Could it be an art world trend occasioned by the special effects of films like Avatar and The Avengers? A few months ago, rising star Trisha Baga had visitors at Greene Naftali don 3D glasses to better experience her complex installations and slide projections. Last fall, Christie’s made the somewhat tenuous claim that Warhol’s 1962 “3D painting” of the Statue of Liberty was meant to be viewed through 3D glasses, and it dutifully doled them out to prospective buyers and looky-loos alike. Now, at David Zwirner, 3D glasses are provided for viewing superstar German photographer Thomas Ruff’s recent “ma.r.s.” series. Grab a pair from the box near the entrance and enjoy the aerial views of the red planet, originally captured by NASA. In 3D-ma.r.s. 10 (2013), the planet’s carbuncular surface seems to pop right into the gallery. Move around it and the irregular bumps shift and stretch, appearing to follow you. Put the glasses on backward to reverse what recedes and what protrudes—the enormous crater dominating 3D-ma.r.s.09 (2013) will stick out like a Bundt cake. Read More
“NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star” opens at the New Museum on Feb. 13 and runs through May 26.
I remember 1973 well enough. I had graduated college the year before and moved downtown into a Tribeca loft ($220 a month) and, along with two pals, had started my own art magazine, using after hours the facilities of my day job, which was doing paste-up for The Jewish Week. I earned $6 an hour and had more money than I knew what to do with.
I remember 1983, because that was the time of the East Village, when I lived on Ludlow Street (rent $150), was art editor of the East Village Eye, and showed, at Metro Pictures gallery in Soho, paintings of people kissing.
And I remember 2003, though I don’t really have to, since by then Artnet Magazine was up and running; pretty much everything I had going on is archived online. Read More
Before Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen sent his version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream to the auction block at Sotheby’s New York in May, where it sold for $120 million, he spoke to the press about what he thought the work meant. At the time, Mr. Olsen’s pronouncements sounded, at least to me, a little bit off. The Scream, we’re all taught, is about existential angst, the individual crying out, alone in the universe, but Mr. Olsen, who’d lived with the work his entire life, had a more expansive view. Read More
As hard as it is to believe—weren’t we just on Randall’s Island for Frieze?—the New York art season has officially begun. The first real event came last Tuesday with the premiere of Olaf Breuning’s film Home 3, a gloriously unhinged panegyric to the city, at Soho’s Swiss Institute. It was drizzling, so PR reps were outfitted in Jabba the Hutt ponchos, welcoming everyone back together after their time away, their trips to Basel, Kassel, Genk, Amagansett.
But things really began in earnest on Thursday evening in Chelsea with the first opening receptions of the year. Throngs took to the Chelsea streets. (Doesn’t it feel a little bit more crowded every year?) Hope always springs eternal among the city’s art types in September, but people seemed especially ebullient this go-’round. Read More
Last week, following Margo Leavin Gallery’s announcement that it plans to close after more than 40 years in Los Angeles, we asked readers to respond to Leavin director Wendy Brandow’s assertion that the public’s interest in gallery exhibitions has declined. She told the Los Angeles Times:
“People are approaching art differently today. They’re not seeking out the thoughtful, complete statement that artists make when they create gallery exhibitions. … The exhibitions have been such an important part of what we do, and they are no longer valued as much by the public.”
This week, the 13th edition of Documenta, the art festival that arrives every five years in the small German city of Kassel, opens to the public, and over the course of its 100-day run it is expected to attract more than 750,000 visitors. One of the international art world’s most serious, intellectual affairs, it used to attract a fraction of that number—art insiders on the pilgrimage route. But the audience for avant-garde art has expanded. Once a rarefied, remote realm of culture, contemporary art is now dead center; for proof, consider that George Condo had his New Museum retrospective after doing a Kanye West record cover. Read More
I’ve always favored macho art, art that packs a solid dose of testosterone. My art collecting alter ego, whom I’ve dubbed Duc Jean des Esseintes, and who has curated the inaugural exhibition at my new gallery, Venus Over Manhattan, also preferred big, bold statements—large outdoor sculptures, super-sized paintings, almost anything oversized and impractical. Des Esseintes’s exhibition, called “À Rebours,” is named for and based on a 19th-century novel that describes Des Esseintes’s strange life of art collecting and indulgence, as well as his obsessions with poetry, absinthe and decadence. In his/my show, artworks by French 19th-century symbolist masters are intermingled with those of contemporary artists young and old, in ways both tasteful and tasteless. Read More
It’s been just about exactly 10 years since Belgian artist Wim Delvoye presented his Cloaca—a giant installation that turned food into feces—at the New Museum. He has been a somewhat scarce presence in New York recently: he’s appeared in a handful of group shows here, but his last major gallery show in the city was in 2005, at Sperone Westwater. Nevertheless, he has been busy. Read More
Alex Israel is a youngish L.A. artist whose pastel-color panel paintings look like the sets of ’80s porn flicks; they’ve been selling like hotcakes at chic galleries in Paris and Berlin. I tried to see his recent one-man show at the übercool and cutting-edge Lower East Side gallery Reena Spaulings Fine Art, but the gallery is so übercool and cutting edge that, on the Friday afternoon I chose for my visit, it wasn’t even open. In fact, the two times I have ventured to this gallery in an attempt to see an exhibition, during regular gallery hours, they have managed to have the doors locked and the lights turned off. I’d given up on writing about Mr. Israel’s work, when I realized that I could simply review his new TV show, As It LAys, the one he’s recently uploaded to You Tube and for which he created a website: www.asitlays.com. This interview show, with Mr. Israel as host, reminds me of Andy Warhol’s famous “Screen Tests”: both projects are, in superficially different but actually very similar ways, forms of video portraiture. Read More
“You never see any real fucking New Yorkers at the Met. It’s always packed with people from god knows where, running around going, ‘Ooh, look at that.’” On a recent overcast Sunday afternoon, the advertising legend George Lois was plowing through the crowds at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on his way to plumb its encyclopedic contents for inspiration. For decades, he has been coming to the Met every Sunday for what he calls his “spiritual day of worship,” and it has been a wellspring for the Big Ideas that have powered his work, from the eye-poking ads that sparked Madison Avenue’s so-called Creative Revolution in the 1960s to the sizzlingly provocative covers he designed for Esquire during the magazine’s heyday. Over the past few years, however, Sundays have taken on a new significance: it’s when he has to sit through another episode of Mad Men. Mr. Lois takes the program’s debauched vision of his industry as a personal insult, and he has been waging a one-man campaign against it. Read More