"It's pointless to talk about painting," says Gerhard Richter, partway through Gerhard Richter Painting, a poignant new documentary. Cologne-based filmmaker Corinna Belz's feature-length portrait of one of the world's most celebrated and best-selling artists more or less argues that point. Grounded in the studio, her documentary delves into Richter's process, from the first easy sweeps with the brush, to the slow, heavy dragging of the squeegee. The camera also captures the moments between these artistic gestures, illuminating the artist's persistent questioning.
What exactly do we call Portugal Arte, the month-long show of contemporary art in and around Lisbon that opened this past weekend? It's casually being described as a biennial, although there's neither a unifying theme nor a guarantee that it will be back in two years. It's billed in the press materials as an "international survey" of contemporary art—although you could say that it's international in the way that certain U.S. airports with the odd flight to Canada are.
Without coming out and saying it, this show (funded, in the midst of a national-debt crisis, primarily by Portuguese energy giant EDP) seems primarily to be about the American art scene in 2010—without marquee names and creatively shoehorned into a large building that isn't a museum but sort of looks like one. It's a bit random, which is not to say that it's not interesting. Read More
Some people worry that art is stuck in the past—McDermott & McGough wouldn't have it any other way. For three decades, the artist duo have immersed themselves for years at a time in bygone eras: renovating a Gilded Age apartment, say, or an Eighteenth-Century farmhouse upstate, and assiduously building a period-appropriate lifestyle around it. They've made art objects, but this sustained performance comprises a quiet rebellion against everything that is shoddy, tasteless, frantic, and mass-produced in contemporary American life, and it may be their biggest statement.
For L.A.-based street artist Thierry Guetta, aka Mr. Brainwash, art is "simple" and the key to curating an exhibition is "Bring, bring, bring." The art world refuses to take him seriously, but the Frenchman tries not to let that get to him. It's Tuesday afternoon, two days before the opening night of his second show, "Icons," and he's sitting, in aviators and paint-splattered jeans, in the rented Meatpacking space he's already trucked more art into than he could ever dream of including in the show. One of his many assistants shouts, "Le camion arrive
!" More trucks. Read More
On Sunday night, as Miami Basel's last lights were winking out, Kehinde Wiley was bopping around the back yard of the Shore Club in a floral-print suit, grinning, smoking, and greeting guests. He was hosting his annual closing-night fish fry. Read More