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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Beyond Supply and Demand: How Artworks are Priced?

The pricing of artworks is not a simple matter. And while the basic economic principles of supply and demand do still apply to the art market, the factors that contribute to an artist’s “supply,” or the availability of their art for sale, and an artist’s “demand,” or how many collectors are willing to buy their […]

“Green Imposes Its Discomfiting Mood”: The History of Green and the Work of Bruce Nauman, Brice Marden, and Olafur Eliasson

Textbooks tend to organize art history chronologically. But what if we re-told art history through color instead? Artspace is publishing a series of articles excerpted from Phaidon‘s Chromaphilia: The Story of Color in Art, each one offering a close look into the history of a single color in its relation to art. Last week we examined red, […]

Why the Upper East Side Is the Best Place to See Art in New York

Artspace Article Published: April 3, 2016: Stretched out alongside the east flank of Central Park like a satisfied cat lying in the sun, the Upper East Side—longtime home to tycoons and celebrities—is still the most luxe neighborhood in New York City, where foreign billionaires plant their money in $100 million manses and ridiculous trend stories […]

Why the ‘Uber effect’ is proving elusive for online platforms

Barely a month goes by without the launch of an online initiative that aims to disrupt the art market and bring the “Uber and Airbnb effect” to art transactions. But witness the crowds pacing the aisles at a big-league art fair, or spilling out of the salesrooms during the evening auctions, and the impact of […]

MoMA Curator Laura Hoptman on How to Tell a Good Painting From a “Bogus” Painting

When the influential Museum of Modern Art curator Laura Hoptman claims that she’s “a painting person,” it’s no joke. A veteran organizer of cutting-edge exhibitions, she built her career in part through her insistence on championing the medium, even—or perhaps especially—through its perennial periods of unpopularity and critical disdain. This has earned her both accolades and […]

What Was Suprematism? A Brief History of the Russian Idealists Who Created Abstraction as We Know It

At an exhibition entitled “0.10” (“Zero Ten”) in St Petersburg in 1915, Black Square (completed in 1913), the first Suprematist work by Kazimir Malevich (1878–1935), hung in the corner of the room, the traditional setting for an icon in an Orthodox Russian home. The artwork was a square canvas painted black. Malevich claimed in 1927 […]

Curator Hans Ulrich Obrist on What Makes Painting an “Urgent” Medium Today

Painting has always served as a kind of laboratory for innovative ways of looking at the world, from the perspectival experiments of Alberti all the way to Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, abstraction,Minimalism, et cetera. Painters often saw themselves as an advance guard, pushing a kind of investigation forward in new terrain. Here, you’ve mentioned how in […]

10 Extraordinary Sculptures That Tackle Life in the 21st Century

Sculpture has gone through a plethora of transformations in the modern era, from Rodin’s emotionally charged, erotic figures in the 1880s, to Judd’s geometric, stoic forms of the 1960s, to the current anything-goes approach of contemporary sculptors. Naturally, the best (or at least best-remembered) artists use their work to respond to the pressing political and […]

More than Melting Clocks: 10 Surrealist Masterpieces You Need to Know

Among radical 20th century art movements (of which there are more than a few), Surrealism is one of the few that’s been able to establish a hold on the popular as well as avant-garde imaginary, in no small part due to the outlandish public persona of its self-proclaimed ringleader Salvador Dalí. What’s sometimes forgotten, however, […]

What Was Surrealism? Read the Real Story Behind the Enigmatic Art Movement

Despite its status as one of the most widely cited and recognizable art movements to come out of the early 20th century,Surrealism remains (perhaps appropriately) something of an enigma to contemporary art viewers. In some ways, it’s simply too strange—the paintings, sculptures, and writing that the loosely defined philosophy has produced appear to have little […]

What Was Abstract Expressionism? A Paint-Splattered Primer on America’s First Major Art Movement

You don’t need to be an art insider to hear the term “Abstract Expressionists” used to describe the inspiration behind all manner of contemporary painting, but what was the original movement all about? Hint: it’s more than just Jackson Pollock drinking and tossing paint on a canvas. In this brief essay from Phaidon’s Art in Time: […]

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 […]

What Was Fluxus? A Brief Guide to the Irreverent, Groundbreaking Art Movement

Fluxus was a loose confederation of international artists in the 1960s working in performance, painting, sculpture, poetry, experimental music, and even correspondence art (art sent through the postal service). It was often, though not exclusively, political in tone. Fluxus works shared similarities with the “Happenings” of Allan Kaprow, particularly in the way they blurred distinctions […]

Architect Annabelle Selldorf on Why Mega-Galleries Are Transforming Into Mini-Museums

If you are even a casual appreciator of art in New York, the chances are that you have stepped into one of Annabelle Selldorf’s spaces, and been entranced. Perhaps the most coveted architect among the minimalistically inclined art elite, Selldorf has designed a broad spectrum of the city’s art sites, from theNeue Galerie uptown, steeped […]