10 Binge-Worthy Art Podcasts in the Age of Coronavirus
Plugging into the art-world conversation while museums and galleries are closed.
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Many museums and galleries have closed in attempts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but the conversation about art keeps going — and you can get your fix of the art talk (and also the gossip) through a growing number of art podcasts. Hosts include curators, art writers and artists. Here are my picks for 10 art podcasts worth subscribing to, from one in Los Angeles showcasing the music that moves local artists to another, out of Sydney, focusing on Aboriginal culture.
Helen Molesworth gives some of the most incisive and insightful exhibition tours of any contemporary art curator of her generation, and her new podcast Recording Artists, produced by the Getty, puts this intellectual-storytelling skill set to good use. Here her subject is not one of her own exhibitions (she recently organized the Noah Davis show for the David Zwirner gallery), but six renowned artists — Alice Neel, Lee Krasner, Betye Saar, Helen Frankenthaler, Yoko Ono and Eva Hesse — whose audio interviews with the historians Barbara Rose and Cindy Nemser are now in the archives of the Getty Research Institute. Smart move: After introducing the artist and issues at hand, Ms. Molesworth brings in smart guests to weigh in, like Lari Pittman and Amy Sillman speaking on Krasner. Memorable moment: in one recording, Alice Neel, who lived a famously bohemian life and painted portraits of a wide cross-section of society, makes the surprising admission that she left Greenwich Village because there were too many “very butch” lesbians on the streets. Ms. Molesworth, who identifies as queer, says she respects the painter’s frankness. Besides, she adds, “I think that I, or any artist I know, could have easily talked her out of this position.”
On Talk Art out of London, Russell Tovey, an actor-collector, and Robert Diament, a musician-turned-gallerist, host freewheeling and wide-ranging talks with some big visual artists (think KAWS, Tracey Emin, Grayson Perry) and bold-name creator-collectors (Lena Dunham, Michael Stipe). It’s trendy, gossipy, fast-paced conversational fun, and occasionally frustrating for the tangents left unexplored. When Kaws admits to being arrested, could someone please follow up and ask him where and why?
Produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), this radio show and podcast focuses on Aboriginal culture, including art, music, theater and film. Mr. Browning, of Bundjalung and Kullilli descent, was trained as a painter himself and it shows, in his strong profiles of contemporary indigenous artists who bridge the gap between traditional and experimental beliefs, processes and materials. Awaye! is also the perfect place to hear more about this year’s Sydney Biennale, which has indigenous leaders for the first time since the Biennale began in 1973. (At present, this exhibition has not been canceled and runs through June 8.)
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