artnet News Critics’ Picks: The Most Memorable Artworks of 2016

While 2016 may have been pretty awful on any number of fronts, we have to admit that it also gave us a lot of pretty great art. Consider Maurizio Cattelan alone, who gave us a solid gold toilet to relieve ourselves on at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, a real life donkey, pooping in the tent […]

Real Estate for the 1 Percent, With Art for the Masses

THE sculptor Richard Serra, a stickler about the differences between art and architecture, once described most public sculpture in urban architectural settings as “displaced, homeless, overblown objects that say, ‘We represent modern art.’” For most of the last century, residential and commercial developments in New York City tended to marry architecture and art with that […]

White Light/White Heat: Why Robert Ryman’s Subtle Monochromes Dazzle Anew at Dia

Is Robert Ryman, the master of the white-on-white painting for the past half-century or so, a covert “Light and Space” artist? The Dia Art Foundation’s new exhibition in Chelsea, “Robert Ryman: Real Light, 1958-2007,” certainly encourages us to see him this way—as another example of the California-centric, Minimalism-influenced movement that includes James Turrell, Robert Irwin, […]

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 […]

Anish Kapoor must reconsider – Dirty Corner should be cleaned

Public art often gets scarred by battles over its meaning or right to exist, but the vandals who daubed antisemitic graffiti on his sculpture are idiots who picked the wrong target. Anish Kapoor, it turns out, is not only a brilliant artist but a brave one. Faced with an antisemitic attack on his open-air sculpture […]

See These Awe-Inspiring James Turrell Works Around Europe You Probably Didn’t Know Existed

James Turrell’s work is as instantly recognizable as it is undefinable, existing somewhere between land art, light art, sculpture, and installation. Turrell has been exploring the nature of light and space since the 1960s, and in that time has created works all over the world from Yucatan to Japan, not to mention his yet-unfinished opus […]

A Beijing Temple Restored

YOU NEVER KNOW what you’ll find when you go bicycling in Beijing. Eight years ago, the Belgian entrepreneur Juan van Wassenhove set off from his home in the Chinese capital to pedal around the vanishing hutongs, the labyrinthine alleyways that were once the heart of the ancient city, when he glimpsed what appeared to be the […]