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