How Richard Serra Shaped the Discourse about Public Art in the 20th Century

By | Architecture, Art Advisory, Art and Design, Art Collections, Art Market, Artists

d7hftxdivxxvm-1.cloudfront.netIn 1966-67, Serra penned a list of transitive verbs—a to-do list of sorts—published in The New Avant-Garde: Issues for the Art of the Seventies (1972) by Grégoire MüllerMany of these words describe the dynamics of some of Serra’s most important sculptures. To Lift, for instance, is the title of a 1967 work, one that manifests the effect of that action on a piece of vulcanized rubber. “To prop” indicates the gesture behind any number of works from that period, from Prop (1968) to 1-1-1-1 (1969) to Melnikov(1987). Even works with less explicitly action-based titles, like the 2006 masterpiece Band, evoke many of the spatial and temporal terms on that list: to bend, to shave, to flow, to suspend, to gather.

The looming gravity of these works is key to appreciating Serra’s oeuvre. The artist had a recurring dream as a child—of a mass of great ships floating on the San Francisco Bay. Thus the macho, aggressive feel of sculptures like Backdoor Pipeline (2010)—in a style that has been called “he-man Minimalism”—can also be understood as a way to shed or float above the burdens of Modernism. Rather than prompting you to simply observe, Serra makes you constantly renegotiate your relationship to an artwork that requires not only an artist, but also engineers, forgers, construction workers, preparators, curators, and viewers to participate. “How the work alters a given site is the issue,” he affirms, “not the persona of the author.” Read More

Why Are Galleries Flocking to Los Angeles?

By | Architecture, Art Advisory, Art and Design, Art Collections, Art Market


Sprueth Magers, Los Angeles. Photography: Joshua White/

Sprueth Magers, Los Angeles. Photography: Joshua White/

The unspoken reason why galleries are flocking to Los Angeles by Jori Finkel for The Art Newspaper

The grand openings of the Los Angeles branches of European galleries Sprüth Magers and Hauser & Wirth (called Hauser Wirth & Schimmel), on 23 February and 13 March respectively, are sure to generate even more buzz about the booming Los Angeles art scene. Gallerists who have moved here in the past have praised the “energy” (Dominique Lévy), the “freshness” (Perry Rubenstein), “the ability to spread out” (Michele Maccarone) and the “exciting artists” (Adam Lindemann, of Venus Over Los Angeles). Or, as Lindemann put it more plainly, “The weather is better and there is a lot more room.”

Some of the buzz is well earned, especially when it comes to cheaper downtown real estate and the great artists working and teaching here. But there is another strong incentive behind so many galleries making the move, one that too often goes unmentioned.

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Art Word – Donald Judd’s House, Becoming a Museum

By | Architecture, Art and Design, Artists, News
Photo courtesy: Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Photo courtesy: Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Two statements by the artist Donald Judd turned out to be remarkably prescient about the ramshackle-beautiful cast-iron building on Spring Street he bought in 1968 for use as his home and studio.

“One threat,” he wrote about the blocks around him — which only then, three years after he moved in, were becoming known as SoHo — “is that some of the attributes of Greenwich Village may develop: tourist shops and restaurants, bad art and high rents.”

In light of how quickly and thoroughly that threat came to pass, the second statement seems like wishful thinking. “I’ve always needed my own work in my own space,” he wrote, adding dramatically, “The brief time of gallery and museum exhibitions would be ultimately fatal if it were not for the permanence of my own installations.” Read More

Art Word – Gehry and Zuckerberg Join Forces

By | Architecture, Art Advisory, Art and Design, News

Image courtesy: Frank Ghery/Ghery Partners

It seems like whenever Facebook proffers a design change, it’s guaranteed to incite a tidal wave of complaints.

Until now, at least.

The social networking company has enlisted world-renowned architect Frank Gehry to create Facebook West, a mammoth new campus in the Silicon Valley city of Menlo Park, which will eventually house 2,800 of the company’s engineers.