Daniel B. Schneider


    WHEN TWO MAJOR PIECES from Jeff Koons’s “Celebration” series, 1994–, came up for auction for the first time last November, a breach was torn in the fabric of the Koons market, not to mention the cultural cosmos. Diamond (Blue), 1994–2005, sold at Christie’s for $11.8 million, more than doubling the highest price ever paid for a Koons work at auction; the following night, Hanging Heart (Magenta/Gold), 1994–2006, sold at Sotheby’s for $23.6 million, making it (as headlines trumpeted) the most expensive piece by a living artist ever auctioned.

    Recent private trades for key pieces from “Celebration”—sixteen

  • the Museum of Modern Art’s new curators

    IN MID-SEPTEMBER, six months after appointing John Elderfield chief curator of painting and sculpture [see Artforum, May 2003], the Museum of Modern Art coolly named two new curators, Ann Temkin and Joachim Pissarro, to his department. The hires, which follow a number of significant curatorial departures, come at a pivotal moment in the museum’s seventy-four-year history. Temkin and Pissarro, who assume their posts this fall, will work alongside fellow curator Anne Umland, Elderfield, and other department heads to reinstall MoMA’s collection in its vast new midtown quarters, scheduled to open


    NOW THAT THE MORE iconic images from Cindy Sherman’s “Untitled Film Stills” series, 1977–80, routinely go for six figures at auction, it is perhaps worth recalling that as late as 1988, almost a decade after they first beguiled a young generation of critics and dealers, most of the sixty-nine black-and-white photographs were available for $2,000 to $3,000 at Metro Pictures, the New York gallery that has represented the artist since 1980. Not that prices for Sherman’s seminal images hadn’t climbed over the years; when pictures from the series were first exhibited in New York City, in group shows

  • the plight of the museums

    IN THE JITTERY, smoke-streaked weeks following the attacks on the World Trade Center, attendance at New York’s major art museums plunged to roughly half that of the preceding autumn, then steadied, and, glacially, began to creep upward again. By mid-January, the numbers were back up to 80 or 90 percent. But it is not enough. The events of September 11 exacerbated a long-simmering recession, and at city museums, earned income has declined, funding is threatened, and untold millions in anticipated revenue have been stricken from the books. A grim mood of budgetary restraint and fiscal anxiety is

  • the MoMA strike

    AS THIS ISSUE OF ARTFORUM goes to press, the strike at the Museum of Modern Art enters it fourth month, with negotiations at a virtual standstill, accusations of duplicity and bad faith issuing from all sides, and little hope that a settlement will be reached before the museum begins its $650 million expansion next year.

    A giant inflatable rat, putative symbol of no-holds-barred union vigilance, has been positioned outside the museum's entrance. A dozen or so weedy, hip-looking picketers, members of the museum's Professional and Administrative Staff Association, toot whistles, slap drums, and

  • Capital Suggestion

    A NOVEL NONPROFIT ALLIANCE of twenty-two private foundations and philanthropies has been organized to provide modest grants to American artists, particularly those whose work might otherwise be ignored, rejected, or spurned by other funding organizations—and the public at large. The new group, called the Creative Capital Foundation, has already amassed assets of over five million dollars, and plans to formally announce its first round of awards, totaling one million dollars, early in the year 2000.

    “We are looking for work that is of the moment, engages the issues of our time, and pushes