OpinionWeekend

Required Reading

Nameless Paints wants to change the way children learn about color, so Yusuke Imai and Ayami Moteki designed a set of 10 paint tubes with visual depictions of the primary colors inside each tube. The visual labeling system also portrays the proportion of different colors. (via Spoon & Tamago)
Nameless Paints wants to change the way children learn about color, so Yusuke Imai and Ayami Moteki designed a set of 10 paint tubes with visual depictions of the primary colors inside each tube. The visual labeling system also portrays the proportion of different colors. (via Spoon & Tamago)

This week, gallerist Marian Goodman speaks, why “bad boy” female artists are ignored, problems with architecture in Chicago, Brian Eno on the ecology of culture, the object that came alive at the British Museum, and more.

 The Financial Times speaks to New York gallerist Marian Goodman:

“The marketplace is important, too; artists need to live and sell and that’s my responsibility,” she continues, then pauses, tapping fingers nervously on the table, because “it’s hard to pick the words. It’s how someone can move you. The artists, from my point of view, have the capacity to express their inner selves in a profound way that is certainly enriching. Art can touch the soul — it sounds really corny — but that’s the basis of it.”

… “Oh, please let me take you for lunch,” she contests — and for her thoughts on painting today: she says Richter is one of only two painters in her stable (the other is Ethiopian-American Julie Mehretu, creator of dense abstractions referencing politicised landscapes).

“The more that is achieved, the more difficult it is for young artists to break loose. Now is a time when there’s no great surge of invention,” she says soberly. From the 1990s she largely took on film-makers: Steve McQueen, Yang Fudong, Tacita Dean, Anri Sala, Amar Kanwar. “I thought they were the most talented artists of their generation, by and large. And I thought to myself: ‘You must be crazy to do this’ — I know the reputation of film.” Yet her countercultural instincts again won out: film is now embraced by museums and, increasingly, by collectors.

 Why your rent is so high and your pay is so low:

By the mid-20th century, our retirement was no longer dependent on our children’s good will. In those days, both blue- and white-collar jobs were secure. If you gave your youth to the corporation, it would reward your loyalty and keep you on until you were 65 (even if you weren’t as productive as you used to be), at which point you would get a gold watch, a party, and a pension sufficient to pay your golf fees and allow you to take the occasional cruise.

Those days are long gone. Almost nobody has a job for life. More and more of us are freelance, hired on a job-by-job basis. If we get sick or injured or merely less cool than we used to be, our employer can forget he ever knew us and hire someone else. Risk has shifted from the corporation to the individual. And forget about working until you are 65. In a growing number of industries, once you are 50, you are well past your sell-by date. It seems the professional life cycle these days is get an unpaid internship in your early 20s, climb the ladder in your 30s, out the door at 45. Loyalty is a one-way street. Our employers see us as replaceable cogs. Once you reach a certain age, they hire someone younger who will happily grovel for less money.

Today, with job security and defined benefit pensions historical anomalies, the middle aged and middle class depend on rising house prices to fund their retirement. Of course, this is a gravy train that cannot last indefinitely. Forty years ago, in my now fashionable London neighborhood, houses sold for well under £30,000. Today, many are worth £2 million. Few young people can afford the down payment, and, anyway, for houses to continue to appreciate at this pace, these houses would have to be worth £128 million by 2055.

 Critic Jerry Saltz on why the art world refuses to recognize the “Women Bad-Boy Artists“:

The short answer, I’m afraid, amounts to something like a crime — the crime of being a woman. Long careers of female bad-boy painters have always been rare — in fact, there have been so few of them over the past 50 years that I can count them on one hand. And the art world has never really known what to do with them, mostly responding from fear. For 5,000 years, art has been almost the exclusive domain of men. As Linda Nochlin famously pointed out in 1971, for centuries women were excluded from even attending the academies, never able to learn the skill-sets and tools of painting, and were persona non grata among those who defined the status quo and controlled the flow of ideas and capital. Men were the geniuses and ordained shamans of art; women were the flesh that made muses move, or they were just witches. Or cast as regressive or crafty or corralled in erotic and girly ghettos. (Georgia O’Keeffe’s groundbreaking abstract paintings were derided as “great painful and ecstatic climaxes,” an “outpouring of sexual juices,” “loamy hungers of the flesh,” “the very essence of woman as Life Giver.” Clement Greenberg ridiculed her work as “little more than tinted photography.” Or imagine the discourse around the highly lauded blood paintings of Austrian actionist Herman Nitsch had his name been Helen.)

RELATED: Painter and critic Mira Schor responded on Facebook with something she created for a 1994 publication: “How many ‘bad’ feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?” She writes:

With regards to there being bad boy, bad-ass women artists, I created this image in 1994 for “How many ‘bad’ feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?” a publication by Laura Cottingham (the back of the magazine has text in a small triangle: “It’s not funny”). I continue to be interested in the category of excellent women.

And here is the image (used with permission):

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 Conceptual artist and member of Temporary Services Marc Fisher responded to a request from The Architect’s Newspaper to comment on the current Chicago Architectural Biennial. This was his response, which has since become a print:

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RELATED: Ben Davis asks if Rahm Emanuel’s politics will ruin Chicago’s cultural renaissance.

 In this year’s John Peel Lecture, Brian Eno examines the ecology of culture: LISTEN.

 Now that scientists have discovered what appear to be clear signs of water on Mars, the concern is contaminating what they find with germs from Earth:

The problem is how to find life without contaminating the planet with bugs from Earth.

Researchers at the space agency are keen for the Curiosity rover to take a closer look at the long dark streaks created by liquid water running down craters and canyon walls during the summer months on Mars.

But the rover is not sterile and risks contaminating the wet areas with earthly bugs that will have hitched a ride to the planet and may still be alive.

The vehicle has been trundling around the large Gale crater looking for evidence that Mars was habitable in the ancient past. It has so far uncovered evidence of past river networks and age-old lakes.

However, the dark, damp streaks, called recurring slope lineae (RSL), are a different prospect. Because they are wet at least part of the time, they will be designated as special regions where only sterile landers can visit. But such a restriction could hamper scientists’ hopes of looking for current life on Mars.

 Fred Benenson discusses how to “speak” emoji:

Q: What are the advantages of emoji over English or other traditional written languages?

A: I heard somebody explain it from a neurological point of view that when you see a smiling face, even if it’s a cartoon, it’s actually triggering the same parts of your brain that are activated when you see a normal person smile in real life. That caricature that you see in emoji is actually triggering real emotions in the same way that the physical manifestation of that person would be doing. And that’s super interesting.

It’s doing something that text can’t do: conveying emotion and subtlety of thought that you might not be able to do with a word or two. There’s a whole swath of human communication that we’ve been losing out on in text messages for years. Ever since everyone switched to text message to communicate, we’ve been missing some of the nuance of the tone of people’s voices, the expression on their faces. So you can see emoji as a reaction to that.

Its another degree of freedom for expressing myself using text. Trying to convey whole thoughts or sentences or works of literature in emoji requires you to think creatively. The act of trying to choose an emoji torepresent a word or a phrase or an idea really resonates with me. It’s the act of creating something. I’m working in this medium. I’ve got a pencil or a piece of code or oil paint—here are the constraints I have to work with. You’re skilled, but you’re also limited by the medium. Within that you can express yourself, and I think that emoji just makes that really acute.

If all I want is a crab emoji, but I can’t find a crab emoji, which one can I find that’s similar? Maybe I can choose a dragon emoji but I’ll have to contextualize it with this other thing. That act is just really enjoyable to me, and that’s why I like to communicate with them. It’s like these little image-based punny puzzles you can send to somebody. And when they get it, you can share this moment where you’ve transcended normal text communication. I think that’s really fun.

 If you need more proof of how anti-female bias can kill, a study by researchers at the University of Illinois and Arizona State University discovered people don’t take female-named hurricanes as seriously, and as a result more people die (it’s hard to believe but true):

Researchers at the University of Illinois and Arizona State University examined six decades of hurricane death rates according to gender, spanning  1950 and 2012.  Of the 47 most damaging hurricanes, the female-named hurricanes produced an average of 45 deaths compared to 23 deaths in male-named storms, or almost double the number of fatalities.  (The study excluded Katrina and Audrey, outlier storms that would skew the model).

The difference in death rates between genders was even more pronounced when comparing strongly masculine names versus strongly feminine ones.

 How some French artists in 1900 imagined life in the year 2000:

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 Photographer Donna Pinckley’s Sticks and Stones series portrays interracial couples and asks the subjects to write down some of the hateful language that’s been directed at them, including it on the bottom of the portraits:

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 Are journalists moving to Facebook? One writer thinks there is a way Twitter and Medium can stop the possible migration:

If you just do a cursory look at my Facebook account you might not realize what’s going on there. But I moved my life over to Facebook after I realized that the audiences I wanted to reach (tech executives and developers who are building companies) had largely moved there. I don’t care about having the biggest audiences. I leave that to the news organizations. But I study where specific communities are and work to build them there.

When I speak (like I did to a group of business executives in Brazil last week) I ask people what social networks they are on. Worldwide my audiences break down as 95% Facebook. 70% Twitter. 45% LinkedIn and only 2% Google+ (and while kids are on Instagram and Snapchat, those two don’t register for the kinds of business and innovation journalism I do). But when I look at engagement, Facebook becomes far more important.

So, you might think this is an ad for Facebook, right? It sort of is, except for the fact that journalists, rich people, and celebrities still are supporting Twitter and, I believe, safely into the future.

 Is the right-wing British media out to get new Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn?

Holmes then compared Mr Corbyn to a “religious leader” because of his wide appeal, before veering off into a meandering monologue about him being into “caring and respect”.

He went on: “I would love to do that [be respectful and caring], but that doesn’t happen on TV, so…”, to which a clearly bemused Mr Corbyn interjected: “Why can’t it?”

Holmes’s rambling response included the passage: “See, people might say your outlook is a bit hippy, like, you know, you sort of want to hug everybody…”

 This is a strange discovery at the British Museum … the “objects” are alive!

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

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this post mistakenly referred to Marc Fisher as an architect.

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