Monday Links: Don’t Blame Roberta Smith for Donald Trump

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Jeff Koons' sculpture

Jeff Koons’ sculpture “Play-Doh 1994-2014” has paved the way for Donald Trump, according to Alex Melamid. Is it because there’s a melty orange blob in the center and a weird yellow thing hanging off the top?

  • Of everything that’s been written about Trump’s unlikely ascendence and the art world, Alex Melamid’s recent piece in TIME might just be the most specious and bizarre. According to Melamid, artists and critics have created a culture that idolizes avant-garde thinking, infantilism, and publicity above all else—thus legitimizing Trump’s outrageous approach to candidacy and governing. Two of the most laughable moments: Melamid citing Roberta Smith’s praise of Jeff Koons’ “Play Doh” sculptures (because the average Trump voter is an avid NYT Arts reader, I’m sure?) and the wildly out-of-touch statement “plagiarism in the arts has mutated into what’s now called appropriation, a term stripped of any negative judgment.” LOL. [TIME]
  • For anyone else who ever thought the Harvard campus reminded them of Hogwarts, you’ll enjoy this bit of news that sounds like something out of Harry Potter. The Harvard Art Museum is restaging “The Philosophy Chamber,” a sort of wunderkammer from the university’s early history that became the basis for the museums’ present collections. [The Harvard Crimson]
  • A lottery has opened for affordable housing units in a new Long Island City high rise, starting at under $1,000/month. Apply now! There are only 34 slots, sadly. [Curbed]
  • Coming as a shock to no one, Anne Imhof’s “Faust” has snagged a Golden Lion at Venice. The “health goth”-esque performance was by far the most talked-about piece of the Biennale. [ARTnews]
  • Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is being lauded as the biggest and most important exhibition of Cuban art in recent history. Patricia Restrepo, however, feels that the Cisneros-backed show is lacking in nuance. We haven’t seen the show ourselves, but if you’re in Texas, it looks like a must-see. [Terremoto]
  • AFC friend Jeanette Doyle has launched “CF” at the Research Pavilion in Venice and is looking for artists and curators to participate. The framework: you chose a nation you want to represent and an art work and stage it. CF will present these staged works via a series of projections chosen at random with the help of a computer algorithm. Deadline for submissions is August 11th. Submit here. [Art & Education]
  • Steven H Silberg has launched an art-making project titled “In Care of the White House”. Artists are invited to create works in response to the Trump administration, which the organization will document and send to the White House, with the idea that all the pieces will end up as a document of dissent in the National Archives for posterity. [In Care of the White House]
  • Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips are looking to auction off over $1 billion worth of art this week, including a 6-foot Basquiat at Sotheby’s that’s valued at $60 million. These auctions are being watched closely as a litmus test for the art market. Since Russian and Middle Eastern bidders have retreated from the auction scene due to lower oil prices, it’s been a buyer’s-market-boon for American and Asian collectors. But now the market might’ve bounced back, as the auction houses are hoping. [CNBC]
  • 15 Art Deco buildings not to miss. [Curbed]
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#phillips
#affordable housing
#basquiat
#anne imhof
#jeff koons
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#roberta smith
#long island city
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#venice biennale
#harvard art museums
#patricia restrepo