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Dialogues: The David Zwirner Podcast
46 minutes | Mar 30, 2022
Episode 48 | Rirkrit Tiravanija and Elizabeth Peyton
The artists and former partners on what it means to be an artist now—and what it meant when they emerged in the New York art world of the 1990s. Tiravanija, who will have his first exhibition with the gallery in Hong Kong later this year, is renowned for participatory installations that have a living, social dimension to them. Peyton is one of her generation’s best-known painters, recognized for her intimate paintings of people.
31 minutes | Mar 24, 2022
Episode 47 | Edwin Frank
The editorial director of New York Review Books and editor of NYRB Classics explains the origins and cult status of the incredibly popular series. Since its founding by Frank in 1999, NYRB Classics’s mission has been to reintroduce out-of-print gems to a new audience, everything from Walt Whitman’s Drum Taps to a Janet Malcolm work of journalism. Combined with a simple and magnetic design, this model inspired David Zwirner Books’s own ekphrasis series, which focuses on writing about art, and which just celebrated its 20th edition with the publication of Virginia Woolf’s Oh to Be a Painter!. Oh to Be a Painter!, the most accessible collection of Woolf’s writing on art, is available through David Zwirner Books. The entire ekphrasis series is now available as a special collection.
46 minutes | Mar 16, 2022
Episode 46 | Jed Perl and Joshua Cohen
A conversation that parses the nuances of the question: Does art have to be political to be important right now? With the art critic Jed Perl, who just published Authority and Freedom: A Defense of the Arts, and the novelist Johsua Cohen, author of the acclaimed The Netanyahus: An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family, which fictionalizes the Israeli family in ways comic and serious.
53 minutes | Mar 9, 2022
Episode 45 | Jerry Saltz and Ellie Rines
A conversation about the art of looking. The Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic and author Jerry Saltz, of New York magazine and the bestselling How to Be an Artist, and the influential young gallerist Ellie Rines, of New York’s 56 Henry, on doing their jobs in unorthodox ways—and how to look at the endlessly proliferating and increasingly uncategorizable art in the world today. And a warning to our listeners: This episode briefly mentions suicide, so please listen with caution or skip 44:34-45:30.
35 minutes | Mar 2, 2022
Episode 44 | Amy Sillman
The celebrated artist on the role of art criticism today, and how she probes and ultimately goes beyond the limitations of her painting in her other practice as a writer. This episode with Sillman, who in 2020 published Faux Pas, a new collection of her writings, is guest-hosted by Jarrett Earnest, and is the last of his three-part miniseries on serious artists who are also serious writers. Amy Sillman: Faux Pas is available here. Her work will be featured in the 2022 Venice Biennale, and was recently on view in Toni Morrison’s Black Book, an exhibition curated by Hilton Als at David Zwirner’s 19th Street gallery in New York.
44 minutes | Feb 23, 2022
Episode 43 | A Scientific Theory of the Art World
What does evolutionary science have to do with the art world? A fascinating conversation with Richard Prum, a leading thinker in evolutionary ornithology who has developed a theory that impacts how we think about artistic genius, radicality, and the art world at large.
26 minutes | Feb 16, 2022
Episode 42 | Amalia Ulman and Maggie Lee
A conversation with two exciting artists taking their multimedia practices onto the movie screen. Ulman, whose work combines video, performance, and the Internet in fluid ways, recently released her critically-acclaimed first feature film, El Planeta. A hit at the Sundance Film Festival, it features Ulman and her mother as a pair of mother-and-daughter grifters in Gijon, Spain, their hometown. And Lee, who works across all manner of media, also made a standout film that draws from her own life: Mommy is a resonant profile of her mother following her devastating death that, like El Planeta, fuses the visual language of video and Net Art with that of Hollywood.
48 minutes | Feb 2, 2022
Episode 41 | Angela Davis and Hilton Als
The activist and author Angela Davis and the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and curator Hilton Als in conversation about one of their favorite subjects and dearest friends: Toni Morrison. Early on in her career, Morrison worked as a kind of activist editor at Random House, where she helped change the landscape of publishing—including her effort to bring Davis’s landmark political autobiography to the public in 1974. (It was just republished in its third edition.) Recently, Als curated Toni Morrison’s Black Book at David Zwirner’s 19th Street gallery in New York, a group exhibition that draws astonishing connections between Morrison’s life and words and works by Beverly Buchanan, Robert Gober, Julie Mehretu, Kerry James Marshall, and many more. Toni Morrison’s Black Book, curated by Hilton Als, is on view through February 26, 2022. Angela Davis: An Autobiography was republished in its third edition in January 2022, featuring an expansive new introduction by the author.
46 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
Episode 40 | Luc Tuymans and Timothy Snyder
A conversation about the slippery slope from Donald Trump’s lies to the extinction of American democracy—and art’s ability to break through fascist monoliths. The eminent Yale historian Timothy Snyder is the author of On Tyranny, The Road to Unfreedom, and “The American Abyss,” a widely circulated New York Times essay published following the January 6 storming of the Capitol. The essay caught the eye of Luc Tuymans, himself a kind of historian. In the paintings he’s made throughout his career, Tuymans has examined the power of images in not only depicting historical trauma, but also their ability to cover up and reveal things about ourselves.
47 minutes | Jul 7, 2021
Episode 39 | David Byrne and Marcel Dzama
Two of the most playful, expressive artists we have on their creative process, trying new things, and the art of being a great collaborator. The former lead singer of the Talking Heads, Byrne is an artistic polymath, making stage plays, performances, films, and now even drawings, which he recently showed with Pace. His Broadway hit, American Utopia, also became a streaming hit when Spike Lee turned it into a film for HBO; it was also recently adapted by Byrne into a book with illustrations by Maira Kalman. Marcel Dzama—who has been showing with the gallery for many years, and who has, like Byrne, worked on the stage (most notably with the New York City Ballet)—also just published a new book, an edition of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream full of his beautiful new drawings. David Byrne is represented by Pace Gallery. American Utopia returns to Broadway in fall 2021; the film can be streamed on HBO Max; and the book is available now. Marcel Dzama’s illustrated edition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is available now. His next exhibition with the gallery opens September 8, 2021 at our 69th Street space.
24 minutes | Jun 23, 2021
Episode 38 | What Does Figuration Smell Like?
A conversation about the art of scents with the perfumer Frederic Malle. The latest in a storied French fragrance family, Malle—whose grandfather launched Christian Dior’s fragrance line, and whose uncle is the great filmmaker Louis Malle—had ambitions of being an art dealer before he took up the family trade, and his unique brand of of scent-making combines science, psychology, marketing wizardry, and (most importantly) art history.
54 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
Episode 37 | Lorraine O’Grady
The 86-year-old legend gets personal about a lifetime translating her singular voice to the world. While the major retrospective of her work currently at the Brooklyn Museum has cemented her reputation, Lorraine O’Grady did not discover herself as an artist until her 40s. Here, she traces her unlikely journey to becoming a conceptual and performance artist with a pioneering Black feminist sensibility—including stints along the way as a rock critic, novelist, and translator. Guest-hosted by Jarrett Earnest, this episode is the second of three on a topic the critic is deeply invested in: serious artists who are also serious writers. Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And is on view at the Brooklyn Museum through July 18, 2021. Her new anthology of writings, Writing in Space, 1973–2019, is available here.
33 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
Episode 36 | Kate Zambreno
How does an artwork change as the person looking at it does? Kate Zambreno, a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in Nonfiction and the author of the acclaimed 2020 novel Drifts, details the pleasures and discovery of returning to an artist or artwork over and over again—in her case, the likes of Sarah Charlesworth, Chantal Akerman, and Albrecht Durer. She speaks and writes about their lives and work with humor and personal insight born of longtime obsession. Drifts: A Novel, named a Best Book of the Year by The Paris Review, is out now on paperback. Zambreno’s latest book, To Write as if Already Dead, was published in June 2021.
47 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
Episode 35 | Simphiwe Ndzube and Zakes Mda
A conversation about the art of telling stories with the South African artist Simphiwe Ndzube, who works between Cape Town and Los Angeles and whose first solo US museum exhibition opens this month at the Denver Art Museum, and the renowned writer Zakes Mda, whose novels are widely read throughout South Africa and beyond. The two dissect their magical realist stories of post-apartheid South Africa and their experiences of America on the page and on canvas—and try to locate the source of their own magic. This episode is guest-hosted by Kyla McMillan, a director at David Zwirner. Ndzube’s solo exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, Oracles of the Pink Universe, runs from June 13 to October 10, 2021. Learn more about it here.
43 minutes | May 26, 2021
Episode 34 | Rachel Kushner
A conversation about life as art with the author of The Flamethrowers. Few merge writing about art and writing about life the way Rachel Kushner does. A former editor at Artforum and Bomb, she’s deeply interested in memorializing the culture around the art—the conversations, the characters, the tall tales. In her 2013 novel The Flamethrowers, a National Book Award finalist, the New York art world of the 70s was brought to scintillating life; and in her new collection of essays, The Hard Crowd, she writes about Richard Prince, Raymond Pettibon, and Jeff Koons as vividly as she writes about her deep personal passion for motorcycles and muscle cars. You can order The Hard Crowd now.
57 minutes | May 19, 2021
Episode 33 | The Queering of Ray Johnson feat. Nayland Blake
Guest hosted by Jarrett Earnest, this conversation with the artist, curator, and critic Nayland Blake reflects on Blake’s own coming-of-age as an artist and writer—and their shared obsession and long history with the great artist Ray Johnson. Prompted by an Johnson exhibition curated by Earnest at David Zwirner in New York that reexamines and reframes the artist’s life and work through a queer lens, this episode is the first of three hosted by Earnest on a topic the critic is deeply invested in: serious artists who are also serious writers. Ray Johnson: WHAT A DUMP, curated by Earnest, is on view at David Zwirner’s 19th Street gallery in New York through May 22, 2021. No Wrong Holes: Thirty Years of Nayland Blake, a comprehensive survey of their art practice, recently closed at the MIT List Visual Arts Center.
81 minutes | May 6, 2021
Episode 32 | Beeple and Jordan Wolfson
When Mike Winkelmann, now widely known as the digital artist Beeple, sold an artwork at Christie’s for $69 million in March 2021, it shocked the art world—and created an escalating interest in and market for NFTs, digital art using blockchain technology that allows the work of digital artists like Beeple to be collected for the very first time. But the high-stakes prices also brought two parallel art worlds—the traditional one of galleries and museums, and the growing online community of digital artists—crashing into each other. In this provocative conversation, Beeple and Jordan Wolfson hash out the relationship between the two and ask: Where do we go from here?
33 minutes | Jan 6, 2021
Episode 31 | The Bauhaus Episode
A conversation about the influence of the Bauhaus today, and its evolution from a seminal early-twentieth-century school of thought into popular shorthand for an aesthetic style that—like minimalism—is used for everything from furniture to smartphones. With guest Nicholas Fox Weber, the executive director of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, and the author of iBauhaus: The iPhone as the Embodiment of Bauhaus Ideals and Design. iBauhaus is available now in bookstores and online.
51 minutes | Dec 30, 2020
On Noah Davis: Revisited
To close a tumultuous year, we’re revisiting one of its high points: a conversation that celebrates the life and work of the artist Noah Davis. With the curator Helen Molesworth, the filmmaker (and Noah’s brother) Kahlil Joseph, and the artist (and Noah’s wife) Karon Davis. Dialogues will return with new episodes in 2021, please stay tuned.
31 minutes | Dec 15, 2020
Episode 30 | Olivia Laing
A conversation about art criticism that is deeply engaged with the lives of the artists. Olivia Laing’s work regularly appears in The Guardian, Financial Times, and Frieze. Her latest book, Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency, examines the more complicated parts of life through the biographies and art of Agnes Martin, David Hockney, Andy Warhol, and Joseph Cornell, among other artists. This acclaimed collection of essays presents art as an antidote to what ails us—loneliness, alcoholism, our bodies—and a fitting way to write about art right now. Funny Weather is available now in bookstores and online.
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