Richard Long review – modern primitive sees the cosmos reflected in mud

The wandering artist’s perennial walks have led him to contemplate sun, moon and stars with the devoted awe of mankind’s early ancestors.  Mud is not a promising medium to draw with. It is dull, thick, unpromising stuff. A muddy drawing sounds like a vague and boring one. Miraculously, however – or maybe just because he’s […]

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 […]

From the Green Market to the Gallery Wall

Karin Sander’s Kitchen Pieces draw your attention to the rhythmic ridges of an acorn squash, the bumpy peel of an orange, and the spiky surface of a yellow dragon fruit. I wanted to write about German artist Karin Sander’s exhibition Kitchen Pieces at Carolina Nitsch in New York from the outset; it’s that novel and striking. The exhibition opened […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Conceptual Art Movements and Examples

The Conceptual art movement is probably the most radical and the most controversial plane in modern and contemporary art. Some artists, experts and art historians even dismiss it as art. Conceptual art is based on the notion that the essence of art is an idea, or concept, and may exist distinct from and in the absence of an object as […]

5 Empowering Artworks (and Exhibitions) Made During the Civil Rights Movement

Ai Weiwei proclaimed that “art is a very important weapon to achieve human freedom.” When examining the civil rights movement, there is no doubt that art played a pivotal role in shaping and advancing the fight for equality. Throughout the era, countless artists reacted to issues of violent racism, segregation, and black identity in the United […]

Back When Painting Was Dead

When Clement Greenberg, Frank Stella, and Donald Judd tried to define what makes a painting, they overlooked a central feature — capaciousness. It is routine to characterize the 1970s as a decade dominated by Conceptual Art, and artists such as Sol LeWitt, Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Kosuth, and Mel Bochner. Part of this thinking is market-driven: […]

Think About It: 9 Masterpieces of Conceptual Art You Need to Know

As explained in Phaidon’s The Art Museum, the world’s most comprehensive exhibition of fine art to be collected and presented in book format (each page is its own gallery room!), Conceptual Art “is not meant to be looked at aesthetically, but to be thought about intellectually.” In the following excerpt, we present 9 distinct approaches to this […]

Shock of the Nude

Turning bodies into paint brushes, Carolee Schneemann’s performances, films and art still startle, as a retrospective at MoMA PS1 shows. Some people in the art world say that #MeToo has gone too far. What modern misogynist will be yanked from museums next? Gauguin? Picasso? I say, sure, why not? Let’s set them aside for awhile, […]

Damien Hirst on his greatest career move – breaking into his neighbour’s home

He was living in a squat and stuck in a creative rut. Then one day, concerned for his neighbour’s safety, he broke into his house. What he found there triggered an artistic explosion. In the early 1980s, I was living in a squat in White Hart Lane with a painter friend, trying to put enough […]

The Artist Questioning Authorship

With ready-made materials and artifacts, Danh Vo’s art recasts the historical events and political ideas that have shaped his world. Danh Vo had just started to gain recognition as a rising young artist when he decided, in 2010, to make a full-scale replica of the Statue of Liberty. He had been offered a one-man show at the Fridericianum, a […]