A new who's who of contemporary art
Art Now 4
Edited by Hans Werner Holzwarth
Keeping up with overseas art trends is a pretty impossible task even for the international art jet setter. However, Taschen, through its publication of monographs on individual artists and trends, offers useful reference guides.
Its latest in the Art Now series has just been published and it provides a catch-up for what in happening to the worlds most important artists and the influential galleries
As well as introducing new emerging artists, the books feature some of the more established artists such as Damien Hirst, Ellsworth Kelly and Ed Ruscha. Even with these artists, it is contemporary work that is featured.
The new artists on the block include Kara Walker with cut outs and simple drawing, which address issues of race, class and gender, and Takashi Murakami whose work explores the manga culture in a way similar to that of the New Zealand artist Hye Rim Lee.
There is work by artists who are in the headlines, such as Ai Weiwei and the Fischli and Weiss collaboration, which have recently installed a new sculpture at the Serpentine Gallery in London.
Each of the 100 artists has an entry with images of important work from the past two or three years, an introductory text, along with a short exhibition history and bibliographical information.
The book shows the full range of art being produced at the moment - drawing, photography, painting, installations, multi media work and sculpture.
The editor notes that 2013 is the 100th anniversary of Marcel Duchamp’s readymade where he mounted a bicycle wheel on a stool. The presence of Duchamp and other seminal artists of the modern movement can be seen in many of the art works. There are Cubists, abstract expressionists, Fauves and even Impressionists.
There is a special feature focusing on the art boom in Eastern Asia, with essays by Karen Smith on the contemporary art scenes in Beijing and Shanghai, and by Colin Chinnery on the postwar art-historical developments between China, Japan, and Korea. Conversations with leading curators from Seoul and Tokyo provide information on recent developments in Asia.
There is a useful art guide of the region’s metropolises, which can serve as a guide to the must-see venues for travelers or browsers through the World Wide Web.
One of the more interesting appendices gives some of the auction results for various artists. So one of Anish Kapoor’s stainless steel reflecting works sold two years ago at Sotheby’s New York for $US2.4 million, a Jeff Koon Hanging Heart went for $US23.5million and Cindy Sherman prints were selling for $US1.4 million to $US3.9 million.