From Duchamp to Demand: 10 Masterpieces That Show the Evolution of Conceptual Art

In a 1967 Artforum article titled “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art,” the artist Sol LeWitt gave a simple definition for what would soon become one of the crucial facets of contemporary art in the 20th century and beyond. “In conceptual art,” he writes, “the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work….The idea becomes the machine that makes the […]

What Is Leonardo’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ Really Selling? Cracking the $100 Million da Vinci Code

Jesus saves, but the buyer of da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ will spend—a lot. The signs all point one way: Christie’s upcoming sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s spooky Salvator Mundi is the latest and perhaps most convincing portent that we are living in the End Times. In the Bible, Christ and his apostles held their property in common. Now, this image […]

The Evolution of Art: Artworks That Advanced Our Understanding of the Medium, Part I

Today, art can be almost anything. But there was a time in the not-so-distant past when abstraction was inconceivable, and it was believed that art could only represent something that already existed in the real world. There was a time when an object couldn’t be considered art unless it showed evidence of the artist’s touch. And until […]

Yayoi Kusama and the Amazing Polka-Dotted, Selfie-Made Journey to Greatness

The artist of “Infinity” rooms has become an Instagram darling.  But two new gallery exhibitions in New York show that she’s much more than that — an almost frighteningly fertile talent. Sometimes I think Yayoi Kusama might be the greatest artist to come out of the 1960s and one of the few, thanks in part […]

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, […]

The Four-Hour Art Week? Read Carol Bove’s Self-Help Guide for Artists

The sculptor Carol Bove likes to play with associations and forms as she builds her assemblages of constructed and readymade objects. Time and space to experiment are crucial elements of her process, as is a certain psychological sovereignty—Bove writes that “creating a nonpurposive, free space in which to play and have fun is essential.” Here, the Brooklyn-based artist […]

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 […]

Artist Stan Douglas: why I restaged the London riots

Stan Douglas’s latest photographs recreate two key moments from the civil unrest of 2011. The artist talks racial profiling, riot porn and why he’s fascinated by ‘ruptures in the status quo’. So how much of your work is really documenting the ineptitude of the police?” Stan Douglas is laughing at my question without completely avoiding […]

An Eye-Popping Mid-Century Apartment Filled With Pollocks, Klines, and de Koonings

If you had Ben Heller’s eye, you’d have picked 50 straight Derby winners, or signed 100 future Hall of Fame ballplayers when they were 17. “When I think of my old apartment on the Upper West Side,” says the tall, spry Heller, who is 91, “even I’m shocked.” In the mid-1950s, the talent he was […]

The Four Horsemen of America’s Apocalypse: Their Work Unearths the Seething Muck Beneath the Shiny Surface of American Culture

The Apocalypse has long been a staple of American film, pulp fiction, popular culture, and high art and literature. Lately it has also been looming large in our political consciousness. From a presidential adviser who is convinced we have entered the fourth and final “turning” in human history to charges by environmentalists that our withdrawal […]

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 […]

What It’s Like to Live With Art That Doesn’t Love You Back

At a time when art is as commodified as oil, a few collectors have chosen to buy works that are messy, perishable and threaten to take over their lives. PAUL LEONG, A YOUNG banker who lives in downtown Manhattan, spends an unusual amount of time thinking about square watermelons. He wonders where to get them, […]

Duchamp’s Last Riddle

By now, the story has become a legend: in 1917, artist Marcel Duchamp took a urinal, signed it with a pseudonym, and submitted it for an exhibition put on by the Society of Independent Artists—who rejected it. Fountain, as he winkingly titled the urinal, was one of his ready-mades: a manufactured object that he deemed artworks […]

Who Are the Most Influential Artists of the Last Century? 26 Industry Leaders Weigh In

Which artist defined the last 100 years—and continues to reverberate in the work of artists today? In 2017, a century since Marcel Duchamp turned a readymade urinal into an artwork, we’ve wondered how to characterize the past 100 years in art, posing challenging questions to some of the industry’s brightest figures: What are this century’s most iconic works […]

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 […]

What Is the Most Iconic Artwork of the 21st Century? 14 Art Experts Weigh In

How do you choose one defining artwork for a century still in its adolescence? Some of the art world’s leading figures take their best shot. Want to make an art historian laugh? Ask them to name the most iconic artwork of the 21st century. Turns out, it’s not so easy to single out the most […]

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 […]