Magazine article Artforum International

Jack Bankowsky

Magazine article Artforum International

Jack Bankowsky

Article excerpt

1 Gustave Courbet (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) and Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, The Most Arrogant Man in France: Gustave Courbet and the Nineteenth-Century Media Culture (Princeton University Press) I know it's lame to award the top slot to a gilded oldie, but the arrival at the Met of this breathtaking survey, coupled with my simultaneous discovery of Chu's 2007 study (recommended by none other than Courbet collector Jeff Koons), made an afternoon in the art-historical vault the contemporary high point of my year. I ogled The Origin of We World with eyes for La Cicciolina and glimpsed the artfulness of the Koonsian persona in the crafted posture of Courbet's self-portrait The Desperate Man. The Most Arrogant Man in France tells the story of an artist who conspired with the incipient mass media to create an image equal to his age--and it remains indelible in our own.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

2 "Jeff Koons Versailles" (Chateau de Versailles, France) Down goes a crystal chandelier; up goes a meticulously airbrushed, eight-foot, cast-aluminum pool toy shaped like a lobster. The most arrogant man in America stands proud in the Apollo Salon.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

3 Damien Hirst, "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever" (Sotheby's, London) Leave it to the most arrogant man in ... Britain! Sullen dealers; surplus supply; the end of the art business as we know it? By the time the auctioneer opened bidding on the first of the staggering 223 lots in this single-artist sale, an auction of art had transformed itself into an auction as art. "You know," my neighbor whispered, "Hirst wins this even if the damn thing tanks." It didn't.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

4 "Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms" (The Hayward, London, and Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH) The most decisive addition to the crowded Warhol chronology since the Dusseldorf Kunst Palast's 2004 "Andy Warhol: The Late Work," this survey, which opened at Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum just in time to miss the 2007 "Top Ten" deadline, demands to be singled out at its current simultaneous stops (how Warholian!) at the Hayward and the Wexner Center. Organized by Eva Meyer-Hermann as a series of "cosmos"--a term perfectly capturing Warhol's infinitely expanding artistic universe--"Other Voices, Other Rooms" attempts to make good on the baseline insight that while the Warholian project may be anchored in the gallery, it is scarcely contained by it. Andy as publisher; Andy as promoter; Andy as TV producer and personality: That this show tackles his corpus as hydra-headed Gesamtkunstwerk makes the Hayward's distracting--OK, cheesy--exhibition design almost forgivable. Check out the center gallery devoted to Warhol and TV: Composed of hundreds of little-seen TV interviews with grands hommes and next-to-nobodies,this portrait of the artist as insatiable fan is enough to make "Other Voices" obligatory viewing.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

5 Kaikai Kiki at Nakano Broadway, Tokyo The beauty of Takashi Murakami's viral industry is that it bitmaps the global art machine he navigates--even as he reinvents it. My personal favorite maneuver of 2008 was the tiny gallery he opened at Tokyo's Nakano Broadway shopping arcade, the roiling heart of otaku subculture. Here, amid the wounded-doll shops and endless stalls of porn, lies a storefront sanctuary so discreet that nobody stops there-except, of course, Murakami's intended quarry, the international art elite. Fitted with traditional tatami mats and a single Eames chair, this peaceful way station was cohabited on my visit by a shelf of pots from Japanese-influenced American ceramicists Otto and Gertrud Natzler and Myrton Purkiss and a trio of paintings by Kaikai Kiki art soldier Mahomi Kunikata. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.