What Happened After Mexico’s Greatest Architect Was Turned Into a Diamond

On April 27th, more than a hundred people gathered in the underground auditorium of a prestigious contemporary-art museum in Mexico City. Those who couldn’t find seats lingered outside, watching a live video feed of what was transpiring within; more than seventy thousand others streamed the proceedings at home. For almost two hours, the audience looked on […]

Here Are the 15 Biggest Art-World Controversies of 2017

From Dana Schutz’s notorious painting to divisive animal art at the Guggenheim, 2017 was chock full of debate, discussion, and protest. This year saw unprecedented tumult in the real world—and in the art world, too. There were fiery debates over cultural appropriation and the definition of censorship; a legal tussle over deaccessioning at the Berkshire […]

Homage to Mexico: Josef Albers and His Reality-Based Abstraction

A radiant Guggenheim exhibition grounds the proto-Minimalist abstract paintings of Josef Albers in the geometric grandeur of Mesoamerican monuments. Art rarely thrives in a vacuum. It is by definition polyglot and in flux, buffeted by the movement of art objects, goods and people across borders and among cultures, and also by individual passion. This much, […]

How One Obscure David Hockney Painting Encapsulates the Greatness of His Work

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s big, popular David Hockney retrospective is more than worth your time. As far as I can tell, however, what it reveals is that the conventional opinion of the beloved British painter is basically the right one. His most famous works are also his best works, specifically the late-1960s, early-‘70s cycle making of […]

The Hirshhorn and Beyeler Join Forces to Stage a Georg Baselitz Survey—Naked Man and All

The Swiss-US retrospective will include early painting that shocked 1960s Germany, plus “exuberant and explosive” late works. Georg Baselitz will get a US-Swiss retrospective next year co-organized by the Hirshhorn in Washington, DC, and Fondation Beyeler, near Basel. The show is set to kick off at the private museum in Switzerland on January 21—two days before […]

The Evolution of Art, Part II: From Minimalism Until Now

How did we get to where we are today in the realm of fine art? Who were the artists that changed the course of art history and what were the artworks that broke the mold? In Part I of this two-part series we described the advances in Modern art starting with the advent of abstraction and ending […]

Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? (Linda Nochlin, From 1971)

Implications of the Women’s Lib movement for art history and for the contemporary art scene—or, silly questions deserve long answers. A version of this story originally appeared in the January 1971 issue of ARTnews. While the recent upsurge of feminist activity in this country has indeed been a liberating one, its force has been chiefly emotional—personal, […]

Coming Face to Face With Jimmie Durham

The sculptor’s retrospective at the Whitney Museum is a “brilliant, half-century-long act of politically driven self-invention,” our critic writes. “I feel fairly sure that I could address the entire world if only I had a place to stand,” the peripatetic American artist Jimmie Durham said in the 1980s. Now he has that place: the fifth […]

Jeff Koons Gives it Up to The Masters

Whitewall met with the artist in his sprawling Chelsea studio just days after his “Masters” collection launched for Louis Vuitton, a project he saw as quite public and accessible, too. The special line puts the work of Da Vinci, Titian, Rubens, Fragonard, and Van Gogh on accessories like bags and scarves, touting the name of each master in bold reflective metal […]

Tehching Hsieh, extreme performance artist: ‘I give you clues to the crime’

The Venice Biennale is hosting the biggest exhibition of work by the Taiwanese artist Marina Abramović calls ‘the master’. “My impression of the Venice Bienniale is that it is the Olympic Games of the arts,” says Tehching Hsieh. “I’m in the category of marathon.” If any artist knows about endurance it is is Hsieh, a […]

Rachel Whiteread Retrospective @ Tate Britain

A metal sign among the found objects, tiny moulds, and notebooks, selected and arranged from across Rachel Whiteread’s 30 year career, reads: ‘Ancient Monuments Acts, 1913 and 1931. Any person who injures or defaces this monument may be fined and ordered to pay the costs of repairs or may be imprisoned.’ The display case is […]

Gerhard Richter: Brisbane show honours German master’s irony and influence

The Life of Images offers a sweeping retrospective of a visionary photo painter whose work continues to resonate To say that an international artist can be hugely influential in Australia, where their work has rarely been seen​, is to pay testament not just to the aesthetic qualities of their work but also to the appeal […]

The Gray Market: Why Museums Can’t Compete With Private Collectors (and Other Insights)

FALSE EQUIVALENCE: Although I always advise caution about these reports, sales at this year’s freshly entombed Frieze and Frieze Masters were allegedly strong from the jump. Numerous exhibitors were eager to broadcast their results (or at least, pretend to) on VIP preview night. But rather than resurrect the issue of dubious honesty from self-interested actors in a consequence-free […]

The unsettling visions of Thomas Ruff

From gender-swap portraits to blown-up images of internet porn and 3D craters on Mars, his photographs are perfect for the age of image overload. As a major Whitechapel retrospective opens, we profile an artist always ahead of the game. Photography is a base passion that has taken hold of every continent and every section of […]

The Guggenheim’s Alexandra Munroe on Why ‘The Theater of the World’ Was Intended to Be Brutal

The curator explains the origins of the exhibition and the thinking behind its most controversial elements. Now well ensconced at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as its Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art, Munroe is trying to repeat that feat with recent Chinese art history, working with two co-curators—the widely respected experts Hou Hanru and Phillip Tinari—to […]

Where the Wild Things Are: China’s Art Dreamers at the Guggenheim

BEIJING — The signature work at “Art and China After 1989,” a highly anticipated show that takes over the Guggenheim on Oct. 6, is a simple table with a see-through dome shaped like the back of a tortoise. On the tabletop hundreds of insects and reptiles — gekkos, locusts, crickets, centipedes and cockroaches – mill about under […]

Let This Be Your Guide: 7 Famous Artists Describe Their Favorite Artworks at The Met

When a single work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art catches your attention and stops you in your tracks, it can feel like you’ve unearthed a hidden treasure. In Phaidon’s upcoming book The Artist Project: What Artists See When They Look at Art, over 100 artists reflect on this same experience—the moment when an artwork from the Met’s collection overwhelmed […]

Jenny Holzer: Words of Conflict

As three new commissions open this year in the UK and Abu Dhabi, the US artist reflects on the continued dominance of war as a theme in her work and says she longs for Trump to be “in the past tense” Jenny Holzer has put words in unexpected places for nearly 40 years. Her texts […]

Rachel Whiteread review – accentuate the negative

Tate Britain, London Whiteread’s inside-out casts of everything from hot-water bottles to chicken sheds are poised between banality and a spellbinding poetry of the past. There is a small white shack on the lawn in front of Tate Britain. It looks exactly like the very thing it is, namely the concrete cast of a chicken shed. […]