What comes after postmodernism is less interesting than the changed nature of the art system and art writing.
A new book of conversations between the noted artist and art historian captures a complex body of work that continues to challenge the conventions of sculpture.
Artists, collectors, curators, and dealers are all needed for the system to function, but the role of critics is up for grabs.
Ossian Ward has a feature in Art in America this month about the dismaying trend of bigness in the contemporary art world. The piece is an exploration of a problem that’s only been growing (no pun intended): art as a series of bigger and better spectacles, upstaged only by the vast and cavernous spaces in which it’s shown. Though the article is quite smart and thorough, it left me a little unsatisfied: I think Ward stops short of really digging into what’s at stake here. What exactly is the problem with art as entertainment, anyway? It may seem like an obvious question, but given its centrality to this discussion, it’s one worth asking.
This week’s edition focuses on the de Kooning retrospective at MoMA, some final essays on the 9/11 Museum, an endangered mural in Manhattan, the timeline design of Facebook and Instagram as art.
The standard cliché summary of modern (and contemporary) art is that now, anything is art. Jackson Pollock threw paint around. Duchamp strung up a shovel, upended a bike wheel into a stool, put a urinal on a pedestal and called the resulting three “sculptures” art of the highest order. After so long, we’ve started to run out of things to suddenly deem “art.” But relational aesthetics, or the posing of an artist-constructed social experiences as art making, is the latest step in this process of turning everything into art.