Linda Yablonsky

  • Bluehats on the march: (front) producer Sharon Oreck; second row, dealer Rhiannon Kubicka and artists Laurie Simmons and Tina Hejtmanek; third row, financial advisor Billy Dobbins, artist Tom Burr, Coco Rohatyn, writer Andrianna Campbell; fourth row, designer Malia Mills, Art Production Fund cofounder Yvonne Force Villareal, and dealer Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn. (Except where noted, all photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary January 22, 2017

    Women in Revolt

    FOR ONCE, you didn’t have to be there to know, but if you did join the Women’s March on Washington this past Saturday, you saw firsthand what it meant to move with a civilian army against the extreme radical narcissism of Donald J. Trump.

    It meant business.

    Led by women, and weaponized only with pink knitted hats, hand-painted signs, and our voices, not a shot was fired, no fights broke out, and the freedom to speak and assemble won out.

    Talk about a populist uprising! Unlike the media, the DC police estimated the crowd in the nation’s capital at one million citizens—all ages, ethnicities, and

  • Left: Artist Ugo Rondinone with poet and artist John Giorno and dealer Eva Presenhuber. Right: Artist Maurizio Cattelan. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary December 04, 2016

    Bubble Trouble

    MIAMI IS WHERE THE ART WORLD goes each December to seal its bubble—the one that makes art the center of the universe and keeps real life at bay.

    But three weeks after the election of Donald Trump, the mood was different. Oh, there were plenty of the usual parties with many of the usual faces in the usual product-promoted places, but it wasn’t the same.

    Actually, there was one new place—the Faena Forum. Otherwise, the weather was balmy and art was everywhere. So were Trump-Pence banners. And then there were the people who came to make or spend money and have a good time in the playground swamp of

  • Left: Artist Ai Weiwei with dealer Mary Boone. Right: Artist Laurie Simmons and actress Molly Ringwald. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary November 08, 2016

    The Future Is Female

    PEOPLE IN THE ART WORLD have a way of shielding themselves from reality—mainly by giving themselves to art. Last week in New York, election jitters gave urgency to every event, beginning with the sixth annual Spotlights lunch hosted last Tuesday—one week from Election Day—by the International Center of Photography.

    If art sometimes reflects reality, it went further here by giving a clear sign of what’s to come: women running the show.

    Are you ready, guys?

    Apparently not, judging from the dominant female presence at the lunch. Okay, so the event honors women artists—in this case, Laurie Simmons—but

  • Left: Artists Anthea Hamilton and Helen Marten. Right: Choreographer Michael Clark. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary October 08, 2016

    Full Circle

    WHAT’S AN ART FAIR GOOD FOR?

    You might be tempted to say, “Art,” but that’s not always the case. The highest purpose of a fair is to generate bonding opportunities for people who make art go.

    When the fair is Frieze and the city is London, they come in great number from across the globe, the trouble spots and the tranquil ones (if such places still exist). Paths cross constantly, whether by intention or chance. The more incestuous the fraternity, the greater its success.

    On Tuesday night, for example, a line formed outside the gallery that Brussels- and Paris-based dealer Almine Rech was opening

  • Left: Composer and conductor Esmeralda Conde Ruiz with Tate museums director Nicholas Serota. Right: Serpentine Gallery curator Hans Ulrich Obrist with artist Philippe Parreno, dealer Pilar Corrias and LA MoCA director Philippe Vergne. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary October 05, 2016

    Fish Tank

    FRIEZE WEEK IN LONDON isn’t just about an art fair. It’s a marathon of social rubbernecking fraught with FOMO. One has to ease into it.

    Last Friday afternoon, I had the good luck to find Pablo Bronstein at Tate Britain, admiring the stamina of the three women performing his suave meld of pedestrian and Baroque movement with “Historical Dances in an Antique Setting,” a commissioned show that has been going on continuously for six months. “The more I see these women, the more I love them,” Bronstein said, before I slipped into the 2016 Turner Prize exhibition and found ICA curator Matt Williams

  • Page from Artforum, April 1992. Lisa Liebmann, “Grand Elisions.” Page from Artforum, October 1987. Lisa Liebmann, “Icons at Large: X Marks the Spot.”

    Lisa Liebmann

    LISA LIEBMANN was a friend, but I knew her first as a writer. Her thoughts seemed to percolate in a brain that never stopped cooking. When she spoke, words tumbled out in such a fizzy rush that even she would stumble over them in her haste to make room for the next fusillade, adding a sprinkle of French and quick, stuttering gestures of the hand that mirrored the circles she was drawing around your own startled mind. On the page, she was just as nimble, writing in acrobatic language that somersaulted between archaic formality and vernacular prose.

    “No dog is more intelligent or more sociable than

  • Left: Artist Kerry James Marshall and writer Sarah Thornton. Right: Artist Hank Willis Thomas. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary September 30, 2016

    Man with a Plan

    IF I EVER GO TO EXPO CHICAGO AGAIN, I’ll do it right. I’ll ask Hans Ulrich Obrist to organize my itinerary. The peripatetic Serpentine Gallery curator’s archives reside in the Windy City, and he knows the lay of that flat land. I had an outline of events, but who were the dealers hosting dinners? Where were the open houses and VIP gallery tours? Obrist would know the scoop. Meanwhile, I set out for the fair’s fifth edition alone, save for my skimpy agenda.

    I reached Navy Pier just in time for the September 22nd evening vernissage. Which was hours after many of Chicago’s justifiably vaunted

  • Left: Artist Joan Jonas. Right: Artists Zoe Leonard and Charline von Heyl. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary September 19, 2016

    Moon Lighting

    NEVER TAKE TOO LIGHTLY the effects of a full moon.

    Last Friday’s lunar action brought a week of art-world milestones to New York. On Tuesday, Zoe Leonard debuted with Hauser & Wirth. Before the eyes of compatriots like Charline von Heyl and Nancy Shaver, she turned the East Sixty-Ninth Street townhouse into a manifesto on photographic image control to defy the age of the photo bomb. And at the Museum of Modern Art, impatient and entitled people who never do lines dutifully queued up for entrance to Kai Althoff’s encampment of a show, “Leave me to the common swifts.”

    Because guards let only a few

  • Left: Artist Doug Aitken and dealer Shaun Caley Regen. Right: LA MoCA director Philippe Vergne. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary September 17, 2016

    After Earth

    ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, more than a hundred galleries in New York held opening receptions all at once. By comparison, the season kickoff in Los Angeles that day was a picnic—literally.

    At sunset, three generations of hometown artists in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art gathered for a rare, possibly historic, communal meal. And what a pretty picture these seventy-five personages made! The mere sight of David Hockney and John Baldessari having a tête-à-tête with Frank Gehry was enough to send younger artists like Glenn Kaino, Alex Israel, and Liz Glynn over the rising moon.

  • Left: MoMA curator Stuart Comer and Artists Space director Stefan Kalmár. Right: Dealer Marta Fontolan. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary September 03, 2016

    Passage to Marseille

    STEFAN KALMÁR AND MARTA FONTOLAN wish people in Marseille would listen. The Artists Space director and Gavin Brown Enterprise dealer both sit on a seven-person committee of “artistic” advisers for Art-O-Rama, a pocket-size fair that just celebrated its tenth anniversary in the French port city. “You can see the potential,” Kalmár said, when I arrived the day before the fair’s August 25th VIP opening. Indeed, I would.

    I’d needed persuading. An art fair on the last weekend in August? Give us a break. Then again, it’s in Marseille, where Walter Benjamin became a convert to hashish, Le Corbusier

  • Left: Outside the Deste Slaugherhouse in Hydra. Right: Artist Maurizio Cattelan and collector Dakis Joannou. (All photos: Linda Yablonsky)
    diary June 30, 2016

    Crab Walk

    AFTER ART BASEL, but before Brexit, there was Greece.

    In this ancient and modern land, root of a glorious past and home to a beleaguered present, collector Dakis Joannou ushered in summer with his annual Deste Foundation weekend (June 19-20) in Athens and on the island of Hydra.

    It was hot.

    On the 18th, temperatures in the capital stuck to a hundred, but it was a dry heat. Tolerable. Thanks to a national holiday that sent residents to island beaches, the city of the Acropolis was a ghost town.

    Radio Athènes founder Helena Papadopoulos easily snared tables for sixteen of us—Greek, American, and French

  • Left: Dealer Esther Schipper with artist AA Bronson and dealer Maureen Paley. Right: Dealer Isabella Bortolozzi and Kunsthalle Basel director Elena Filipovic.
    diary June 20, 2016

    Best in Show

    LIKE THE MOMENT before any big storm, Sunday the 12th of June in Basel was quiet. Of course, this is Switzerland, where the atmosphere is so placid that feathers ruffle only at their own risk.

    Yet risk is the name of the game in the art business, or it used to be, before big money sent it in the direction of safe bets. Take the work that the New York Times anointed as the most talked-about in all of Art Basel—Hans Op de Beeck’s fictional collector’s home at Art Unlimited. Funny thing about that. Of the several hundred people I spoke with during a rain-soaked week at the forty-seventh edition of