Painting Ideas

Inspired by the radical innovations of late 19th-century painters and sculptors, 20th-century modernists pushed art to new frontiers of expression and abstraction, rewriting the rules about what constituted art and how its materials could be used. The exhibition traces the complex back-and-forth between artists up to the current moment, in which artists are engaged in much more direct critique of the modernist inheritance. Titus Kaphar uses thick fields of black tar to encroach on the morally obtuse prettiness of Impressionism, forcing viewers to confront the cost of European wealth and luxury — in large measure derived from global exploitation. What is missing from these colorful Impressionist paintings that are so beloved by museum audiences? Not just African figures, but also the history of Africa, transpiring with substantial misery so far away at the same time that Monet was painting women with parasols in green fields speckled with flowers. We tend … Read the rest

Tim Griffin Steps Down as Director of Celebrated New York Art Space with Experimental Tendencies

Tim Griffin, director and chief curator of the Kitchen, a nonprofit experimental art space in New York, will step down from his position at the end of the year. Griffin joined the Kitchen in 2011, after a tenure as the editor-in-chief and later editor-at-large of Artforum.

“I can’t imagine a more inspiring or humbling experience among artists than what The Kitchen, and its dedicated staff and board, has offered me over the years,” Griffin said in a statement. “Few places have such a history, decade after decade, of presenting the unexpected. Even fewer have people so deeply committed every day to supporting artists’ innovative work, and who, time and again, manage to pull it off whatever the challenges.”

While at the helm, Griffin oversaw significant projects by artists including Chantal Akerman, Charles Atlas, and Gretchen Bender, in addition to thematic exhibitions such as “From Minimalism into Algorithm” … Read the rest

Eight Great Books for Getting Through a Creative Block

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In some inevitable moments, every artist, writer, or creator of any form will find themselves staring at an empty canvas, page, or desktop, hitting a complete creative block. You either lack inspiration for what to do next or feel that being an artist, period, is impossible—society doesn’t value it enough! How can you go on? In such moments, stepping away from the ennui of the studio and reading a book can be the best way to escape your own head. These books present a tiny canon for getting out of a rut, particularly for visual art but also applicable to any field.

1. Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees by Lawrence Weschler

Artist biographies are usually published long after the artist has passed away, looking … Read the rest

ARTnews in Brief: Ulrike Müller Wins $35,000 German Art Prize—and More from September 28, 2020

Monday, September 28

Ulrike Müller Awarded 2020 Prize of the Böettcherstraße in Bremen
Ulrike Müller is the recipient of the 2020 Prize of the Böettcherstraße in Bremen, Germany, which carries a cash prize of €30,000 ($35,000). The award honors one German visual artist each year. Müller, who is based in New York and is known for her abstractions, was selected from 10 nominated artists by a jury comprised of Yilmaz Dziewior, director of the Museum Ludwig in Cologne; Stephanie Rosenthal, director of the Gropius Bau in Berlin; artist and scholar Christoph Ruckhaeberle; and Susanne Titz, director of the Museum Abteiberg, Moenchengladbach. In a statement the jury said, “Her work is one of the most rigorous in the current field of feminist and queer artistic discourse.” Works by Müller and the other nominees will remain on view at the institution until November 1.

David Zwirner Hires Ebony L. Haynes as Read the rest

Vincent Namatjira Becomes First Indigenous Winner of Major Australian Art Prize

Vincent Namatjira has become the first Indigenous artist to win Australia’s Archibald Prize for portraiture, which comes with $100,000. The artist received the award for his painting Stand Strong for Who You Are, which features a depiction of the retired Australian footballer Adam Goodes.

Namatjira met Goodes in 2018 and was inspired to paint the athlete after viewing the 2019 documentary The Final Quarter, which traces Goodes’s career and anti-racism activism. Namatjira’s figurative paintings often take on political and social issues, and they have been exhibited at the Sydney Contemporary, Artspace Sydney, Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Basel Hong Kong, and other venues.

According to a report by the Guardian, Namatjira’s was selected as the winner by the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 1,068 entries for the prize.

“When I saw the 2019 documentary (The Final Quarter) about Adam’s final season of AFL … Read the rest

From the Archives: Matters of Fact

The Bay Area–based Photo-Realist painter Robert Bechtle died this week at age eighty-eight. In this essay from our October 2005 issue, Richard Kalina discusses Bechtle’s retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the ways in which the artist’s paintings of the suburban landscape grapple with representation. —Eds.

Robert Bechtle hit upon a photo-based approach to realism in the mid-1960s, clarified his painting methods by the end of that decade and, while deepening the work over the years, has stayed firmly within the Photo-Realist fold ever since. Bechtle remains close to his geographic roots as well. He was born in California’s San Francisco Bay Area in 1932 and has lived, studied, and worked there his entire life. The great majority of his subjects—cars, house fronts, backyards, streetscapes, people sitting or standing around or going about ordinary domestic business (lighting a barbeque, watering the lawn)—have been drawn from … Read the rest

On Amazon Prime Day, We’ll Be Here to Help You Find the Best Deals on Artists’ Tools and Studio Supplies

Every year, Amazon’s Prime Day offers thousands of deals on the site’s products, from electronics to books and art supplies. The shopping day usually happens in July, but this year it has been pushed back due to the pandemic; the 48-hour event is likely to be scheduled in mid-October. Some reports set the date at October 13 and 14, with an official announcement coming on September 27.

Prime Day has deals across all of Amazon’s categories. We can’t be sure exactly what sales will happen, but there are always plenty of discounts for electronics, particularly Amazon’s own products, including Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, and Alexa smart speakers. To get access to the deals, however, you have to be an Amazon Prime subscriber.

Amazon Prime costs $12.99 a month or $119 a year. Its benefits include faster shipping on Amazon orders, discounts at Whole Foods, and access to Amazon’s streaming entertainment. … Read the rest

Philip Guston Blockbuster Pushed Back to 2024 Amid Concerns Over KKK Imagery

One of the most hotly anticipated blockbuster exhibitions on the art world’s horizon has been pushed back after organizers raised concerns over images evoking racist violence in certain works. After its original planned summer opening was delayed until 2021 because of the pandemic, a high-profile Philip Guston retrospective organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston has now been put on hold for four years—with a new plan to launch in 2024.

On Monday, the National Gallery quietly posted a joint statement signed by directors of all four museums set to host the show: Kaywin Feldman (National Gallery), Frances Morris (Tate Modern), Matthew Teitelbaum (MFA Boston), and Gary Tinterow (MFA Houston). The statement said the exhibition was being pushed “until a time at which we think that the powerful message of … Read the rest

With a Focus on New Works, Art Basel Goes Smaller in Hopes of Big Sales at New Online Edition

Having canceled all three of its in-person editions, Art Basel has plowed forward with online viewing rooms. The first in a series of two online viewing rooms titled “OVR:2020” was launched on Wednesday, with 100 galleries from 28 countries participating. This iteration is focused on works made in 2020. The fair is hosting emerging and established dealers for the series. It follows the cancellation of Art Basel’s marquee Swiss fair that was originally scheduled for June, then rescheduled for September, and finally canceled due to coronavirus restrictions. The fair will run from September 23 to September 26.

In the pandemic era, global art fairs have been forced to adapt their online programs rapidly. Now, Art Basel is responding to digital fatigue with a new format. This online edition provides vendors a platform to showcase smaller curated exhibitions. While its run is shorter than a typical week-long fair, and while less … Read the rest

Imogen Cunningham’s Rise: Why the Proto-Feminist Photographer Has Grown So Popular

What explains the fact that Imogen Cunningham is still an elusive figure? She was once considered one of the greatest photographers, alongside her contemporaries Alfred Stieglitz and Ansel Adams, and during the 1960s and ’70s, at the height of the women’s liberation movement, many recognized her important contributions as blazing a trail for women who wanted to take up the medium.

But at some point, her popularity dropped off a bit. Even today, though a few U.S. museums have collected her work in depth, the full view of Cunningham’s photographic work—which runs the gamut from expressively lighted shots of flowers, to piercing portraiture shot on commission, to mysterious street photography, to experimental abstractions, and more—has largely gone unseen, which might owe to her being under-known in the decades since her death in 1976. “I photograph anything that can be exposed to light,” Cunningham, who was born in Portland, Oregon, in … Read the rest