A few weeks ago, Tracey Emin crossed her motorcycle boots and leaned forward in her chair between two Doric columns at the New York Academy of Art in Tribeca, bracing herself, it seemed, so that she was better positioned to launch stories from lips that are always somewhere between a pout and a snarl. Read More
An hour before Paul McCarthy’s “Life Cast” exhibition opened last week at Hauser & Wirth’s Upper East Side townhouse, actress Elyse Poppers, a brunette in a blue dress, stood surrounded by three unnervingly realistic replicas of herself in the nude. Each painstakingly hand-painted silicone cast is so lifelike that, she said, “people who come from outside think that they’re real before they get all the way in. Delivery guys especially are really freaked out.” Read More
About a decade ago, the painter Eric Fischl was in Aspen visiting one of his most supportive collectors, and they started arguing about contemporary art. As Mr. Fischl tells it in his new memoir, Bad Boy (Crown, 368 pp., $26), he was bemoaning the staggering prices of younger artists like Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst when the collector turned the conversation to the artist’s own career, which had languished since its peak in the late 1980s. “You’ve got to face it, man,” the collector told him. “You didn’t make the cut.”
“In the short-term context, it’s true enough—from the investor mentality, obviously,” Mr. Fischl told me one afternoon last month with a little shrug. He spoke slowly and seemed genuinely unburdened, relaxed. He’s 65 and a big guy, with a boyish face and an Einstein-esque mop of white hair that frames his head. He was wearing a dark sweater and jeans. He could pass for a former hippie, though he briefly tried out that lifestyle in a makeshift commune during the Summer of Love in San Francisco and didn’t much care for it. (“I ended up hating them all,” he writes.) Read More
If you were to make an Andrew Kuo-style diagram of the past few years of the artist’s life, it might be a curving line graph titled “Things I Managed to Do While Making a Bunch of Paintings,” with colors to represent values like “Watching sitcoms” or “Arguing about the Knicks on Twitter.” Data would be off the charts, almost disturbingly so, for certain pithier values. “Pizza,” say. Or “Instagram.” Read More
Last week members of the press assembled at David Zwirner’s new space on West 20th Street for a preview of Richard Serra’s early works there and, we’d been told, a walkthrough of the exhibition with the artist himself. If you were familiar with Mr. Serra’s personality—or at least his famous falling out with the U.S. government over its decision to remove his sculpture Tilted Arc (1981) in 1989—the walkthrough sounded slightly out of character. Even if he had curated the show himself, Mr. Serra is not a salesman of any kind. He’s not even especially friendly. As the hacks shuffled around near the formal and material experimentations from 1966 to 1971 that comprise the show (coiled lead, etc.), the squat bald artist spoke to no one except the man whose name was on the door. And to him he spoke gruffly. Read More
It was supposed to be an intimate dinner party: Paul D. Miller, known to most as DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid (hereafter, Spooky), and a few close friends. Votive candles flickered on a table set for 12. Jazz burbled, guests sipped at sparkling wine. But people kept arriving. In teetered a pair of comely identical twins in vertiginous black stiletto boots; over to the piano strode three lanky guys wearing face paint, one of them hauling a tuba. By 9 p.m., the place was packed and very New York-downtown-creative-class-eclectic—curators, concert violinists, children’s book illustrators, fashion designers, academics, entrepreneurs. No one seemed particularly interested in the baby beets and arctic char. In time, the tuba was unsheathed, and octogenarian Melvin Van Peebles practically vaulted over a sofa to the dance floor. He shot the crowd a look that said “what’s wrong with you people?” and soon everyone was swirling and stomping around the loft. Read More
“I like a sudden appearance, when you look down on the marble bathroom floor, or in wood, and you see a face in it and it is always a different face,” the artist Rita Ackermann said last week. She was standing inside Hauser & Wirth’s Upper East Side gallery, where her latest show just went on view.
A few years ago, Ms. Ackermann, 44, had that uncanny, Rorschach-like experience while she was working in her studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. She mopped up some paint with a poster and discovered a strange, curvy figure. Since then she’s painted it on many of her canvases, in rich shades of blue or red, and sometimes both. She calls the series “Fire by Days,” a play on a line from a poem by the French modernist Roger Gilbert-Lecomte. Read More
“It actually makes me nervous to stand up to speak about it, because I still go and look at these things way too frequently,” the artist Trisha Donnelly said at the start of her talk at MoMA on Monday night. She was discussing the works in the show that she has organized for the “Artist’s Choice” series, which invites artists to curate from the museum’s collection. Her show, in galleries on the fourth and fifth floors, is on view for three more weeks.
As an artist, Ms. Donnelly throws curveballs. Most famously, she arrived at one of her crowded openings on horseback, reciting a mysterious speech. At MoMA on Monday, she asked for the lights to be turned off in the sold-out theater. She wanted to play some music that had influenced the show. Read More