There's one Baldessari work I genuinely love and would like to own, maybe because of my Midwestern roots and love of driving alone. 'The backs of all the trucks passed while driving from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, California, Sunday, 20 January 1963' consists of a grid of 32 small color photographs depicting just what the title says.
It took the Metropolitan Museum of Art nearly 50 years to wake up to Pablo Picasso. It didn't own one of his paintings until 1946, when Gertrude Stein bequeathed that indomitable quasi-Cubistic picture of herself - a portrait of the writer as a sumo Buddha - to the Met, principally because she disliked the Museum of Modern Art.
Auction houses run a rigged game. They know exactly how many people will be bidding on a work and exactly who they are. In a gallery, works of art need only one person who wants to pay for them.
Works of art often last forever, or nearly so. But exhibitions themselves, especially gallery exhibitions, are like flowers; they bloom and then they die, then exist only as memories, or pressed in magazines and books.
Art is for anyone. It just isn't for everyone. Still, over the past decade, its audience has hugely grown, and that's irked those outside the art world, who get irritated at things like incomprehensibility or money.
I'm noticing a new approach to art making in recent museum and gallery shows. It flickered into focus at the New Museum's 'Younger Than Jesus' last year and ran through the Whitney Biennial, and I'm seeing it blossom and bear fruit at 'Greater New York,' MoMA P.S. 1's twice-a-decade extravaganza of emerging local talent.
Every movement that slays its gods creates new ones, of course. I loathe talk of the sixties and seventies being a 'Greatest Generation' of artists, but if we're going to use such idiotic appellations, let this one also be applied to the artists, curators, and gallerists who emerged in the first half of the nineties.
Venice is the perfect place for a phase of art to die. No other city on earth embraces entropy quite like this magical floating mall.
When money and hype recede from the art world, one thing I won't miss will be what curator Francesco Bonami calls the 'Eventocracy.' All this flashy 'art-fair art' and those highly produced space-eating spectacles and installations wow you for a minute until you move on to the next adrenaline event.
Abstraction is one of the greatest visionary tools ever invented by human beings to imagine, decipher, and depict the world.
Where Cezanne captured and intensified shards of the eternal (every pear far more sharply defined than it could be in life), Monet portrayed the changeability and flux of every moment. 'The Water Lilies' give you a jittery, amorphous sense of a world seen at the speed of light.
Summer is a great time to visit art museums, which offer the refreshing rinse of swimming pools - only instead of cool water, you immerse yourself in art.
'Untitled' is a time machine that can transport you to 1992, an edgy moment when the art world was crumbling, money was scarce, and artists like Tiravanija were in the nascent stages of combining Happenings, performance art, John Cage, Joseph Beuys, and the do-it-yourself ethos of punk. Meanwhile, a new art world was coming into being.
Just as Pollock used the drip to meld process and product, Richter 'found' and used the smudge and the blur to ravish the eye, creating works of psychic and physical power.
'The Panorama' is also the last place anywhere in New York where the World Trade Center still stands, whole, as it stood in the early morning of September 11. I can also see the corner where I saw the first tower fall and howled out loud. Seeing the buildings again here is uplifting, healing.
'Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era,' the Whitney Museum's 40th-anniversary trip down counterculture memory lane, provides moments of buzzy fun, but it'll leave you only comfortably numb. For starters, it may be the whitest, straightest, most conservative show seen in a New York museum since psychedelia was new.
Only an artist as preternaturally acute and copacetic, as oddly visionary and just odd as Richard Artschwager, would be able to lay out the whole course of human evolution and have it make some kind of sense while also seeming like a dazzling insight.
I love art dealers. In some ways, they're my favorite people in the art world. Really. I love that they put their money where their taste is, create their own aesthetic universes, support artists, employ people, and do all of this while letting us see art for free. Many are visionaries.
When people in stadiums do the Wave, it's the group-mind collective organism spontaneously organizing itself to express an emotion, pass time, and reflect the joy of seeing the rhythms of many as one, a visual rhyming or music in which everyone senses where the motion is going.
Anyone who relishes art should love the extraordinary diversity and psychic magic of our art galleries. There's likely more combined square footage for the showing of art on one New York block - West 24th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues - than in all of Amsterdam's or Hamburg's galleries.