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 […]

An Artist’s Mythic Rebellion for the Venice Biennale

Mark Bradford’s concern: How can he represent the United States when he no longer feels represented by his government? Sitting on a crate, his long legs extended, Mr. Bradford, 55, was confronting a pressing concern beyond exhibition plans: How can he represent the United States abroad at a time when — as a black, gay […]

Art Goes Political, but Will That Fly on the London Market?

This will be remembered as a year when art got seriously political. The Whitney Biennial in New York and the inaugural Athens edition of Documenta are just two of the high-profile exhibitions trying to convey and confront the tumult of our times. Dana Schutz’s painting “Open Casket,” showing the mutilated corpse of Emmett Till, the […]

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 […]

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 […]

In the Caves of Ancient Humans, Stories Told Dot by Dot – Pointillism?

In 1884, Georges Seurat strategically placed dots atop a canvas, leading people to believe they were looking at an image of park-goers lounging along the Seine River in France. The technique was known as pointillism, and it seemed new at the time. But 38,000 years ago, people living inside caves in southwest France were doing […]

The Controversial Artist Who Just Won’t Go Away

Julian Schnabel has occupied many roles through the years: the default figurehead of the star-studded 1980s art world; the fall guy for that era’s particular brand of monied hedonism; an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker; for some, the greatest painter of his time — and others, the most overrated. He’s experienced ups and downs with critical and […]

Here Comes the Whitney Biennial, Reflecting the Tumult of the Times

FOR the first time in 20 years, the lead-up to the Whitney Biennial coincided with the presidential election, a background that could not help but inform the selection of artists and artwork that will be on view when the biennial opens on March 17, the first in the museum’s new downtown building. “An election year […]

How the Artist Adrian Ghenie Became an Auction Star

Many say it was the 2011 exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi museum in Venice that first ignited art buyers’ interest in a young Romanian artist named Adrian Ghenie, whose heavy palette-knife paintings are haunted by historical figures like Stalin, Hitler and the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. Then, in 2015, Mr. Ghenie drew more attention when […]

Mark Rothko’s Dark Palette Illuminated

One evening in 1968, Mark Rothko regaled the art dealer Arne Glimcher, who had dropped by his studio on his way home from Pace Gallery in New York, with the story of a visit from a collector that day. Pointing to an enormous painting of dark blue and black rectangles floating on a deep burgundy […]

Kerry James Marshall’s Paintings Show What It Means to Be Black in America

People say we’re in the middle of a second civil rights movement, and we are. The only surprise is that the first one ever ended. The artistKerry James Marshall was there for it. He was just a kid then, born in Birmingham, Ala., in 1955. But kids take in a lot. He was in Birmingham […]

For Art Dealers, the Place to Be Is Still London

These are early days, but the Hieronymus Bosch vision of a socioeconomic apocalypse that many feared would follow Britain’s June 23 vote to leave the European Union has yet to materialize.  True, the pound has lost about 10 percent of its value against other major currencies, and a huge amount of political uncertainty still remains, […]

A Bridge from Moscow to Paris: 130 Works of Modern Art

This fall, “Icons of Modern Art” at the Louis Vuitton Foundation may be the show that takes Paris by storm. No fewer than 130 paintings by Monet, Picasso, Matisse, Gauguin and Derain, among many others, from the collection of the renowned Russian cultural figure Sergei Shchukin will hang on the walls of this museum by […]

Apocalyps Now: MoMA’s Bruce Connor’s Show is Mind-Blowingly Good

The Museum of Modern Art has wisely advertised its Bruce Conner retrospectivewith an image of Bombhead, a 1989/2002 print in which an army general’s head is replaced with a mushroom cloud. This is a show that promises to blow your mind, and it lives up to that threat. Trippy, disturbing, entertaining, and whimsical all at […]

At Seattle Art Fair, the Interaction Between Technology and Modern Life

The Seattle Art Fair, started last year by Paul G. Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, has a proud inner geek.  But like Mr. Allen himself, who has fingerprints on much of the city’s explosion of growth, geekiness only touches the surface. Through a real estate development arm of his company, Vulcan Inc., he is building […]

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 […]

Champions of a Monster Polaroid Yield to the Digital World

Over the last eight years, as cameras have become smaller and smaller — tiny enough to fit on a pair of glasses or inside a swallowable pill —John Reuter has been working to stave off extinction of one of the largest cameras ever made, so big and irredeemably analog that it feels, he says, “as […]

Martin Creed’s Anti-Spectacle at the Park Avenue Armory

A kind of extended happening, or maybe a series of short ones, has gently taken over the Park Avenue Armory, one of the architectural gems of New York. Numerous moving parts, animate and inanimate, are involved, and they are all the doing of the British maverick Martin Creed, the first artist to be given the […]