Patrick McGrath

  • The art that inspired them in 2000

    Those of us who live and breathe contemporary art will hold to the idea that art does change, if not the world, then the way we live in it. But our “world” can be more insular than we care to admit. So to open our look back at 2000, we asked twenty-one “outsiders” we admire—from novelist J.G. Ballard to musician John Zorn—to tell us about the art that inspired them this year.

    Dave Eggers (novelist)

    About a year ago, I saw Marcel Dzama’s stuff in zingmagazine and fell madly in love. Then his show at David Zwirner just killed me. A hundred or so drawings (bears with handguns, whale-men


    In this ongoing series, writers are invited to discuss a contemporary work that has special significance for them.

    I FIRST SAW HEAD AND BOTTLE more than a decade ago, at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, in a show of paintings done by Philip Guston in the last years of his life, 1969 to 1980. It was work I was immediately at home with. By this time Guston had stripped his vocabulary down to a few sturdy basics—soles of boots, bodies of water, planks, pipes, and bulbous stub bled heads with one huge eye and no features. His themes were art, death, and the self. There’s a strong sense of mortality throughout, an impatience at the end to be done with everything but plain talk about essentials.

    This was 1983. It