2012 Museum Attendance Numbers Show a Diverse Global Art Scene

The Art Newspaper’s annual museum attendance figures for 2012 were recently released and there were no real surprises, except that the Tate Modern has overtaken the National Gallery in the fourth spot, DC’s National Gallery of Art slipped to 8th, and Seoul’s National Museum of Korean fell out of the top 10 to 12, while the Vatican Museums (which was not included on the 2011 list) entered the list in the 6th spot.

The Monumental and Malleable Worlds of El Anatsui

It hangs in the air like paper, like drapery, like a metal curtain, transparent yet solid, monumental and unreal. The space around it, the gallery walls, and you yourself become secondary to this vast and majestic thing. It is red and gold and black and shines as the light ripples across its surface. Woven like a tapestry and tiled like a mosaic, it appears almost medieval, but you know it is contemporary and African. Whatever it is, you cannot seem to look away.

Who Is the Master, and Who Is the Slave?

I’ve seen it twice, and it still makes my brain feel like it’s been violated in some sublime way. Visually, The Master is an incredibly beautiful piece of work: the effect of filming a reported 80 percent in glorious 65mm. The movie is saturated with color and tone courtesy of cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr., with editing by Leslie Jones and Peter McNulty, who paced the visuals against Jonny Greenwood’s (of Radiohead) odd, whacked-out, jazzed-up staccato soundtrack.

Carrying on a Political Absurdist Legacy

CHICAGO — Cartoonist Rube Goldberg (1883–1970) was best known for his depictions of “inventions” that imagined complicated contraptions with far too many moving parts built to solve the simplest of problems. These “Rube Goldberg machines” appeared in his work, and were used as devices to poke fun at the roundabout nature of American bureaucratic and political systems in the post-World War II era. Rube Goldberg’s Ghost, a large group exhibition on view at Columbia College’s small Glass Curtain Gallery (through May 4) features work by more than 20 artists who may very well be Goldberg’s companions in that they, too, enjoy laborious machinations with political undertones.

The Museum of Everything

PARIS — For a brief time, a former Catholic seminary on Paris’ classy Boulevard Raspail was overtaken with a psychoanalyst’s jubilee of art from self-taught creators who worked in secret or seclusion, in mental asylums or hospitals, or just from their own particular perspective of the world. The Museum of Everything is a traveling exhibition started by British filmmaker James Brett in 2009 that’s been widely successful in its unique curation of overlooked art.