Homage to Mexico: Josef Albers and His Reality-Based Abstraction

A radiant Guggenheim exhibition grounds the proto-Minimalist abstract paintings of Josef Albers in the geometric grandeur of Mesoamerican monuments. Art rarely thrives in a vacuum. It is by definition polyglot and in flux, buffeted by the movement of art objects, goods and people across borders and among cultures, and also by individual passion. This much, […]

What Is Leonardo’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ Really Selling? Cracking the $100 Million da Vinci Code

Jesus saves, but the buyer of da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ will spend—a lot. The signs all point one way: Christie’s upcoming sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s spooky Salvator Mundi is the latest and perhaps most convincing portent that we are living in the End Times. In the Bible, Christ and his apostles held their property in common. Now, this image […]

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 […]

Yayoi Kusama and the Amazing Polka-Dotted, Selfie-Made Journey to Greatness

The artist of “Infinity” rooms has become an Instagram darling.  But two new gallery exhibitions in New York show that she’s much more than that — an almost frighteningly fertile talent. Sometimes I think Yayoi Kusama might be the greatest artist to come out of the 1960s and one of the few, thanks in part […]

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 […]

Jeff Koons Gives it Up to The Masters

Whitewall met with the artist in his sprawling Chelsea studio just days after his “Masters” collection launched for Louis Vuitton, a project he saw as quite public and accessible, too. The special line puts the work of Da Vinci, Titian, Rubens, Fragonard, and Van Gogh on accessories like bags and scarves, touting the name of each master in bold reflective metal […]

An Eye-Popping Mid-Century Apartment Filled With Pollocks, Klines, and de Koonings

If you had Ben Heller’s eye, you’d have picked 50 straight Derby winners, or signed 100 future Hall of Fame ballplayers when they were 17. “When I think of my old apartment on the Upper West Side,” says the tall, spry Heller, who is 91, “even I’m shocked.” In the mid-1950s, the talent he was […]

The Four Horsemen of America’s Apocalypse: Their Work Unearths the Seething Muck Beneath the Shiny Surface of American Culture

The Apocalypse has long been a staple of American film, pulp fiction, popular culture, and high art and literature. Lately it has also been looming large in our political consciousness. From a presidential adviser who is convinced we have entered the fourth and final “turning” in human history to charges by environmentalists that our withdrawal […]

Tehching Hsieh, extreme performance artist: ‘I give you clues to the crime’

The Venice Biennale is hosting the biggest exhibition of work by the Taiwanese artist Marina Abramović calls ‘the master’. “My impression of the Venice Bienniale is that it is the Olympic Games of the arts,” says Tehching Hsieh. “I’m in the category of marathon.” If any artist knows about endurance it is is Hsieh, a […]

What It’s Like to Live With Art That Doesn’t Love You Back

At a time when art is as commodified as oil, a few collectors have chosen to buy works that are messy, perishable and threaten to take over their lives. PAUL LEONG, A YOUNG banker who lives in downtown Manhattan, spends an unusual amount of time thinking about square watermelons. He wonders where to get them, […]

What Is the Most Iconic Artwork of the 21st Century? 14 Art Experts Weigh In

How do you choose one defining artwork for a century still in its adolescence? Some of the art world’s leading figures take their best shot. Want to make an art historian laugh? Ask them to name the most iconic artwork of the 21st century. Turns out, it’s not so easy to single out the most […]

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 […]