Sarah Sze Makes Large Projects of Small Things

Sarah Sze explaining Slice (2023), a site-specific work in the her Timelapse exhibition at the Guggenheim, in an Art21 documentary. image:

I still have to see Sarah Sze’s exhibition at the Guggenheim, Timelapse. Watching Ian Forster’s Art21 interview/documentary of Sze explaining her work as she makes it does not make it easy to wait.

A couple of weeks ago, Sze talked to Ben Luke for The Art Newspaper’s podcast about her Artangel commission, Metronome, which is installed in a South London railway station waiting room. Because of the pandemic, the timing for these two major shows slid on top of each other.

For both exhibitions Sze has created streams of video or audio content that slip and loop in a seemingly non-repeating way, creating seemingly random confluences and juxtapositions. In Forster’s footage, we see Sze’s images, but don’t hear about them. In Luke’s we hear her talking about her sources, but don’t see them.

I will try to sync them up inside my head.

Sarah Sze Emotional Time, Art21, directed and produced by Ian Forster []
18 May 2023: The Week In Art…Sarah Sze in London [theartnewspaper]

Lost In Translation: Christopher Wool Stack

Lot 617: Christopher Wool, Untitled (The show is over), 1993 [sic sic sic], via

While we were all focused on the Ellsworth Kelly centenary, we missed the five-year anniversary of the question, “Why are people buying free Félix Gonzálex-Torres posters?”

Which an auction house in Berlin just celebrated by asking, “Félix who?”

A poster from “Untitled,” 1993, the endless stack of free posters Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Christopher Wool first made for Printed Matter as a fundraising edition [!] is being sold a “Poster for an exhibition” and an “offset print” from “a so-called ‘Stack’-work” by Christopher Wool. It would be, I believe, Wool’s first and only Stack-work.

Das Poster für die Ausstellung "Printed Matter" in New York als sogenannte "Stack"-Arbeit geschaffen. Hierfür wurde der Druck in einer unbekannten Auflagenhöhe erstellt und lag auf einem Stapel in den Ausstellungsräumen aus. Wool versucht durch den Text eine Kommunikation mit dem Betrachter aufzubauen, Wortbilder zu erschaffen. Er stellt die Fragen aber nicht nur dem Betrachter, sondern auch sich selbst und lässt damit die Außenwelt an seinen Gedanken teilhaben.
sogenannte “Stack”-Arbeit, hmm?

Gonzalez-Torres’ stack piece made with an image of Wool’s painting is, of course, in the Sammlung Hoffmann in Mitte. So if you lose the auction, maybe just head into town one weekend and pick up an uncreased copy.

[Lol also: Not Gagosian Shop selling this poster for $1500. Also Joshua Smith reminding us all that Larry got his start selling posters on the street, so shout out to the OG, I guess.]

Which, now I have my next project:

23 Jun 2023, Lot 617 Christopher Wool. Untitled (The show is over). … []

Max Schumann Benefit Bash Prints for Printed Matter

Max Schumann, Threat Level, 2023, 14-color screen print with unique handpainted embellishments, ed. 100 for Printed Matter

In case you were wondering if there’s anything he can’t do or hasn’t done, the answer is not yet. Outgoing director of Printed Matter, Max Schumann has produced two prints for the upcoming Spring Benefit Bash. Each 14-color silk screened print of flower arrangements is embellished by handpainted blossoms.

The pictures fit well within Schumann’s own longstanding “outsider painting practice,” as PM puts it. Though titles notwithstanding, they do also feel like the brightest quadrant of “the dark energy at the heart of American politics, capitalism, and consumerism” that is the subject of Schumann’s critique.

The larger print, We Will Attack, is an edition of 35, and the smaller one, Threat Level, above, is an edition of 100. They both look great, but I posted Threat Level because the email drop for the prints had an animated GIF of it, toggling between the printed and embellished state, and it looked awesome. I ended up deciding not to serve a giant gif from my server, though, thanks. Some of us are even more not-for-profit than Printed Matter these days.

Max Schumann PM Fundraising Editions []

We The People of Basel

Danh Vo, We The People (detail), 2011-2016, 200 x 120 x 280 cm, at Galerie Chantal Crousel’s presentation at Art Basel

One problem with Christie’s selling the Fra Angelico after Basel is that as soon as my Fra Angelico Gofundme reached 10% I’d siphon it off to buy this gorgeous piece of Danh Vo’s We The People at Chantal Crousel’s booth. I’m only posting it because I assume it’s already been snapped up by someone in an earlier timezone.

Kissinger Kissing Her, Kissing Ass

Michael Lobel posted this cursed image on social media the other day.

While he was visiting Washington DC in 1976, Andy Warhol photographed Henry Kissinger accosting actress-turned-icon-turned-DC wife Elizabeth Taylor Warner, who was then married to Virginia Republican senator John Warner.

In 1976 Kissinger was Gerald Ford’s Secretary of State.

Continue reading “Kissinger Kissing Her, Kissing Ass”

New Fra Angelico Just Dropped

Guido di Piero, Fra Giovanni da Fiesole, posthumously known as Fra Angelico (Near Vicchio, circa 1395/1400-1455, Rome)
The Crucifixion with the Virgin, Saint John the Baptist and the Magdalen at the Foot of the Cross
tempera on gold-ground poplar panel, arched, the original engaged frame regilded
25.1/8 x 15 in. (59.7 x 34.2 cm.)
Estimate: £4,000,000-6,000,000 at Christie’s London 6 July 2023

When I went to college I figured I wanted to be a banker, and since bankers collected art, I should study art history, to know what to collect. And so I studied Italian Renaissance painting. Which was fascinating and enthralling and transporting, but which is also the least collectible period of art imaginable. It’s even hard to see it in person.

So the idea of a 60cm tall painting by Fra Angelico being for sale is momentarily giving me pangs of regret for not sticking with banking. Anna Brady’s report on the Christie’s announcement has more detail about the painting, history, context, and scholarship than the Christie’s announcement itself, so that’s nice.

The painting of a crucifixion, dated roughly to 1419-1424, will be on view in New York from 10-14 June. Meanwhile, I’ve got about a month to scare up an extra £6 million. BRB.

For just the third time this century, a Fra Angelico heads to auction [theartnewspaper]
Previously, related: nvm, I guess I never posted, only tweeted, about going to dinner and seeing a Giotto on the wall. Ah, I see, it was May 2021, while considering a Giotto Facsimile Object.

We Are Amused: QEII New Portrait By Richard Prince

Richard Prince, Her Majesty: New Portrait poster? 2015, offset litho, unsigned, unnumbered, from Gagosian London/Davies St, via Phillips

It had truly been a minute since I contemplated Richard Prince’s New Portraits series at length. But then a couple of weeks ago the judge in the slow-rolling, now-consolidated copyright infringement lawsuits over two of Prince’s works refused a request for summary judgment, and now they’re set to go to trial.

NGL, it is wearying to keep wading into the legal minutiae, especially when it all feels like it’s missing what’s obvious. and. right. there. in. the. works. I guess it is literally just me. On the bright side, though, there’s a new deposition, which I am trying to get my hands on. Unlike the Cariou trial, only a very few pages have been excerpted so far, so no book. Yet. [Here’s a pdf of the filing, though, have fun.]

Anyway, point is, next week Phillips is selling a New Portrait that is new to me; it’s a poster? An edition? A takeaway? [Here it is on the floor, for drama.] Hard to say, frankly, but it is the Queen. And it came from Prince’s New Portraits show in London (at Gagosian’s Davies Street storefront) in 2015. Prince would make smaller proof editions for the Portrait subject, if they asked, and he did make variously sized Portraits later [see below], along with Instagram-related prints.

Installation shot of a gang of cash&carry-size New Portraits at Gagosian LA, 2020, via yt

The Queen Elizabeth portrait is an entire Prince joint, though. Like he did with his Family portfolio, Prince posted QEII’s coronation portrait to his own Instagram account, and started composing. The Brant Foundation must have had notifications turned on, to get their white power emoji in there within the four hours between posting and screenshotting.

It’s all long gone now, of course, like the Queen herself. This 22×15 inch poster, unsigned and unnumbered in an edition some places say is 500, others just don’t know, is the only artifact left to mark this historic Instagram moment.

7-8 June 2023, Lot 259: Richard Prince, Queen Elizabeth II, From New Portraits, est GBP 1,000-1,500 [phillips]
Fair use defense by Richard Prince fails to sway judge on Instagram prints [courthousenews]
Previously, related: View Source: Richard Prince’s Instagram Portraits
Hmm, also there are several of these:
Untitled (Re: Graham), 2016
Untitled (Screenshot), 2015
Untitled (richardprince4), 2014
And Queen-related:
Regina, RGB
Yas, Regina

Tiny Oldenburg Store Objects, Bacon & Butter

Lot 171: Sturtevant, Oldenburg Store Objects, Bacon & Pat of Butter, 1967, being sold at Swann

I lost track of the Schwartzes selling Sturtevant’s Oldenburg Store Object, Pie Case amidst the Pompon hype. It was one of the most prominent objects from Sturtevant’s April-til-June 1967 repetition of Oldenburg’s The Store, and it was being sold by some of the most important collectors of Sturtevant’s work. [Eugene organized the 1986 Sturtevant comeback show at White Columns that brought her work into the context of the appropriationist Pictures Generation.

Sturtevant, Oldenburg Store Object, Pie Case, 1967, from the Barbara and Eugene Schwartz Collection, sold at Sotheby’s 19 May 2023
Continue reading “Tiny Oldenburg Store Objects, Bacon & Butter”

Happy EK100 To All Who Celebrate

Yellow Curve Cookie and hibiscus lemonade at Glenstone

Today is the 100th anniversary of Ellsworth Kelly’s birth. There is a lot of Kelly content you can consume to commemorate. The Ellsworth Kelly Foundation has an EK100 list of public events [most of which are past] and current exhibitions.

The Glenstone retrospective is, of course, amazing, but also closed today. Unless there a whisper network of private visits on days the museum is closed? I would certainly hope so.

Ellsworth Kelly retrospective at the Guggenheim, 1996, image via

If you can go back in time, definitely see the Kelly retrospective at the Guggenheim in 1996, one of the most phenomenal art experiences of my life and, along with the Dan Flavin installation and Hilma af Klint, one of the the greatest shows ever installed in that museum. The Guggenheim has resurfaced a nice 2004 Q&A with Kelly for EK100.

John Coplans’ 1969 Artforum cover essay is one of the first serious attempts to understand Kelly’s work on his own terms, and to recognize the foundational importance of his early work in France to his project.

Edgar Howard and Tom Piper’s 2007 documentary, Ellsworth Kelly: Fragments screened a couple of weeks ago in Chatham, NY. Watching the trailer I recognized Kelly’s trip retracing his steps through Paris from the photos the studio posted on Instagram the other day:

Ellsworth Kelly seated under the Pont des Arts in 1949 and 2006, image via ig/ellsworthkellystudio

I also learned that he lived above our ice cream store? We rather ridiculously had Berthillon shipped to our wedding party in NYC. Anyway, Ellsworth Kelly: Fragments is on Vimeo in full.

screenshot of Ellsworth Kelly: Fragments (2007), dir. Edgar B. Howard and Tom Piper, which screened at the Crandell Theater in Chatham, NY on May 21.

This all resonates with something Yve Alain Bois wrote in 1996 about Kelly’s own practice—still little understood or fully appreciated—of looping back, revisiting, and circling:

Kelly’s oeuvre is very diverse, even though his mode of thinking allows for periodic returns, canceling any attempt at pinpointing a linear evolution. Better here to state his patience: very early on, he had understood the field of Modernism as an enterprise of motivation (it is against the arbitrariness and subjectivity of “invention”-as-expression that he had coined his various strategies); at the very beginning of his career, he had surveyed this field, seen both its limits and, within those, its vast expanse of fallow territory. Because he was alone then in envisioning all at once the many possibilities it could yield, he had accepted his historical task as that of tilling this land, digging out many unexpected treasures along the way.

Now, in a culmination of remembrances of his life and work—and his practice combining the two—I wonder about his relationship to time. To the way he found something from his own past to make work from in a certain present. How long did it take? When was it ready? How did he know? What did it need? What if the indexing of works to their archival, historical sources wasn’t an accounting tedium, but a way to understand and experience the work—and the life—more fully?

“Everywhere I looked, everything I saw became something to be made,” Kelly said, “and it had to be exactly as it was, with nothing added.” How long it would take, and when it would be made, he did not say.

Ellsworth Kelly, Seine, 1951, at the Philadelphia Museum, which is currently doing an EK100 show of drawings and other works related to reflection and water

Kelly never sat by the same Seine twice, but he did build bridges across time, between the things he saw, and the things he made, and those bridges are only beginning to be mapped.

EK100 Centennial []

Jack Whitten Xeroxed!

Jack Whitten, Xeroxed! III, 1975, toner on rice paper on canvas, image hauser & wirth via wernerherzoghaircut/cosmicanger

Hauser & Wirth just showed this gorgeous Jack Whitten work from 1975 at Frieze. It’s a grid of 42 Xeroxed images on legal-size rice paper (8.5×11 in.) mounted on canvas, and it’s called Xeroxed! III.

In his 2009 oral history at the Archives of American Art, Whitten explains how Xerox invited him and several artists to Rochester to experiment with the tech, the equipment, talk to engineers, make work, and put on a show. Whitten’s own interest was in the highly manual process of early Xerox flat plate technology. I assume the exclamation point in the name is from the executives’ reaction to Whitten using their freshly trademarked brand as his title. The show never happened.

Gerhard Richter’s 128 Details from a Picture, meanwhile, happened three years later.

[few minutes later update: Harvard Art Museums have a single sheet Xerox work called, Broken Spaces #4, from 1974, where Whitten worked the toner powder across the surface of the paper with a scraper, and it began tracing out the electrostatic waves he was generating. Amazing, and consult a conservator, I guess!]

Jack Whitten, Broken Spaces, #4, 1974, 22 x 17 in., toner on paper, collection Harvard Art Museums

Previously, related: The Xerox Book, Infinite Loop
Some Cady Noland Works On Paper
Ed Meneeley’s Photocopy Prints
Daphne, as Photocopied by Sigmar Polke

A Johns Flag In Captiva

Robert Rauschenberg, The Ancient Incident, 1981, wood and metal stands, chairs, image RRF

Lawrence Voytek began working for Robert Rauschenberg in 1982, right out of RISD. He set up a workshop in Captiva, Florida, and for decades was involved in helping the artist fabricate his work and solve complicated technical challenges.

One of the highlights of Voytek’s oral history with the Rauschenberg Foundation is his work casting objects, from an 24k gold apple core and a solid silver pineapple to a bronze replica edition of The Ancient Incident (1981), a pyramidal tower of fruit stands and Windsor chairs.

“Bob told me he asked Jasper if he could paint a little…Jasper said ok and Bob got a little red on the white….enough !….Jasper scratched the red off….so Bob” img: ig/lawrencyvoytek

Yesterday, artist Eric Doeringer sent me an Instagram Reel Voytek posted for Memorial Day. Voytek shows off a small, bright Jasper Johns-style American flag on a wood panel, which he holds with one hand while recording with his phone in the other. I’ve transcribed the Reel for Art History:

Happy Memorial Day, everybody. This is an encaustic flag. There was a painting that Bob did [Short Circuit, obv] that had a Jasper Johns that was stolen, and it was at Captiva for a while. Bob asked me to make a kind of a copy of the Jasper, doing the real encaustic. He didn’t use it on it; they had a Mary Stravant [sic, Sturtevant] flag that had newspaper and stuff. But this was kind of fun. I melted Crayola crayons, and I had hot wax, and I made a Jasper Johns flag so there you go. Happy Memorial Day.

in 1954 Bob was with Jasper when Jasper had the dream of painting an American flag, and that really sort of was a gamechanger.

Indeed it was, Lawrence, indeed it was.

Voytek’s oral history doesn’t mention Johns, Short Circuit, or Flag (this one or any others). Rauschenberg’s story from Voytek’s caption, though, about asking to paint some of the original Flag is out there. Johns’ story about the dream is, by definition, solitary. But I think this is the first account I’ve seen that acknowledges someone else was in the bed.

Speaking of casting difficult fruit: Melons and Pomegranates, Matson Jones Custom Display

All Respect For My Judd Furniture Knocking Off Kings

A real thing of beauty: Lot 107, Donald Judd, rare galvanized steel armchair, est. $60-80k at Wright20

I knocked off Donald Judd because I had to; there was no such thing as a Judd Crib. Michael and Gabrielle Boyd, meanwhile, knocked off Donald Judd because they could. By acquiring an extremely rare 1 of 2 Judd armchair in galvanized steel directly from the artist in life, they generated an auratic bubble where fabricating your own Douglas Fir ply chairs was apparently preferable to buying estate editions. Which, in 2010, were fully available, btw.

[few days later update: whoops. they’re gone.]

Lot 111 in the third Boyd sale at Wright20: two After Donald Judd chairs in Douglas fir ply, est. $2-3,000

Lot 107: Donald Judd, Rare Armchair 1, 1993, est. $60-80,000 [wright20]
Lot 111: After Donald Judd, pair of chairs, c. 2010, est. $2-3,000 [wright20]
Backward and Forward Slant Chairs in 19 hardwoods and plys []

Hmm. Sol Lewitt São Paulo Biennale T-Shirt

Lot 110: Sol Lewitt Sao Paulo Biennale t-shirt by M. Officer, est. $500-700, 7 June at Wright20

After he made a giant Italian fresco-colored wall work for them in Hartford, the Wadsworth Atheneum curated Sol Lewitt into the 1996 São Paulo Biennale, where he made giant fresco-colored wall works there, too. Bands of color radiated off of three-, four-, five-, six-, seven-, eight-, and nine-pointed stars. The project was memorialized in a t-shirt collab with M. Officer, the Brazilian Gap. The giant label on the front confirms it was sponsored by the United States Information Agency, The National Endowment for The Arts, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Arts International IIE [The Institute for International Education].

Verso via Wright20

Five years ago, you could have bought two of these t-shirts for $418. Or you can get one right now on eBay for $1500. If you want to try splitting the difference, a t-shirt owned by modern design aficionados Michael and Gabrielle Boyd is being auctioned in a few days. Me, except for figuring out if these were really screenprinted, I’m not that interested. I’m happy to see what the next Uniqlo collab drags in.

7 June 2023, Lot 110: Sol Lewitt, T-shirt for the 1996 São Paulo Biennale [update: sold for $2,772, almost 2x the price of the one on ebay rn. please explain capitalism to me; I only have an mba.][wright20]

Cy Twombly’s Other Picasso

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1985, graphite on paper mounted on wood 9 3/8 x 7 1/4 in., on view at Amanita NYC, via ig/ctorre and touchtone7

I could be doing worse than to be known as the guy trying to find Cy Twombly’s first Picasso. This is at least the second, which makes the other one at least the third.

Amanita, a Florence-based gallery founded by “a veritable boy-band” of dealers, including Twombly’s grandson Caio, opened a permanent space on the Bowery last fall. Their current show of 28 drawings spanning 100 years, includes at least two works by Nonno Twombly, including the extravagantly framed Picasso head above.

Cy Twombly copy of a Picasso painting, 1988, as exhibited at the Prada Foundation

For those keeping a timeline, the head above is from 1985, three years before the copy Twombly made of a 1939 painting. That still leaves Twombly’s first Picasso, which is also the first painting he ever made, he said, unseen. That, any any additional Twombly Picassos in between. [shoutout to ctorre, 165bleeckerst, and matt/touchtone7 for sending this image along via instagram. We’ll get our Twombly Picasso boy band back together soon, I can feel it.]

Previously: Turns Out This Is Not Cy Twombly’s First Picasso