David Hammons at Mnuchin Gallery: Sellout, or Seer?

After entering a system as powerful and monied as the higher echelons of the art world, how do we gauge the threshold between subversion and endorsement? On the one hand, the biggest beneficiaries of FIVE DECADES seem to have little relationship to or even awareness of the social justice movements and protests that have defined […]

Stephen Colbert Interviewed the Guerrilla Girls

Did anyone catch the Guerrilla Girls’ brief appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert? Masked members of the anonymous feminist art collective gave a short introduction to what they do, and gave some really good answers as to why we should care about what museums collect. When Colbert asked about the important of even noticing […]

A Plea to Art Basel: Leave Miami

As we close out our coverage of Art Basel, a small recommendation for next year’s fairs: Get the hell out of Miami. It may look nice, but not even those with helicopters can avoid the traffic jams, there are never enough cabs and the food and hotel costs are astronomical. People, this is bullshit. Time for […]

Critical Reduction: Jeff Koons at the Whitney

Can money buy critical immunity? It certainly seems so, judging by critics’ response to the Whitney Museum’s retrospective devoted to the most expensive living artist,Jeff Koons. In this week’s edition of Critical Reduction, we boil down eight critics’ takes on the shiny extravaganza, which, befitting of such a divisive artist, tend to be either vividly enthusiastic or vehemently dismissive. […]

Slideshow: The Jeff Koons Retrospective

Art is a “platform for the future,” Jeff Koons announced at yesterday’s press conference at the Whitney. What that means is anyone’s guess, but he followed that up by explaining that he’s 59 and hopes to be making art for at least another three decades. In short, while this may be his first New York […]

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 […]

Is Jordan Wolfson’s Art Meaningless?

“Do you think I’m rich?” asks a male voice. “Yes,” says a female voice. “Do you think I’m a homosexual?” “No.” That exchange is the sole dialogue in Jordan Wolfson’s 14-minute video “Raspberry Poser”, currently projected on massive wall at David Zwirner, and the only clue Wolfson offers to his intentions. That is, if it’s […]

The “Painting Is Dead” Versus “Painting Is Back” List

We’ve been debating painting’s death for centuries now, and it seems we can’t quit. In 1839 the late French painter Paul Delaroche first dared to say those fateful words “painting is dead.” But even now nobody can agree if it’s dead; painting’s been reborn more times than we can count, thanks to critics who declare […]

Almost Human: Richard Serra

For those unaware of Serra’s oeuvre, he’s made a name for himself by creating building-sized metal sculptures that often make you feel a little unbalanced when you’re next to them. He makes Art with a capital A, and most of us art folk are taught in our earliest art-school days that his sculptures evoke awe. […]

Report From Art Basel: A Frenzied Race to Move Monotonous Art

Back-pats were flying at yesterday’s VIP opening of Art Basel Miami Beach. Several booths had already sold out by midday, and there was no shortage of interest from swarms of bees collectors. The fair’s success was summed up by a dealer from Andersen’s Contemporary—a six-year ABMB veteran and Frieze and Armory exhibitor—when he told us, […]

What the Hell Is Food Stamp Art Doing at Art Basel?

Thanks to Paula Cooper Gallery, ABMB visitors have four more days to take in the most offensive artwork in the fair: Meg Webster’s “Food Stamp Table.” Comment:  Paddy Johnson and ArtFCity usually get it right, but not here, we say.  We think these issues do need to be raised, even at an art fair.

Kanye West’s “Bound 2″: Blame It on the Collector Class

Watching Kanye West’s “Bound 2” is about as joyous as romping through a stock photography website. The generic sprawling sunsets, mountain vistas, and gradient backgrounds are airless. Our two protagonists are large as gods, with Kim Kardashian reclining in the buff—though her nipples are airbrushed—playing a human hood ornament atop Kanye West’s motorcycle. These two celebrities, and a […]