Arts and Culture Headlines


Flush Collectors Ready to Spend Again at Auctions of Rare Art

Culled from blogs, newspapers, magazines, and art media sites, bringing you the most interesting art headlines . . .

The Picassos From the Basement (NY Mag) 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.

Chatter of Swindles and Scams at Auction House (New York Times) via Hyperallergic The French police exposed what is said to be an extensive art-trafficking ring within the auction house. A dozen people were arrested on suspicion of coordinated thefts, most of them “commissionaires,” members of Drouot’s clannish corporation of handlers and transporters; since then, four more have reportedly confessed to stealing.

Scott Campbell ‘If You Don’t Belong, Don’t Be Long’ (ArtObserved) Campbell shows three bodies of work, distinct in their mediums, but similarly tied together by their subject matter. In this, his first solo show in New York, Campbell really ups the ante with his laser cut pieces.

Flush Collectors Ready to Spend Again at Auctions of Rare Art (ArtDaily) Fueled by international collectors and Wall Street investors reaping soaring profits, the beaten-down art market appears poised for a remarkable comeback after an 18-month stumble. Rare buying opportunities to buy works by such modern masters as Jasper Johns and Mark Rothko will spur stiff competition and hefty spending by deep-pocketed collectors at the critical spring sales hosted by auction powerhouses Sotheby’s and Christie’s, art experts predict.

Meat Lover: Mark Ryden’s Cool Cuts (New York Times Mag) Attention amateur butchers, meat lovers and hungry aesthetes: At the Paul Kasmin Gallery, the artist Mark Ryden is doing wonders with off cuts at his new show, “The Gay ’90s: Olde Tyme Art Show.”

What Doesn’t Work, Saves (Art in America) This season Bravo introduces a reality television series, Work of Art, billed as a contest to find the “next great artist.” The show collects 14 trained and untrained participants, all of whom responded to a call for submissions by submitting zany autobiographical videos, screened by three judges: critic Jerry Saltz, dealer/advisor Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, and dealer Bill Powers.

Another view on Boogie Woogie (Guardian) The satire on London’s contemporary art world is keen on the debauchery, but forgets the passion for the work itself.

In praise of . . . cartoonists (Guardian) As newspaper budgets shrink, cartoonists are being squeezed out – but their talents will flourish in new pastures.

From Many Instants, a Moment (New York Times) With more than a bit of promotional hyperbole, we invited everyone with a camera to take a picture on Sunday, May 2, at 15:00 hours U.T.C. and submit it to The New York Times. For our part, we promised to cobble these together into a mosaic portrait of one “Moment in Time” around the world.

Sweet Child of Theirs (Art in America) Jean-Michel Basquiat is a phenomenon, not least because he’s an art star without anything really serious being said about his art. Granted, if you make a movie about him, and present it in MoMA’s big theater with the help of LVMH and Jefferson Hack’s Nowness, other art stars and the stars who collect his huge body of expensive works will come out for the event.

Folk Art Notebook (artnet Mag) The most impressive New York gallery debut this season? For me, it’s the dye-on-carved-and-tooled-leather paintings of self-taught artist “Winfred Rembert,” now at the Adelson Galleries thorough May 28, 2010.

Don Peebles Obituary (Guardian) Don Peebles, who has died aged 88, was a pioneer of abstract art in the antipodes. He was one of a generation of New Zealand artists who challenged the conservatism of their homeland, initially provoking derision from the press, in the years after the second world war.