Opinion

Required Reading

This image, released late last month by the Hubble Space Telescope team, is one of the “deepest image of the sky ever obtained.” The composite image is the combination of 2,000 photographs of the same part of southern sky that were captured by two Hubble cameras over the course of 10 years. The resulting image shows 5,500 ancient and contemporary galaxies. (image via National Geographic)

This week, the difficulty of selling stolen paintings, what art forgers paint in their down time, Picasso’s 17 year old lover, the “meaning” of hotels, the state of political art, the lives of the 1%, and more.

 The Atlantic considers the difficulty of selling a stolen painting and why it’s a terrible business plan.

 Related: Vanity Fair considers the life and time of one of the world’s most successful forgers, but the real eye opener is the image they publish of what the forger paints when he’s not reproducing someone else’s art — and it’s rather, um, bad.

 Art historian and curator Diana Widmaier-Picasso, and granddaughter of Pablo Picasso, talks to Sotheby’s about Picasso’s love affair with his his young muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter. She explains the story of how they met:

It was 8 January 1927, outside Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris. Marie-Thérèse had gone there to buy herself a col Claudine — a Peter Pan collar — and matching cuffs. Picasso approached her and said, “You have an interesting face. I would like to do a portrait of you. I sense we are going to do great things together. I am Picasso.” He was 46, she was just 17.

 A pretty fascinating read about the hotels in Los Angeles and their “meaning” over at The Los Angeles Review of Books:

More than any other American city, Los Angeles is defined by the semiosis of the freeway and the sound stage, a constant circulation between the horizontality of the open road and the verticality of the interior readymade. Between these exclusively public and private spheres rests the hotel, a topos whose permeability draws the tourist, outlier, and transient into an artificial phantasm of comfort, recreation, and dwelling.

 Over at Village Voice, Martha Schwendener considers the state of political art after 2011’s rash of protest movements (Arab Spring, Occupy … ). She asks a number of provocative questions:

Is contemporary art politically useless? Does it serve only as a bystander, offering smart academic responses — or worse, packaging revolution into edgier-than-average commodities to sell to the very elites that these movements challenged? Does art lay the ground for future insurrections, or merely undergird a whole system of capitalist thought and institutions that have to be changed before anything else can change?

 In this week’s Modern Art Notes podcast, Tyler Green chats with artist Olafur Eliasson about his upcoming show at New York’s Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, which opens October 25.

 Conceptual artist Michael Asher died last week in his sleep after a long illness. East of Borneo has this characterization of the artist’s legacy:

… Michael devoted his work to exploring the limits of the galleries and schools and museums that give context and space for art, poking at all sorts of barriers and shibboleths with a humor that was sometimes sly, and sometimes hilarious.

 BBC reports that a campaign is being launched to create the world’s first memorial to modern artists who were persecuted by the Nazis in World War II. Artists such as Paul Klee, Max Ernest, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and others were considered Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) during the Nazi period, and their art was held up for ridicule during a major exhibition in 1937, which included 137 artists and was accompanied by propaganda slogans such as “Nature as seen by sick minds.” The memorial, if it is realized, will the first of its kind in the world.

 Artist Richard Prince decides to make his own version of a canned lemon drink.

 This week, in the lives of the 1%, art dealer Larry Gagosian drops his suit against collector Ron Perelman and Marie Antoinette’s shoes sell for $65,000 at auction.

 And this week is ridiculous art ideas, Benjamin Sutton over at Artinfo was quick to point out that an article on The Telegraph website makes the ludicrous claim that Nam June Paik somehow inspired Gangam Style, the K-pop sensation. Sutton calls it out for what it is, a “possibly racist link” but I think he’s being too kind considering the British writer includes this problematic phrase, “his exotic name and non-Western appearance.”

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning EST, 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.

comments (0)