehow an art ‘collection’.

 Did you know Mies van der Rohe designed a Montreal gas station?

 Citigroup trader by day, street photographer at night.

 And there’s a guerrilla tree sculptor in North Yorkshire, UK?

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning-ish, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.

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  • http://twitter.com/realAndrewHuber Andrew Huber

    I think it’s N.C. Wyeth (Newell Convers)

    • http://hragv.com Hrag Vartanian

      I was thinking so too but the article says MC Wyeth. Not sure why. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kamilah-Gill/27314257 Kamilah Gill

    Thanks for the link to the article about Art Basel Miami Beach. I don’t know if I’ll ever want to go to it now. The people there sound insufferable, both the visitors and the people running things.

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