The Art World Game Changers of 2012

Bogie knew, “you must remember this …” Here are a few art world surprises to remember, and some we’d rather forget.     The Chelsea Flood: Who could ever have imagined that a silly old hurricane would sink the entire Chelsea art district and parts of Red Hook? Sandy not only inundated basement storages; first-floor galleries had their key November exhibitions  floating in six feet of dirty seawater. I… Read more
Categorized as NY Observer

He’s Baaack! Adam Lindemann Visits Art Basel Miami Beach and Its Satellites

To boldly go where I have never collected before   As in years past, my trepidations about Art Basel Miami Beach began days before my departure. This time it started in the waiting room of my uptown doctor’s office, when one patient called out to another: “Hey Freddie, when d-y’a get ta Miami?” Freddie replied, “Can’t make it till Thursday—we’ll rock.” I knew then that the art world had changed… Read more
Categorized as NY Observer

Writing About Not Writing About the Art Market

NOT PUBLISHED BY THE NEW YORK OBSERVER       Auction season is once again upon us, time to write about the weighty volume of art for sale, and wonder what people will pay for it.  I’m simply overwhelmed by the quantity of valuable artworks that need to sell (though much of it has essentially been pre-sold, through third party guaranties). Add all this to a disastrous flooding of the Chelsea… Read more
Categorized as NY Observer

Sneak Peek at my catalogue essay for Richard Phillips’s recent show at Gagosian 24th Street

  Charm, Beauty and Creativity, The Three Graces of Richard Phillips   Corneille peint les hommes comme ils devraient être, Racine les peint tels qu’ils sont.   “Corneille depicts man as he should be, Racine depicts him as he is.” La Bruyere   In characterizing the famous French tragedians of the 17th century, whose plays focus almost exclusively on passion and politics, the famous essayist and critic La Bruyere… Read more

Frieze Has the Art Fair Mastered: The British Brand Hits a Home Run With a New Event for Older Art

Last week, London hosted three major art fairs and several smaller and younger ones, enough to make any sane person wonder: have we reached the point of art fair overkill? I’ve often thought—and written—that the art fair scene has gone overboard, and now I’m not alone. On his Facebook page New York magazine’s art critic Jerry Saltz recently lamented the explosion of art fairs and the new custom among hungry… Read more

An improbable dyad of Peter Coffins

 The Catalog essay for Peter Coffin’s show, A, E, I, O, U at Venus Over Manhattan   This past summer a fifteen-foot Franz West sculpture appeared on the bluffs in Montauk. Franz had recently passed away—he’d been ill for a long while, but his passing was sudden, and so my installation of this work, titled “Eidolon” (ancient Greek for phantom or ghost) would now serve as a small homage to… Read more

Mmm, Meh, Not So Good: The Met’s ‘Regarding Warhol’ May Help Pry Open a Can of Patron Dollars

The Metropolitan Museum’s “Regarding Warhol” exhibition groups artworks by 60 artists around works by Andy Warhol, as an homage to his far-reaching influence in the art world. The result is closer to a mob scene than to any semblance of meaningful dialogue, and it wasn’t hard to predict that critics would slam the show—slamming this show was, from the beginning, an easy layup. By this point, it’s almost de rigueurRead more
Categorized as NY Observer

Deitch-quake in Los Angeles: Jeffrey Deitch Has Become a Lightning Rod for Criticism of MOCA but Is the Former Dealer Really to Blame?

In early 2010, when the news broke that a respected art dealer, Jeffrey Deitch, had been named director of the financially struggling Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the museum’s decision was widely considered a controversial one. This had, of course, happened before: back in the early 1960s, Walter Hopps left his partnership in Los Angeles’s fabled Ferus Gallery to head up the Pasadena Art Museum, where he went on… Read more

How Paola Pivi Rolls: Her Spinning Airplane Is the Most Daring Public Artwork New York Has Seen in Years

New York is, famously, a city whose seen-it-all citizens are above doing double takes when celebrities walk by. Neither, as it turns out, do some of them raise an eyebrow at a six-passenger, 35-foot-long twin-engine airplane spinning above their heads. How I Roll, which has been somersaulting above Fifth Avenue at 60th Street for a few weeks now, is a monumental kinetic sculpture by the Italian artist Paola Pivi… Read more

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble: Journalists Brood on an Art Market Crash

On the eve of this summer’s annual Art Basel fair in Basel, Switzerland, I’ve noted that some art writers have eagerly predicted the demise of the so-called “art bubble”; a few of them are persuasive enough to instill real fear and a loss of confidence. It almost makes you wonder if their doomsday predictions could actually come true. Well, fear not, they won’t.   There are two main reasons for… Read more