We’re back! It’s been a while since we’ve given you a “We Went To,” but here we are to tell you about the best and worst of what’s on view on the Upper East Side. One fact became clear on this trip: John Baldessari has made a career out of oxymorons.
Our thoughts on Venus Over Manhattan, Higher Pictures, Hauser & Wirth, Marian Goodman, and Tibor de Nagy, inside.
Collector Charles Saatchi has announced he will divorce his wife Nigella Lawson three weeks after having been photographed with his hands around her throat. [The Guardian]
The Royal Ballet of Canada has been accused of unfairly firing an aspiring ballet star for participating in porn movies. [CBC]
Roberta Smith thinks “Life Cast,” by Paul McCarthy, featuring four sculptures and process videos, has been overlooked. [The New York Times]
Paul McCarthy’s “WS” at the Park Avenue Armory is already the art institution’s second most attended exhibition. Not bad for a show that contains nudity, faked violence and explicit sexual acts. Apparently this is attracting the young’ns. [The New York Times]
Paul McCarthy’s multimedia installation at the Park Avenue Armory. Image via: Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times
Boo. The Met Museum is getting rid of their tin admission buttons in favor paper ticketing. Also, starting next week they’ll also be open seven days a week. This puts their hours in line with MoMA’s, which are also new. A new calendar for the city’s major museums? [The New York Times]
A condescending op-ed piece by Blake Gopnik about the April 25th reversal of a lower court’s decision on the Patrick Cariou vs Richard Prince copyright suit. The story’s three months old, but I guess it’s never too late for outrage. There’s also some questionable speculation that The Whitney’s recent retrospect of appropriation artist Sherry Levine included very few works of appropriation because the museum was concerned about copyright images. [The Art Newspaper]
A specialized Italian art theft police force uncovered a treasure trove of 3rd and 2nd century BCE Etruscan artifacts that had been illegally excavated a few years ago and have since been circulating on the black market. [NYTimes]
South Street is getting a brand new mall and possibly a luxury hotel. Meanwhile, the South Street Seaport Museum, the cultural touchstone and steward of the area, is currently closed and needs $22 million to reopen. Who is helping South Street Seaport Museum? A great piece by artist Michelle Vaughan. [The Medium]
Holland Cotter isn’t quite sure what Paul McCarthy’s exhibition at The Park Avenue Armory is communicating, but he identifies themes of lost innocence and describes him as a Jonathan Swift or Hieronymus Bosch of our time. [NYTimes]
What is happening this week? Thursday is happening. After the Venice Biennale and Frieze, galleries are back on track with mega-Thursday opening nights, boasting the arrival of fun summer group shows. Jew York! The Kitchen! Emerging! Established! All of it’s going into one big pot. Time for some fun.
"Intercourses" still from Jesper Just's installation at Danish Pavilion. Image via: The New York Times
Canadian artist Shary Boyle had the National Gallery’s help this year in fundraising for her pavilion, which cost 1.5 Million. That’s pretty cheap—the United States would not even disclose how much was spent on their Pavilion in 2011—and that’s evidenced by their opening, which will host…a cash bar? Canadian culture does not yet understand the power of philanthropy. [The Globe and Mail]
After 20 years, Paul McCarthy’s goat finally got tired of being dry-humped. The sculpture’s motor died two weeks ago. [In The Air]
Andrew Russeth may see more art than Jerry Saltz. He’s recommending the ICP’s Triennial, therefore I will go see it. [Gallerist]
Artist Rirkrit Tiravanjia on Art Basel Hong Kong. “When bankers get together they talk about art,” he said. “When artists get together, they talk about money.” So, this is the state of the blue chip art world; removed from reality. [Bloomberg]
Andrew Goldstein interviews Jesper Just on his new multi-channel film installation at the Danish Pavilion. Just uses a replica city of Paris, located just outside the Chinese city of Hangzhou as his subject. We gave Just’s show at Nicolai Wallner a mixed review when we visited Copenhagen last year, so we’re looking forward to seeing what he does in Venice. Interestingly, the artist collaborated with the New York-based design firm Project Projects to produce an accompanying graphic campaign for “Intercourses” that will run online and as posters in the cities of New York, Hong Kong, Copenhagen, Paris and Shanghai [ArtSpace]
A brilliant metaphor: Running up that escalator. [The Medium]
That topless Bea Arthur painting goes up to auction today. More than two decades after John Currin’s sexy homage to maturity, we still expect a few giggles will be heard across the auction room floor. [Gawker]
Pardon us, but this week, all art news is auction news. We promise to round out the Warhol fluff with more interesting stuff, like say, the fact that, for the first time ever, a Canadian auction house will put video art up on the auction block. [The Star]
Elizabeth Peyton joins a new club, the tiny club for female artists whose work has sold for a million or more at auction. It’s not an actual club, but if it were, she would be in it. [Twitter, via Christie’s]
Unrelated to anything to do with art at all, a massacre in Syria has resulted in the most depraved actions yet by the Assad government. Even reading this report requires a stomach of steel. [NYTimes]
Are Cooper Union’s Finances Fixable? Felix Salmon suggests that perhaps Cooper’s “Chrysler Building land — with its PILOTs intact — could get sold to Trinity Church, or one of New York’s big non-profit hospitals, or even possibly the Bloomberg Foundation.” It’s a fantastic piece and a must-read for anyone who’s been following this story. [Felix Salmon, Reuters]
Now you can sleep easy at night; Paul McCarthy’s massive red balloon dog at Frieze has been sold. [ArtInfo]
Google Street View gets turned into a highly addictive game. [Geoguessr]
NYU Art History professor gets caught taking upskirt photos of girls in fitting rooms. Now he’s a former Art History professor charged with unlawful surveillance. [NY Post]
“Greetings from Captain John. There will be no swimming and no diving.” Sailing on the Frieze ferry to Randall’s Island, the driver told us that we were on our way to vacation, but cautioned against letting loose with freewheeling abandon. Once we landed, that ethos seemed to be in effect at the fair itself: dealers and collectors were having fun, and the fair was certainly crowded, but nobody was breaking out champagne in the early afternoon to celebrate skyrocketing sales.