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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.


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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.







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Art's New Yen for Psychoanalysis

Art and psychoanalysis have had a very long and intense relationship over the years, and it makes sense that these two fields would be drawn to one another. Critics have long looked at psychoanalysis as offering a sophisticated model of decoding images and fantasies. Artists have made productive use of ideas like the unconscious and the uncanny, and of course, are very concerned with the questions of self-expression and desire that are at the core of analysis. One figure who has gained quite a bit of attention in art lately for her ideas on all these things is Jamieson. Webster. Webster is an analyst and a teacher, and is among the founders of Pulsion, a new school for psychoanalysis here in New York City. She's also the author of essays for places including The New York Times and the New York Review of Books, as well as books of her own, including the Life and Death of Psychoanalysis from 2019 and Disorganization and Sex from 2022. Recently Webster spoke with art critic and podcast co-host Ben Davis about the fresh uptick of interest in psychoanalysis among artists now, the uses and abuses of therapy in art, and her new pamphlet titled The Psychoanalyst and the Artist, where she writes about what analysts can learn from two artists in particular, the sculptor Louise Bourgeois and the painter Carroll Dunham.


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Re-Air: Why Adriano Pedrosa Sees His Venice Biennale As ‘Paying a Debt’

Summer is in full swing, which means that crowds from the world over are heading on vacation and many of them are descending in huge numbers into one of the most famous cities in the world—Venice, Italy. Earlier this spring, the 60th edition of the Venice Biennale opened, curated by the highly esteemed Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa. His exhibition “Foreigners Everywhere” is a major feat, and a big talking point of the year. It features more than 330 artists, many of whom are participating in the biennale for the first time, and shines a light on artists who were woefully overlooked in their time. There are multiple ways to look at the show and its title “Foreigners Everywhere,” which is inspired by a famous work of the same name by artist collective Claire Fontaine. It is both an acknowledgement of the artistic positions of exile of the immigrant or outsider, but also importantly asks of the audience to think about who exactly is a foreigner… and who is not. Pedrosa argues that deep down we are all foreigners, and this exhibition, which the curator describes as a “provocation,” arrives as the world is facing a multitude of emergencies centered around the very concepts of exile and belonging. The reviews are in and well-worth reading; Artnet's critic Ben Davis has a great three-part review of the show, and host Kate Brown spoke to Pedrosa before the exhibition opening in a wide-ranging interview that we're revisiting this week. He offers tips on how to walk through the show, key background on the exhibition’s concept, and thoughts on how his show is repaying a debt.


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The Roundup: Basel Breakdown, Art and Algorithms, Remembering Barbara Gladstone

Although the art business world may be on holiday right now, we're still pounding the (international) pavement to bring you a report of the most important and talked-about events in the art world right now. This week, hosts Kate Brown and Ben Davis are joined by Artnet's London correspondent Vivienne Chow for the monthly roundup. Just two short weeks ago collectors, curators, museum bigwigs, and celebrities arrived in Basel Switzerland for Art Basel's flagship event. Dealers were quick to announce big-ticket sales, but there was an undercurrent of conversation regarding the so-called "doom porn" narrative swirling in the press. As Artnet News's Katya Kazakina has been reporting, the market is in the midst of a major correction. Beyond the fair, where well-heeled visitors traipsed between the installation of Agnes Denes's iconic Wheat Fields and the beloved cow pastures, there was lots to see. In a recent editorial, host Kate Brown wrote about how social media algorithms are affecting performance art, and the trio discuss this trend in relation to the activations in and around the fair. Finally, the trio discuss the life and legacy of Barbara Gladstone, the highly esteemed art dealer who passed away at age 89.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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 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.


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What 'Good Taste' Looks Like in 2024

What is a connoisseur? Who can be one? What role do they play in shaping tastes of the art market and the large expanse of art history? There's perhaps no better place to ask these kind of questions than at TEFAF, the many splendored Dutch fair where art, antiquities, and antiques take center stage. Each spring, the event returns to New York City and a swath of visitors—international and local, new and returning, celebrity and, well, not—flock to the storied Park Avenue Armory. Last week amid those festivities, as dealers sold every kind of treasure from ancient Roman sculptures to contemporary Korean paintings, Artnet and TEFAF hosted a panel featuring three experts discussing the state of connoisseurship today, and how a new generation of collectors is approaching that field. This week, listen to a recorded version of that lively conversation moderated by Artnet Pro Editor Andrew Russeth, joined by Adam Charlap Hyman, Principal at Charlap Hyman & Herrero; Eleanor Cayre, Art Advisor, Cayre Art Group; and Ebony L. Haynes, Senior Director, David Zwirner & Director, 52 Walker.


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The Art Angle Presents: How Dealer Alexander Shulan Is Building New Markets for Underrecognized Artists

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 to catch the latest up-and-comers we’re celebrating in ‘Up Next’. Alexander Shulan has a knack for spotting emerging talents. The founder and curator of Lomex Gallery is a born-and-bred New Yorker who began the venture as a sort of "collaborative project" between himself and a group of artist friends. That lark turned into a full-blown commercial enterprise showing the likes of Robert Bittenbender, Emma McMillan, and Andrea Fourchy, and Maggie Lee. While the gallery's ethos has long been dedicated to showing new-New York artists, when the gallery moved from its original home in the Bowery to the new art mecca of Tribeca, Shulan has begun to expand his purview beyond "hyper-local" confines. In a roving interview with Artnet's Wet Paint columnist Annie Armstrong, Shulan discusses how the gallery is forging a new path in the ever-crowded art world.


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Andrew Bolton, The Reanimator: Life, Death, and Sleeping Beauties at the Met

There is a lot to unpack—literally and figuratively—in the Metropolitan Museum’s new Costume Institute show, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” which opens on Friday May 10. It’s about nature and the cycle of life (and as it turns out, there is a lot about death). It also touches on chemistry, biology, mythology, and so much more, all told through the lens of fashion. Added to this litany of themes, the show also tells the story of The Met itself, and the goings-on behind the scenes. It’s about how archived garments are preserved and how they are disintegrating. It’s not just about clothes, but about how they were worn and who wore them. It tells the story of us. It's a visceral exhibition of over 400 years of fashion that engages the senses. It can be a heady experience. There are the sounds of waves crashing, and birds calling, and poems being read aloud. There is textured wallpaper you can touch—and courtesy of the German artist Sissel Tollas, wallpaper you can scratch and sniff and tubes you can snort. Frankly, this portion of the exhibit kicks like a mule and is unforgettable, with scent being such a powerfully triggering memory force. “Sleeping Beauties” was curated by this week’s guest Andrew Bolton, the Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, who previously helmed such blockbusters as "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," "China Through the Looking Glass," and "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination," which were some of the most visited exhibitions in the museum’s entire history. Today’s fashion-exhibit-heavy museum landscape has a lot to do with Bolton’s successes, but with his trained anthropologist’s eye, he never fails to zero in on the intellectual and human connotations in the garments.


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Special Preview: Previously Unknown | A History of Independent

We're sharing a special preview of Previously Unknown, a podcast from our friends at Independent New York. Previously Unknown reframes and reevaluates what we think we know about contemporary art. In this segment from the latest episode, Artnet News Pro Editor Andrew Russeth moderates a discussion with Independent art fair founder Elizabeth Dee, curatorial advisor Matthew Higgs and artist Joel Mesler. In 2019, Mesler performed an act of radical generosity by painting portraits of visitors at the fair, to benefit the not for profit gallery White Columns. Mesler will return to Independent this year, to restage the memorable presentation with a series of new portraits made on-site, in honor of the 15th anniversary of the art fair. Tune in to Previously Unknown on your favorite podcast platform.


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How Jeffrey Gibson Went from Almost Quitting Art to the Venice Biennale

As anyone who has been listening to this show recently will already know, the world's largest and most closely scrutinized art event—the Venice Biennale— is now open in Italy. Every two years, different countries compete for the attention of art lovers and judges with individual national pavilions. For the 2024 Biennale, among the most talked about is that of the United States, which chose Jeffrey Gibson as its representative artist. Gibson is one of the most visible artists currently working, and with his Cherokee and Choctaw heritage, he is also the first Native American to represent the U.S. in Venice. Representing your country at the Biennale is among the highest honors that any artist might receive, and also among the most fraught. Even from this show's title, which is "The Space in Which to Place Me," you can tell that Gibson is pondering what national representation means. Gibson has transformed the U.S. pavilion's brick exterior with prismatic murals. Inside you find a spectacle that is clearly the work of vast amounts of team labor. There are 10-foot-high figures with ceramic faces draped in beads, ribbons, and large fringe; sculptures of large birds and human busts meticulously decked out in detailed rainbow bead work. Vibrant paintings that incorporate artifacts by unknown indigenous makers were sourced from estate and garage sales. Meanwhile, a bright red central chamber contains one of the types of work that has become Jeffrey Gibson's signature, a punching bag that he has transformed via intricate bead work into a hanging sculpture, this one featuring the vaunted phrase, "we hold these truths to be self-evident." Whether that line refers to the truths of the Declaration of Independence that it is citing, or to the truths of the other art that surrounds it, you have to decide for yourself. Gibson's pavilion climaxes with a nine screen video installation featuring a dancer performing a traditional Ojibwe powwow dance to a techno beat, the images ultimately breaking apart into kaleidoscopic abstraction in its mix of historical references and pop, and above all, in its color and warmth. "The Space in Which to Place Me" is a fine introduction to the themes that define Jeffrey Gibson's career. In the lead up to the opening, host Ben Davis spoke with him about his long road to the Venice Biennale.


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The Art Angle Roundup: On the Ground at the Venice Biennale

It is time for another edition of the Art Angle Roundup, where we look at some of the biggest headlining stories of the past month. But really, let's be honest, in the art world there's just one headlining story, and that is the 60th edition of the Venice Biennale, the so-called "Olympics of the Art World," which opened to the public last Saturday, April 20. Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa's "Foreigners Everywhere" was a major feat, and it brought together more than 330 artists and collectives, the vast majority of whom have not been seen at the Biennale before. So it was truly exciting. And all over Venice, there were scores of collateral shows, galleries that brought their own exhibitions, private foundations pulling their weight as well with all of their palazzos. Suffice to say, the lagoon was busy. As we know, it's a challenge to get anywhere fast in a city without cars and bikes, and it's very easy to get lost along the way, but there is, naturally, a lot of great art to see. This week, Art Angle co-hosts Kate Brown and Ben Davis are joined by acting Editor in Chief Naomi Rea, who were all together at the vernissage and are now back to remotely chatting from Berlin, New York, and London respectively. After a very busy week, a look back at what it was like on the ground in Venice, beginning with the main show curated by Pedrosa (who was a recent guest on the podcast); the protests that took place around the Biennale art week; and finally the national pavilions, the nation-state pavilions, and all of the hits, misses, and stories that came out of it.


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Why Are Art Resale Prices Plummeting?

The art press is filled with headlines about trophy works trading for huge sums: $195 million for an Andy Warhol, $110 million for a Jean-Michel Basquiat, $91 million for a Jeff Koons. In the popular imagination, pricy art just keeps climbing in value—up, up, and up. The truth is more complicated, as those in the industry know. Tastes change, and demand shifts. The reputations of artists rise and fall, as do their prices. Reselling art for profit is often quite difficult—it’s the exception rather than the norm. This is “the art market’s dirty secret,” Artnet senior reporter Katya Kazakina wrote last month in her weekly Art Detective column. In her recent columns, Katya has been reporting on that very thorny topic, which has grown even thornier amid what appears to be a severe market correction. As one collector told her: “There’s a bit of a carnage in the market at the moment. Many things are not selling at all or selling for a fraction of what they used to.” For instance, a painting by Dan Colen that was purchased fresh from a gallery a decade ago for probably around $450,000 went for only about $15,000 at auction. And Colen is not the only once-hot figure floundering. As Katya wrote: “Right now, you can often find a painting, a drawing, or a sculpture at auction for a fraction of what it would cost at a gallery. Still, art dealers keep asking—and buyers keep paying—steep prices for new works.” In the parlance of the art world, primary prices are outstripping secondary ones. Why is this happening? And why do seemingly sophisticated collectors continue to pay immense sums for art from galleries, knowing full well that they may never recoup their investment? This week, Katya joins Artnet Pro editor Andrew Russeth on the podcast to make sense of these questions—and to cover a whole lot more.


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Why Adriano Pedrosa Sees His Venice Biennale As 'Paying a Debt'

Next week, the art world will descend into the Venetian Lagoon for the Venice Biennale, the most highly anticipated art event of this year. The Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa is at the helm of the prestigious group exhibition, which is now in its 60th edition, and his show includes more than 300 artists and collectives presented in the historic Arsenale and the Central Pavilion in the Giardini. Many of these artists, who are largely based or from the global South, are on view for the first time in these revered spaces. There are multiple ways to look at the show and its title "Foreigners Everywhere," which is inspired by a famous work of the same name by artist collective Claire Fontaine. It is both an acknowledgement of the artistic positions of exile of the immigrant or outsider, but also importantly asks of the audience to think about who exactly is a foreigner... and who is not. Pedrosa argues that deep down we are all foreigners, and this exhibition, which the curator describes as a "provocation," arrives as the world is facing a multitude of emergencies centered around the very concepts of exile and belonging. Just as everything was coming together over the last weeks ahead of the April vernissage, Artnet's Kate Brown spoke to Pedrosa about what visitors can expect from "Foreigners Everywhere" and his overarching vision for the show. He shared his views on how one should navigate an exhibition of this scale, and discusses his background as a curator in São Paulo, which included organizing pioneering exhibitions of marginalized perspectives and histories during Jair Bolsonaro's populist reign in Brazil. The two also speak about Pedrosa's understanding of what it means to be a foreigner from both a political and artistic perspective.


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Two Critics on the Whitney Biennial

Every two years, the Whitney Museum of American Art returns with its signature and much-anticipated biennial. Founded in 1931, the Whitney Biennial is one of the most historically important art events in the United States, a survey that brings together artists from throughout the country, and more recently, from around the world. Often controversial, the Whitney Biennial is viewed by art fans as more than just a show to enjoy. It is closely scrutinized as a statement about art now. Well, the 2024 edition of the Whitney Biennial has just opened here in New York, with the title “Even Better Than the Real Thing.” It is curated by Meg Olni, a curator-at-large, and Chrissie Iles, a veteran Whitney curator. It features just a little more than 40 artists laid out across the museum's galleries. Artnet's critic Ben Davis has written a take on the 2024 Whitney Biennial for Artnet—and so has Danielle Jackson, a critic and Artnet contributor. So, how does this show feel, how does it stack up to previous editions, and what does it all mean? Two art critics got together to hash it all out.


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The Art Angle Roundup: Damien Hirst's Formaldehyde Fail, a Photo Star Rediscovered, and Artnet News Turns 10

Well, it is the end of March, spring has sprung, and April showers are coming in fast and furious. We're back with the monthly Art Angle Round Up, where we focus our attention on three headline-making stories that have made the rounds in the last month. This week, Art Angle hosts Ben Davis and Kate Brown are joined by Artnet brand editor William van Meter. First up is the latest from controversy-machine Damien Hirst. The former YBA enfant terrible is back in the news for fudging the dates of his signature formaldehyde animal series, which itself follows the news from a few years ago that those same sculptures "leaked noxious gas." Next up is a conversation about the International Center of Photography (ICP), which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Ben's story, titled "How Do You Tell Photography’s History? ICP’s Big Birthday Show Embodies the Struggle" and William's "The Exquisite Life of Photographer David Seidner" broach larger questions about what ICP's vision is as a photography museum and more broadly address the state of photography today. Finally, it's our birthday! In February, we marked 10 years of Artnet News, and the trio revisits some of the biggest stories published over the last decade, and the future of art media.


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A Peek Behind the Curtain at Auction Houses

A few years back, electrifying bidding wars and monumental transactions routinely had us all on the edge of our seats in the auction room, but this sort of in-room excitement now feels a long way off. Although you wouldn't necessarily know it from the triumphant post-sale press releases that are just as routinely put out by the auction houses who are keen to signal confidence in the market and, of course, in their performance. But in 2023, there's no denying that the art market finally came back down to earth. It took a breather for a combination of reasons, including rising interest rates, geopolitical uncertainty, and let's not forget the crypto crash. But the point is not to wax poetic about the state of the art market because Artnet's Intelligence Report is all about data, and we have the numbers to back it up. Let's refresh with some top line figures: The average price of a fine artwork sold at auction last year dropped almost 16 percent from 2022. Total fine arts sales generated by the big three auction houses—that's Sotheby's, Christie's, and Phillips—dropped 23 percent year over year. And the total spent on fine art at auction in 2023 is down 12.7 percent. This week we have two speakers here to pull back the curtain on the findings of the latest Intelligence Report, from a conversation first recorded exclusively for Artnet Pro members. First, is Artnet's investigative journalist Katya Kazakina, who won a 2023 National Arts and Entertainment award from the Los Angeles Press Club for her cover story of the last Intelligence Report. Her feature story this time around is just as fascinating. It delves into the Oscar-worthy performances of those very auction houses. To the casual observer (and often, even to those in the art world) it's not that obvious how the houses carefully stage manage their proceedings and, sometimes, even the results. The practice has become all the more insidious following the repeal of a set of laws governing the auction houses in New York City. The second guest this week is Margaret Carrigan, another sharp market mind and the editor behind our insightful Artnet Pro newsletter "The Back Room." Read the full story at the heart of Katya and Margaret's conversation, and the entire Intelligence Report, now.