Artists, collectors, curators, and dealers are all needed for the system to function, but the role of critics is up for grabs.
When Clement Greenberg, Frank Stella, and Donald Judd tried to define what makes a painting, they overlooked a central feature — capaciousness.
“There is something nightmarish about Jeff Koons,” Peter Schjeldahl began in his 2008 review of the artist’s retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago for the New Yorker. This verdict had long arrived — it has always seemed that the critical wagons were circled on the subject of Koons.
A lot has happened in the week and half since we last gave you an update on the situation at Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Oh wait, except … nothing’s actually happened.
I’m kicking myself for not getting to painter Margrit Lewczuk’s vibrant show in the heart of Williamsburg sooner. I stepped into the fantastic show on its second to last day. Located on a stretch of Metropolitan that is quickly being transformed by new developments, the show is in a low-rise warehouse fitted with fantastic skylights that, on the day I visited, bathes the gallery with an even light.
If you happened to be hiding under a social media rock for the past few days, you might have missed the Guggenheim museum’s short-lived multimedia/indie band/internets extravaganza that was their Youtube-sponsored “Play” biennial. The biennial was in reality a juried exhibition that anyone could submit a video to, the only requirements being that the video had to be made in the past two years and come in under the 10 minute mark. More spectacle than art experience, commentators seem generally down on the show.
Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds at the Tate’s Turbine Hall space in London opened to a good deal of rejoicing. Viewers and critics alike were entranced by the installation, a field of 100 million sunflower seeds that were actually carved from porcelain. An abundance of press photos show exhibition-goers frolicking in piles of seeds, tossing them up into the air, making seed-angels and having a great time. HOWEVER! The Tate has since been forced to alter Ai’s exhibition due to health hazards: the tons of porcelain seeds were kicking up a fine ceramic dust, easily breathed into the lungs of art aficionados. Visitors can now only gaze at Ai’s piece from a cordoned off observation deck.
ArtReview released its annual Power 100 yesterday, a document that makes a spirited attempt at putting the art world into numbers.
The list held a few surprises, but really, what was most un-surprising about the whole affair was how lame and mainstream it was while frontin’ a snarky facade, insider-style. Because really, no one in the art world knew that Gogo had a lot of pull … right?
Here are a few graphs that try to clarify the bullshit and get at what the Power 100 really means.
The Museum of Modern Art’s Abstract Expressionist New York: The Big Picture, an ambitious exhibition that (kinda) rethinks the standard narrative of Abstract Expressionism (aka AbEx), has been open since October 3. The show complicates things by reintroducing us to artists not entirely within the AbEx canon, putting old favorites in a new context and shining a spotlight on the people and places of AbEx.
The question is: did MoMA and its curators accomplish their goal? We turn to the internet at large for a look at how people have reacted to the exhibition!
As the reality of Deitch’s appointment to MOCA sinks in, let’s take a step back and look at his role as a street art advocate. Was he the prophet for the scene or just one of many fans? And where could this all lead?