One recent morning in Hong Kong, while in the last hours of his quarantine, the New York–based artist Taro Masushio recounted a visit he made to a vast, little-seen archive of homoerotic photographs by Jun’ichi En’ya, who had worked as a photo-technician in Osaka, Japan. “I had just never seen anything like it,” Masushio said on a video call, as he recalled flipping through hundreds and hundreds of En’ya’s analog prints. “It was this very surreal and visceral experience.”

En’ya distributed his pictures of men clandestinely, and was known as Uncle from Osaka. He had a wife and daughter, and died in 1971, the same year that the first gay men’s magazine became easily accessible in Japan. “When I first got this glimpse of these objects, and this figure behind the objects, I became completely obsessed,” Masushio said. “I wanted to work with this and try to understand what … Read the rest

For some fifteen years, Matthias Weischer, has been internationally recognized as one of the leading artists of the New Leipzig School of German representational painters, which includes Neo Rauch, Tim Eitel, David Schnell, Tilo Baumgärtel, Rosa Loy, Ulf Puder, and others. It is surprising, then, that “Stage,” this impressive exhibition of recent oil-on-canvas paintings, is Weischer’s first US solo.

The artists associated with the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts—once one of East Germany’s premier schools for Socialist Realism—have merged the traditional techniques of painting and drawing that were for decades the Academy’s focus, with avant-garde innovations of Western contemporary figuration and abstract art. Soon after graduating at the age of thirty in 2003, Weischer established a reputation for refined interior scenes and ambiguous spatial relationships—unpopulated living rooms and bedrooms, with intricate details and a consistently hushed, eerie atmosphere. Sometimes they recall the serene  domestic spaces of the Danish painter Read the rest

In a year that left institutions around the world shuttered for months on end, public art took on a new resonance in many cities and provided safe experiences for those seeking a bit of visual relief from quarantine. Public artworks created in 2020 often took up urgent political and social issues, and the very notion of monuments—of which figures were being elevated and how they were rendered—figured in protest movements, opinion pages, and beyond. The guide below represents a survey of some of the year’s most notable projects, controversies, and events involving public art, many of which have already changed the ways we view and think about our histories and environments.

A mural of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Murals emerged amid protests surrounding systemic racism and police brutality.
Protests following the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis in May took place around the world this year, and art … Read the rest

Barbara Rose, a critic and curator whose writings and exhibitions changed the way historians told the story of postwar art in the U.S., has died. She was 84. Phyllis Tuchman, an art critic and a friend of Rose, confirmed Rose’s death and said she had been suffering from cancer.

Rose is closely identified with the New York art scene of the 1960s, whose artists she regarded with suspicion because they so severely diverged from traditions laid out in the years before. But she had a more diverse set of interests, having advocated in particular for painting—a medium which many at the time claimed was dead—for a large part of her career.

For many, Rose’s defining piece of writing is “ABC Art,” which appeared in a 1965 issue of Art in America. In it, she endeavored to pinpoint a new artistic trend—a “sensibility,” not a style—that was … Read the rest

On Wednesday afternoon in Seoul, a dozen people waited outside the Keumsan Gallery to see a solo exhibition that has become a flashpoint of controversy, while a couple protesters waved flags nearby on the sidewalk. The issue at hand: the artist responsible staging the show, Moon Joon-yong (문준용), the son of South Korean president Moon Jae-in (문재인), had received a grant from a government relief fund set up to aid artists affected by the economic fallout from the coronavirus.

“If you are a president’s son, shouldn’t you give a chance to other artists or give it up to someone else even if you were selected through the process?” Kim Geun-sik, a Kyungnam University professor who is a member of the conservative People Power Party, wrote on Facebook, according to the Korea Herald. (The president’s Democratic Party is a liberal-leaning centrist group.) The grant is for up to 14 … Read the rest

Francesco Bonami, whose curatorial credits include the 2003 Venice Biennale and the 2010 Whitney Biennial, has returned for the tenth edition of his column, “Ask a Curator,” in which he looks back on 2020 and addresses Pantone’s colors of the year for 2021. He can be found on Instagram at @thebonamist. If you have queries for him for a future column, please write to [email protected]. The Editors of ARTnews

It is safe to say that 2020 has been a tumultuous year for almost everyone. Looking back on art and the art world in 2020, what will you remember most?

The total denial of the art world and the delusional fantasy that this unbelievable, unpredictable crisis could be solved by moving business online. The physicality of art cannot be substituted. Museums, galleries, and art fairs need to be walked into, not browsed through. I don’t know … Read the rest

John Outterbridge, a sculptor who made the stuff of everyday life his medium, crafting found objects into assemblages imbued with history, has died at 87, according to New York’s Tilton Gallery, which represents him. No cause of death was given.

Outterbridge’s sculptures often feature objects scavenged from the streets of Los Angeles’s South Central region, where he was long based—worn-down rags, dirtied pieces of wood, and other scrapped objects. In bringing the everyday world into institutional and gallery settings, Outterbridge effectively suggested that life and art could not be divorced.

In interviews, Outterbridge often said that he began making assemblages during the 1960s after simply being inspired by what he saw around him. In a 2013 conversation with Art in America, he described his father as a “man who found esthetics in his backyard” and his mother as someone who clipped away pieces of her reading materials. “Many … Read the rest

With the pandemic hard upon us, what better time to settle in with a few of those art books you’ve always meant to read but never quite got to? Below, the editors of Art in America suggest a mix of their personal favorites. The recommendations, some old and some new, range from scholarly classics to provocative critical studies to essential catalogues to of-the-moment reflections on topics such as social justice, the psychology of color, and disability and art. (Price and availability current at time of publication.)

Titian’s Touch: Art, Magic and Philosophy, Maria H. Loh (Reaktion Books, 2019)
This critical study of the Venetian Renaissance master by A.i.A. contributor Maria H. Loh exemplifies contemporary art historical methodologies by offering a close study of Titian’s work and a detailed introduction to his intellectual and cultural world.
Purchase: Titian’s Touch $20.48 (new) on Amazon

Women Artists: The Linda Nochlin Reader, Read the rest

Art is important “because it’s beauty,” fashion designer Victor Glemaud recently told Brooke Jaffe for “ARTnews Live,” our ongoing IGTV series of interviews with a range of creatives.

Art is a primary source of inspiration for Glemaud’s designs, which often use of bold colors and knitwear. “I go to galleries, I go to museums,” Glemaud said. “I just start to absorb or go back to things that I was thinking about, so I really start with thinking of color and that to me comes from art always, wherever I go.”

Glemaud has also famously slashed his garments, a direct reference to Argentine-Italian artist Lucio Fontana, whose best-known series is “Concetto spaziale,” in which the artist slashed monochromatic canvases. “The statement sweaters started with Fontana, Lucio Fontana,” Glemaud said. “I was in Paris with a friend of mine,  and I saw this incredible Fontana exhibition and I was blown away.”… Read the rest

A painting by Brazilian modernist Tarsila do Amaral sold for a record-setting 57.5 million reais ($11.2 million) at a São Paulo auction last week, making it the most expensive work by the artist ever sold at auction and one of the most expensive works by a Latin American artist ever to sell on the block.

A caipirinha (1923) came to sale by court order from the collection of banker Salim Taufic Schahin, who is the subject of a lawsuit over unpaid debt to 12 creditors. Schahin was a partner at investment firm Schahin Group, which went bankrupt in 2018. The Brazilian government denied a request to block the auction, filed by Schahin’s son, who claimed he purchased the painting in 2013 and gifted the work to his father.

The canvas was sold at the São Paulo–based Bolsa de Arte auction house, where it sold above its estimate of $47.5 million … Read the rest