Enzo & Nio take aim at the New York mayor in this recent street poster which uses the original 1788 Marie Antoinette painting is by Adolf Ulrich Wertmuller as its base. (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

This week, Catherine Opie fatigue, Yayoi Kusama, David Shrigley, tall buildings and economic downturns, post-structuralism, LA architecture and color theory for kids.

 This review of Catherine Opie’s new book Inauguration, which photographed the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, is pretty interesting. Particularly this part:

Disillusionment with Obama is widespread. His unsteady governing has tested the once hopeful. Obama’s own “eccentricities” seem to have been sanded away … Obama and Opie could be mirrors of one another, the one in politics, the other in the arts.

 The Economist seems to think Yayoi Kusama is ready for her spotlight:

Many women artists wait a long time for accolades. The advantage of late recognition is that it can spur them to new heights. Louise Bourgeois did some of her best work in her 80s. Ms Kusama aspires to do the same. The announcement of the Tate retrospective somehow “flicked a switch in her,” says Glenn Scott Wright, director of the Victoria Miro gallery, Ms Kusama’s European dealer. Indeed, the artist has made more than 140 paintings in the past two years alone.

RELATED: The LA Review of Books takes a look at Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama. I’m not quite sure why the reviewer repeats the absurd idea that Kusama is an “outsider artist,” though to the writer’s credit, they don’t seem to believe it:

At any rate, the congruence between her hallucinations and her work would seem to mark her as an “outsider artist”: one who creates art as a personal outlet for some deep, compulsive need. And yet, Kusama is highly aware of her profile in the press and her place in history. She often offers long lists of her accomplishments — her autobiography reads like a curriculum vitae in places — and narcissistically quotes at length from press accounts.

 A report from the David Shrigley show at the Hayward Gallery in London.

 Do very tall buildings foretell economic downturns? Hmmm… this from Architizer:

Last week, British investment bank Barclays Capital released an annual report and analysis known unassumingly as the ‘Skyscraper Index.’ The report stated that their index “continues to show an unhealthy correlation between construction of the next world’s tallest building and an impending financial crises,” citing statistics from New York in 1930, Chicago in 1974, Kuala Lumpur in 1997 and Dubai in 2010.

 Rosalind Krauss is interviewed by Yve-Alain Bois for the new edition of the Brooklyn Rail … and just when you thought post-structuralism was dead and buried. The whole interview is little dull but worth it just to read Krauss say this line:

… my writerly voice had really become very wooden, so that I couldn’t write anymore. It wasn’t fluid, it was just very, very dead.

Cue dramatic music and someone saying, “no shit.”

 This week, there is news that a few major museums have been filling out their collections. The MoMA has acquired a number of feminist-related art works, while the National Gallery of Art in DC has snapped up a still life by Robert Seldon Duncanson, which adds a bit more African American heft to the institution’s historic American collections.

 Ever wonder why there are no skyscrapers in the Soho, Lower East Side, Village neighborhoods of Manhattan?

 The DJ Moby has started an architecture blog about LA. So far it’s pretty dull but who knows, maybe it’ll pick up. He appears to be one of those “many artists are moving to LA because NY, London and SF are too expensive” devotees. Really? The primary reason to move to LA is the cost?

 A 1928 letter to a 16-year-old Jackson Pollock from his dad. It includes:

The secret of success is concentrating interest in life, interest in sports and good times, interest in your studies, interest in your fellow students, interest in the small things of nature, insects, birds, flowers, leaves, etc.

 Color theory explained by Sesame Street for kids.

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning, 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.

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

One reply on “Required Reading”

  1. With so many elementary schools opting not to hire art teachers it’s wonderful Sesame Street is addressing color theory.  I started teaching art to K-5th grade and the kids this year at a school that hasn’t had art ed in 20 years. Pink and brown were common responses to what the primary colors were when I first arrived.  Thanks for posting the link. I’ll use the video in my classroom. 

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