When Hurricane Sandy hit earlier this year, it delayed the opening of a Francis Alÿs show at David Zwirner. Thankfully, the gallery has repaired the space, and will present his work on Jan. 10. In this week’s New Yorker, Julie Belcove wanders around Manhattan with Mr. Alÿs as he looks for his doppelgänger. (Sort of a confusing thing: best to just read the story.) In the piece, the artist talks a bit about the strange, small paintings that he made in Afghanistan recently. Some were presented at Documenta 13 this summer in Kassel, Germany, and were at Zwirner when it flooded during the hurricane.
2012 in review
James Panero asks, “What’s a museum?” The piece includes an epic history of Western art museums. [The New Criterion]
Ariella Budick looks back on the 1913 Armory Show. [FT via @TheArmoryShow]
In Chongqing, China, pirate architects are constructing a copy of a Zaha Hadid building now under construction in Beijing. The pirates may finish first. [Spiegel Online]
It has been an exciting year for architecture in the city, with bold projects unveiled and getting underway: the new Cornell tech campus by Thom Mayne and SOM, a vastly re-imagined (and boldly so) Hudson Yards and modular housing getting off the ground at Atlantic Yards.
But in terms of actual new, completed projects, 2012 has been a lean year. This is largely the fault of the recession. Downturns tend to stifle development generally, but especially when the heart of the slow down is a real estate bubble. Design can actually be at its best just after the bubble bursts, and the gaudiest visions are getting wrapped up. And so, there are no Frank Gehry towers or Diller, Scofidio + Renfro cultural confections this year.
Karen Rosenberg reviews Ed Ruscha’s current show at Gagosian’s West 24th Street branch in Chelsea. “[H]e approaches books in the manner of a nose-to-tail chef,” she writes, “using parts of them that are often overlooked and underappreciated, the spines and endpapers and edging.” [NYT]
Allese Thomson on Pati Hertling’s talk about salons at the New Museum, “Paris was a Woman. The Future is a Cloud.” [Artforum]
A 2,750-year-old temple has been discovered in Jerusalem. [NBC News]
The New York Post is reporting today that photographer David LaChapelle is suing Fred Torres, his former manager, alleging that he is owed more than $2.8 million in proceeds from sales of his works.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27
Screening: Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom at MoMA
Released in 1975, the year that Pasolini was murdered, Salò, which is based on the Marquis de Sade’s book 120 Days of Sodom, tells the story, in graphic detail, of Italian fascists abusing and humiliating a group of young people after the fall of Mussolini. It’s not exactly easy watching—it’s banned in several countries—but it is bravely unflinching in its dark, prescient vision. (MoMA’s Pasolini retrospective runs through Jan. 5.)
“‘I was a pretty pretentious kid,’ [Nate Lowman] said, speaking of his childhood on the West Coast, as he moved from the studio on Franklin Street to the messy loft upstairs where he lives, with the blinds mostly drawn. ‘I was always making art.'” [NYT]
Archaeologists in Rome have discovered a 900-seat arts center built by the emperor Hadrian in 123. [The Guardian]
In case you missed it: Gary Carrion-Murayari, curator at the New Museum, and Karen Wong, deputy director there, blogged about their visit to Miami Basel. Mr. Carrion-Murayari gives a shout-out to the wonderful Daniel McDonald assemblage—a witch mask on a green violin—that Audio Visual Arts had on view at NADA. [Six Degrees]
Ann Landi looks at the history of modern artists destroying their work. Says Pat Steir, “Agnes Martin told me, in 1971, if you don’t like a work, throw it away the way you would throw away a bad friendship.” [ARTnews]
Here’s an article about conserving contemporary art. Asked about how collectors and institutions can work to make sure his work survives, Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn explained, “My art is made for eternity.” [Swissinfo]
“Nowadays there are only two professional uses for a handsaw. You can put it on your knee and play it, or you can lay it flat and paint it, which is what Rico Solinas does.” [San Francisco Chronicle]
The Times profiles Steven A. Cohen, and an acquaintance recalls the collector’s keen interest in Warhol’s Mao paintings. From the story: “The thinking was, ‘there will be a lot of Chinese billionaires someday,’ a former SAC trader says.” [NYT]
Frederik Balfour reports that the Chinese government has said that Warhol’s portraits of Mao will not be allowed to go on view when a traveling show organized by Pittsburgh’s Warhol Museum visits mainland China. [Bloomberg]
Tracey Emin: “No one had sex on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the last time I had sex the person came so quickly.” [Artforum]
Following news that Simon de Pury is stepping down today as chairman of Phillips de Pury & Company, a colleague pointed out that this would be a fine time to revisit the auctioneer’s foray into music videos a few years ago. (See below.) Here’s hoping that Mr. de Pury, who’s also moonlighted as a DJ and reality-show star, can now find some more time for his musical endeavors.