Kerry James Marshall: ‘As an artist, everything should be a challenge’

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Kerry James Marshall taught himself to draw and made his first paintings in Harlem YMCA. As a major retrospective opens in LA, he talks about taking on the Old Masters. The day before the crowds get in to his critically praised retrospective, Kerry James Marshall is walking around the Museum of […]

Details Released for Geoffrey Farmer’s Venice Biennale Project

Allen Ginsberg. A train accident. Intergenerational trauma. Aspects of all of these elements will converge in Geoffrey Farmer’s upcoming project at the Venice Biennale’s Canada Pavilion, according to details recently released to the media. A major impetus for the project comes from two photographs forwarded to the artist by his sister in April 2016. Farmer states […]

As Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ Turns 100: 14 Iconic Artworks It Inspired

Discover the enduring legacy of the readymade in works by Manzoni, Koons, Hirst, Emin … Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain hardly needs an introduction. Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the work was originally submitted for display at the 1917 exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in New York City. Famously rejected by the committee, Duchamp instead exhibited the work at Alfred […]

From Seminal Fluid to Sassy Scribbles: The “Non-Art” Works of Marcel Duchamp

Even after digesting this considerable amount of ostensibly transitory disclosure, Duchamp remains an unadulterated, irreverent enigma. While his readymades are a triumph of pure indifference over taste, admirers of Marcel Duchamp continue to be far from indifferent to this cryptic artist. By offering more than homage, Elena Filipovic’s The Apparently Marginal Activities of Marcel Duchamp, […]

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 […]

In Elegant Reposte to Trump’s Travel Order, MoMA Installs Works by Artists from Banned Muslim Countries

Less than a week after President Trump signed an executive order banning citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States, the Museum of Modern Art in New York has responded by installing a dozen works by artists from those countries, including the late Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid, the Sudanese master Ibrahim El-Salahi, and the young Iranian […]

Why Courbet’s The Origin of the World is so popular—and it’s not what you think

Our most-read story of 2016 was about Facebook’s legal battle over the French master’s work. Here’s why it still causes a stir, 100 years on. Gustave Courbet’s The Origin of the World (1866) a painting of a woman’s “lower groin” (bas-ventre), as the writer Edmond de Goncourt coyly described it in June 1889, is as […]

How the artist Robert Rauschenberg got his goat

Swedish conservators allow Monogram to travel to London, New York and San Francisco for a major traveling survey. When the US artist and animal lover Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) saw a stuffed Angora goat in the window of a junk shop near his New York studio in 1955, he knew he had to have it. The […]

DADA Manifesto Explained – Hugo Ball Versus Tristan Tzara

As in every human endeavor when two strong personalities meet, opinions may clash and an argument often ensues. The same applies to the art world. Dada Manifesto is not a singular writing; over the years several were made, including perhaps the best-known by Hugo Ball and Tristan Tzara. Ball wrote his manifesto in 1916, and […]

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 […]

Cubist Paintings That Change the View of Modern Art

Heralded as the most innovative and instrumental avant-garde movement, Cubism aggressively confronted Western core conceptions of pictorial representation. Cubist paintings introduced the most revolutionary chapter of art history, instigating a genuine cultural awakening. Representatives of this movement, namely Picasso and Georges Braque, aimed to revitalize the tired standards of art which they believed had run […]

Anish Kapoor is Banned From Buying the World’s Pinkest Paint

Earlier this year it was revealed that sculptor and color-hoarder Anish Kapoor had been given exclusive rights to the blackest black in the world. Called Vantablack it was developed by British company NanoSystem—specialists in nanomaterials—who created it for military and scientific uses. However, after Kapoor contacted the company he was allowed to be the only […]

Yves Klein review – all things blithe, beautiful and blue

Tate Liverpool Klein anticipated pop art with his spirit of mockery and fun, but there was more to the French artist than painting with naked women, as this rare show reveals. Yves Klein was a joker, a thinker and an extreme provocateur. In his dragonfly life – born in 1928, dead of heart failure at […]

Tino Sehgal Dances Across the Line Between Art and Life

Sehgal’s latest work will likely go down as one of the 21st century’s most interesting hybrids between contemporary art and dance. I came for one reason and one reason only: to see if Sehgal, 40, recipient of this year’s Hans-Molfenter-Preis, could successfully make the exodus from contemporary art back into ballet. Numerous connections to other […]

Philippe Parreno – Person of Interest

Close-shaven and bald, Parreno wears woven bracelets on his right wrist and has the words “do so” tattooed on his left, a reference to the hypnotherapist Milton Erickson’s theories of self-empowerment. He is shy and serious, with an ironic sense of humor so subtle it is easy to miss, and he follows many of his […]

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 […]

Thumbs up to David Shrigley’s fabulously feel-bad fourth plinth

David Shrigley is a mordant and rueful artist. I have a postcard by him that says DEATH in letters that get smaller from left to right, pithily expressing our doom as a diminishing scribble. His take on existence veers between the grimly comic and the cynically absurdist. It is therefore hard to take him entirely […]

Is this the very first readymade?

Three million years before Duchamp, an ape-like humanoid in Africa found a stone that is now going on display for the first time at the British Museum.  When Marcel Duchamp turned a urinal into art just by declaring it so, he steered the history of art on an entirely new, conceptual course. But the lineage […]

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 […]

Who’s Afraid of Conceptual Art?

Dr James Fox has never really got conceptual art. And he’s not alone. Conceptual art has been treated with suspicion and incredulity by virtually everyone outside the art world for nearly a hundred years. Ever since Marcel Duchamp first displayed a signed urinal and claimed it was art in 1917.  So was he taking the […]