257 episodes

A weekly podcast that brings the biggest stories in the art world down to earth. Go inside the newsroom of the art industry's most-read media outlet, Artnet News, for an in-depth view of what matters most in museums, the market, and much more. 

The Art Angle Artnet News

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A weekly podcast that brings the biggest stories in the art world down to earth. Go inside the newsroom of the art industry's most-read media outlet, Artnet News, for an in-depth view of what matters most in museums, the market, and much more. 

    An Artist Pushing the Limits of Her Audience

    An Artist Pushing the Limits of Her Audience

     If you've seen the artworks of Marianna Simnett, you know that it is not easy to forget them. The multidisciplinary artist who works between film, installation, drawing, painting, sculpture, and even theater, is a world-builder of surreal and sometimes horrific proportions. Her works lodge themselves deep into your psyche with an unsettling amount of imagery, dark humor, and mythologically tinted storylines where animals may become nefarious protagonists, and roadkill might come back to life.
    Simnett often deals with the body as a site of pain, control, vulnerability, and intervention. And her artworks may make you squirm or even evoke fear, and you may just find yourself wondering, 'am I supposed to be watching this?' I think the answer is yes. While Simnett's boundary-pushing art may not be for the faint of heart, as viewers it is important to be challenged, roused out of our complacency and our comfort zones, it is one way to become more empathetic. 
    Simnett has been showing widely at institutions on both sides of the Atlantic. Her film, The Severed Tail, was a major talking point at the 59th Venice Biennale, "The Milk of Dreams." It tells the tale of a little pig who enters a fetishistic underworld after a farmer snips off her tail.
    This coming fall Simnett will be included in Manifesta 15 in Barcelona.  Currently, the artist has a solo exhibition on view at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. Called Winner, it is part of the official cultural program for the Euro 2024 Soccer Championship, which is being hosted in Germany this year. In this multi-channel video installation Simnett takes on the world's and rituals of soccer, its fouls, injuries, social dynamics, and hooliganism.
    I won't spoil it for you, but it is definitely soccer like you've never seen it before. On top of all that talent and accolades, Simnett is also a classically trained flutist. It's an instrument that I find compliments her wider art practice perfectly—its fantastical, folkish, a bit eerie, and definitely other-worldly.
    On this episode of the Art Angle, Senior Editor Kate Brown speaks to Simnett, who also obliged us by playing the flute at the top of the episode.
    All audio excerpts in this episode are included courtesy of Marianna Simnett. 

    • 47 min
    Can the Art Trade Become More Sustainable?

    Can the Art Trade Become More Sustainable?

    There's no denying that we live in an era of crisis, from geopolitical strife to economic squeezes and widening wealth disparity. Looming behind all of that is the ecological devastation brought on by climate change. All of these challenges have had an impact on the art market and the wider cultural sector writ large. Artists, galleries, museums, and cultural policy-makers are all looking for ways to respond to these issues, and change the way the art world works to foster a brighter and more sustainable future.
    Speaking of sustainability, it's perhaps worth noting that in the same time that awareness of the global climate emergency has grown over the last two decades, so too has the art market, which has swelled to an annual turnover of $65 billion in revenue. This has been fueled in part by the ever higher prices for art as the global high-net-worth population has grown, but also a proliferation of galleries, fairs, and events, all of which have contributed to a year-round travel schedule for collectors, curators, dealers, advisors, journalists, and everyone in between.
    Victoria Siddall is one of the figures at the forefront of a push for change within the industry. After a nearly 20 year career at Frieze where she helped grow the fair into the global platform it is today, she's now the founding director of Murmur, a charity launched earlier this year that is aimed at helping the art and music industries combat climate change by funding initiatives to decarbonize, empower artists to create major societal change, and financing transformative climate work. She's also the co-founder and trustee of the Gallery Climate Coalition, and continues on with Frieze as a non-executive director, while also working with museums and art environmental organizations on strategy, advocacy, and fundraising.
    There's perhaps no better place to broach the question of the art world's responsibility to climate initiatives than in Venice, a bastion of art, architecture, and culture that is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels. That's where this year's Art For Tomorrow conference took place, at which Siddall spoke about how both museums and the market must take steps to offset their carbon footprint. Additionally, she touches on how the fair landscape has changed over the last 20 years, as have galleries needs, and whether the growth of the market side of the industry has changed the way we view cultural value in the art world.

    • 33 min
    How Warhol's Handmade Art Shaped His Famed Pop Factory

    How Warhol's Handmade Art Shaped His Famed Pop Factory

    With his themes of repetition and appropriation, Andy Warhol’s work can seem mass produced. He was prone to say that his assistants did his work for him and often invented different narratives in interviews. In fact, weaving tall tales and shaping his own mythology was another important aspect of his art: he was creating the ultimate persona of an artist every bit as Pop as his paintings, one who specialized in glacial coolness and glib detachment.
    Although the paintings might look like they came off of a conveyor belt, that was by design, and Warhol maintained close involvement with his work. In fact, before silkscreen printing became his trademark, Warhol hand-painted the 32 canvasses that make up the iconic 1962 work Campbell’s Soup Cans.
    Warhol gained fame in the 1960s as part of the Pop boom, but this was actually the second phase of his career. He spent the 1950s in New York as a successful commercial illustrator, doing advertisements, book and record covers. All the while he made personal work and had a smattering of shows in small galleries, most of which were ignored or poorly received. But the seeds of his subversive repertoire were being slyly developed in his intimate drawings to which Warhol would return in his later life.
    For this week’s episode, Artnet editor William Van Meter is joined by the journalist, critic, and author of the 2020 biography Warhol, Blake Gopnik. What more could be said about the artist that the heap of other biographies hadn’t covered? It turns out, plenty. Gopnik spent eight years researching and writing Warhol, and at almost 1,000 pages it is filled with wonderful details and newly discovered data.   
    On this episode we discuss Warhol by-hand, his pre-pop era as well as some of his later, less mechanized moments such as his collaboration with Jean-Michel Basquiat, and how he managed to leave his mark on every aspect of his work, handmade and beyond.

    • 47 min
    The Roundup: Auction Week Hacked!, Maurizio Cattelan's Misfire, Royally Bad Paintings

    The Roundup: Auction Week Hacked!, Maurizio Cattelan's Misfire, Royally Bad Paintings

    It is the exhausted end of a jam-packed month of May, and we're staring into what promises to be a similarly jam-packed June. It's overwhelming to think about it all, but exciting to discuss some of the biggest stories of the last few weeks. That's right, it's time again for our monthly roundup, this month hosted by Artnet's national art critic Ben Davis, senior editor Kate Brown, and European news editor Margaret Carrigan.
    Based in Berlin, Germany, Kate recently visited the Marianna Simnett show at the Hamburger Bahnhof museum, which was commissioned to coincide with the 2024 European Football Championship, being hosted by Germany. Maggie, though based in London, traveled to New York for the Art Business Conference and took in Stanley Whitney's retrospective at the Buffalo AKG, where she suggests visitors pay a visit to Albert Bierstadt's The Marina Piccola, Capri, which was gifted to the institution by the artist himself in 1863. Finally, Ben recommends the project "Means of Production" organized by Lunch Hour, which brings together the work of 75 New York-based artists in a former hosiery factory in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
    First up on this edition is what may be the biggest story of recent weeks and maybe even all of recent auction history, that is the hack of Christie's website that spanned the all-important week of sales in New York, which continues on, and now features a countdown clock threatening to leak valuable client data. Next, the trio discusses a dispute between the artist Maurizio Cattelan and Anthony James over who owns the right to a specific art idea, which in this case is shooting a gun at a metal panel and presenting  it as a painting.
    And finally, we'll talk about the public's overwhelmingly critical outrage over recent portraits of British Royals, specifically King Charles and Princess Kate Middleton. Although they are the most recent instances, there is in fact a long history of unpopular royal portraits.

    • 35 min
    The Art Angle Presents: Artist Jim Denevan on Creating Massive Land Artworks That Are Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

    The Art Angle Presents: Artist Jim Denevan on Creating Massive Land Artworks That Are Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

    Land art, the movement which emerged in the 1960s and 70s with artists such as Robert Smithson, Nancy Holt, and Michael Heizer erecting monumental works in far-flung destinations, is widely regarded for its engagement with the environment and its elements. These remarkable installations are crafted in concert with the Earth, meant to evolve as sun, storms, and seasons weather them continuously over time.
    But what if you homed in on the core of this concept, creating sweeping land artworks in ways and places where they would be truly temporary, imprints made for a moment before disappearing back into the Earth? This is the crux of California-based artist Jim Denevan’s dynamic practice, which involves interacting with topographies and terrains to craft ephemeral compositions that play with the impermanence of our ever-changing world.
    Since the mid-1990s, Denevan has traversed the globe creating unfathomably massive works in sand, earth, and ice, often using no more than a rake, stick, or even the soles of his feet. He has etched miles-long Fibonacci circles in Siberia’s frozen Lake Baikal, drawn shore-spanning spirals in San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, and sculpted concentric rings of sand mounds at international public art exhibitions Desert X AlUla in Saudi Arabia and Manar Abu Dhabi. His work has been featured in institutional shows at MoMA PS1, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, as well as the Oscar long-listed documentary Man in the Field, which explored Denevan’s artistic career and his culinary trajectory as the founder of Outstanding in the Field, a roving restaurant set where food is sourced to connect diners with the origins of their meals.
    This spring, Artnet collaborated with Denevan on an original project, titled “You Only Live Once,” showcasing the all-new 2024 Lexus GX alongside the artist bringing to life an incredible land artwork in Lake Harper north of Los Angeles. Taking the shape of the universal number “1,” the more than quarter-mile piece is a dramatic testament to making the most of our time on this Earth by confidently pursuing our curiosities and drive for adventure.

    • 25 min
    The Art Angle Presents: How Curator Yung Ma is Redefining Contemporary Exhibition Models

    The Art Angle Presents: How Curator Yung Ma is Redefining Contemporary Exhibition Models

    Who are the rising talents in the art world poised for greatness? Discover them in ‘Up Next’, Artnet’s popular series of profiles introducing you to key visionaries on the verge of stardom. This month, we’re airing two special Art Angle episodes spotlighting two figures shaping their fields in innovative ways. Subscribe to The Art Angle wherever you get podcasts to hear both episodes, and visit News.Artnet.com to catch the latest up-and-comers we’re celebrating in ‘Up Next’.
    Yung Ma is an international curator who has held positions at some of the world's most prestigious art institutions. In 2021 he was appointed senior curator at London's Hayward Gallery, and previously held positions at M+ in Hong Kong, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He served not once, but twice, as the co-curator of the Hong Kong Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and was the artistic director of the Seoul Mediacity Biennale in 2021. It's fair to say that Ma knows better than most what audiences want from museums, and his track record organizing acclaimed exhibitions of artists like Cao Fei, and a recent retrospective of Mike Nelson proves that he knows how to deliver. Artnet's London correspondent Vivienne Chow spoke to Ma about the changing tides within the realm of museums and his personal experiences at the forefront of contemporary art.

    • 42 min

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