42 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

    • Visual Arts
    • 4.7, 85 Ratings

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. 

    How the Wellness Revolution Just Arrived in the Art World

    How the Wellness Revolution Just Arrived in the Art World

    A blue neon sign reading "You Belong Here" has become a new kind of beacon in Long Beach, California recently. The light sculpture by artist Tavares Strachan exists to welcome visitors to Compound, a soon-to-debut multidisciplinary space fusing wellness and contemporary art. But it also serves as a mission statement for what aims to be a new nexus of belonging for the community.
    Housed in a freshly renovated, 15,000-square-foot Art Deco building in the city's Zaferia neighborhood, Compound is about as prototypically SoCal as a venture could be. On one hand, the space will feature contemporary-art commissions, a sculpture garden, and an exhibition program partly drawn from the collection of its founder, cultural philanthropist and Scripps media heir Megan Tagliaferri. But Compound will also team those elements with a farm-to-table restaurant and an ambitious events program encompassing outdoor yoga, meditation sessions, healing workshops, live-music performances, and more—all of it free to the public.
    On this week's episode of the Art Angle, Compound's curator and artistic director, the LA art juggernaut Lauri Firstenberg, calls in from the West Coast to discuss the venture's ethos, the surprising synergy between the wellness movement and rigorous artistic practice, and the role Compound hopes to play in a near future wracked by crises large and small.

    • 23 min
    Art Critic Jerry Saltz on Why It's Time to Build a New Art World

    Art Critic Jerry Saltz on Why It's Time to Build a New Art World

    It's not often that you find an art critic—or anyone, for that matter—who can claim upwards of 400,000 Instagram followers, a Pulitzer Prize, and appearances on an original Bravo reality series as achievements of the past decade. But Jerry Saltz can.
    A look at his unlikely biography helps explain his ability to connect with a such wide audience through so many media: after leaving college without a degree, Saltz spent 10 years working as a long-haul truck driver before willing himself back into the art world by the power of the pen. From 2006 to the present day, he has held sway as senior art critic and columnist for New York magazine, where he passionately extols his belief that art can be for anyone.
    In March, just before galleries, museums, and newsrooms around the world were forced to shutter for safety's sake, Saltz published his fifth book, How to Be an Artist. Expanded from a mega-popular column he wrote for New York  back in 2018, the handbook provides practical tips, memorable quotes, and plenty of motivation that you too can enjoy "a life lived in art."
    Shortly after the release of How to Be an Artist, Saltz joined the Art Angle's Andrew Goldstein for a frank discussion organized by the National Arts Club, about the book, the precarious state of the current art world, and the need to create its successor. For this week's episode, we're presenting an edited version of that talk. (You can find a recording of the full chat online, courtesy of the NAC.)

    • 25 min
    How Black Women Are Leading a Grassroots Art Revolution

    How Black Women Are Leading a Grassroots Art Revolution

    Just days into the start of 2020, CityLab published an article analyzing which major American cities are the best, and the worst, for Black women residents. The report took into account a variety of metrics measuring "livability," and the consensus was that Midwestern metropolises including Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Detroit were the among the most inhospitable in the nation.
    Despite the systemic sexism and racism reflected in the bleak findings, however, Black women artists within these same cities have been driving growth and change in their local art communities—often by rejecting conventional thinking about funding, institutions, and the market. In a recent piece for Artnet News, journalist Melissa Smith spoke to some of these trailblazing Black women artists about their histories, triumphs, and continuing challenges living and working in the Midwest.
    On this week's episode, Smith joins Andrew Goldstein to discuss these issues, primarily through the lens of Pittsburgh-based artists Alisha Wormsley and Vanessa German. By navigating around (or outright ignoring) philanthropic systems all but designed to exclude them, leveraging crowdfunding platforms and grassroots networks, and developing alternate forms of patronage based on a more community-centric role for art, their approaches speak volumes about the possibilities and pitfalls of a different kind of art world.

    • 30 min
    How the Heck Did Auction Houses Just Sell Almost a Billion Dollars in Art During a Global Pandemic?

    How the Heck Did Auction Houses Just Sell Almost a Billion Dollars in Art During a Global Pandemic?

    Each May, as the flowers bloom and the evening light lingers, the world's largest auction houses hold their marquee spring sales in New York, enabling perennial market leader Christie's, its arch-rival Sotheby's, and insurgent Phillips to collectively bring in well over $1 billion in one so-called "gigaweek." But this spring, the COVID-19 shutdown left the Big Three's salesrooms unnaturally quiet in the Empire City and around the world. Starved of vital cyclical revenue, Sotheby's cut hundreds of jobs, while Christie's both restructured and downsized—with all of these moves indicating that blockbuster replacements for the major sales be staged as soon as possible, in whatever form they must take.
    Cue the screens. In late June and early July, the major auction houses made an unprecedented pivot from IRL to URL with uncharacteristic speed. Auction paddles were replaced with mouse clicks, and some international offices stayed open as late as 4 a.m. to help stage transcontinental, hours-long hybrid sales.
    As usual, the duopoly of Sotheby's and Christie's provided the overwhelming majority of the action. At Sotheby's, a three-part sale saw auctioneer Oliver Barker seamlessly manage a futuristic bank of monitors ping-ponging in bids from cities around the globe, and the star lot—a triptych by Francis Bacon—brought in a staggering $84 million en route to $300 million in total sales. But Christie's—not usually known for its technological prowess—got the final word with the "ONE" sale, a four-city, four-hour "relay" auction that set a slew of artist records while racking up $421 million overall.
    How did the houses manage to pull off these unexpected wins in perhaps the most challenging market in our lifetime? On this week's episode, Andrew Goldstein is joined by Eileen Kinsella and Nate Freeman, Artnet News's esteemed auction-reporting veterans, to discuss the lead-up to the history-making summer season, the blow-by-blow at Christie's "ONE" sale, and what it all means for the future of auctions.

    • 36 min
    How Hank Willis Thomas Is Making Politics an Art Form

    How Hank Willis Thomas Is Making Politics an Art Form

    Hank Willis Thomas is a busy man. The 44-year-old photographer, sculptor, filmmaker, and writer was already a force within the rarefied world of visual art before he decided to embrace politics on a large scale. But during the landmark presidential race of 2016, Thomas and fellow artist Eric Gottesman co-founded an "anti-partisan" political action committee called For Freedoms to empower artists to channel their creative energy into civic engagement. Along with facilitating major public artworks such as murals and artist-designed billboards, For Freedoms has since grown into a larger nonprofit organization that has held townhall meetings, organized voter-registration drives, and even assembled its own multi-day national Congress in Los Angeles. Not bad for a side hustle.
    The son of renowned art historian and photographer Deborah Willis, Thomas first rose to prominence for his early photography, which used the visual language of advertising to address systemic injustices such as the exploitation of professional athletes, the scourge of mass incarceration, and the original sin of American slavery. Years before the latest wave of activists began toppling statues of Christopher Columbus, Robert E. Lee, and other problematic figures in US history, Thomas also began questioning the validity of such monuments with his own large-scale sculptures, often creating alternatives to honor the individuals whose sacrifices have been overlooked by mainstream historical narratives.
    Thomas once said that his personal experiences prompted him to create art that could "change the world in a more intentional way," and now more than ever, he is doing just that. Through July 16, he and his Los Angeles gallery, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, are teaming with Artnet Auctions to present "Bid for Peace," a single-lot sale of Thomas's striking sculpture Peace (2019). All proceeds from the auction including the buyer's premium will be donated to G.L.I.T.S, Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society, a non-profit organization that protects the rights of transgender sex workers.
    A few days before the opening of "Bid for Peace," Thomas joined Andrew Goldstein on the Art Angle to discuss the evolution of his studio practice, artists' importance to bringing about civic transformation, and whether you might someday see his own name on a ballot near you.

    • 31 min
    The Unsettling Truth Behind What Columbus Monuments Really Stand For

    The Unsettling Truth Behind What Columbus Monuments Really Stand For

    In cities across the world over the past month, activists have been taking aim at symbols of oppression in the form of monuments: splashing them with paint, tagging them with graffiti, and most importantly, tearing them down. Among the most targeted statues in the US are those of Christopher Columbus. While he is still portrayed in American elementary schools as a folkloric hero responsible for "discovering the New World," the grim facts behind the legend have recently led to Columbus monuments being toppled and trampled, tossed into bodies of water, and even beheaded.
    But there's much more to the story than a broad-strokes whitewashing of one colonialist's anti-Indigenous brutality. In an essay for Artnet News earlier this month, national art critic Ben Davis teased out the complexities of the Columbus myth by delving into the history of the monument towering over New York City's eponymous Columbus Circle. Built in the late 19th century as a concession to Italian immigrants subject to eerily familiar forms of racist violence, the monument shows how the Columbus myth helped ingrain white supremacy into the nation's foundation—and set the stage for unquantifiable injustices still afflicting the country today.
    On this week's episode of The Art Angle, Davis joins Andrew Goldstein to discuss the Columbus Circle statue's long history as a political pawn, its link to other monuments commemorating problematic historical figures, and what it all means for whether these symbols should be preserved or destroyed.

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
85 Ratings

85 Ratings

mcginnip ,

Love this show

Diverse perspectives and amazing production quality.

haironfire123 ,

Love this show

It’s spectacular the union of news and art covers the full spectrum of life’s colors

MindoCamp1 ,

Mythologizing history thru monuments

Ben Davis did an excellent job analyzing the history of the Columbus monuments and revealing what is the problem with all the monuments glorifying historical moments and their political motivation. And I like his solution!

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