Guggenheim’s Gold Toilet – a Mockery or High Art?

Often described as a provocateur, prankster and tragic poet of our times, Maurizio Cattelan has loudly announced his retirement from art in 2011. By installing an 18-karat solid gold toilet in the Guggenheim Museum in 2016, the artist has officially emerged from his self-imposed retirement, in style. Titled America, the ongoing project has taken up […]

The Ultimate Outline of the 20th Century Art

There is no doubt that the 20th century art was all about changing perspective. The artist’s way of seeing and therefore understanding things has been changing and continues to do so even in this day and age. The new, experimental approach to perspective was pursued both directly and implicitly. Painters and sculptors had abandoned linear […]

Talk – Collecting Contemporary Art, Audain Art Museum, Whistler, Canada

Laing Brown is an art collector who is interested in ideas. Brown, chair of the Audain Art Museum acquisitions committee and an external advisor to the acquisitions committee of the National Gallery of Canada, has just returned from Britain, where he went to check out Frieze London, where 160 of the world’s top commercial galleries […]

Clean, Well-Lighted Places: On Our Nostalgia for the Golden Age of Art Dealing

The notion that collectors sit atop the hierarchy of today’s art world is axiomatic. They build private museums and control the boards of traditional ones. Through their acquisitions, they determine the fates of artists, and often overshadow curators, historians, and critics—all those ink-stained intellectuals who used to play a larger role in determining art’s value. […]

Public Talk: Collecting Contemporary Art

“Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.” – Sir Winston Churchill Join Laing Brown, a noted art collector, Board Member and Chair of the Audain Art Museum Acquisitions Committee, for a public multi-media presentation where he will discuss his Top 10 Collecting Rules for contemporary […]

How Abstract Expressionism changed modern art

What did the artists associated with Abstract Expressionism do so differently? And how is their work still relevant today? As the first survey of Abstract Expressionism for nearly 60 years is staged in Britain, co-curator David Anfam answers key questions. 1. How was Abstract Expressionism different to what came before? Crucially Abstract Expressionism, or ‘Ab […]

Ai Weiwei’s Tree – NGC Collection

Ai Weiwei’s Tree (2009–10) stands a towering five metres in height, and spans the same distance at its upper reaches. A commanding yet enchanting presence in Gallery B105, Tree is flanked to the west by the late Sol LeWitt’s experiment with colour and asymmetry, Wall Drawing No. 623 Double asymmetrical pyramids with colour ink washes […]

In Search of the “Big Technique”: Alex Katz on Why Artists Should Stick to a Style in a Changing Art World

In this extensive interview excerpted from the revised and expanded edition of Phaidon’s monograph Alex Katz, the New York-based painter sits down with his longtime friend Robert Storr, the now-outgoing dean of the Yale School of Art, for a lively, winding discussion about the artist’s influences, concerns, and life history. You once said that a jerk is somebody […]

Tate Modern has finally won me over – with art

Great art museums need great art. That should go without saying, but the new Tate Modern is so architecturally exhilarating that I started to wonder: perhaps you really can have a museum where it doesn’t matter much what’s in it because the experience of walking around is so enjoyable and cool. I love the Switch […]

Ai Weiwei and Warhol, Together Again

“I remember going to a gallery opening and hearing people say ‘Andy is here, Andy is here,’ and suddenly I saw him through the crowd,” Mr. Ai recalled this week, walking through “Andy Warhol/Ai Weiwei” at the Warhol Museum here. “It was incredible to be in the same room, but I was a nobody.” In […]

Can a Giant New Museum Make San Francisco an Art Capital?

If you build it, they will come. Or that’s what the board at the San Francisco Museum of Art is betting on. This week, the 81-year-old institution opens its doors after a three-year renovation, gifting the West Coast with a world-class collection that would make MoMA blush. Sure, you can see Richard Serra in New […]

Unpacking the MASH-UP

In one epic exhibition, the Vancouver Art Gallery explores the history of the remix, from Marcel Duchamp to Danger Mouse. For the epic exhibition “MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture,” on view through June 12 at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the word [Mash-UP] has been wisely adopted to cover all the “mixing, blending and reconfiguration […]

The Met and the Now

America’s preëminent museum finally embraces contemporary art. Gertrude Stein’s famous remark that “you can be a museum or you can be modern, but you can’t be both” sounds archaic today. Every self-respecting urban center has its museum of modern art, and climate-change-denying business leaders will spend lavishly to get their name on its walls. The […]

One of the World’s Great Collections of Modern Art …?

Inside the rotunda of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, a circular walkway spirals down from the street level, like an underground version of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum in New York. A series of galleries branches out from there, giving up astonishing secrets from one of the finest—if forgotten—collections of 20th century art in […]

Top 10 – Appropriation Artworks

Appropriation art or the art of appropriation is is the use of pre-existing objects or images with little or no transformation applied to them. It follows in the spirit of Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades. The use of appropriation has played a significant role in art throughout the 20th century and has continued as a valid art […]

Sotheby’s Reassuring $294M Contemporary Evening Sale

The contemporary art market settled down to a steadier pace at Sotheby’s New York Wednesday evening, turning in a solid and respectable $294,850,000 sale for the 44 lots that sold. Ten of the 54 lots offered failed to sell for a trim buy-in rate by lot of 18.5 percent. Five works sold for more than $15 […]

Jeff Koons on his Gazing Ball Paintings: ‘It’s not about copying’

The artist’s new show presents repainted versions of masterpieces, from Titian’s Venus and Mars to the Mona Lisa, with a shiny blue sphere placed in front of each. Standing in front of the Mona Lisa – only this version was around three times the size of the original and had a blue sphere on a […]

Why Does Art History Have the Blues?

Why do artists always seem to have the blues? Since time immemorial, blue has held a special place in art history, evoking the loftiest sentiments, the most aristocratic pedigrees, and the profoundest spirituality. As a material, blue pigment has itself been a fetishized commodity, serving as everything from a prized color for Medieval monks to the […]

What 5 of the World’s Riskiest Art Buys Tell Us About Collecting Art Today

As the art world braces for an estimated $2 billion fall auction season in the next few weeks, it’s no secret that the global art market is moving ahead at a rapid-fire pace. The stakes appear higher than ever with an unprecedented number of seven-, eight-, even nine-figure works on the auction block. While headlines […]

Can art still shock in the age of the extreme selfie?Can art still shock in the age of the extreme selfie?

Marina Abramović had a gun put to her head. Joseph Beuys shared a gallery with a coyote. But with social media full of shocking images, is it worth today’s artists putting their lives at risk? In 1974, standing expressionless beside a table in a gallery in Naples, Marina Abramović began her performance piece Rhythm 0. […]