Nicole Eisenman’s Love or Generosity

Nicole Eisenman’s new sculpture, ‘Love or Generosity’, has just been installed outside the New Amsterdam Courthouse. Gender-fluid, and featureless save for a bulbous nose, with mussed hair and chubby hands, the figure is recognisable from the other over-sized figures of her recent oeuvre. This one is a real giant, though, about 5 metres high, and… Continue reading Nicole Eisenman’s Love or Generosity

Philip Guston and the violation of virtuosity

Most, if not all, comic art works against an audience’s expectations of overt virtuosity. It’s often the incongruity of those expectations set against a deliberately slapdash rendering that makes us laugh - think of David Shrigley’s lumpen thumb placed on the stately decorum of the Trafalgar Square plinth, or the cartoonish modelling of Kara Walker’s Fons… Continue reading Philip Guston and the violation of virtuosity

Maurizio Cattelan: ‘Comedian’

Many of the responses to Maurizio Cattelan’s ‘Comedian’ – the banana taped to the wall at Art Basel Miami Beach – take a familiar stance, decrying a fundamental superficiality or worse in his comic approach - intent to defraud, for instance, or a desire to ‘put one over’ on the audience. Jerry Saltz for one,… Continue reading Maurizio Cattelan: ‘Comedian’

Jeff Koons: is he for real?

Jeff Koon’s new sculpture, Bouquet of Tulips, which commemorates the victims of terror attacks in France in 2015 and 2016, has just opened in Paris. As is the case with most of his work, the piece has prompted considerable critical suspicion, largely about the purity of his intentions. Offered as a gift by the artist in… Continue reading Jeff Koons: is he for real?

Maurizio Cattelan at Blenheim Palace

The Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan is often described – rather dismissively – as a prankster. His new exhibition at Blenheim Palace, however, has been much applauded for revealing a deeper, more thoughtful aspect to his practice. While the disdain demonstrated in responses to his previous work as ‘mere’ jokes or one-liners reiterates a conception of comedy… Continue reading Maurizio Cattelan at Blenheim Palace