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Art Basel Sour Grapes Wrap-Up

For all of you art-fair groupies who are just getting back to your computers and newspapers after flirting with Andy Golub‘s body-painted girl in the green bikini, here’s what you missed:
Tom Krens, tired of being rebuffed by foreign municipalities, has decided to build his next Guggenheim in Idaho.
—The Whitney is channeling the spirit of Louis Kahn to design its High Line expansion.
—The trustees of the Barnes Foundation have decided to move the collection to Pittsburgh, because that city made a better offer and Albert Barnes didn’t detest Pittsburgh as much as he hated Philadelphia.
But the big news is: CultureGrrl, following in the footsteps of her apartment’s previous owner, salsa diva Celia Cruz, has just been nominated for her first Grammy for her rap rant, “The Art Basel Hassle.”
(I hope all of you realize that the above new flashes are spoofs, but there are always a few literal-minded readers who take everything I write seriously, no matter how outlandish. The only thing that’s serious is my Grammy nomination, which has also won me a scriptwriting gig for “Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Gagosian.”)
Those of us who are bummed not to be at Art Basel Miami will derive no comfort from this dispatch, from Roberta Smith in today’s NY Times: “I had a fabulous time.” In her rambling report of her rambles, she reports only one sale price: $160,000 for Urs Fischer‘s “crushed Camel cigarette pack tripping the light fantastic at Gavin Brown‘s.” Sorry, I don’t smoke.
For the money-minded, lots more prices are enumerated in Walter Robinson’s report for Artnet, which has signed a deal to “create a new online extension” of future Art Basel fairs both in Basel and Miami.
And for those who just want to vicariously experience the overheated social scene, there’s always New York magazine, with Deborah Schoeneman and Alexandra Peers double-teaming for its Basel Blog.
Please pass me some more sour grapes, will you?
UPDATE: The best piece I’ve seen on the “scene” is Guy Trebay’s bemused socio-economic romp in the Sunday “Styles” section of the NY Times:
Little about art collecting as a competitive high stakes game may be new. Yet the broadening of the consumer base is, and so is the inescapable truth that the trade is now substantially driven by marquee auctions and art fairs that come to feel like circuit parties for the ultrarich….
“I’m just making the first round,” said Beth Rudin DeWoody, the philanthropist and collector, on Wednesday as she power-walked the aisles of the main fair, scattering in her path the red dots that signify a work has been sold.

Any occasion that occasions good writing like this can’t be all bad.

an ArtsJournal blog