A1 News Roundup

Parsing Art Review's Weird Power 100 List, Remembering Conceptual Art Legend Michael Asher, and More Top News


Parsing Art Review's Weird Power 100 List, Remembering Conceptual Art Legend Michael Asher, and More Top News
dOCUMENTA curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev was named the most powerful woman in the art world this week.


Lists! Who doesn't love them? They're fun, they seem quasi-scientific, and they're a great way to start an argument, which is what Art Review again set out to do with this year's edition of its Power 100 rankings. The most notable development this time around is the appointment of Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev to the top slot, making her the first woman to lead the power list. Who, you ask? She's the curator of the most recent edition of dOCUMENTA, which has received near-universal acclaim as one of the most important exhibitions of the 21st century, melding work from across art history-a popular approach these days; c.f. Frieze Masters and Massimiliano Gioni's Gwangju Biennial—with assorted texts, documents, and detritus. (She also gave a talk in New York on Thursday night that left no few observers marveling at her recursive wordplay and virtuosic ability to avoid making sense.)

Art-world power is fleeting, however, as 2012 Venice Biennale curator Bice Curiger (who dropped off the list from #16 last year) could relate. Other notable exclusions include Paula Cooper, Jeffrey Deitch, and any single art critic… continuing a trend from last year, when Jerry Saltz and Roberta Smith both fell from the list after long reigns and Leap editor Philip Tinari only made the cut after leaving the magazine to direct the Ullens Center. Other fun pieces of "data" to point out are that Damien Hirst seems to be continuing his climb back to power, jumping up 23 slots to #41… right behind Gavin Brown, which might delight that puckish dealer. Qatar's Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani made a nice leap from #90 last year to #11, maybe—just maybe!—because her family reportedly paid $250 million for a Cezanne card player and is rumored to now be the "world's biggest buyer in the art market." Talk about buying power.


"Da Vinci is not so dissimilar from a Batman or a Superman. I think there are remarkable parallels. For instance, the earliest biography of da Vinci was written by Vasari in "The Lives of Artists," which was written maybe 50 years after da Vinci died. And even then, da Vinci's described as 6-foot-3, really good swordsman, really good rider. It literally says in Vasari's biography that he could bend iron bars with his bare hands, which is of course ludicrous." - Batman Begins co-writer David Goyer on the inspiration for Da Vinci's Demons, his new Starz show presenting Leonardo as a swashbuckling action hero


Richard Prince Debuts… a Soda? - Treading into strange new territory for contemporary art, the appropriation artist has partnered with AriZona to create Lemon Fizz, a new beverage to be debuted during Art Basel Miami Beach that comes in a yellow can featuring images from his most famous work—the nurses, the Marlboro Men, the joke paintings—alongside outsize black-and-white photos of himself looking unusually trim and youthful. (HuffPo)

Nude Art Show Raises Eyebrows - Shockingly, an exhibition at Vienna's Leopold Museum charting the history of male nudity in art (it's called Naked Men) sparked controversy when it advertised the show with posters depicting three full-frontally-nude soccer players. (NYT)

Klaus Biesenbach on Love - The MoMA PS1 director chose five artworks that best express the idea of love, in his opinion. (Bullett, via Artinfo)

Parsing Platform for Pedagogy -Boœ¡ko Blagojevi, the founder of the beloved and essential newsletter alerting the in-the-know subscribers to free (or cheap) art lectures throughout New York City, talks to Art21 about the ideas behind Platform and how he "learned a lot about love and communication from R. Kelly and Prince." (Art21)

Rothko Vandal Fesses Up - Twenty-six-year-old Wlodzimierz Umaniec admitted to painting the phrase "a potential piece of yellowism" on Rothko's 1958 mural Black on Maroon at the Tate, but absurdly says, "I haven't done any criminal damage." (BBC)

Picasso's Fashion Sense - As part of their impressive Frieze coverage, men's ecommerce site Mr. Porter tapped eminent art historian Michael Peppiatt to dive into the cubist master's mercurial fashion sense. (Mr. Porter)


FIAC Opens With Strong Sales - The Paris modern and contemporary art fair held its VIP vernissage on Thursday night, with the world's most high-profile collectors swooping in and buying up millions of dollars of work, including an $8 million Miro from Helly Nahmad Gallery. (Bloomberg)

Thaddaeus Ropac Debuts New Paris Gallery - The classy blue-chip dealer has unveiled his giant new space in a former factory with a double-feature show of work by Anselm Kiefer and Joseph Beuys, the latter of which includes a live white horse. (Artinfo)

Gagosian Also Debuts in Paris, Also With Kiefer - The international gallery has opened a new outpost conveniently located next to the Le Bourget private airport with a wheat-field installation by the German artist, a bit of synchronicity that did not please Ropac. (Artinfo)

Are Art Fairs a Blessing or a Curse? - After Jerry Saltz posted a philippic against the influence of art fairs and the increasingly barefacedly commercialized art economy, saying it may be "too big NOT to fail," collector and commentator Adam Lindemann responded with an encomium to Frieze, writing "there's no use denying it: fairs are the art world's new reality." (Gallerist NY)

Gerhard Richter Is Now the Most Expensive Living Artist - At auction, at least, since the 1994 abstract painting formerly owned by Eric Clapton fetched $34.2 million at Sotheby's London last week, almost $6 million more than the previous record-setter, a Jasper Johns's flag painting, made at Christie's New York in 2010. (NYT)

Shenanigans Over Richter Record - Judd Tully, aka The Master, uncovers that the $34.2 million record-setting Richter was actually one part of a triptych that the guitar god owns, meaning that the painting could be viewed as an incomplete work (and that Clapton owns two more of them). (Artinfo)

Getty Buys Knoedler Archive - The Los Angeles museum has acquired the records of the 165-year-old Upper East Side gallery that occupied an eminent position in this country's collecting history before being brought low by a recent controversy over dubious paintings. (NYT)

Gagosian Wins Helen Frankenthaler Estate - The gallery has added the color-field painter to its roster of historic artists, and former MoMA curator John Elderfield is curating a sure-to-be-museum-quality show of her work to debut this spring. (NYT)

Upstart Miami Art Fairs Spar Over Exhibitors -NADA and the new Untitled art fair are fighting to secure exclusive participating from dealers, and things are getting legal. (Art Newspaper)

Antiques Fair Returns to New York - The latest edition of the luxe International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show has opened at the Park Avenue Armory, and Roberta Smith writes that "each booth can be a snapshot of its proprietor's obsessions, expertise, recent finds and presentational style, with one or more things jolting the eye." (NYT)

Chicago's Donald Young Gallery Closes - The 29-year-old gallery that championed Minimalism and new media will shutter at the end of October. (Artinfo)

- IN & OUT -

Harlem's influential El Museo del Barrio has named former dOCUMENTA artistic director Chus Martí­nez as its new chief curator, making it a big week for the exhibition's alumna. (Art in America)

Michael Asher, the Los Angeles conceptual artist who helped pioneer institutional critique and who inspired generations of artists through his heroic classes at CalArts, has died at the age of 69. (NYT)

Los Angeles megacollector Eli Broad has announced the donation of 19 contemporary artworks to the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, which is scheduled to open in November. (NYT)


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