To the rather inelegant but often-asked question, “Who is your daddy?”, modern sculpture can assuredly answer, “Constantin Brancusi.”
The Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti, who spent most of his working life in Paris, is by now widely considered to be one of the most important artists of the 20th Century.
When it comes to Communist countries, their image in aesthetic terms is uniformly bleak.
The Dutch artist Maurits Cornelius Escher is a bit of a strange figure. Not exactly a mainstay of art history, certainly outside of the main art movements of the 20th Century, he is not known for any grandiose statement or gesture or a moment-defining work.
The prolific artist and sculpture Barry X Ball, a recurrent figure of our art reportage, has announced The End of History, a retrospective of Ball’s work from 1982 to today.
At times the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has irritated me to no end. My first major encounter with his work was at the highly irritating (see?!) 2008 Brooklyn Museum exhibition that was so sponsored by Louis Vuitton. Well, it was more like highjacked by Louis Vuitton, which put a stand with its bags, some of which were for sale, in the middle of the exhibit, and staged a mock Canal street style fake bag stand that sold real $2000 LV bags that long presaged the similar antics by the likes of Vetements and Diesel today. This vulgar display of commercialism tarnished the whole thing. Before that, of course was the much-hyped collaboration with Louis Vuitton (obviously they did not sponsor the exhibit out of the goodness of their capitalist hearts), which, like that with Stephen Sprouse, presaged the avalanche of fashion-artis collabs. Recently, there was an even more questionable collaboration with the ubiquitous Off-White, brokered by Larry Gagosian, the Bernard Arnault of the art world. Murakami’s constant self-knowing smirk that accompanied these crassly commercial stunts told of his complicity more than of anything else. Any attempt of defending him with the usual tropes of “subverting” or “reclaiming” was annulled by his knowing what he was doing. He might as well had put a big “SELLOUT” sign on his back. Some of the work looked crowd-pleasing, sometimes downright infantile, its popularity proving the truism that adults are the new children, chucking out all pretenses at the seriousness of art. Murakami seemed to find his success equally at selling art to hip-hop billionaires and selling incredibly overpriced plush toys at museum shop. And yet. And yet.
Later that day, January 2, Peter Hujar’s show opened at the Gracie Mansion Gallery…
“My images are meant to straddle a strange line, where illusion becomes delusion, fact is fiction, and the conscious merges with the unconscious. Dreams become real, the real becomes a dream, the dead is alive, the alive dead,” says the photographer Roger Ballen, who lives in works in South Africa, in a video accompanying his new book, Ballenesque.
The Brooklyn-born artist Robert Longo began drawing in charcoal in December 1999.
A collective and hearty thank you ought to go out to the team at David Zwirner responsible for conceiving and executing the installation of Ruth Asawa’s hanging wire sculptures at West 20th Street.