Morning Links

Morning Links: Bitcoin-Using Millennials Edition

Installation view of Simon Denny’s Blockchain Visionaries, a project about Bitcoin, 2016.


Remembering Jack Whitten

For the Washington Post, Sebastian Smee writes on Jack Whitten, the painter who died this past weekend at age 78. “In departing this world, Whitten leaves behind not just bones but an extraordinary body of work which, after decades of neglect, is just beginning to receive its due,” Smee writes. “It has a lot to teach us.” [The Washington Post]

On his blog Humor and the Abject, Sean J. Patrick Carney recalls a studio visit with Whitten, in which the abstract painter spoke about his passion for Crete, where he and his wife frequently summered, and the olives that he consumed there. “I think I could have listened to him talk about anything for hours; I don’t even particularly like olives,” Carney writes. [Humor and the Abject]

Around New York

The New Yorker’s Calvin Tomkins has profiled Danh Vo, the conceptual artist who will have a Guggenheim Museum retrospective next month. Vo’s work is often complex and dense with historical references, and he told Tomkins that people should expect this of today’s art world. “If you want mass communication, then you are in the wrong field,” Vo said. [The New Yorker]

For its 50th anniversary, New York magazine has launched a yearlong show of its artist-designed covers, Curbed NY reports. The first ones—by Hank Willis Thomas, Barbara Kruger, Rob Pruitt, and others—can now be found in various locations around the city. [Curbed NY]

Carlo McCormick reports for Artforum from last week’s New York edition of the Outsider Art Fair, “an ever more vital reminder of all that art can be and all that can be art.” Also included: musings on some of the people McCormick ran into at the fair’s preview, including Maurizio Cattelan, Jamian Juliano-Villani, and Andres Serrano. [Artforum]


The New York Times reports that Paddle8 will merge with the Swiss technology company the Native, and will now start using blockchain, which allows for transactions made using Bitcoin. The merger is meant to “adapt online art sales—and potentially more—to an age of wealthy millennials well versed in virtual currencies.” [The New York Times]


For Artnet News, artist Natalie Frank addresses the controversy surrounding the Sackler family, which often funds museum centers and has more recently been the subject of scorn because some of its members own Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company that produces OxyContin. Frank notes that Elizabeth A. Sackler, who founded the feminist art center at the Brooklyn Museum, has not been a beneficiary of Purdue since well before the drug was on the market, and calls on journalists to distinguish between various branches of the family. [Artnet News]

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Elizabeth A. Sackler considers Purdue Pharma’s role in the opioid epidemic “morally abhorrent.” Purdue Pharma, for its part, said in a statement that it would welcome an opportunity to talk with the photographer Nan Goldin, who, in the current issue of Artforum, debuted a portfolio and essay about her addiction to the drug. Here’s hoping that meeting takes place. [The New York Times]

The National notes that the Louvre Abu Dhabi has replaced a map about the exchange of an ancient vase that mysteriously omitted Qatar. The United Arab Emirates has boycotted Doha since earlier this summer, yet the museum claims the omission was “an oversight.” [The National]

The Talent

Artforum reports that Heidi Rabben has been appointed a curator at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. She was previously an independent curator, and has also held positions at the San Francisco Art Book Fair and Kadist. [Artforum]

Update, 11:15 a.m.: This post has been updated to clarify the thrust of Natalie Frank’s essay, and to state that Elizabeth A. Sackler is the founder of the feminist center that bears her name at the Brooklyn Museum.

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