Identifying the Artists on Morley Safer’s Segment, One Bon Mot at a Time

Ryan McGinley video at Team Gallery at Art Basel Miami (Still from 60 Minutes)

In all the hubbub over Morley Safer’s segment on 60 Minutes in which he trashes the art world on a visit to Art Basel Miami Beach, a follow-up to his 1993 dig at the industry, one thing we haven’t heard much of, at least not from Mr. Safer, is the names of the artists he shows in his segment—like Ryan McGinley, who made the video of a scantily clad woman holding a make-shift blowtorch, or Mike Kelley, responsible for the installation of sewn stuffed animals and Jennifer Rubell, whose interactive life-size sculpture of Prince William makes an appearance. And while Mr. Safer presents these works as emblems of his confusion and dismay at what has become of the art world, we can’t help think what a thrill it is to see Paul McCarthy’s large pink sculpture of a libidinous dwarf, White Snow Dwarf (Bashful), on national broadcast television. Savoring the moment with a few more artists, here’s a breakdown of some more work we found in the segment, each one paired with one of Mr. Safer’s signature bon mots at the time of their appearance. Read More


It Figures: Whiting Tennis at Derek Eller Gallery and Will Ryman at Paul Kasmin Gallery

'Wilderness Painting' (2011) by Whiting Tennis. Acrylic and collage on canvas, 96 x 108 in. (Courtesy the artist and Derek Eller Gallery)

What united the paintings, drawings, sculpture, and collage of the recent Whiting Tennis show at Derek Eller Gallery was a kind of capillary motion. A step-by-step, fire-brigade method for building mass and covering space, it looked something like a rigorous materialism put in the service of an off-camera but serenely confident faith.

Blue Cactus is a five and a half foot tall acrylic and collage portrait of a highly abstracted, three-branched, denim-colored figure resting on tiny brown sofa legs. The sky behind it is painted in short, jutting, overlapping strokes of gray and blue, all of which could pass for both patches of sky and patches of sky between clouds; the ground beneath it in sharper-edged panels of brown and tan that recede dramatically upward with a jocular Cubist exaggeration; and the cactus itself in white-speckled blue geometric sections that only become figurative in concert with one another. Read More

Look at This!

Look at This! Will Ryman at Paul Kasmin

7 Photos

Jeans of the 'Everyman'

Make sure you stop by Paul Kasmin this Thursday for Will Ryman’s first exhibition with the gallery, “Anyone and No One.” The show offers two large installations and is spread across the gallery’s two locations: sure to be quite the spectacle!

Mr. Ryman is a large-scale sculptor best known for his work The Roses, which Read More