It was a strange festive period. Instead of Christmas cards I received different back issues of ArtReview through the post with various bits of my world-famous back page column crossed out or underlined in red. At first I was unnerved by this but then came to view it as homage. No doubt, one of the curators, collectors or gallerists I’ve lovingly namechecked over the years is eager to reach out to me. Just to show my anonymous correspondent how fond of them I am, in return I’m going to pre-order them some proper art writing. So the first item on this week’s wishlist is the forthcoming re-print of Donald Judd: Complete Writings, 1959–1975, which will come out courtesy of the Judd Foundation in March.
Whilst undoubtedly being a great artist Judd, like the rest of the modernists (and indeed Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet) was, well, a bit blokey. All that towering minimalism, you know what I mean eh? For us ladies, the feminist critique of Modernism is as important as making sure we’re first on the list for the new Charlotte Olympia Axel Swarovski crystal-embellished gold-plated clutch. And that’s why I’m a big fan of Melissa Gordon’s gentle yet clever interrogations of macho Modernism and delighted that her solo show will be opening at The Bluecoat in Liverpool later this month. To celebrate I’ll be picking up the second item on this week’s wishlist, one of her unique silkscreen prints, Reading Construction, 2013, that’s available from Artspace.
Whether Babacar M’Bow, recently departed from the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, has much truck for gentle interrogations of patriarchy is up for debate. The good folk at Artnet have compiled a list of things that M’Bow allegedly said to staff before his recent departure. These range from asking staff how often they had sexual congress with their partner to enthusiastically describing the contents of his trousers. Gallery Girl is going to buy the wishlist’s third item to send to M’Bow, wherever he might take his impressive trousers, and that’s Donald Urquhart’s Are You Man Enough To Be A Woman?, 2011, a lovely photocopy in an edition of 50 that’s available from the ICA for £130.
I’m still curious about my anonymous correspondent. I know things didn’t work out well with my latest gallery job but am sure it can’t be Oliver, my former employer, as he hasn’t read an art magazine since the heady days of Artscribe. Surely no-one would hold my witty post-feminist, post-gender, post-dated observations about the highs and lows of the London artworld over the past few years against little old me? But then again there was that strange sticky-note left on my desk yesterday recommending that the last item on this week’s wishlist should be Nate Lowman’s screenprint Bullet Hole, 2010, that’s coming up at the Phillip’s Evening & Day Editions Auction on 21 January. The note wasn’t signed but in retrospect I’m sure it’s just a helpful tip from one of the interns – they all love me!
Online exclusive published 8 January 2016