From the category archives:

Opinion

New Barnes Building Opens, Why People are Upset

by Whitney Kimball on May 16, 2012
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After years of controversy and legal battles, the Philadelphia-based Barnes Collection has moved. Its initiator, pharmaceuticals mogul Albert C. Barnes, who died in 1951, clearly stipulated in his will that none of the work should leave its salon-style installation in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania. Barnes left behind one of the most significant late 19th and early 20th century art collections in the world; by 2004, the Foundation reported severe financial and maintenance problems and planned its move to the new building in downtown Philadelphia, next to the Rodin Museum. A judge ordered that the arrangement be replicated in the new building, and, according to Justin Davidson and Jerry Saltz, the new museum actually allows visitors to see the work, which was difficult in the dark and crowded old house. “Owners are temporary caretakers,” Jerry Saltz points out– so if we’re much better able to view a few thousand artworks, including 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes, 59 Matisses, and 44 Picassos, and it’s still hung the same, then why worry about the demands of a dead rich guy?

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Is Self-Expression Possible on Pinterest?

by Whitney Kimball on May 14, 2012
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In the six months since Pinterest became one of 10 largest social network sites, we’ve heard no end to its praises. It’s been sold to us as a venue for self-expression, similar to Tumblr — but with auto-filled boards like “Products I Love,” “My Style,” and “For the Home,” it’s far less shy about its use of love-only Facebook-derivitive lifestyle branding. Unless you’re working against it, can such a place even be a venue for self-expression?

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Hennessy Youngman Goes Direct To VHS

by Will Brand on May 10, 2012
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One line at the bottom of a press release caught my eye: “Jayson Scott Musson’s work is now available through EAI’s distribution service. For more information, please click here.” If you ever wanted the YouTube star on U-Matic or Beta, this is your chance.

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Additional Person Overrates Werner Herzog

by Paddy Johnson on April 13, 2012
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Hyperallergic's Peter Dobey has decided the entire Biennial is held together by a single work of art, Werner Herzog's Hearsay of the Soul. To prove this thesis, he blows up a quote from some wall text, applies it to a myriad of art cliches, and expects that this will all somehow support the idea that the Biennial is about different states of mind. I'm not convinced.

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Why Thomas Kinkade Won’t Strike a Chord

by Paddy Johnson on April 10, 2012
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I keep reading Thomas Kinkade obituaries about how the art world establishment rejected the artist and they're mostly right. It’s worth breaking down where this distrust came from.

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60 Minutes Reveals Art Fairs Suck

by Paddy Johnson on April 2, 2012
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Sotheby’s auction house has locked out their art handlers for more than six months, so 60 Minutes runs a special on how people attending Art Basel Miami are spending their money on art Morley Safer doesn’t like. That’s a pretty big story for the Canadian journalist to miss, especially considering he’s actually done some good in his time. Safer did a number of well-respected investigative reports during the Nixon years, and in 1983 famously helped free a man wrongly convicted from prison.

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I Got A Massage

by Paddy Johnson on March 22, 2012
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Three days after the Art Fag City Rob Pruitt Art Awards and Auction* I headed out to Carroll Gardens. Artist Anastasios Logothetis had been inviting writers, curators and other arts professionals to Residency Unlimited for massages, and I managed to nab the last of these appointments. In return, I was expected to write something about the project. “Participants complete the work,” Logothetis told me, noting that the writing produced would be the only documentation of the piece.

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Two Possibilities for the Sold-Out Cover Art from Bill Powers’ Book.

by Will Brand on March 6, 2012
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The Richard Prince-designed cover to Bill Powers’ new book went on sale at noon today as an edition of 100. Thirty minutes later, it had sold out. We’re suspicious.

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Art Is Not Gold.

by Will Brand on January 10, 2012
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There seems to be an idea floating around that art, as a generally countercyclical store of value, is an investment vehicle with similar characteristics to gold. I’m not so sure.

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