The first time I saw Cy Twombly’s aphrodisiacal paintings, I felt the way Patti Smith felt when first hearing the Rolling Stones: “I was doing all my thinking between my legs.” Something unrecognizable and distorted within me quivered. Twombly’s fevered phosphorescent blooms of runny jellyfish chrysanthemums with elongated, pulpy, tentacle-like sacks dripping down; his iridescent […]
Decades after giving up the dream for good, an art critic returns to the work he’d devoted his life to, then abandoned — but never really forgot. It pains me to say it, but I am a failed artist. “Pains me” because nothing in my life has given me the boundless psychic bliss of making […]
It’s all helixed into this: something fantastic, something disastrous. “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective” is upon us. One can’t think of the last 30 years in art without thinking of Koons, a lot. I’ve witnessed this career from very close range. I have seen him transform himself into the Koons hologram we know now; him polishing sculptures […]
For the past 150 years, pretty consistently, art movements moved in thrilling but unmysterious ways. They’d build on the inventions of several extraordinary artists or constellations of artists, gain followings, become what we call a movement or a school, influence everything around them, and then become diluted as they were taken up by more and […]
The past year has seen collectors and auction houses creating their own art market. They’re essentially bypassing dealers, galleries, and critics, identifying artists on their own, buying works by those artists cheaply in great numbers, then flipping them at vastly higher prices to a network of other like-minded speculator-collectors. Thus, we’ve seen the rise of […]
When the Museum of Modern Art wrapped up six months of foregone agonizing and decided to raze the American Folk Art Museum, it claimed to be sacrificing a small work of architecture for the sake of Big Art. MoMA’s prescription for the ideal viewing experience is more galleries, more wall space, more hallways, and bigger lobbies. […]
The Museum of Modern Art is on the march again, advancing westward down 53rd Street, sweeping away the old American Folk Art Museum and planting its flag in the base of a future skyscraper. Only the American Folk Art Museum building, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s twelve-year-old gem, has to go, because, like a cobbler’s […]
The word art barely came up. Maybe that’s why midway through this excruciatingly verbose three-hour closed-door briefing about MoMA’s second major rebuilding in less than ten years, I felt my eyes tear up and my stomach turn.
Instead of catering to carefully selected museums and collectors, auction houses sell to the highest bidder. They find two people who want the same work and get them to bid as high as possible; often those who buy work will only sell it again in two years.
By far the most common topics of discussion and consternation in the art world these days are the four behemoths. Gagosian, Hauser & Wirth, David Zwirner, and Pace are the bull elephants of the field, galleries that galumph everywhere all the time, Hoovering up artists and money and monopolizing attention. Jerry Saltz on the Trouble […]
This was certainly a “performance”, but we are not sure if it was an “art performance”. Perhaps after viewing the Jay-Z video (or as much of the 10+ minutes you can get through), you might want to check out the BAC Link to the Vulture review by respected critic, Jerry Saltz, who often offers a thoughtful […]
How sad. Just twelve years after it was built on W. 53rd Street next to MoMA, the former American Folk Art Museum is going to be torn down by its new owner: MoMA. What’s sad is not that the building is going; it’s that, despite near-universal rave reviews for its architecture, it was doomed to […]