Required Reading

This week, save the internet, the language of all-female art exhibitions, lenticular furniture, gender stats at top architecture firms, Leonardo’s toe, and more.

Seoul-based design studio Orijeen has designed a collection of colourful lenticular furniture that shifts color depending on the way it is viewed. They look stunning. (via Dezeen)

Often all-women exhibitions include the qualifier, woman, almost as a sort of warning of what can be expected of the work. In researching this article, I reached out to Micol Hebron, who has been actively tracking gender inequality on gallery rosters since 2013. “I think the more complicated and perhaps insidious reason that this is a problem is the longstanding inherent bias against women’s work,” Hebron wrote to me in a recent email. “Women’s labor(s) are historically valued less: their wages are lower, their art sells for less, and the aesthetics associated with ‘women’s work’ are considered less cool. So, an all-women show can be seen as a concession of sorts.”

When curators and gallerists preface exhibitions with an admission of the artist’s gender, it makes the fact impossible to ignore and surely has an effect on the way in which the artist’s work is being viewed. A wonderful exhibition at the Landing gallery last summer, which included stunning works by Tanya Aguiñiga, Loie Hollowell, Lenore Tawney, was titled dryly—and reductively—3 Women. The title was lifted from a 1977 Robert Altman film, yet, dropped on this context of three intergenerational artists, it became a descriptor, a confession. Under this titling, the indomitable weavings of Tawney, who worked alongside Agnes Martin and Ellsworth Kelly in the ‘60s, seemed to sink into categories of “women’s work,” while Loie Hollowell’s expansive and intricate paintings read more explicitly like pretty little vaginas.

MYLES: He’s sort of boundaryless, which is amazing, like he’s sitting in time in this fuzzy, profound way.

SIGLER: It’s effortless, too—the painting just sort of comes right out. It’s brushed right on there. I mean, of course that’s what painters do, but he makes it look easy.

MYLES: It feels drawing-ish.


MYLES: But look where we are. One, two, three, four, five—five chicks, five ladies, and this is the only male nude. There is something feminine about it, too. The face seems to me very androgynous, but when I say androgynous, I’m used to saying androgynous when I mean “a woman who looks masculine.” But this is about a man who looks feminine—he could be a lady at the court.

SIGLER: He seems to understand the psychology of being naked.

The overall figures across all companies are as follows:Top management tier
Including CEOs, presidents, chief executives, chairs and other “C-Suit”” roles*
Number of women = 23 (10 per cent)
Number of men = 208 (90 per cent)Second management tier
Including directors, board members, executives, partners etc*
Number of women = 205 (18 per cent)
Number of men = 935 (82 per cent)Third management tier
Including associates, department leaders etc*
Number of women = 178 (21 per cent)
Number of men = 668 (79 per cent)

Overall (combining all three management tiers)
Number of women = 406 (18 per cent)
Number of men = 1811 (82 per cent)*

  • What’s a double-bind guarantee and did Leonardo’s “Salvator Mundi” have one? The Art Newspaper reports:

The same rumour has it that in a so-called “double-bind guarantee”, the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who was the seller of the Salvator Mundi through a family trust, in turn guaranteed Sixty Last Suppers for around $50m. Rybolovlev also declined to comment.

If true, the arrangement, whereby sellers guarantee one another’s works within the same sale (effectively stabilising the auction), is “extraordinary”, says the art-market commentator Georgina Adam, the author of Dark Side of the Boom, out this month. “I’ve never heard of it. If this type of deal is common, it’s unknown to the wider market, and it only reinforces the impression that the system of guaranteeing or pre-selling work is totally opaque. It belies the myth that auctions are transparent marketplaces,” she says.

It is, technically speaking, what is called a “Greek foot” when the second toe appears longer than the first. Were the toe lengths more rounded and symmetrical it would be called an “Egyptian foot,” and if they were all level and the foot square, it would be a “Peasant foot.” Other variations include the “Roman foot” and the “Celtic foot.” Foot shape and toe length (fascinating subjects in themselves) were long studied for what they were thought to reveal about a person’s intelligence and personality. And Leonardo was no doubt paying attention. He lived in an age of sandals and barefoot poverty. He knew feet in all their infinite glory, and yet… The Greek foot is so called because it is the foot found on Greek statuary, and Leonardo (a student of ancient Greek and Roman art) knew this. The Greek foot was associated at the time with classical beauty — as it is still. The Statue of Liberty has a Greek foot. And yet, only fourteen percent of actual human feet have the long second toe. It’s not normally how you would draw your generic, all-purpose foot. Michelangelo knew this. Study the feet on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and you will find every variety of toe, from Roman to Peasant to Egyptian, but the toe he gives his Adam, at the moment of divine connection, is the more elegant Greek toe. Raphael the same: when it came to feet he was very catholic. Most painters were. But not so Leonardo.

When our fiction workshop professor is done, everyone in the class guesses that the story with copious amounts of nigga in it is the black boy’s. I don’t put a bid in during this auction. I’m thinking. I’m remembering the silence that erupted the vicinity when it was said. My anxiety has tripled. I’m wondering would there have been an internal struggle, an immediate muteness, if there were no black people in the room.

Everyone is right about who’s story it is.

My professor smiles at our attention to detail.

I’m thinking globally, universally, as he hands this boy back his story, why must white people, as an institution, as a system, thrive off of taking, of getting ahold of, everything, even the name of persecution, even things they don’t really want.

I’m thinking realistically about whether or not my classmates would have kept laughing if I weren’t there.

Through this lens, Gurkov began closely examining the ceremonies of industrial plant openings in Russia, particularly those owned by Western multinational corporations, between the years of 2012 and 2016. During his investigation, Gurkov noticed an important difference between ceremonies taking place before and after Russia’s annexation of Crimea—and the subsequent sanctions imposed on it by the United States and the European Union—in 2014.

… While Russia’s president and prime minister made only a few total appearances over the years (thereby making it impossible to draw conclusions from their inclusion or absence at such events), what was most insightful to Gurkov was the participation of the local regional governors. Their presence was “almost mandatory” in 2013 and 2014, before a slight dip in 2015. By 2016, only 40 percent of ceremonies involved their presence.

He’s not really named “Tony Hovater.”

Like many neo-Nazis and white supremacists, Hovater uses a modified version of his legal name in his racist activities. His real name is William Anthony Hovater, which is the name he’s registered to vote under and which appears on other public records associated with him.

It’s unusual for any newspaper, let alone the Times, not to say when their subject isn’t using their real name. A paper that insists on noting Snoop Dogg’s legal name can probably do the same for a Nazi, no?

  • Roy Moore, the alleged pedophile running as a Republican for the US Senate seat in Alabama, had a mini-flame war with late-night tv host Jimmy Kimmel:

  • A young woman asked Rick And Morty’s co-author how to cope with depression, and she got this amazing response (read the two threads below):

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.

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