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 […]

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 […]

Curator Nicola Vassell on Her New “Black Eye” Show, and Why the Art World Stays So White

There are two shows currently taking place in New York that regard Obama as a touchstone. The first is Michelle Grabner’s festive floor at the Whitney Biennial, where the president stares with distinguished self-possession into the lens of photographer Daywoud Bey. Young and commanding, this is Obama before the announcement of his candidacy in 2008. The moment marks a progressive […]

Why Art Doesn’t Pay

Over Facebook, I asked an informal question about who pays artists. I wasn’t surprised by the results. Many artists, including those still in school, tend to pay other artists, actors, and writers who’ve assisted with the production of a work. Even those with limited means tend to exchange work, materials, or other barterable goods. Contrast […]

Women of the Art World Unite! Finding Inspiring Heroines From Paris to Art Dubai

March 8 was International Women’s Day, and though few people remember this occasion in America, in Russia we celebrate it as a major national holiday. Every March since my Soviet childhood I was reminded to appreciate all the intelligent and hard-working women who have played a pivotal role in my life and generally made our world […]

Daily Pic: Art’s Favorite Subject

In art schools, there is an ancient rule – maybe first promulgated by Her Worship Marina Abramovic – decreeing that it’s not performance art until a girl takes her clothes off. This is a still from a brand-new six-minute video by Jennifer Bornstein, on view in the Whitney Biennial, that feels as though it’s revisiting that […]