A year and a half ago, Larry Gagosian used all 11 branches of his eponymous art gallery to exhibit Damien Hirst’s spot paintings. My mom asked me in earnest if anybody actually bought those things. Among critics, she wasn’t alone. That month, opinion after well-informed opinion poured forth about how the paintings were not only bad, but also really, insanely boring. A lot of people whose talents could be profitably spent elsewhere — people who admitted they had nothing to say about the spot paintings — seemed to write about them anyway in part because the excessive, capricious market for Hirst’s work felt like a story in itself, and partly because Hirst’s name is a magnet for controversy. … Read More
Civil rulings in New York are marked by their dryness and professionalism. But this can be tossed out the window when the dispute concerns a work of art. One such utterance, by state Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kapnick on Wednesday, concerned the current tiff between billionaire collector Ron Perelman and über-gallerist Larry Gagosian. “These two gentlemen ought to get together at a cocktail party in the Hamptons,” her honor ordered, and “see if they can’t get it resolved.” … Read More
Twisting brightly colored fenders, bumpers, and fins into compact beautiful objects, sculptor John Chamberlain gave trashed cars a glamorous second life. Chamberlain, who died last December at the age of 84, was also known for his continuous exploration of new materials and processes. “I think of my art materials not as junk but as garbage,” he once said. “Manure, actually; it goes from being the waste material of one being to the life-source of another.” In celebration of his five-decades long career, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum recently mounted John Chamberlain: Choices, a comprehensive exploration of his work, and the first retrospective in the US since 1986. … Read More
Art Review magazine has published its annual “Power 100″ lists of the art world’s most influential players — and even if you’re more a casual art fan than an all-out industry wonk, it’s a fairly interesting document. While the 2010 rankings placed Larry Gagosian at #1, the top spot is now occupied by an actual artist: Ai Weiwei, who drew an unprecedented show of support from the global art community after being imprisoned by the Chinese government earlier this year. Gagosian, meanwhile, has slipped to #4. Could that be because insiders are sick of watching him bend over backwards for celebrity dilettantes like James Franco and frauds like James Frey? Also interesting: Jeffery Deitch, who was #12 last year, is down to #48 after months of pretty terrible publicity. The only other artist to crack the gallerist-dominated top ten is Cindy Sherman.
Other boldface names on the list include Marina Abramović (#23), Takashi Murakami (#47), Anish Kapoor (#50), Steve McQueen (#59), Damien Hirst (#64), Slavoj Žižek (#65), Jeff Koons (#66), and Miuccia Prada (#85). Although you could spend all day picking out omissions, we’re especially surprised to see that Christian Marclay — whose video installation The Clock won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale and has probably been the most praised work of art this year — isn’t included. Check out the top ten after the jump, then click over to Art Review for the full list and tell us whether you agree. … Read More
1. Despite some truly horrible reviews from critics (particularly Roger Ebert), the alien invasion thriller Battle: Los Angeles conquered the weekend box office, taking in $36 million for a first place finish. Rounding out the top three were Rango ($23 million) and Red Riding Hood ($14.1 million). [via AV Club]
Robert Redford, Ed Ruscha, and Salman Rushdie were among the honorees at last week’s 2009 National Arts Awards, presented by Americans for the Arts — the same organization that benefits from the sales of Shepard Fairey and Jennifer Gross’ new publication, Art for Obama.… Read More
1. American Idiot, Green Day’s post-9/11 coming-of-age punk musical, opens today in California. [via Mercury News]
2. ColbertNation.com plans to stream full albums from the show’s musical guests; first up, the Flaming Lips’ Embryonic, which isn’t due in stores until October 13. [via Reuters]
3. Mark your calenders: Spider-Man 4 will… Read More
Because we can’t all escape from our desks to enjoy 72-degree weather and international contemporary art, Flavorpill’s resident guru Paul Laster will be bringing you daily bold-face name littered updates and photos from Art Basel Miami all week. If you missed yesterday’s first installment, read it now.
The art world scoop from Day Two after the jump…