Sarah Thornton

Divine Intervention

Jeff Koons at the Schirn Kunsthalle and Liebieghaus

June 2012 FRANKFURT

JEFF KOONS IS FROWNING with his fingers on his forehead. The lighting on Metallic Venus, a glossy stainless steel beauty who lifts her dress to reveal her childbearing hips, is distressing him. Weary worry pervades the faces of the staff of… READ ON

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Stalking Distinction

The 100th annual College Art Association

February 2012 LOS ANGELES

AT THE LOS ANGELES CONVENTION CENTER, amid an ocean of gray walls and gray suits, Sheryl Oring sat in an understated beehive and little black dress working on a crimson 1950s typewriter. Behind her, a Mondrianesque banner asked one of my … READ ON

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Search Party

The 2011 College Art Association conference

February 2011 NEW YORK

“MAYBE WE SHOULD DROP the word history from art history, ” declared Patricia Mainardi, a professor from CUNY’s Graduate Center. She was regaling a standing-room-only crowd last Thursday during her opening remarks for “The Crisis in … READ ON

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Bucking the Trend

Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale

November 2009 NEW YORK

OUT ON THE STREET before Sotheby’s contemporary art evening sale on Wednesday, collector Alberto Mugrabi told me that Warhol’s 200 One Dollar Bills, a rare, hand-drawn silk-screen painting from 1962, would sell for $40 million. I assumed… READ ON

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Doig Days

Christie’s Postwar and Contemporary Evening Sale

November 2009 NEW YORK

AS WOMEN IN FIVE-INCH HEELS and men in made-to-measure suits headed to their assigned seats at Christie’s on Tuesday night, a man dressed for dog walking slipped unnoticed into a middle row toward the back. Peter Doig had never been to an… READ ON

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Real Housewife of Beverly Hills

Christie's Postwar and Contemporary Evening Sale

May 2009 NEW YORK

ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT, the market for postwar and contemporary art took the form of several dozen huddles on the sidewalk of Forty-ninth Street just west of Fifth Avenue. Although the women had blinged down and the men flaunted somber ties, the… READ ON

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No Ifs, Ands, or Butts

Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale

May 2009 NEW YORK

LOOMING BEHIND THE HEAD of chief auctioneer Tobias Meyer at Sotheby’s on Tuesday evening, in large black capital letters, was the word COMEDIAN. The 1989 Christopher Wool painting captured the gallows humor of an uptown crowd that had none… READ ON

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No Guarantees

Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale

November 2008 NEW YORK

WHAT DOES A COLLECTOR SAY when he has no money to spend? “This art is terrible.” But Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on Wednesday was one of the auction house’s best in terms of artistic content. After Sotheby… READ ON

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Bare Market

Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale

November 2008 NEW YORK

WHEN TOBIAS MEYER asked the crowd to take their seats at Sotheby’s on Tuesday night, the room quickly fell into uncommon silence. A thousand people in the room and you could hear a diamond cuff link drop. The art-market elite that attends… READ ON

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Fresh Prince

Richard Prince's opening at the Serpentine

June 2008 LONDON

I KNEW A GUY WHO WAS SO RICH HE COULD SKI UPHILL . . . announced the enormous joke painting in the central room of Richard Prince’s first solo show in a British public space, which opened at the Serpentine Gallery on Wednesday night. At a… READ ON

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