‘Really a Time of Reckoning’: Activist Group Art Space Sanctuary Protests MoMA and Trustee Larry Fink [artnews /4] It has been a tumultuous year for New York art museums, which have faced calls for board members to resign, moves toward unionization, and a continuation of protests garnering attention from far outside the art world. Now an activist group has set its sights on one of the city’s biggest institutions: the Museum of Modern Art.In a petition circulating online via Google Docs, Art Space Sanctuary is calling on MoMA and Larry Fink, the CEO of the investment firm BlackRock and a museum trustee, to cease investments connected to private prisons in the U.S. MoMA relies on Fidelity Investments to manage its pension fund,, the group alleges, and Fidelity owns stock in private prison companies. According to prior reports, Fink is a stakeholder in GEO Group and CoreCivic, two companies that operate private prisons.
Jerry Saltz Wins National Magazine Award for ‘How to Be an Artist’ Article [artnews /4] The citation for the prize said that Saltz “provided 33 thoughtful, wise, and reassuring lessons that made artistic challenges feel like child’s play. After reading ‘How to Be an Artist,’ it would seem almost impossible not to be successful
Bid me up before you go-go: sun goes down on George Michael’s art collection at Christie’s [theartnewspaper /3] That year was a particularly busy one for buying art. Michael bought almost half of the 61 lots offered in 2007, many from White Cube, whose owner Jay Jopling was an early champion of the Young British Artists including Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Damien Hirst and Jake and Dinos Chapman.
Art Historian Darby English Untangles the Politics of Kerry James Marshall’s Portrait of a Black Police Officer [artnet /5] When working figuratively, Marshall only paints black people—figures wholly distinctive in aesthetic style. More important, they emit with equal constancy that sense of intrinsic worth—the ability to love and to remain indifferent—that some call self-respect. Such people run, as it were, on autonomy. That, of course, is a quality embedded in the historical temporality of modernist painting, a representational convention to whose manner and topoi Marshall holds fiercely—except for its ban on black people. In this critical aspect, Marshall fancies himself a full-time restoration agent. Really black black people function for him, however, as a way not to disclose an (open) secret about modernism, but rather to make of modernism a more completely worldly cultural practice. “Worldly” here describes the attitude of a person, or a thing, that would take its place without wanting the approval of anyone or anything else. But Marshall’s figures show anonymous and fictional qualities that render them irreal by catalyzing their collapse into the pictorial settings they inhabit—settings whose labored yet clearly delineated structures, copious localized embellishments, and near-campy conventionality make it impossible ever to forget you’re looking at a painting.
‘Punk’ Once Meant a Prostitute, Then a Rock ’n’ Roll Rebel [wsj/ 30] A documentary series on the music movement of the 1970s shows how the term came to define its musicians over their objections – The noun “punk” first got associated with a surly, chaotic kind of rock music around 1970, though it seemed to occur to many people at roughly the same time. Ed Sanders, member of the experimental countercultural band the Fugs, called his music “punk rock” in an interview with the Chicago Tribune in March 1970. In July of that year, the music critic Nick Tosches wrote an essay for the magazine Fusion titled “The Punk Muse.” In October, in a listing in the Village Voice, the avant-garde electronic band Suicide advertised a show at a New York art space as “Punk Music by Suicide.”
The Reënchantment of Carolee Schneemann [newyorker/27] We arrived at her studio, which was lovely and busy and hot. On the far wall was “Flange 6rpm” (2011-13), a series of hand-molded aluminum shapes revolving on motors, with a video of the fire that forged the shapes playing behind them. I couldn’t help but think of the extravagant, awe-inducing forge scene in Matthew Barney’s “River of Fundament” (2014), because I’d just watched the film, and how the scale and feeling here were almost the opposite—Carolee’s felt handmade, a kind of anti-apocalypse. Carolee apologized that one couldn’t really get the full effect of the flames projected on the wall during daylight hours, but I liked the look of the pale orange flickering in the midday heat, the weird flanges creaking in the foreground. On a long table sat an ensemble that she had recently unearthed from “Noise Bodies” (1965), a piece that would soon be travelling to a retrospective of her work. The ensemble was akin to a bicycle wheel strung with pots and pans, designed for a performer to wear and shake. Carolee told me me to put it on and move around. I felt silly doing so, but, so instructed, I submitted—I shook.
The Luxury Paint Company Creating a New Kind of Decorating Anxiety [newyorker/29] In the twenty-four years that Studholme has worked for Farrow & Ball, its palette has spread across the wealthier districts of London. In Peckham, a formerly gritty area of the city now filled with microbreweries and artisanal butchers, clients favor bold colors like Radicchio, a dark red, or Studio Green, a bilious black. In Notting Hill, which the investment-banking class has taken over, the prevailing preference has been for gray—Pavilion Gray, Lamp Room Gray, Plummett—in ever-increasing degrees of modernist coldness