From the category archives:

Opinion

Flamers: Schjeldahl Versus Saltz

by Corinna Kirsch on January 15, 2013
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This week, we get two critics’ opinions on MoMA’s latest painting show, “Inventing Abstraction: 1910-1925″. Is it a “splendid historical survey” (Schjeldahl) or “history written by the winners” (Saltz)?

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Flamers: The Lowman Debate

by Corinna Kirsch on January 2, 2013
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In this week’s round up of vitriol-filled art criticism, Karen Rosenberg kinda sorta reveals her true feelings about Ed Ruscha, while Andrew Russeth suggests Nate Lowman just quit. But does telling an artist to change careers ever have an effect? Lindsay Pollock might have the answer.

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$340m On a Christo Oil Barrel Sculpture is Too Much

by Paddy Johnson on November 27, 2012
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Time to get angry about another gross display of wealth by the art world, all at the expense of the poor. According to The Guardian, Christo has plans to make the world’s largest sculpture from empty oil drums in Abu Dhabi, and now the project has the support of the Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a representative of the crown prince, his elder brother. A site near Liwa oasis has been approved.

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Hands Up If You’re Tired of Auction News

by Paddy Johnson on November 20, 2012
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Rich people are spending their money.

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Highlights from the Artprice Contemporary Art Market Report

by Corinna Kirsch on October 10, 2012
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What happens to the wealthy is what happens to the rest of the art world. At least, that’s what Artprice’s annual contemporary art market report suggests. Every October, Artprice publishes The Artprice Annual Report, a whopping 140-page document about trends in the contemporary art market; they look at art auction records,then talk to dealers and anybody else managing multi-million-dollar art sales to come up with a sense of the health of the market as a whole. We disagree, knowing that what happens at the auction houses doesn’t trickle down to the rest of the art world; for all its flaws, though, we enjoy reading this thing.

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The Future Looks Grim: “Museums and the Pulse of the Future”

by Corinna Kirsch on July 19, 2012
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Museums are dealing with higher taxes and dried up federal funds, and the future doesn’t look much better. So says TrendsWatch 2012: Museums and the Pulse of the Future, a report just released by the American Association of Museums (AAM). It’s a good, important read for anyone interested in seeing how museums have been dealing with the economic downturn, and how they’ve been using technology to help buffer the financial strain. One thing is certain: museums are entering a new era.

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The Netflix of Art: A Bad Deal for Artists

by Corinna Kirsch on July 12, 2012
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Is TurningArt the newest force to be reckoned with in the online edition business? They seem to think so, and so do the tech content blogs that make a buck off of rewriting press releases. From CNN Money to TechCrunch, everyone’s calling their online art rental and sales program the Netflix of art. We’re not really sure how they plan on convincing America to open up their wallets, given that there’s not much consumer crossover between the poster and original art markets, but whatever. It’s not our money they’re losing. And they do have investors!

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An Essay About Nothing by Eli Broad

by Paddy Johnson on July 11, 2012
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That Sunday L.A. Times op-ed by MoCA Trustee Eli Broad does not sit well with me. The whole piece is supposed to explain Chief Curator Schimmel’s departure, but how it does so is up to the reader to piece together. Broad lays out exactly ten paragraphs of history, none of which have anything to do with Schimmel. Mostly, the piece serves to tell us that Broad wasn’t around when the financial crisis started in the 90’s, though he has been around to oversee its rebound. Broad points to the great progress MoCA’s made; It has built its endowment back up and increased its attendance numbers. He fails to mention that this year MoCA put nothing towards its endowment, and offers no context for the shows he tells us lost money.

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Jeffrey Deitch to Implement MoCA’s Curatorial Vision

by Paddy Johnson on June 29, 2012
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This Paul Schimmel news just keeps getting worse. News broke Wednesday night that L.A. MoCA had fired Schimmel, its chief curator, but no additional details were made public. Now ArtINFO is reporting that they won’t be replacing him. “[MOCA's] curatorial vision will be implemented by director Jeffrey Deitch, the curatorial team, and guest curators,” a museum representative told ArtINFO.

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Outrage Over Paul Schimmel’s Dismissal at MoCA

by Paddy Johnson on June 29, 2012
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What a fucking mess. MoCA fired their Chief Curator Paul Schimmel Wednesday, and the outcry amongst critics has been loud and nearly universal. Art blogger Tyler Green says the museum’s decision is a loss for everyone, not just MoCA. He cites the Museum’s decision to postpone their exhibition “Ends of The Earth,” while privileging the Mercedes-Benz marketing opportunity, as evidence that they don’t value “historicizing exhibitions.” We had similar sentiments yesterday when we noted the museum’s transparent attempts at capitalizing on Hollywood; MoCA scrapped a Jack Goldstein exhibition in favor of a show by the late actor Dennis Hopper in 2010.

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