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 […]

Where the Wild Things Are: China’s Art Dreamers at the Guggenheim

BEIJING — The signature work at “Art and China After 1989,” a highly anticipated show that takes over the Guggenheim on Oct. 6, is a simple table with a see-through dome shaped like the back of a tortoise. On the tabletop hundreds of insects and reptiles — gekkos, locusts, crickets, centipedes and cockroaches – mill about under […]

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 […]

Dick Bellamy: The Man Hiding at the Center of Everything

He was slight and unassuming with a bushy mop of dark hair and deep circles under his eyes hinting at the alcoholic dissipation of a poète maudit. His voice was a suggestive murmur, both musical and raspy from smoking too much. Most people called him Dick. To friends he would announce himself as George, a […]

When Dealers, Too, Were Romantics

“Dealers are as important as the artists themselves,” the gallery owner Leo Castelli once said. “Hecannot exist without us, and we cannot exist without him.” Gendered language aside, Castelli’s remark captures the fragile symbiosis between those who make art and those who sell it. Lately, however, dealers have been having trouble keeping up their end of […]

Rachel Whiteread: ‘It’s my mission to make things more complicated’

The eminent artist has placed a cast of a shed on New York’s Governors Island, evoking both Thoreau and Trump – a blow for art that takes the viewer by stealth. America is a country of imagination and big dreams, some inspired, some twisted. It is the land of liberty, the open and optimistic birthplace […]

WHEN WALTER HOPPS MET ANDY WARHOL AND FRANK STELLA

The innovative, iconoclastic curator Walter Hopps (1932-2005) was one of the most influential figures in mid-to-late-twentieth-century American art. He founded his first gallery in L.A. at the age of twenty-one and, at twenty-four, opened the Ferus Gallery with the artist Ed Kienholz, where they turned the spotlight on a new generation of West Coast artists. […]

‘People Are Too Stupid for Great Art’: Painter Markus Lüpertz on Why the Avant-Garde Will Always Fail

You’re often viewed as controversial—especially in Germany—because of your willingness to address difficult subjects, both in the content of your work and the press. How do you deal with that perception? I can’t really comment on my reputation because the reputation is in no way justified. I’m a peaceful, happy, cheerful, elderly gentleman, except for […]

How to see Marcel Duchamp – with MoMA curator Ann Temkin

Published on 20 Apr 2017 One hundred years ago this month, Marcel Duchamp changed the art world forever by unveiling Fountain—a urinal presented as a “readymade” work of art. MoMA Chief Curator Ann Temkin explains how Duchamp forced us to rethink the role of art and the artist. Watch the video!

Ellsworth Kelly, Abstract to the End

On the eve of his 90th birthday in 2013, Ellsworth Kelly told me that working in his studio in Columbia County was “as exciting for me as ever.” “I have had some physical challenges related to aging, though I accept it,” the painter said. “But it has given me an added surge for continuing to […]

Louise Lawler’s Beguiling Institutional Critique

I remember when photographs by Louise Lawler, currently the subject of a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, first hurt my feelings, some thirty years ago. They pictured paintings by Miró, Pollock, Johns, and Warhol as they appeared in museums, galleries, auction houses, storage spaces, and collectors’ homes. A Miró co-starred with its own reflection in […]

Vito Acconci, Transgressive Progenitor of Performance Art, Dies at 77

The Bronx-born artist came to fame in the 1970s with an array of unsettling work. Vito Acconci, a towering figure with influences on both performance art and experimental architecture, has died at the age of 77. A cause of death has not been confirmed by the estate. Born in the Bronx in 1940, Acconci worked as […]

Vito Acconci, Performance Artist and Uncommon Architect, Dies at 77

Vito Acconci, a father of performance and video art and a shamanistic, poetic, deeply influential force on the New York art scene for decades, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 77. Some performances might have gotten him arrested, though Mr. Acconci also seemed to possess the instincts of a cat burglar. In one of […]

‘What Next?’ an Uncertain Art World Asks, Sticking to Proven Brands

LONDON — The art market is almost as old as art itself. But it’s only in the last decade or so, with increased globalization, digitization and the rise of art as a multibillion-dollar investment vehicle, that the market has been viewed as an industry. And where there is industry, conferences are sure to follow. On […]

A Whole Century Later, The Duchamp Fountain is Still Shaking up the Art World

Can One Make Works That Are Not “Works” of Art? This was a question asked by Duchamp in his notes from 1913, and remains being the essential question while considering the Richard Mutt Case. Exactly one hundred years ago, in 1917, the course of art history has been completely changed by a submission of a urinal […]

Censorship, Not the Painting, Must Go: On Dana Schutz’s Image of Emmett Till

Presuming that calls for censorship and destruction constitute a legitimate response to perceived injustice leads us down a very dark path. The presence of blackness in a Whitney Biennial invariably stirs controversy — it’s deemed to be unfit or not enough, or too much. The current Whitney Biennial is no exception — the art press […]

Should Art That Infuriates Be Removed?

We all encounter art we don’t like, that upsets and infuriates us. This doesn’t deserve to be exhibited, our brains yell; it should not be allowed to exist. Still, does such aversion mean that an artwork must be removed from view — or, worse, destroyed? This question has been at the heart of the controversy […]

Odd Man in: The Sculptor Robert Morris, at 86, Is Still Blazing Trails

During his long, illustrious career, Robert Morris has constructed sculptures that startle, question, challenge and flout expectations. Since the early 1960s, he has made, in a range of materials, spare, geometric forms; Dada-like objects; ephemeral works; land art; environments with sound systems that play scripted narratives; proto-selfies; dramatic pastel pictures with elaborate sculpted frames; performance […]

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 […]