Tag Archives: White Cube

Through the Glass Ceiling, Into the White Cube: 31 Women in Art Photography

Curators Natalia Sacasa and Jon Feinstein make no generalizations. Their show, “31 Women in Art Photography,” is a varied and diverse state-of-the-union of art photography encompassing all genres. The fact that each of the 31 photographs in the show was made by a female artist had no bearing on its curation. Feinstein first came up with the idea for the show as a response to increasing awareness of the male domination of the New York art world. He is quick to cite an article written in 2006 by Jerry Saltz of The Village Voice that begins, When it comes to being artists, women can be as bad as men, and goes on to scold every major gallery and museum in New York City for not allowing bad art by women to be shown at the same rate as men. A feminist collective called Brainstormers has presented research of the same ilk since 2005 detailing the grossly disproportionate representation of work by male over female artists in bluechip galleries and major institutions. Feinstein and the nonprofit arts organization he co-founded in 2005 called Humble Arts Foundation saw an opportunity. The show they made offers women artists real estate in gallery shows without bias. The whole reason we created Humble was to have it be a really democratic process and to find ways of showing really established photographers in the same context as recent graduates who we felt were making engaging or promising work, says Feinstein.

“31 Women in Art Photography” is now in its third incarnation. It has moved from its roots in a modest Brooklyn space where the first show was held in 2008 to a swanky white cube in Chelsea. Feinstein, who has curated the show each year with a different female co-curator, is this time working with Natalie Sacasa, senior director of another Chelsea gallery, Luhring Augustine. Despite Sacasa’s background in commercial galleries, she was able to be totally free in making her decisions for the show. I didnt take any commercial concerns into consideration when I was making selections,” she says. “For me it was definitely a taste perspective I wanted to present. Guillain-Barr syndrome . These are the people I think are the foremost practitioners in this medium.”

Amid the thousands of submissions received this year, a theme emerged: both men and women are making more pictures in studio, creating the object of their vision rather than going out in to the world to seek it. Theres a real consciousness of a non documentarian aesthetic,” says Sacasa. “People are not going out in the world so much to search out images that are meaningful to them, they are more creating them themselves. Whatever the difference between photographs made by men to those made by women, the array of pictures in this years show is stunning.

One photograph in particular, made by Lourdes Jeanette, stands out from the rest. Its an image of men acting very traditionally masculine, half naked and fighting. The exhibitions curators see this work as representative of a current trend. Sacasa proclaims exuberantly, The reason why I like it so much is because while its flash photography, documenting something thats going on, its almost as straight a photo as you can get, it has this incredible sculptural quality. The bodies at a certain point cease to be bodies and become volumes and forms. Its representative of a new direction.

This show is exciting because a platform has been created for the exclusive purpose of women having a voice in New York art institutions. From humble beginnings this show hangs in one of the most respectable galleries showing photography today, and that is a historical triumph for women and photography both.

“31 Women in Art Photography” will be on view at theHasted KraeutlerGallery in New York from July 26 to Aug. 17, 2012.

TIME 100 Includes Artist Christian Marclay

Our annual TIME 100 magazine issue takes stock of the 100 most influential people of the year, and this year that list included Christian Marclay, the artist behind the highly-regarded video piece The Clock. That piece is only one highlight from the artist’s varied career— which extends itself in across an array of mediums, from sound and performance, to photography and sculpture—some of his other work is featured in the gallery above.

Geoff Dyer—whose many books include The Ongoing Moment, a series of essays about photography—wrote about Marclay for TIME:

© Christian Marclay / Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York and White Cube, London; Installation Photo: Todd-White Art Photography

Installation view of The Clock at White Cube Mason’s Yard, London (Oct. 15 – Nov. 13, 2010)

Wherever it has been shown, Christian Marclay’s The Clock has been met with a rare combination of critical approval and public affection—love, even. The idea was audacious in its simplicity and herculean in execution: take moments in films when people are interacting with time—looking at their watches, hurrying to intercept the 3:10 to Yuma or hanging on to the hands of Big Ben—and splice them together in such a way that they unfold in real time over 24 hours, so that the whole thing becomes an accurate (to the minute) timepiece. During the film’s opening run in London, I had intended to stay long enough to get the gag—10 minutes?—before hurrying on to a lunch date. It was so hypnotic, so thrilling, that I ended up watching 20 hours over a month, arranging life and appointments (for which I was invariably late) in such a way as to catch previously unseen segments of that celluloid epic called a day.

Read more about this year’s most influential people in the TIME 100.

Art News: Damien Hirst to exhibit his first museum retrospective in April 2012 at the Tate Modern for the London 2012 Olympics

Damien Hirst - dots - Tate Retrospective
Damien Hirst, Adrenochrome Semicarbazone Sulfonate via The Guardian

Ultra high-profile contemporary artist Damien Hirst will showcase his first retrospective at the Tate Modern during the 2012 Olympics, from April 5th to September 9th 2012. Throughout his career, Hirst has been known for generating wealth by defying the instituted system of art relationships, linking his gallery representation with White Cube and Gagosian to direct independent auctioning with Sotheby’s. In collaborating with the curatorial world, Hirst is reinstating himself in the inter-relational art market, even as he capitalizes on the mass sensationalism of the Olympics in London.

Although Hirst is represented by Gagosian (for whom his most recent showcase in Hong Kong will be on view through March 19th) and White Cube, he is arguably best known for his high grossing auction sales. Most notably, the £50 million 2008 sale beautiful inside my head forever marked a revolutionary means of selling art directly through the auction house.

more images and story after the jump…

Damien Hirst - Pharmacy - Tate Retrospective
Damien Hirst, Pharmacy installation 2002 (via the Tate)

One noted auction sale was the contents of Pharmacy a restaurant Hirst founded using one his popular recurring pharmaceutical motif. Pharmacy grossed £11 million.

The hyper-success of the auction was a climax in financial history, dually marking the peak and crash of the economic boom: investment bank Lehman Brothers went bankrupt the exact same day as Hirst’s auction at Sotheby’s. With the international economy instantaneously floundering, Damien Hirst’s auction success could never be fully duplicated.


Sotheby’s auctioneer at beautiful inside my head forever 2008 (via The New York Times)

Hirst’s peak in 2008 marked an evolutionary point for his commercial and aesthetic future. Many of his recognizable themes were alleged to discontinue shortly thereafter, and he confirmed the aesthetic departure with a series of poorly reviewed paintings, even as his previous iconography retained popularity.

Apart from the auction record, the notorious diamond skull for the love of god sold at White Cube for $100 million, with an investing strategy to sell shares once the value accrued in the future. The skull has shown internationally, at the Rijksmusuem in Amsterdam and Palazzio Vecchio in Venice.


Damien Hirst, for the love of god 2007 (via Art Observed)

Damien Hirst has been a recognizable and merited artist since he coordinated “Freeze” with fellow Goldsmiths student, the late Angus Fairhurst, in 1988. The exhibition caught the attention of noted collector Charles Saatchi, who codified the Young British Artists as foremost contemporary figures, including YBA artists Tracey EminMarc Quinn, Jake and Dinos  Chapman. Saatchi funded Hirst’s early works, notably formaldehyde shark the Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, which quickly gained popularity. The shark was ultimately purchased by American hedge fund manager Steve A. Cohen, and briefly displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Damien Hirst, the physical impossibility of death in the mind of someone living 1991 (via the New York Times)

While Hirst is no stranger to either commercialism or exhibition, consistently selling posters, t-shirts, and jeans to propagate his notoriety in cohesion with exhibitions, the combination curatorial acclaim with Olympic publicity fuses the realms of art and business without implicating the fiscal art market.  Not only does the Tate Modern retrospective mark a return to the artist’s upscale recognition, but it solidifies his chronological evolution as historically worthwhile.

-A. Bregman

Related Links:
Damien Hirst to head Tate Modern’s Olympic programme [The Guardian]
AO Auction Preview: Two Years After Declaring Bankruptcy Lehman Brothers Hopes to Sell Hundreds of Artworks Worth Millions at 3 Auctions in UK & US [Art Observed]
Damien Hirst Artist Biography [Gagosian Gallery]
Hirst’s Art Auction Attracts Plenty of Financial Bidders, Despite Financial Turmoil [the New York Times]
Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy: The Business Decisions that Brought Lehman Down [Daily Finance]
Charles Saatchi: Damien Hirst is ‘rather off-form’ [The Telegraph]
Artist behind 1990s boom ‘commits suicide’ [the Independent]