Today, this blog is one month old! Since its inception four short weeks ago, it has received over 6,800 pageviews from 76 countries across six continents (someone please donate laptops to the penguins in Antarctica), each post with more hits than the last. I see sixes and an eight. This is good. Thank you, lovely people, especially all the returning visitors and those who, astoundingly, spend more than half an hour on this site (hopefully that means you’re actually reading the posts and pages instead of stepping away from the computer to take an extended coffee break while forgetting to close this tab). Again, thank you. Make sure you share the love and point your friends in this direction!
When you buy a [Lawrence] Weiner you don’t acquire the lettering itself, let alone the 3-D work it implies. You buy Weiner’s immaterial idea, as a certificate that lets you write his phrase in a room, or come up with the sculpture you think it describes. “When you take ownership, you can realize it any way you want,” says Victor Gisler, the Zurich dealer showing Weiner’s balls-y piece, priced at $160,000. In late June, the Museum of Modern Art in New York put a vintage piece of his on display as part of a major acquisition of so-called immaterial art. MoMA curators are eagerly backfilling a collection that has tended toward the material.
“I think good art is when I can hear the ideas bouncing off each other in my brain. This is where aesthetics are for me—not in my retina,” says Aaron, a 76-year-old lawyer who makes his living suing Big Pharma. “Ninety percent of the money [at Art Basel] is spent on painting,” he adds with a hint of contempt. Whereas the Levines want work that makes you wonder if it’s even art—and therefore might be the art that’s breaking new ground.
From the collectors who own the Tino Sehgal piece referenced in this post’s title:
What do you think? Are these collectors ahead of the game, or are they being duped? Would you buy art you can’t simply hang on a wall?