Columns & Features

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Mapping San Francisco

Mapping San Francisco

With its Google bus wars, start-up fever, and rapid gentrification, San Francisco has become a touchstone in conversations about money. Where do art and creativity fit into the shaping of the city?

Screenshot of the Katonah Museum of Art "Eye to I" exhibition website, eyetoi.org.

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Redefining Portraiture

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Redefining Portraiture

Art21 Senior Education Advisor Joe Fusaro visits the “Eye to I” exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art with his high school class.

A collection of books in artist Rashid Johnson’s studio (Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 03.25.11). Production still from New York Close Up. © Art21, Inc. 2011. Cinematography by Andrew David Watson

Booked

Announcing the Art21 Book Club

Booked

Announcing the Art21 Book Club

Art21 invites avid readers to participate in semi-intimate conversations about fiction and nonfiction books relevant to themes of the Art21 Magazine.

Xu Zhen by MadeIn Company, Under Heaven 3611MQ0137, detail, 2013. Oil on canvas, aluminum; 51 1/5 × 63 × 3 9/10 in (130 × 160 × 10 cm). Courtesy the artists and Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA).

Xu Zhen & Armory Focus: China

Xu Zhen & Armory Focus: China

“Armory Focus: China” curator Philip Tinari discusses his selections for this year’s edition at the The Armory Show, including the work of artist Xu Zhen.

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Becoming South Sudan

Becoming South Sudan

In her second slideshow, Art21 writer-in-residence Alinka Echeverría shares her photographs from South Sudan.

Cai Guo-Qiang, "Inopportune: Stage Two," detail, 2004. Tigers: paper mache, plaster, fiberglass, resin, painted hide; arrows: brass, bamboo, feathers; stage prop: styrofoam, wood, canvas, acrylic paint; dmensions variable. Installation view: MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA. Collection of the Artist. Courtesy Cai Guo-Qiang.

Reflections on Chinese Contemporary Art: Ai Weiwei, Cao Fei, and Cai Guo-Qiang

Reflections on Chinese Contemporary Art: Ai Weiwei, Cao Fei, and Cai Guo-Qiang

“Armory Focus: China” curator Philip Tinari discusses artists Ai Weiwei, Cao Fei, and Cai Guo-Qiang.

Florian Maier-Aichen takes photographs in Stralsund, Germany, 2008. Production still from the Art in the Twenty-First Century"Season 5 episode, Fantasy, 2009. © Art21, Inc. 2009.

Flashback

Florian Maier-Aichen: Built-in Mistakes

Flashback

Florian Maier-Aichen: Built-in Mistakes

In a new previously unpublished interview Florian Maier-Aichen discusses his beginnings as an artist, the evolution of his hybrid practice, and more.

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Alchemy of Inspiration

Translating a City Back to Itself

Alchemy of Inspiration

Translating a City Back to Itself

Columnist Jessica Lott travels to Barcelona and observes “Making Neighborhoods,” a multidisciplinary project with the city’s African immigrant population.

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Guillermo Gómez-Peña: Linguistic Resistance

Guillermo Gómez-Peña: Linguistic Resistance

“I think that misinterpretation and mistranslation are essential contemporary experiences…I feel that the artist doesn’t really give answers.”

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The Tenth Day of Mourning

The Tenth Day of Mourning

Alinka Echeverría presents never-before-seen photographs from her recent visit to South Africa.

Susan Silton, "In everything there is the trace," 2013. Installation view at the USC Fisher Museum of Art. Photo: Alexandra Brown.

Word is a Virus

Manual Transmissions

Word is a Virus

Manual Transmissions

“Word is a Virus” columnist Carol Cheh looks at two recent performance projects that involved retyping iconic works of literature on typewriters.

Bill Murray, opening segment from "Lost In Translation" (2003). Directed by Sofia Coppola. Screenplay by Sofia Coppola. Produced by Ross Katz and Sofia Coppola. Studio: American Zoetrope; Tohokushinsha Film. Distributed by Focus Features.

Copy That!

Lost in Transmission

Copy That!

Lost in Transmission

“Copy That!” columnist Joy Garnett considers a recent lawsuit involving the painter Sarah Morris and a group of origami artists.

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Misinterpreting Satire

Misinterpreting Satire

Sally Frater reflects on The Black Letter, a project by “The N***** Bankzy.”

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Flashback

Jeff Koons: Art Changes Every Day

Flashback

Jeff Koons: Art Changes Every Day

Jeff Koons speaks about his relationship with art, his exhibition at the Château de Versailles, and misrepresentations of his work.

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Booked

An Interview with Sarah Lewis

Booked

An Interview with Sarah Lewis

New York–based curator, art historian, and Yale MFA Critic Sarah Lewis talks about her anticipated first book, The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery.

Robert Gober, Bag of Donuts, 1989; acid free hand cut paper, graphite, dough, synthetic resin; edition of 8 with 1 AP; 11 x 6 1/2 x 6 inches. Photo: Geoffrey Clements, Courtesy the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery

Eating Robert Gober’s Bag of Donuts

Eating Robert Gober’s Bag of Donuts

What happens when an art critic mistakes a sculpture for a free snack?

Yinka Shonibare MBE, "Scramble for Africa," 2003;
14 life-size fiberglass mannequins, 14 chairs, table, and Dutch wax printed cotton; overall: 52 x 192 1/10 x 110 1/5 inches
Installation view, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia, September 24, 2008–February 1, 2009
Commissioned by the Museum of African Art, Long Island City, New York
Collection of The Pinnell Collection, Dallas. Production still from the "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 5 episode, "Transformation," 2009. Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London © Art21, Inc.

Flashback

Yinka Shonibare MBE: Welcome Guests

Flashback

Yinka Shonibare MBE: Welcome Guests

Yinka Shonibare MBE talks about his collaborative process, his vision for an artist’s residency and community, and the meaning of failure.

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Dr. YouTube, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying (About Failure) and Love My Viral Video

Dr. YouTube, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying (About Failure) and Love My Viral Video

What might viral videos tell us about the current sense of failure in the art world?

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The Feast of Detroit

The Feast of Detroit

Does Detroit represent a failed system or does the city defy traditional responses to notions of failure?

Wangechi Mutu (Kenyan, b. 1972). The End of eating Everything (still), 2013. Animated video, color, sound, 8 min., edition of six. Courtesy of the artist. Commissioned by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. © Wangechi Mutu

Wangechi Mutu on failure

Wangechi Mutu on failure

“In a sense, failure is a tail that’s chasing me. I’m running away from it, but it’s attached to me. It helps me project myself forward.”

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New Kids on the Block

Victoria Fu’s Five Attempts at a Palindrome

New Kids on the Block

Victoria Fu’s Five Attempts at a Palindrome

For San Diego-based artist Victoria Fu “failure as strategy is a nod to the delicate beauty and also complete absurdity of making.”

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Now Playing

Twenty-One Songs from Sam Gordon

Now Playing

Twenty-One Songs from Sam Gordon

A playlist featuring artists and musicians who “fail to draw within the lines,” including Yoko One, Steve Reich, and Men.

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Failing Productively: A Crash Course

Failing Productively: A Crash Course

How can we help students have a healthy understanding of failure?

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Queer Berlin

A Brief Introduction to the ff

Queer Berlin

A Brief Introduction to the ff

A visual profile of a feminist network operating mostly out of Berlin.

The Dowling Theatre, 1963, courtesy of Ray M. Boriski. Auditorium of the Dowling Theatre, c. 1960, courtesy of Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library, MSS 210. The Dowling Theatre, c. 2007. Courtesy arch-ive.org

Shifting Perceptions of Houston’s Third Ward

Shifting Perceptions of Houston’s Third Ward

Writer-in-Residence Sally Frater explores Unity Foto Bank, an online project and site-specific installation in Houston, Texas.

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Emergency Response

Emergency Response

Alicia Eler speaks with artists Phong Bui and Pinar Yoldas about their individual responses to environmental disasters.

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Nuanced Failure and Urban Space

Nuanced Failure and Urban Space

Urban architecture is no stranger to criticism and failure. Consider the work of Le Corbusier “whose legacy of urban plans…has been mythologized and often maligned.”

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I’m a failure. Now what?

I’m a failure. Now what?

How does the life of a boxer compare to the life of an artist?

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Copy That!

Free-Fail

Copy That!

Free-Fail

In reassessing the value of failure, consider Princeton computer scientist Ed Felten’s expression “the freedom to tinker.”

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From the Editor

From the Editor

What does failure mean? Art21′s Digital Content Editor introduces the sophomore issue of the Art21 Magazine.

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Staff Pick

smARTpower

Staff Pick

smARTpower

“smARTpower asks provocative questions about what a good work of art is, what art is good for, and for whom.”

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Booked

On the Road to Legendary

Booked

On the Road to Legendary

Veteran photographer Gerard H. Gaskin discusses the long road to his first book, “Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene,” due out this month.

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Teaching with Contemporary Art

What It Takes

Teaching with Contemporary Art

What It Takes

What does it take to become an artist? K-12 students respond.

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Postcards

Postcard from Brendan Fernandes

Postcards

Postcard from Brendan Fernandes

A new magazine project featuring postcards from contemporary artists living or working outside of the United States.

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Flashback

Six Artists on Becoming Artists

Flashback

Six Artists on Becoming Artists

A roundup of Exclusive films in which Art21 artists talk about becoming or being artists.

Kimsooja, To Breathe—A Mirror Woman, 2006. Installation at The Crystal Palace, Madrid. Production still from the Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 5 episode, "Systems," 2009. © Art21, Inc. 2009.

Flashback

Kimsooja: It Was Just a Dream

Flashback

Kimsooja: It Was Just a Dream

Artist Kimsooja discusses her path to becoming an artist, her earliest influences, and her “breathing room” installations.