Sarah Douglas reveals some of the inner workings of the art market in her ARTINFO post, Through the Looking Glass: Behind Jacob Kassay's Meteoric Auction Rise:
The painting's sale exposed a number of things about the art market at the moment, among them the hunger for work by young artists on the part of both collectors and highly competitive galleries. It also raised, once again, discussions about the effect that an unusually high auction price can potentially have on a young artist's career.
Shane McAdams in The Brooklyn Rail has some big picture thoughts about Abstract Expressionism and the art that followed it, "That Barnett Newman 'Onement' Painting Is, Like, So 1948",
There might be a significant lack of self-awareness guiding the angsty, rugged individualism and arrogance of the New York School, but you can’t deny their willingness for a good, hard fight. Self-awareness may have been Hamlet’s tragic flaw, but for now it’s our solution. When the world looks like it’s falling apart, though, perhaps ironic detachment will begin to look less like an antidote to chauvinism and more like a banal evil, unequipped to fight the pricks of history.
|Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, Khu, October 2, 2010. (Photo, Hugo Glendinning.)|
More big picture thoughts in the Brooklyn Rail, this time by Vince Carducci on Matthew Barney's "Heart of Darkness."
The soup can’s serial iteration announces art as the commodity it’s always been in modern western culture. It reveals a reality completely deracinated by capitalist relations, from everyday practices like meal preparation to rarefied high culture experiences such as aesthetic contemplation. It also supplants the Romantic “natural genius” and replaces it with the artist as a commodity-sign, the product of a semiotic system, the “artworld” as Warhol interpreter Arthur Danto would have it. (“Andy Warhol” is a registered trademark, USPTO Reg. No. 3707078.)
Similarly, Barney’s work reveals contemporary art as a potlatch of global capitalism. It provides cathartic release from the imperative of relentless accumulation, giving vent to the wealth concentrations that neoliberalism has delivered into a few hands.
|Tony Cenicola/The New York Times|
This week the Science Section of the Times has a few articles about jigsaw puzzles. Here's what they said about the above puzzle:
Note this puzzle’s figures: a snow flake and howling dog among the loose pieces, and a horseshoe beneath the topmost bird.
Polèse, in this well-written essay, comes up with seven reasons, this being one of them:
Personal contact is also crucial in industries where creativity, inspiration, and imagination are vital inputs. For firms working in these rapidly evolving industries—high fashion, say, or computer graphics—the surest way to stay on top of the latest news is to locate near similar firms. The more that information can be transmitted electronically, it seems, the more valuable becomes information that cannot be so transmitted. Electronic and face-to-face communications tend to be complements; business travel, for example, has accelerated since the advent of the Internet. The more people communicate, the more they want to meet in the flesh
|Allan Kaprow, 18 Happenings in 6 Parts (re-doing), Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2006. Photo by Marion Vogel.|
Allan Kaprow’s 18 Happenings in 6 Parts, Festival Hall, review. Richard Dorment of the London Telegraph loves the idea but hates the result.
...Though often portrayed in the popular press as spontaneous free-for-alls complete with nude girls, film projections, audience participation and clouds of dry ice and marijuana, Kaprow’s early happenings were in fact a sophisticated synthesis of visual art and theatre.
They were also remarkably austere. If marijuana was ubiquitous at these entertainments, it may have been because they were so tedious that audiences needed to anaesthetise themselves before watching them. I know this because over the weekend I went to one in the Festival Hall.