A master of meditative minimalism, the Korean artist’s new paintings are more frenetically energized than ever before.
On this week’s art crime blotter: an abducted alien sculpture was recovered, a recovering meth addict returned a stolen Thomas Kinkade sculpture, and wild Winnipeggers smashed a public art installation.
BASEL, Switzerland — The opening of Art Basel earlier this week wasn’t anything you wouldn’t expect at the Swiss fair: The world’s wealthiest were queuing at the entrance, half-forcing their way in by pushing and jumping, in the same way that people run into Walmart on Boxing Day.
On this week’s art crime blotter: a Chinese artist was reprimanded for his “sexual calligraphy” videos, a $20-million trove of stolen art was seized in Istanbul, and a relic containing a drop of Pope John Paul II’s blood was stolen from Cologne Cathedral.
On this week’s art crime blotter: people pillaged stones from the quarry where Stonehenge’s giant rocks were sourced, the certificate of authenticity of a Lee Ufan painting recently sold at auction was found to be fake, and a curator bit a fellow passenger on an airplane.
Lee Ufan’s letter to Stella underscores his ongoing critique of Western aesthetics, which began with the specific objects we associate with Minimalism. Whereas Minimalism, at least as Stella codified it, emphasizes the material presence of an object isolated from the passage of time, the artists associated with Mono-ha were interested in what happened between things, in the dynamics of their relationship as well as in change. Thus, for all the visual affinities between a Western-made object and those made by the Mono-ha artists, these connections have to do with appearance — they are morphological and, at best, superficial.