commissioning

Commissioning Contemporary Art

Author(s)  
Buck, Louisa
McClean, Daniel
Publisher  
Thames and Hudson: London
2012

Commissioning Contemporary Art is a well-constructed how-to describing the incredibly varied and often problematic practice of commissioning. Co-written by art critic Louisa Buck and art lawyer Daniel McClean, the handbook combines their areas of expertise and incorporates opinions and experiences from a diverse range of industry experts; including artists, curators, and museum directors such as Hans Ulrich Obrist, Sir Nicolas Serota, and Christine Van Assche. Commissions are a complex practice and therefore can incur high risks. In this handbook, Buck and McClean cite many examples of commissions, set up a step-by-step guide and include encompassing perspectives from all concerned parties. They not only explicate the distinct aspects in great detail, but they also discuss the motivation and tradition behind commissioning practice. From beginning to end, the handbook offers valuable insight and advice to any artist, curator or collector who wishes to be involved in the creation of new art through the popular practice of commissioning.

Shelby Lakins

Creative Enterprise: Contemporary Art Between Museum and Marketplace

Author(s)  
Buskirk, Martha
Publisher  
The Continuum Int. Publishing Group, NY
2012

Buskirk examines the globalised contemporary art world of the twenty-first century and describes it as a veritable arts industry. The role of the artist and the curator has become professionalised, she suggests. Art production is challenged by its own ‘corrosive success,’ and it is difficult she explains, to distinguish the marketing and promotion, which can establish artists as brands, from the genuinely radical or subversive practices. Despite its commercial success, Buskirk identifies the contradiction when art still claims to be exceptional. Closely scrutinising art institutions reveals their expanded role as entertainer and spectacle-maker that complicates its dedication to education. She describes the generative practice of these institutions as ‘museum production’ as they increasingly encourage artists to create art within the walls of the museum. This may be achieved by a variety of practices; producing exhibitions, re-imagining collection displays, or producing a commissioned artwork for display. Using numerous examples of artworks, installations, exhibitions and spectacles, Buskirk illuminates the blurring lines between established art roles and practices. She not only explores trends of contemporary curating, collecting, and creative practices, but also offers a critical perspective and places it within historical context.

Shelby Lakins

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