Monday, January 26, 2009

"Things Fall Apart" an artforum.com Critics' Pick and Three Other Quick Notes

1. Many thanks to Lori Cole and the editors of artforum.com for reviewing our current exhibition, "Things Fall Apart," curated by Joy Garnett, as a Critics' Pick. The exhibition runs through February 21, 2009. I hope you get to see it!

2. Andrew Sullivan pointed to this amazingly high-res image of Obama's inauguration address. You can zoom in close enough to see each face in the crowd, including a friend of mine who's a reporter and was much closer to the new Prez while he spoke than we got (we're not even in the photo). Wonderful.

3. From the Simply Too Weird department, Russian Czar (er, I mean Prime Minister) Vladimir Putin now holds the record for the most expensive painting ever sold at auction in Russia. Not one from his collection, mind you...but one he painted. The Art Newspaper reports:
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s painting Pattern on a Frosty Window, the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction in Russia at 37m roubles ($1.14 million), went on display at the Natalia Kournikova Gallery in Moscow on 25 January.

Ms Kournikova, an art dealer and collector, secured the work at a charity auction in St Petersburg earlier this month. “The painting shows another aspect of a great personality,” she said after the auction. She did not clarify whether she had bought the painting on behalf of a client.

The previous most expensive work, Spring, by 19th-century master Alexei Savrasov, sold for 24m roubles (at that time, just over $1m) in March 2008. The fourth and final version Kazimir Malevich’s iconic Black Square was bought for $1m in 2000 by billionaire Vladimir Potanin in a private sale.
OK, so the money did go to charity, but here's (what I believe is) an image of it. Even if that's not it, Vlad should be just a tad embarrassed I would think. At the very least he should be doing more to pump up the market value of Russian artists' work.

4. Despite nearly constant reports of pending visual artist-based reality TV shows, and I've heard of about a half dozen that never got past the planning stages,
the only one I know that has aired was Art Star and that was a few years back. (Anyone know what's up with SJP's American Artist project?) Now it seems [via Jonathan Jones], no less an art world luminary than Charles Saatchi is planning to produce one:

Charles Saatchi, the Citizen Kane of the art world, is about to transform himself into the Andrew Lloyd Webber of art.

A new BBC2 series, Saatchi's Best of British, will see him preside over a contemporary art reality show, comparable with Lloyd Webber's I'd Do Anything. Talented hopefuls (I've put that phrase in as blog-fodder ...) will attend his "intensive art school, where they will be tutored by top contemporary artists." The show will "attempt to discover the next Damien Hirst or Tracey Emin." Well, I don't suppose anyone would expect it to discover the next Cy Twombly or Jasper Johns.

Ouch.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Belinda said...

I'm trying to understand what that last part means, about Hirst, etc. and the ouch. So, does the writer think that's a good thing or a bad thing (finding the next star who is more Hirst-like than Twombly-like?

And is the "ouch" that it's a slap) to the old artists and old art, or that Hirst and Emin are inferior to the other 2 but that's the best that can be hoped for?

1/27/2009 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Belinda said...

Nevermind. I just read Jonathan Jones post. I get it. No need to post these.

1/27/2009 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric C said...

I guess it will humanize artists once we see them fart before they go to bed at night.

I'm not so sure Damien and Tracey would have made great TV. When I think of an artist with flamboyant persona, I don't think of Damien.

Cedric C

1/27/2009 01:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tracey has does enough humanizing with bodily functions and excretions, thank you.

1/27/2009 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

I'm going to throw this comment in here because this seems like a nice catch-all post, Ed, and I wouldn't know where else to put it. It's not really a criticism, just an expression of mild head-shaking.

In the couple of things I've read about "Things Fall Apart," each one had to point out the poem from which the title is taken. And what I really want to know is, is there anyone in Western civilization who doesn't know where that phrase is from? It's only one of the best-known poems in the English language!

That's all. Nothing serious.

1/27/2009 08:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed, do you think wealthy collectors like Saatchi manipulate the market? Would people care about Hirst if Saatchi had not purchased his work. What role do collectors play in who is remembered?

1/31/2009 01:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Deschanel said...

"Art Star" was kind of naff but oddly watchable..

Regrettably for me, Gallery HD and all of the VoomHD channels have been pulled from Cablevision, the last US carrier. Gallery HD wasn't perfect, but they frequently had interesting programs on artists, as show just for photography etc. It's a shame, as I read that these channels will be replaced by dozens of HBOs and Showtimes. Because we don't have enough of THAT, right?

2/01/2009 05:01:00 PM  

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