‘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 […]

German contemporary art a big draw as artists come to terms with past

Sotheby’s says ‘unprecedented interest’ with buyers tuning in to postwar masters’ attempts to use work to confront history. For years, contemporary art sales at the world’s leading auction houses were dominated by the works of American and British artists. When it came to eye-watering amounts of money, paintings by anglophone figures including Andy Warhol, Jackson […]

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 […]

The false Gods of Dada: on Dada Presentism by Maria Stavrinaki

A new book on the movement draws lessons on the dangers of eclecticism. In the final chapter of the art historian Maria Stavrinaki’s new book, Dada Presentism, she imagines the origin of Dada as an immaculate conception. “Who, in fact, did invent Dada?” she asks. “Everyone and no one.” Amidst the devastation of the First […]

In Search of Lost Time: How the Art World Dispensed With Chronology in 2015 (and Why 2016 Will Be the Year of the “Historical-Contemporary”)

Although it may seem strange to devote a year-end roundup to the subject of atemporality, 2015 found the art world in a state of chronological confusion. The year began, so to speak, in December of 2014 when the Museum of Modern Art opened “The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World,” which ran through […]

Top 10 – Appropriation Artworks

Appropriation art or the art of appropriation is is the use of pre-existing objects or images with little or no transformation applied to them. It follows in the spirit of Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades. The use of appropriation has played a significant role in art throughout the 20th century and has continued as a valid art […]

Artist Imi Knoebel: ‘If you want to stay alive, you have to do something radical’

He kickstarted German punk, went on a mission to rescue Joseph Beuys and escaped the eastern bloc pursued by guard dogs. In a rare interview, one of Germany’s leading artists relives his extraordinary adventures. Imi Knoebel is surrounded by so many colours he has lost count. “I have 600, maybe 700,” he says. They hang […]

Patrick Painter – The Genuine Article

JOHN NEWSOM: So, how did you discover art? What was your ‘eureka’ moment? PATRICK PAINTER: Well, when I was 28, I was living in Paris, and I was working for an insurance company, Metropolitan Life. One day I said to myself, “I don’t know anything about art, so I’m gonna start looking at art.” It’s […]

Take Your Time – New painting at the Museum of Modern Art.

Don’t attend the show seeking easy joys. Few are on offer in the work of the thirteen Americans, three Germans, and one Colombian—nine women and eight men—and those to be found come freighted with rankling self-consciousness or, here and there, a nonchalance that verges on contempt. The ruling insight that Hoptman proposes and the artists […]

Best of 2014: Art

The year hasn’t been short of blockbuster surveys and brilliantly curated displays, as well as smaller, more focused surveys that have been unjustly overlooked but which have proved quietly groundbreaking in their own way. The best exhibitions, which are not, of course, always the ones with the biggest fanfare, nor even the best loans, usually […]

Weight of the World: Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy

There are many sides to the work of the German artist Anselm Kiefer. Those lucky enough to visit his studio complex at Barjac in the South of France encounter a staggering array of installations, underground tunnels, and tottering concrete towers resembling some contemporary equivalent to the fortifications of medieval Tuscany. But wisely, the Royal Academy […]

Anselm Kiefer review – remembrance amid the ruins

Royal Academy, London Anselm Kiefer’s monumental work in ash, straw, diamonds and sunflowers dazzles in a superb retrospective. Only with the help of a blindfold would you be able to wander theRoyal Academy’s stupendous retrospective of his work and leave feeling anything less than drunk with amazement. However much you know about Kiefer, it’s impossible […]

Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy review – ‘an exciting rollercoaster ride of beauty, horror and history’

Born in Germany as the Nazis fell, Anselm Kiefer’s back catalogue is an astonishing look at the awful burden of history. Anselm Kiefer was born in Germany in 1945. A new life can rarely have started in a less promising place and time. To enter the world as the Third Reich fell was to be […]

Anselm Kiefer, Royal Academy, preview: Is he our greatest living artist?

Kiefer’s range seems limitless: the courtyard entrance to the Royal Academy will be dominated by his first ever vitrines for outdoor display, one containing ships, as it were, beached, the other with vessels afloat. The sunflowers are over for another year: the confident golden heads have drooped, their sunny countenances giving way to a black […]

Inside Anselm Kiefer’s astonishing 200-acre art studio

Steampunk shipping containers, planes full of sunflowers and triptychs the size of squash courts – Michael Prodger visits the place that’s produced some of the most extraordinary artworks of the last century. Anselm Kiefer is a bewildering artist to get to grips with. The word that comes up most often when his work is discussed is […]

Why Germany would win the World Cup of modern art too

Beuys, Richter, Kiefer, Polke, Ernst … such a formidable lineup shows up British contemporary artists for the commercial, over-hyped and celebrity focused lightweights that they are. Germany has proved its global footballing eminence by winning the 2014 World Cup, yet soccer is just one of many things Germans excel at. There’s also art. What is the […]

Art Basel Kicks Off With a Big Bang of Serial Sales

BASEL, Switzerland — The 45th edition of Art Basel, Europe’s premier modern and contemporary art fair, opened to an elite group of art world players with a big bang of serial sales, indicating the continuing strength of the global art market. Sterling Ruby’s large-scale “BC (4805)” fabric, glue, paint, dyed canvas on panel abstraction from 2014 […]

Sigmar Polke, Bad Ass of German Pop, Rocks MoMA Senseless

In 1976 I found myself in Düsseldorf, one stop on a mission to gather material for a special “European” issue of Art-Rite magazine (which we never managed to put out). One memorable highlight was a Sigmar Polke exhibition at the Frankfurt Kunsthalle. The entryway was blocked off by wood fencing, probably bought at a garden supply store, but visitors could […]

Found Everything, Tried Everything, All His Own Way

A Sigmar Polke Retrospective Opens at MoMA. Get confused is the first and last message of “Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963-2010” at the Museum of Modern Art. And if you think, as I do, that some degree of continuing bafflement is a healthy reaction to art, this disorienting contact high of a show is for you. Polke, who […]

Art Market Analysis: Sigmar Polke vs. Anselm Kiefer at Auction

In the landmark June 2011 sale at Sotheby’s London, 34 works in the collection of German industrialist Count Christian Duerckheim went up for auction, among them seven paintings by the postwar German artist Sigmar Polke (who had died the year before). Of those paintings, one,Dschungel (Jungle) (1967), brought in $9,245,139, sailing past its high estimate of $6.4 million and […]