Sarah Sze and More in Tonight’s Premiere of ‘Art in the 21st Century’ Season 6

Still from 'Art in the 21st Century' (Courtesy PBS)

Tonight, Art in the 21st Century, the Peabody Award-winning television series which profiles 13 artists in four hour-long episodes, premieres on PBS at 9:00 p.m. EST. This season, the show—grouped into the episodes “Change,” “Balance,” “History” and “Boundaries”—will feature performance artist Marina Abramovic, art collective Assume Vivid Astro Focus, known for its carnivalesque installations (like the one it created for a 2008 exhibition at Deitch Projects), abstract artist Lynda Benglis, whose brightly-colored sculptures in poured latex and foam were exhibited at the New Museum last year, outspoken artist and human rights activist Ai Weiwei and Sarah Sze who will represent the United States at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Read More

performance art

Marina Abramović, Both the Stanislavski and Duchamp of Performance Art

Ms. Abramovic. Falcon's name not known.

Speaking with the Huffington Post about her performance institute being built in Hudson, N.Y., Marina Abramović said, “[The institute is meant] really to educate the public and the audience more about performance, to leave as my concept what I’m going to call the Abramović method. In theater there is [the] Stanislavski method, but now in performance, it’s going to be the Abramović method.” Read More


A Trend? Archery in Art

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Robert Elfgen, das kritisierte bild (criticized the picture), 2012, at Sprüth Magers at the Independent

Last night at the Independent, a luscious purple painting by Robert Elfgen caught our eye in Sprüth Magers’ section. Dated 2012, its titled das kritisierte bild, which translates from the German to something like “criticized the picture.” Despite its title, this is no academic exercise. Mr. Elfgen actually shot the fabric painting with an arrow. But he Read More


Charles Atlas’s Long-Awaited Show Opens at Luhring Augustine Bushwick


“I’m speechless,” said Ryan Estep, a visitor at the opening of “The Illusion of Democracy,” Charles Atlas’s show at Luhring Augustine Friday night. Mr. Estep was standing in front of Plato’s Alley, a 2008 video work by Mr. Atlas, comprised of a black and white projection of a grid of rapidly flashing numbers. The video was cast across several walls of a nook in the gallery the size of a small bedroom. An artist and art handler who works at a Chelsea gallery and lives in Bushwick, Mr. Estep was one of the first visitors to the show. He seemed mesmerized. “Things are coming toward me and receding. I’m blown away.” Read More


Marina Abramovic Threw a Crazy Sundance Party

Ms. Abramovic and Mr. Redford, at the party. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Performance artist grand dame Marina Abramovic got it into her head to throw a “silent” party in Sundance and wouldn’t you know it but the thing turned out to be quite the shindig. New York‘s Jada Yuan reports!

Everyone wore white lab coats and noise-canceling headphones. After an hour, the headphones came off.

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This Happened

Losing Our Appetites: Pictures from Marina Abramovic’s MOCA Gala

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MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, Ms. Abramovic, Tilda Swinton, Ms. Bell.

Marina Abramovic made performance art mainstream with her Museum of Modern Art retrospective “The Artist is Present.” If you’ll recall, this was when people lined up for hours in MoMA’s atrium to take a seat across from Ms. Abramovic and stare, a gesture at the artist’s contradictory celebrity and public persona. (Would audiences stand in line to simply stare at Tino Seghal? Or Terence Koh? We think they’d have to work a bit harder.) Read More

This Happened

Naked as They Came: Eating With Nudes at Marina Abramovic’s LA MOCA Gala Performance

A table centerpiece by Marina Abramovic

“I think we’re going to leave. My friend fainted.”

That was the very first comment The Observer overheard as we headed into the entertainment portion of our program at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art’s annual gala on Saturday night.

[See photos of the event here.]

Cocktail hour at the gala had been relatively tame—everyone milling about, chatting each other up and giving each other the up-and-down—outfits are important at this event. Dita Von Teese was resplendent in Gaultier haute couture, while Minnie Driver went contemporary in a Douglas Hannant Andy Warhol camouflage number with Pomellato jewelry – yet she was just as va-va-voom as the diminutive burlesque star. Art patron Mandy Einstein cut a lithe figure in black Thierry Mugler and artist Rosson Crow looked like a happy cake topper in light peach vintage Don Loper. Gwen Stefani—sans husband Gavin—was a standout, and perhaps the centerpiece of this precursor to the evening’s big event… which is to say: dinner. To which, at that moment, we were summoned… Read More


Rainer Assails Abramovic Over Planned MOCA Gala-as-Artwork

Yvonne Rainer.

Choreographer Yvonne Rainer has written a letter to Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles director Jeffrey Deitch, slamming his museum’s Marina Abramovic-organized gala, which is scheduled to occur tomorrow evening, as a “grotesque spectacle promises to be truly embarrassing.” The letter, which critic Claudia La Rocco has published in full on her blog, is co-signed by choreographer Taisha Paggett and art historian Douglas Crimp.

Update: 2 p.m.: The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Ms. Rainer said last night that she had not decided whether to send the letter, so it is not clear if the circulating letter is a final draft. Ms. Rainer has not been available for comment. Read More