The Brucennial Frieze New York Stanley WhitneyTeam Gallery Owen GrayBlue Mountain Gallery Jeff WallMarian Goodman IN RECENT MONTHS, people who are avidly engaged with contemporary art have been checking their pulses so often that I can only conclude they are worried about their vital signs, not to mention the health of the galleries, museums, auction houses, art fairs, and sundry publications that help to sustain them. These health checks have become global in nature, with frenzied reports arriving from galleries in Beijing, auctions in Hong Kong, an art fair in Abu Dhabi.
Leo and His Circle: The Life of Leo Castelli By Annie Cohen-Solal (Alfred A. Knopf, 540 pp., $35) I. Annie Cohen-Solal’s new biography of Leo Castelli, the art dealer who will forever be associated with the meteoric rise of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg in the years around 1960, has set me to thinking about the interest that men and women who run galleries inspire among a fairly wide public.
'Giorgio Morandi, 1890-1964' -- Metropolitan Museum of Art 'Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927-1937' -- Museum of Modern Art 'Mary Heilmann: To Be Someone' -- New Museum 'Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton' -- New Museum 'Douglas Blau' -- Institute of Contemporary Art I. What will be the impact of the financial crisis on artists, galleries, and auction houses?
John Kenneth Galbraith was amused by folly. Even by follies that caused some pain. But he wasn't at all a mean man. Which is one reason why he examined follies retrospectively, perhaps to curb mankind's instinct for folly. In 1993, J.K.G. published a book called A History of Financial Euphoria. One of his chapters dealt with the Dutch black tulip mania during the 1630's, an era in Holland which Simon Schama saw as defined by its "embarrassment of riches." I don't know whether any of the financial types painted by Rembrandt or Frans Hals invested in tulips.
Every day brings a grosser piece of news from the art market. Some times it is the grossness of the image; other times it is the grossness of the price. Quite often it is the grossness of both. This is the case for the latest creation of Damien Hirst called "For the Love of God." This work is a foundation of a real human skull from the 18th century covered with a platinum cast and encrusted with diamonds. I've not seen it myself. But it is on the front page of the FT Weekend. By the way, the price is 50,000,000 pounds or $90 million dollars.