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A weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world with host Hrag Vartanian, cofounder and editor-in-chief of Hyperallergic.

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Women of Abstract Expressionism

Why were women excluded from the art movement that has come to represent some of the best of 20th century American art? The answer may be rather complicated and Hyperallergic’s editor-in-chief Hrag Vartanian interviews “Women Of Abstract Expressionism” exhibition curator Gwen Chanzit, Abstract Expressionism artist Judith Godwin, feminist art historian Linda Nochlin, and critic/curator Karen Wilkin to understand the issue.


25 Jul 2016

Rank #1

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The Relationship Between Art and Law Since the 1960s

Joan Kee is the rare combination of art historian and lawyer, and she's shared her skills in her new book, Models of Integrity: Art and Law in Post-Sixties America, which examines the legal issues major contemporary artists (from Tehching Hsieh to Felix Gonzales-Torres) have confronted in the past 60 years.Kee's research shows that since the 1960s, as artist projects have become more expansive and expensive, the world of lawyers and laws is becoming a bigger part of the equation. From discussions of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "Running Fence" land art project (they actually had offers to place the project elsewhere, which would've been a lot easier) to Gordon Matta-Clark's Fake Estates micro-real estate project (there is no evidence the artist did or did not want to present this as an artwork), Kee's research demonstrates that the history of art has increasingly been intertwined with its legal realities.A special thanks to Brooklyn-based musician SunSon for providing the music to this episode, and you can check out his website sunson.band. You can also follow him on Facebook or Instagram.This and more in the current episode of our weekly Art Movements podcast.Subscribe to Hyperallergic’s Art Movements on iTunes, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.


11 Nov 2019

Rank #2

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Michael Rakowitz Discusses Withdrawing from the 2019 Whitney Biennial, and His Leonard Cohen Problem

When news that Michael Rakowitz withdrew from the 2019 Whitney Biennial was published by the New York Times on February 25, people wondered why the Iraqi-American artist decided to sit out the biannual art event. Later, in April, when the Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything opened at the Jewish Museum, many people noticed that Rakowitz's work about the renowned Canadian crooner’s relationship with Zionism and Israel — which appeared in the original exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal — wasn’t there. Why? Rakowitz talks to me about the controversies with both exhibitions and his thoughts on museums and power. He also reads his 2015 letter to Leonard Cohen, which he mailed to the singer a year before the legend died. And, as a special treat, the music in this podcast is performed by Rakowitz himself.

1hr 11mins

17 May 2019

Rank #3

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Linda Nochlin Explores the Role of Women in the Arts in a Previously Unaired Interview

On October 29, 2017, the world lost its first feminist art historian. That title, of course, describes Linda Nochlin, a leading academic who changed the world of art after she published her important essay, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” In 2016, I had the honor of interviewing her for the Women of Abstract Expressionism podcast and only used a few minutes of our interview. In this episode of Art Movements, we release the whole interview (leaving out some in-between bits) where she discusses the role of women in the arts, how oppression impacts culture, and her personal friendship with Joan Mitchell and others. I also briefly interview one of her former students, art writer Aruna D'Souza, to explain what Nochlin was like as a person. And the music this episode is “Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G, Movement I (Allegro)” one of the most renowned compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach, who was Nochlin's favorite composer.


12 Oct 2018

Rank #4

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What Should Artists Do With Their Work After They Die?

The business of artists's estates is becoming a big business, but the realities facing artists today aren't always as glamorous as some might think. For every multi-millionaire dollar Robert Rauschenberg estate, there are thousands of lesser-known talents whose families have to confront the tough decisions about what to do with hundreds of artworks and archives. To sort out the realities facing artists and their loved ones, I invited two experts in the field who deal extensively with artist estates. Saul Ostrow is a critic, curator, and a principal at Art Legacy Planning, and Jason Andrew is a curator and partner at Artist Estate Studio. Both of them are on the front lines of helping artists and their families decide what to do with their art after they pass away. I invited them to share their expertise in an episode that is a must-listen for those who are faced (or may be one day) with helping the artists in their lives to plan for the inevitable. A special thanks to Twig Twig for the music to this week’s episode. You can listen to that and more at twigtwig.bandcamp.com and other streaming services.


17 Apr 2019

Rank #5

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Marilyn Minter and Xaviera Simmons Talk Art, Sex, and American Democracy

Artists Marilyn Minter and Xaviera Simmons both have solo shows up in New York this month. We invited them to chat with Hyperallergic's editor-in-chief Hrag Vartanian about sex, art, gender inequality, Planned Parenthood, and the election.


22 Dec 2016

Rank #6

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Discussing the Sculptures of Richard Serra with Hal Foster

There are many illuminating moment’s in Hal Foster’s Conversations about Sculpture (Yale University Press, 2018) with Richard Serra, including the discussion of the infamous “Tilted Arc” sculpture, Serra's formative years as he battled with Minimalism and Conceptual Art, his idea’s around site-specific art, and the role of text and image in his oeuvre. This podcast begins with Serra’s own voice from a SFMOMA clip that asks the question, “Why Make Art?” and continues with a little adventure to see the artist’s first land artwork, “Shift” (1970), in King City, Ontario. Finally, I sit down with Foster, who talks about his own relationship with an artist who has reinvented himself a few times in his career.


24 Jan 2019

Rank #7

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What Does a Black Radical Art Education Look Like?

Faced with the ubiquity of white supremacy in US culture, some are seeking new, radical ways to shift the conversation to center Black consciousness as a way to combat the poison of White supremacy. Two artists and educators, Shanti Peters and Joseph Cullier, founded The Black School to confront such realities. Hyperallergic editor Jasmine Weber spoke to the pair about the role of radical Black education and the "Black art world," in a special interview that comes on the heels of their residency and exhibition at the New Museum in New York. One of the things they discuss are is the group's tarot cards, which can be purchased in the group's online shop. Then Jasmine and I were joined by editor and critic Seph Rodney and contributor Shirine Saad to talk about the new Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power exhibition that opened at the Brooklyn Museum last weekend. And finally, we have our last segment. Earlier this week, LA-based writer Matt Stromberg reported on the "pause" artist lauren woods pressed on her American Monument project at Cal State Long Beach's museum. The action comes after the museum director Kimberli Meyer was fired. American Monument — a multi-media installation addressing police brutality and the killing of African Americans by police officers — was a project Meyer helped realize, so woods decided that a pause was a necessary act of solidarity in light of the news. Stromberg recorded the roughly 28-minute speech, and we have the recording for those who want to hear it first hand. A special thanks to Dried Spider for the music to this week’s episode. You can visit driedspider.bandcamp.com, for more information.

1hr 17mins

20 Sep 2018

Rank #8

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The Los Angeles Art Landscape, Through the Lens of Our Writers

Last year, editor Elisa Wouk Almino relocated from Hyperallergic’s New York-based office to Los Angeles to help expand coverage along the West Coast. In this podcast, she chats with Editor-in-Chief Hrag Vartanian about her initial impressions of the city, where artists have been increasingly flocking to. We then speak with Catherine G. Wagley, a veteran Los Angeles art critic and reporter who has contributed nuanced op-eds and reported stories to the site. She shares her thoughts on why Los Angeles is such an appealing city for artists and how it differentiates itself from other major centers like New York. She also talks about how students at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) have been battling for more transparent financial policies — a fight that is relevant for art schools across the country. Finally, two of our frequent contributors, Matt Stromberg and Abe Ahn, share some of their favorite art spaces and experiences in Los Angeles. If you live in the city or are planning a summer trip, don’t miss out on their fun, off-beat, and insightful recommendations. A special thanks to April + VISTA for the music to this week’s episode. If you’re in Los Angeles, the band will be performing at the Echo on June 13. You can listen to more of their music on Spotify and other streaming services.


31 May 2019

Rank #9

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Ford Foundation President Darren Walker on the Power of Art, Inequality, and Detroit

Hyperallergic's editor-in-chief Hrag Vartanian talks to Ford Foundation President Darren Walker about the public's interest in scrutinizing institutional authority, Walker's own love of art, and the renovations at the Foundation's building, and also discussed Agnes Gund's new Art for Justice fund, the role of the arts for marginalized communities, and the importance of public education. The music featured in this episode was “Give it Your Choir” by Mark Pritchard from Warp Records. You can hear more from his latest release “Under the Sun” at http://markprtchrd.com and find more great music from Warp Records at http://warp.net.


9 Nov 2017

Rank #10

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What the Hell Are McMansions and Why Do They Exist?

McMansions are the houses many of us love to hate. They're big, gaudy, and often they're accumulations of traditionally mismatched architectural elements. Whatever they are, they're everywhere in suburbia. We invited Kate Wagner, aka McMansion Hell, to talk oversized buildings of wealth and status, including the McMansion that is US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos's house in Holland, Michigan. As Hyperallergic editor and critic Seph Rodney returns from Brazil, I invited him to talk about the São Paulo Biennial (Sep 7–Dec 9_)_, which opened a few days after the Natural Museum of Brazil burned down in Rio de Janiero. He picks some favorites and discusses what he saw at the second-oldest art biennial in the world. A special thanks to Althea SullyCole for the music to this week’s episode. You can visit her website, altheasullycole.com, for more information. She is also performing on September 21 at Postcrypt Coffeehouse in New York City, and September 22 at the Rhythmic Integration Center in New Milford, CT. 


13 Sep 2018

Rank #11

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The Realities Facing Art Schools Today: A Conversation With RISD President Rosanne Somerson

The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) was founded by women over a century ago, and it continues to be one of the leading art schools in the United States. Its current president, Rosanne Somerson, who is also an accomplished furniture designer, stopped by to talk about the institution and how it has pivoted to stay on top of the field, while serving an increasingly diverse student body.We also discuss the RISD Museum and its recent attempt to repatriate an item in its collection, the financial realities that face students, and how arts education can help us solve some of the challenges of today.A special thanks to musician Sophie Hintze for allowing us to use her unreleased song “Coffee in the Rain.” You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram.This and more in the current episode of our weekly Art Movements podcast.Subscribe to Hyperallergic’s podcast on iTunes, or RSS, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.


20 Nov 2019

Rank #12

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A Conversation with Mega-collector Don Rubell

Hyperallergic's Editor-in-chief Hrag Vartanian speaks to mega-collector Don Rubell of the Rubell Family Collection about decades of collecting and establishing one of the biggest collections of contemporary art in the world.


9 Dec 2016

Rank #13

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Lowery Stokes Sims and Chloë Bass Talk Empathy, Art, and Education

Last year, we invited artist, writer, and Queens College professor Chloë Bassto talk with curator, art historian, and museum veteran Lowery Stokes Sims to have a conversation of their choosing. It took me a year to publish this podcast, but I’m happy to say their words are more relevant today than ever, as the two art world figures discuss the imagined publics of contemporary art, public and private education, and the challenges of empathy and identity in art. Bass is no stranger to Hyperallergic readers, and she's known for her deep engagement with art and writing coupled with a solid understanding of the way art functions in the world and the emotional sophistication needed to outline those parameters. Then there’s Lowery Stokes Sims, who has been a trailblazer throughout her career. She was on the education and curatorial staff of The Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1972 to 1999, during which time she specialized in modern and contemporary art. From 2000 to 2007, she was executive director and then president of The Studio Museum in Harlem, and served as Adjunct Curator for the Permanent Collection. Then from 2007 until 2015, she chief curator at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design. I think you’ll agree that the following conversation offers useful insight into the worlds of two leading figures in New York’s art community. A special thanks to Brooklyn-based musician SunSonfor providing the music to this episode. You can check out his website sunson.band and follow him on Facebookor Instagram.


7 Dec 2018

Rank #14

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The Story Behind Our Art Handlers Exposé

Last week, Hyperallergic published a five-part series, titled The Danger Epidemic in Art Handling, on the realities facing art handlers in the United States. The story generated a lot of debate and shocked many who were never forced to think about the conditions workers are forced to endure when assembling and transporting art of all types. This conversation with Hyperallergic Senior Writer Zachary Small and Associate News Editor Jasmine Weber explores the contours of the topic, the difficulties of reporting on contentious art world issues, and how investigative reporting is crucial for change. We also discuss the Sotheby's lockout of art handlers, which we covered extensively in 2011 and 2012. A special thanks to Peter Gabriel's Real World Records for allowing us to play a special live track by world music legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The label is celebrating its 30th anniversary of Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records and they marked the occasion by announcing the release of a previously unheard recording by the legendary qawwali singer. The recording includes Khan’s performance at WOMAD Festival in 1985, which was the first time the singer had performed in front of a mainly non-Asian audience. As a longtime fan of Khan's genius, I'm honored to include his music in this episode. This and more in the current episode of Hyperallergic’s Art Movements podcast. Subscribe to Hyperallergic’s Art Movements on iTunes, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.


12 Sep 2019

Rank #15

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Hyperallergic's Film Buffs Discuss 2019's Best Films, from Parasite to Avengers

Hyperallergic Reviews editor Dessane Lopez Cassell and Documentary associate editor Dan Schindel join me to discuss our favorite films from 2019.We discuss Parasite, The Farewell, America, High Life, Midnight Traveler, the new frontiers of documentary, including Syrmor, The Giverny Document, and more. We also discuss the recent boom in superhero movies, how they dominate conversation about film, Martin Scorsese’s problems with the genre, and what it tells us about movies today. We also talk about Schindel's newly published essay, "What Is a Documentary These Days?" Sponsors:OVIDAre you looking for the perfect gift for the cinephile in your life? What if you could give them a whole year of the best documentary and art-house films from around the world? Our friends at OVID.tv are making that easier than ever with a special holiday offer!From now until midnight on Monday, December 2nd, OVID is offering 25% off their annual subscriptions. This means you get a whole year of OVID—the best streaming service for critically acclaimed independent films—for just $52.50 instead of $69.99.Simply head over to OVID and use the code THANKS2019 at check-out.---A special thanks to Kill the Alarm for providing the music for this episode. The track you’re hearing is “Chemicals” from the album Sleeping Giant.This and more in the current episode of our weekly Art Movements podcast.Subscribe to Hyperallergic’s Art Movements on iTunes, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.


27 Nov 2019

Rank #16

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Egyptian Surrealism and the Quest to Define Modern Egyptian Art

Hyperallergic travels to Cairo to see one of the new wave of exhibitions that are reintroducing Egyptian modern art, particularly related to the Art and Liberty group (often referred to as Egyptian Surrealism), to a wider audience.


5 Jan 2017

Rank #17

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Tapping into the Art World's Potential to Making Us Feel Empowered

A business and financial literacy conference, the Art World Conference is gathering together 50 speakers for panel discussions, conversations, and in-depth workshops addressing many of the challenges faced by visual artists and arts professionals who work closely with artists. The multi-day event is the brainchild of Dexter Wimberly and Heather Bhandari, two veterans of the art field who bring decades of expertise to the table. I invited Dexter and Heather to the studio to talk about the changing currents of the art community and their own visions for a more empowered and exciting art world. We discuss the lingering myths that continue to plague art professionals, and new ways forward. The music in this podcast was provided by Providence-based band Strawberry Generation. Check them out on Spotify, Apple Music, Facebook and Instagram. They are currently working on their first full-length album, to be released later in the year. They’re also getting ready to tour for the first time this summer, playing at the Indietracks festival in the UK.


15 Apr 2019

Rank #18

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After Kanders: Critics, Reporters, and Editors Reflect on the 2019 Whitney Tear Gas Biennial

From nine weeks of protests to an exhibition that was more ethnically and racially diverse than previous years, this year’s Whitney Biennial has a lot to unpack.I asked our associate news editor Jasmine Weber, editor and critic Seph Rodney, and reporter Hakim Bishara to join me to reflect on months of controversy and offer their opinions on the exhibition itself. We discuss favorite works, what may have been accomplished, and duds. You’ll want to hear this.A special thanks to Wanderraven, who provided the music to this week’s episode. The song is called “Here Into The Dark”. Listen to more at wanderraven.com.


7 Oct 2019

Rank #19

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Joseph Pierce on Why Academics Must Decolonize Queerness

Joseph Pierce wants you to question everything, but especially queerness. The Cherokee citizen and Stony Brook University assistant professor believes the moment has come for queer academia to seriously question the roots of their discipline, and ask how the field can expand to include more voices outside the Euro-American canon of Judith Butlers and Jack Halberstams. "When we think about queerness," Pierce explains, "it's seen as a universal theory that can be applied everywhere. But often what that does is maintain a framework based on coloniality and white supremacy. What we want to do is question how queerness circulates." Accordingly, the young researcher has teamed up with scholars from across the Western hemisphere to produce a special edition of GLQ, an important journal of lesbian and gay studies published by Duke University Press. The forthcoming issue intends to address the limits of queerness outside normative white contexts, and how decolonization and the schema of radical liberation might provide new context to how LGBTQ culture operates in regions like Latin America and the Global South. An erstwhile contributor to Hyperallergic, Pierce has also written a new book that will release this November, called Argentine Intimacies: Queer Kinship in an Age of Splendor, 1890–1910. The result of extensive archival research, the book is a study into Argentina's turn-of-the-century crisis of modernity, and how political and economic changes in the country opened up new ways of conceptualizing family. For a discussion about the relationship between queerness, decolonialiality, culture, and politics, we invited Pierce onto the Hyperallergic Art Movements podcast to share some insight into how he and other academics are trying to evolve queer studies into a more open field of inquiry. The music for this episode is available under the Creative Commons 0 license. Subscribe to Hyperallergic’s Art Movements on iTunes, and anywhere else you listen to podcasts. hyperallergic.com


9 Aug 2019

Rank #20