Jaco van Schalkwyk, “Nemora”, 2018, at the Volta Art Fair.

Jaco van Schalkwyk, “Nemora”, 2018, at the Volta Art Fair.

Day 1 Rainy Day in Basel at Volta and Liste

Rain or shine, and it did, Nancy Nesvet, intrepid Artscope writer, spent the first day in Basel before Art Basel opens at two satellite fairs, Volta and Liste. Both showed artists, and galleries reflecting subjects with the environment and social-political issues using codes to define and display nationhood. The socially concerned seemed to predominate at […]

NYC Met New Admissions Policy

NYC Met New Admissions Policy


By Nancy Nesvet NEW YORK CITY — On March 1, the Metropolitan Museum of Art instituted an admission fee for the first time since its April 13, 1870 founding. It was a sad day for art, art lovers and those not yet aware of how enjoyable the art experience can be. Numerous artists, including Ai […]

IMAGE: documenta 14 exhibition poster (Mevis & Van Deursen) © documenta archiv.


By Nancy Nesvet Okay, so now we acknowledge that the world of art is tied to economics. Only the Venice Biennale and other recent exhibitions after that model survive to showcase the best of new art not for sale or created with economic appreciation in mind, only the other kind. There is no shame in […]

IMAGE: documenta 14 exhibition poster (Mevis & Van Deursen) © documenta archiv.


By Nancy Nesvet As Globalism and Nationalism dominate current world news and politics, economic disparities of the Global South and northern Europe causes verbal and policy battles across all markets. We hinted in the last Business of Art blog at the consequences for documenta 14, but here provides an update on its future policy decisions. […]

Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein, The Intrepid Albatross, 20-foot-tall, 2017, bamboo, wire ties, recycled rubber, mirrors.


(In our September/October 2017 issue, Donna Dodson wrote of her experience at the Ringkobing International Woodcarving Symposium in Denmark. In this follow-up report, along with husband Andy Moerlein (collectively known as The Myth Makers), she travels to Taiwan for the International Marine Environmental Art where they create an outside sculpture as Artists in Residence at […]

Subodh Gupta "Cooking the World”

Subodh Gupta, "Cooking the World” 2017, found aluminum utensils, monofilament line, steel, Gallery Continua, Italy.


It is a calmer year at Art Basel, but no less edgy. Escapist to a degree, the world sector-wide reflects a desire to hide under the covers, or at least spend time at a beach, eating a good meal or watching an entertaining, possibly animated film. Whereas the work last year implored us to speak an act, and sometimes revolt, we’ve now done it, and largely have had no effect. So, let’s have some fun. Many projects allow us just that.

Art Basel Art 2017

(Clockwise, from top left) Reza Aramesh, Site of the Fall: Study of the Renaissance Garden, 2016-17, marble, topiary, Leila Heller, New York City, at Parcours, ArtBasel ; Sue Williamson, Messages from the Atlantic Passage, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa; Phyllida Barlow, untitled: 100banners2015, 2015, Hauser & Worth, Zurich; Thomas Struth, Paradise 28, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru 2005, 2005, chromogenic print, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin/Paris; Peter Regli, Reality Hacking No. 313, 2014, Levy Gorvy, New York.


First confronted by Al Wei Wei’s “Iron Tree” (2016), which changes patina as it ages, it also brings nature and the manmade relationship with nature into perspective. That relationship seems a theme of Parcours, curator Samuel Leuenberger’s brilliant trek through the city through the following of artwork installations. Reza Aramsh recreates Michelangelo’s “Slave” in resin, but tiesits hands behind his back with a rope, making him captive and towering on a plinth over the river. Katinka Bock’s “Parasite Fountain” (2017) creates ametal fish that draws water from a neighboring fountain, thus the parasite description, and does not give it back. It uses the water for itself. Politics has come into the work now.

Rachele Buriassi and Roddy Doble in Jiří Kylián's Wings of Wax; photo by Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy Boston Ballet.

THEATER REVIEW: Boston Ballet’s Kylián/Wings of Wax at the Boston Opera House

Balanchine’s “Donizetti Variations” opened a three-part program by teaching our wings to soar to Gaetano Donizetti’s dreamy, sprightly, symmetrical melodies from his 1843 opera, “Don Sebastien.”

The vigor of the music belied our modern stereotypes of the classical as bland, of the romantic as naïve. And the dancers inhabiting Donizetti’s lively, questing inspirations with quick-silver turns seemed to grasp myriad opportunities to soar or slow, improbably, just before the musicians in the orchestra pit announced them!

Pedro E. Guerrero, I’m an Architect, Taliesin, Spring Green, WI, 1947, silver gelatin print. © Pedro E. Guerrero Archives. Courtesy of Edward Cella Art +Architecture Los Angeles, CA.

Guerrero and Wright: Architecture Stories: Photographs by Pedro E. Guerrero at The Art Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University

The year was 1939 — when the then 22-year-old Pedro E. Guerrero, his portfolio in hand, arrived at Taliesin West in Scottsdale in search of a job. Frank Lloyd Wright, in the midst of building the campus, needed someone to document the process. Despite the paltry pay and lack of job security, Guerrero signed on.

Wright had made an uncanny choice in hiring the young man who’d just narrowly escaped the segregated schools and pervasive prejudice of Mesa, Ariz. Guerrero’s intelligence and quick wit would stand him in good staid with the boss, and his remarkable portraits of Wright suggest the ease with which the two took to each other’s company. There was no question but that Guerrero would play a significant role in reinvigorating Wright’s career; his iconic photographs continue to exert a force.

Juan Roberto Diago, Sin título (Untitled), 2011

Diago: The Pasts of This Afro-Cuban Present” at The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art

So many insights in art, in scholarship and in life derive from accidents of attention grasped by some intuition insisting sotto voce, “Hey! This is important!” For me it was a prompt to walk once again through the first retrospective exhibition of the Afro-Cuban artist Roberto Diago currently at the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art — though I had already Velcroed and snapped my overshoes against the snow waiting in Harvard Square.