The two words coming out of this year’s Art Basel Miami and its nineteen satellite fairs are ‘sober’ and ‘subdued.’ That’s not mere arts and culture conjecture–one of those subliminal wisps of mood and tremolo that occasionally get the better of journalists and critics. (Think: This year is about less. This year artists are saying Read More
By Alex Taylor 12/04/08 10:29pm
The jury is still out on Art Basel Miami, which runs until Sunday. Art professional-types are continuing to deliberate whether ’09 is going to look like 1990, the last time a recession affected the look and discourse of contemporary art, peeling its sympathies for the better part of the decade. Of course, ’09 may prove Read More
By Alex Taylor 12/03/08 6:12pm
Artist Nayland Blake looks like one of the tour roadies for the Allman Brothers circa 1970. Blake is tall, and he’s built like a slab. His arms are tattooed. His hair is long.
In art, he’s harder to size up. Blake, who shows at the well-bred Mathew Marks Gallery and teaches at Bard, is responsible Read More
By Alex Taylor 11/28/08 5:13pm
Here’s a holiday story that’s mostly trim and pretty ribbons: On Tuesday, a $100,000 dollar book on the life and work of Michelangelo Buonarroti will go on display at the New York Public Library. The volume, which weighs 62 pounds, is bound in velvet and marble relief. Apparently, it took six months to Read More
By Alex Taylor 11/24/08 7:31pm
How much of the photographer’s art is catching a break and knowing what to do with it? On June 8, 1968, photojournalist Paul Fusco rode the funeral train carrying Robert F. Kennedy from New York to Washington DC. Fusco, then working for LOOK magazine, had been assigned to cover R.F,K.’s funeral at St. Patrick’s that Read More
By Alex Taylor 11/21/08 8:05pm
This writer once had the good fortune of hearing Richard Serra speak at a college commencement (even if it was secondhand). ‘If it doesn’t work, break it,’ the great Taurus of American sculpture inveighed to the graduates. Words to work by, maybe. The remark has stayed with me over the years (actually months; this was Read More
By Alex Taylor 11/20/08 7:12pm
As New York’s museums warily eye the less-prosperous future, the news from Los Angeles is considerably worse.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) was publicly embarrassed yesterday by billionaire-philanthropist-art-pharaoh Eli Broad. The 75-year-old Broad announced–all previous public statements to the contrary–his plans to build a 25,000 square foot art museum Read More
By Alex Taylor 11/17/08 8:11pm
The Baltimore Sun reports that Grace Hartigan, the second-generation Abstract Expressionist and one-time New York painter, has died. Hartigan was 86. She was one of the last members of the hardboiled and cigarette-lean generation of American artists that followed Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.
The Sun bit is touchingly hometown. The story Read More
By Alex Taylor 11/14/08 5:07pm
What with those opulently phony copies of the New York Times circulating yesterday and with that political pundit from the Harding Institute who was quoted on MSNBC and who doesn’t actually exist, this has been a bad week to distinguish between what’s real and, you know, what’s not.
To confuse the issue further, Chinese artist Read More
By Alex Taylor 11/13/08 9:12pm
In certain corners of New York (24th street between 10th and 11th avenue specifically) Thursday night means only one thing: art openings. While the rest of the city gets the kids to bed and tries to catch the last ten minutes of "he Office, various art professionals, broke students, and arts and leisure types drink Read More