The Evolution of Art: Artworks That Advanced Our Understanding of the Medium, Part I

Today, art can be almost anything. But there was a time in the not-so-distant past when abstraction was inconceivable, and it was believed that art could only represent something that already existed in the real world. There was a time when an object couldn’t be considered art unless it showed evidence of the artist’s touch. And until […]

The 10 Most Controversial Art Projects of the Last Century

Has much changed since Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain? The art world is no stranger to the gasp-inducing project or performance: in fact, it seems at times to thrive on it. In these dog days of summer, when the art world slows down and the tumbleweeds approach Chelsea, we’re excited to hear that provocative exhibitions are still […]

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 […]

Installation of Richard Serra’s Sculpture “Sequence” @ SFMoMA

Follow Richard Serra’s to it recent installation at SF MoMA. Watch the video – make it BIG and turn on the volume.

Can a Giant New Museum Make San Francisco an Art Capital?

If you build it, they will come. Or that’s what the board at the San Francisco Museum of Art is betting on. This week, the 81-year-old institution opens its doors after a three-year renovation, gifting the West Coast with a world-class collection that would make MoMA blush. Sure, you can see Richard Serra in New […]

Richard Serra’s Steel Behemoths Get Into Your Head

Richard Serra may have his ideological detractors, but he is certainly today’s greatest living sculptor of Minimalist abstraction. Exhibitions of new works occupying Gagosian Gallery’s two Chelsea display spaces find Mr. Serra at 76 still wrangling fundamentals of shape, space, gravity and time into objects and installations of thrilling severity. The most arresting piece at […]

Richard Serra’s 10 Most Expensive Artworks at Auction

Iconoclastic American artist Richard Serra launched an exhibition of his latest steel behemoths at Gagosian Gallery in New York this past Saturday, featuring four new works: Above Below Betwixt Between,Every Which Way, Silence (for John Cage), and Through. It’s the thirtieth big show at the gallery for the artist, who splits his time between New York and Nova Scotia. Suffice it to say, the […]

The Art of Larry Gagosian’s Empire

“CAN WE QUICKEN this up?” It’s lunchtime in New York and Larry Gagosian is hungry. It’s time for supper—or at least aperitifs—in Europe, where he recently did a three-week working tour of France, England, Germany and Switzerland, and it’s breakfast in Los Angeles, where last week he hosted his annual pre-Oscars opening at his Beverly […]

4 Ways Snøhetta’s SFMoMA Expansion Changes the Way You View Art

SAN FRANCISCO — Viewed head-on, the newly-expanded San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) presents an odd progression of landmark architectural styles in no chronological order. First up is SFMoMA’s original home, a 1995 postmodernist red-brick building by the Swiss architect Mario Botta. Behind Botta is San Francisco’s very first skyscraper, Timothy Pflueger’s 1925 Art […]

Review: Drips, Dropped: Pollock and His Impact

Any exhibition of older art drawn from a museum’s permanent collection is a palm held out for us to read, a snapshot of the museum’s sense of its role over time, its present ambitions and its view of art history. Place two such exhibitions side by side and an especially intense and revealing frisson can […]

Ellsworth Kelly on His Singular Career, and the “Great Joy” of His Art – Video

A towering figure of the postwar era, Ellsworth Kelly charted a singular and often solitary artistic path. He ventured to Europe twice—first as a camoufleur for the Ghost Army during World War II, then as a questing painter on the G.I. Bill—and brought back a bright and lively new style of American painting, seductive in […]

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 […]

An Introduction to Process Art (Or, How Minimalism Went From Pretty to Gritty)

The common refrain, “It’s the journey, not the destination,” could make a perfect catchphrase for Process Art. A movement that arose in the 1960s and ’70s and has since expanded in definition to describe a general philosophical approach to making art, Process Art places its emphasis on the process and act of artistic creation rather than the […]

Some Thoughts About Richard Serra and Martin Puryear (Part 2: Puryear)

From the outset of his career, Puryear refused to give up what he knew and studied in order to align his work with the prevailing aesthetic. Some people believe they should do whatever it takes to fit in, while others accept that they will never fit in and do not try. There is the assimilationist […]

Some Thoughts About Richard Serra and Martin Puryear (Part 1: Serra)

Quotes from Richard Serra: “Art is not democratic. It is not for the people.” “My sculptures are not objects for the viewer to stop and stare at. The historical purpose of placing sculpture on a pedestal was to establish a separation between the sculpture and the viewer. I am interested in creating a behavioral space […]

Giant Bronze Babies Make Qataris Queasy as Nation Gorges on Art

Seventy kilometers west of Doha lies the Brouq Nature Reserve, a sand spit in the Gulf of Bahrain where Qataris like to camp and wax nostalgic about their grandparents’ nomadic Bedouin lifestyle. To get there, you drive an hour along a highway bordered by electrical towers and plastic barriers that prevent blowing sand from drifting […]

10 Exhibitions That Changed the Course of Contemporary Art

If the title of Jens Hoffmann‘s latest exhibition. “Other Primary Structures,” rings a bell, it’s because it’s a revisiting one of the most important American art exhibitions of the 20th century: “Primary Structures: Younger American and British Sculptors,” the 1966 exhibition organized at the same museum by the pathbreaking curator Kynaston McShine that changed the aesthetic course of American art. […]

Phyllida Barlow: Dock, Tate Britain

A joyous celebration of ad hoc creativity fills the Duveen Galleries. The revamping of Tate Britain has produced such an atmosphere of understated elegance that one hardly dares breathe for fear of displacing a particle of dust. An air of suffocating sterility has seeped into the displays, which are so tastefully arranged that even the […]

Why Gagosian is the Starbucks of the art world – and the saviour

Art dealer Larry Gagosian pushes the best work – Richard Serra, Cy Twombly, Richard Wright, Urs Fischer – and fills the gap in our public galleries with real taste and belief.Is the Gagosian empire like the Starbucks of contemporary art? A megalomaniac attempt to corner the art market? It may seem so, but this chain store of […]

A Squiggly, Neon-Lit Guide to Post-Minimalism

More so than Post-Impressionism or Post-Modernism, the genre of art known as Post-Minimalism is a particularly squirrely one to wrap one’s mind around—after all, what is there beyond Minimalism’s elegant reduction of art to pure form? The critic Roberta Smith may have put it best a few years ago when she described it as “that unruly early ’70s mix of Conceptual,Process, […]