Why Joseph Beuys Spent 3 Days Locked Up with a Wild Coyote

With a major retrospective opening in London this week, we focus on a crucial turning point in the career of the pioneering German post-war artist. Joseph Beuys famously declared “every human being is an artist”.  The German artist believed creativity to be a universal principle that extends into all areas of human existence, and was thus preoccupied with what […]

Museums Shake Things Up by Mixing Old and New

HAARLEM, the Netherlands — Frans Hals, a Dutch Golden Age portraitist of wealthy merchants and jolly rogues, was popular and successful in his lifetime, but before he died, he fell out of fashion. His loose, bold brush strokes were too rough for the 18th century. But the Impressionists rediscovered him in the 19th century, and […]

Adrian Piper: The Thinking Canvas

She’s an artist and scholar, and at “A Synthesis of Intuitions” you see thinking — about gender, racism, art — happening before your eyes. “Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965-2016” at the Museum of Modern Art is a clarifying and complicating 50-year view of a major American artist’s career. It is also an image-altering […]

My Life As a Failed Artist – Jerry Saltz

Decades after giving up the dream for good, an art critic returns to the work he’d devoted his life to, then abandoned — but never really forgot. It pains me to say it, but I am a failed artist. “Pains me” because nothing in my life has given me the boundless psychic bliss of making […]

How Should We Be Photographing Artwork?

An inevitable part of being an artist is having to take pictures of what you create, whether in order to digitally submit it for exhibitions or for promotional purposes. Unfortunately, people tend to be too sloppy when photographing artwork, and they often end up with photos that do no justice to the piece itself. This […]

A leap into space: Malevich’s Suprematist Composition

How this 1916 canvas, included in every major survey of Malevich’s Suprematist works mounted during his lifetime, revolutionised modern art. On 15 May it is offered in the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale  in New York. On 17 December 1915, a series of new paintings by the Russo-Polish artist Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935) was exhibited in the Dobychina Art […]

Cy Twombly, Redefined by His Drawings

The gathering of works in Chelsea reconfigures the general sense of Twombly (1928-2011) as a lanky, slow-moving, ever-relaxed Southerner who worked in fits and starts and soaked up the good life on Italy’s Amalfi Coast or in Lexington, Va. — his birthplace, to which he returned in his later years. In its stead is a […]

5 Post-War Italian Artists to Know

An essential introduction to Italy’s most collectible names ahead of April’s modern and contemporary art auctions in Milan. Born in Turin in 1940, Alighiero Boetti is today recognized as one of Italy’s most important conceptual artists, and was a leading figure in the Arte Povera movement that revolutionized contemporary art at the end of the […]

Cy Twombly and the Transporting, Transforming Power of Art That Barely Uses the Tools of Art

The first time I saw Cy Twombly’s aphrodisiacal paintings, I felt the way Patti Smith felt when first hearing the Rolling Stones: “I was doing all my thinking between my legs.” Something unrecognizable and distorted within me quivered. Twombly’s fevered phosphorescent blooms of runny jellyfish chrysanthemums with elongated, pulpy, tentacle-like sacks dripping down; his iridescent […]

Bean There, Done That: Houston Gets a Precursor of Chicago’s Shiny Anish Kapoor

“I think much more than ‘Cloud Gate,’ ‘Cloud Column’ is meant specifically to capture the heavens and bring them down to earth” . The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) unveiled a new outdoor sculpture on Monday, a monumental reflective piece by Anish Kapoor that immediately brings to mind his iconic “Cloud Gate” in Chicago, more widely known as […]

Damien Hirst Falling Off The Grid – Houghton Hall – Paul Carter Robinson

Last week I was a guest at the magnificent Houghton Hall, one of the most impressive Palladian houses in Britain. This is a house steeped in history and surprisingly still in the hands of the original descendants of Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of Britain. Houghton Hall with its lavish interior design and […]

Cy Twombly’s Extravagant Synesthesia

Rosalind Krauss misreads Twombly in more ways than I can enumerate. In her essay, “Cy was here: Cy’s up” (ArtForum, September 1994), Rosalind Krauss made this observation about Cy Twombly: Twombly “misreads” Pollock’s mark as graffiti, as violent, as a type of antiform. And this misreading becomes the basis of all of Twombly’s work. Thus […]

Damien Hirst’s Post-Venice, Post-Truth World

The artist worked in secret on his first love, painting, for his new show. This is the anti-Venice, he says. LOS ANGELES — In army green camouflage and black sweats and with two heavy gold chains swinging with each step of his Nikes, Damien Hirst was in an unusually quiet mood. Sipping from a can […]

Answering Society’s Thorniest Questions, With Performance Art

Pope.L, photographed in his Chicago studio this past December. For the last four decades, the artist has created intense, often provocative performances. Now that he is not only an artist of renown but also a father and a professor, Pope.L’s ambivalence about his own authority hasn’t abated. If anything, his responsibilities have made him feel […]

Allan Kaprow, Before the Happenings

Considered the Father of the Happening, Kaprow started off as a painter whose work reflected a Cubist-inspired, pre-AbEx aesthetic. In his essay for the catalogue accompanying the exhibition ALLAN KAPROW. PAINTINGS NEW YORK at Hauser & Wirth’s uptown outpost, art historian Philip Ursprung describes Kaprow’s progression from painting to performance in three swift strokes: The story began […]

Young Painters Are Trying to Kill Me, Says the German Artist Albert Oehlen—But He’s Cool With It

As his new paintings and drawings go on view in Los Angeles and Berlin, the artist reflects on his experience as a young artist in Berlin in the ’70s. Albert Oehlen is something of a living legend. He might be 63, but his reputation as an enfant terrible remains. There’s something eternally youthful about the German painter, who first […]

100 Years of Dadaism – Influence and Genius of the First Avant-Garde Art Movement

“I could have done that” is a cynical statement that I’m sure we’ve all come across at some point. Some artists occasionally feel invited to respond rudely to the dilettantish comment (and sadly, very often with the similar amount of ignorance). The truth is that there was a series of events that preceded the multivalent […]

Marcel Duchamp

If you were to make a list of who you believe are the most controversial artists in history, the name of Marcel Duchamp would be topping many of the lists. He was a French painter, sculptor, writer and a master chess player whose work is often associated with Dadaism and branches of conceptual art, although he does not really seem […]

Performance Art and its Journey to Recognition

We could start the journey of performance art as we know it today in Ancient Greece, where philosopher Diogenes used his body as a medium in performative acts which purposefully stated his opinion inside the public space – by pretending to be a dog (cynic), living in a barrel, disregarding Alexander The Great by telling him to move away and stand out of his light.[1] Moving on […]

10 Famous Installation Artists Whose Work You Have to Know

In a plethora of different forms and styles, the emergence of installation artists has changed the face of art. Involving the configuration of installation of objects in a space, installation artpresents a unified experience practiced by an increasing number of postmodernist artists. Mostly temporary, installation art draws the viewer in, engaging them in multiple ways and making them a part of […]