Much like with children, it’s not really fair to have favorite episodes of the podcast. But, while each show is special in its own way, some stand out for different reasons. We’ve noticed that more and more of you have been tuning into our podcasts during this time of lockdown, so we wanted to highlight a few episodes we’re especially fond of.
Enjoy, escape, and stay safe.
Episode #4 Globalization and Its Discontents with Thomas Krens (21 March 2017)
“The situation with the museum expansion could never have happened these days. It started in 2005 when people were far more naïve.” —Thomas Krens
How did the art world get so big? Listening during lockdown to this conversation between the architect of museum globalization and former director of the Guggenheim, Tom Krens, and Eric Shiner, executive director of Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, the vastness now seems rather faraway.
Episode #6 Hypercapitalization, with Gavin Brown and Allan Schwartzman
(18 April 2017)
“I guess I’m just trying to, in some ways, to hang on to the idea that this is a unique experience.”
One of our earliest episodes was with gallerist Gavin Brown, who spoke openly about the realities of running his gallery, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. Art dealing is a business, but also a passion, and Gavin really represents that duality.
Episode #11 Changing Lanes, with Jeffrey Deitch and Lisa Dennison (29 June 2017)
“I was subjected to a lot of criticism that I was bringing in programming that was not serious enough, that maybe veered into entertainment.” —Jeffrey Deitch
Which is easier to navigate: the market or museums? Joining us to discuss the “dark side” were two pros, Jeffrey Deitch—gallerist, advisor, impresario, collector, former director of LA MoCA and even artist—and Lisa Dennison, the former director of the Guggenheim Museum and now chairman, Americas at Sotheby’s.
Episode #16 Contemporary African Art (5 October 2017)
“Institutional racism is real. Systemic exclusion is real.” —Zoe Whitley
Recorded in London with Zoe Whitley, senior curator at London’s Hayward Gallery, Osei Bonsu (curator of Modern and contemporary art of Africa at Tate Modern), and Hannah O’Leary (head of Modern and contemporary African art at Sotheby’s), this show focused on contemporary African art: from what is happening on the continent to the broader appreciation that has been building beyond the local scene.
Episode #17 Gilbert & George (19 October 2017)
“We all want to live forever. We tell our younger friends we do it because we want to be immoral, and they say ‘Don’t you mean immortal?’ I say, that too.” —George
A few months in, we were offered an interview with the artists Gilbert & George. It was the first time we had been pitched by a PR about potential guests, which represented a kind of turning point in the show’s reception and reach. In the event, the artists were great fun: their sly sense of humor was a real pleasure.
Episode #22 Authority and Anxiety with MoMA Director Glenn Lowry (11 January 2018)
“We are in a very flammable moment, because people feel vulnerable.”
Interviewing Glenn Lowry, the director of MoMA, is always a career highlight and this show was no exception. He talked frankly about a range of issues facing museums today, from expansions, collaborations, protests, deaccessioning to the unspooling anxiety gripping our culture.
Episode #26 The Art of Criticism with Jerry Saltz (8 March 2018)
“There’s an asshole-ness about my second self and probably my first self that I just can’t get rid of. I try to curb it, and then it pops right out. It’s a terrible thing.”
Few in the art world have harnessed the power of social media like Jerry Saltz, senior art critic at New York magazine, and perhaps the best-known critic working today. I liked this show so much because it revealed a more private and introspective side of Jerry than is usually revealed publicly. For Jerry, life is art and art is life.
Episode #27 What’s on the Menu with Daniella Luxembourg & Amalia Dayan
(22 March 2018)
“The secret is that we don’t tire each other to death, and we let ourselves dream.” —Daniella Luxembourg
This conversation between gallerists and connoisseurs Daniella Luxembourg and Amalia Dayan with Allan was like sitting in on good friends gossiping about their shared obsessions: art, history and food.
Episode #29 The Future of the Museum (19 April 2018)
“What’s exciting about working in this region is that you’re not changing the rules—because there aren’t really rules established. We’re actually just inventing them.” —Doryun Chong
This was an exciting show to record: our first ever live In Other Words event, a panel discussion in Hong Kong with guests Michael Govan (director, LACMA); Doryun Chong (deputy director and chief curator, M+); Budi Tek (founder of the Yuz Museum and Foundation, Shanghai), and Allan Schwartzman.
Episode #36 Talking Shop with Roberta Smith (19 July 2018)
“Whatever gripes you have with the art world—and we all have them—this is the most open it’s ever been.”
One of my absolute favorites, this conversation with co-chief art critic of The New York Times Roberta Smith—whose writing I have read and admired for years and years, like so many of us have—was recorded in her home on a sunny and hopeful sort of day. It is rare to hear Roberta talking about herself, so this conversation felt like a real privilege.
Episode #39 The Long Road for African American Artists (20 September 2018)
“The natural disposition is to not want to believe the numbers because it just can’t be this bad” —Valentino Carlotti
The result of an unprecedented joint investigation by In Other Words and artnet News, this podcast with Valentino Carlotti (former executive vice-president and global head of business development at Sotheby’s), Julia Halperin (executive editor of artnet News) and Allan took us behind the shocking numbers, that just 2.3% of all acquisitions at 30 prominent US museums over the past ten years have been of work by African American artists, and that the total auction value of work by African American artists over the same period represents a mere 1.2% of global auction sales.
Episode #51 Sir Nicholas Serota: “We all want to know what it means to be alive today” (13 February 2019)
“I’m always regarded as being right in the center of the establishment, but I still have a sense of what it means to be an outsider.”
The man credited with reinventing the museum and changing British culture, Sir Nicholas Serota, joined us for a special extended episode. As a Brit, this was a special show for me: the opening of Tate Modern and the broadening up of culture in the UK in the early 2000s happened in large part because of Serota’s efforts—and allowed a host of people like me to imagine a life working in art.
Episode #53 The “Daft Punk of Contemporary Painting”—Artist Mickalene Thomas (28 February 2019)
“Why are there no black angels in art history, why aren’t we seeing ourselves?” —Mickalene Thomas
Episode #56 Power, Purpose and Privilege with Artists Nari Ward and Derrick Adams (11 April 2019)
“It should challenge, consume, maybe even disrupt—and then it should also figure out, because it is art.” — Nari Ward
One of the most generous conversations in our back catalogue, this show is an all-time favorite. Ward and Adams discuss everything from God and spirituality in art, to the power and purpose of making art. They talk real estate and repression, and discuss the power of imagination and moral compassion.
Episode #57 Then and Now: Paula Cooper Gallery ( 25 April 2019)
“The gallery will be forgotten. It’s the artists who survive.” —Paula Cooper
Paula Cooper Gallery has survived and thrived in a mercurial art world for more than five decades. This show was with the legendary Cooper and Steven Henry, who has been the gallery director for more than two decades.
Episode #60 David Zwirner Needs No Introduction (6 June 2019)
“I want to be really smart moving forward, and not do things that I regret.” —David Zwirner
A number of gallerists have told us that they made this show mandatory listening for their own staff—which is testament to the thoughtful manner in which David Zwirner, founder of one of the largest and most important galleries in the world, discusses running his business, dealing with clients and working with artists.
Episode #61 Sir David Adjaye Takes On Nation Myths (20 June 2019)
“For cities and for our civilization to be relevant, we have to continue to question what institutions are, how they’re made and who makes institutions.” —David Adjaye
Our first interview with an architect has become one of our most popular shows. The award-winning Adjaye, whose major projects include the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and the forthcoming National Museum of Slavery and Freedom in Cape Coast, Ghana and a new building for the Studio Museum in Harlem, considers how histories are made and myths perpetuated, how we perceive space and the possibilities that exist in the shadows.
Episode #62 Live Review From the Venice Biennale (18 July 2019)
“We do live in interesting times, but do we live in times of interesting art?”
This special episode was an experiment for us and listening to it now takes me back to what feels like a lifetime ago, when the art world was mobile and moving en masse to the same places, drinking Campari and eating spaghetti alle vongole by the waterways. It also took Allan back—to his early days as an art critic.
Episode #63 Says Who? Cultural Value and Validation in the 21st Century: Live From Aspen (15 August 2019)
“The thing about the art world is that it’s very porous, and that if you’re really determined and really passionate, you can rise.” —Roberta Smith
Another first: our participation in the Aspen Ideas Festival, which was a blast. Guests from previous episodes—Roberta Smith, Michael Govan and Derrick Adams—made a reappearance together and the resulting conversation has become one of our most popular shows.
Episode #65 Metropolitan Museum Director Max Hollein (26 September 2019)
“The world would be a different place—a much less comfortable place, and actually, a worse place—if there were no museums.”
One of the most original thinkers in the art world, Hollein is the tenth director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In this show he talks about his vision for the institution and the importance of staying focused. “At the Met, you’re always being confronted with endless opportunities,” he says. “If you’re not clear on where you want the institution to go you can get distracted at any moment in time. And you could get opportunistic.”
Episode #66 Women’s Place in the Art World: Why Recent Advancements for Female Artists are Largely an Illusion (3 October 2019)
“The thing that really surprised me was the fact that there had been no improvement.” —Julia Halperin
Broadcast on the occasion of our second major collaboration with artnet News, which revealed that only 11% of the art acquired by America’s top museums over the past decade was work made by women—and that acquisitions have actually declined since 2009. The auction market for work by women doubled, but still only represents 2% of the global total—with just five female artists accounting for 40.7% of that total. Discussing the report are guests Julia Halperin (executive editor, artnet News), Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels (director, Jack Shainman Gallery) and William N. Goetzmann (professor and faculty director of the International Center for Finance, Yale School of Management).
Episode #70 Investigating America with Artist Catherine Opie (13 November 2019)
“There’s shitty books, there’s shitty movies, there’s shitty art. And then there’s all the pearls in-between that actually move people.”
A lot of you have been downloading this show over the past two weeks and it’s easy to understand why it resonates. Opie talks about everything from being radical in art to the boom and bust of America life and the subtleties of human identity.
Episode #72 Entrepreneurialism, Technology and the Masterpieces of Tomorrow
(5 December 2019)
“I’d say, don’t be afraid of change.” —Richard Kramlich
A reminder of the value of taking risks. Recorded live in Napa Valley at the Kramlich Residence—which was built by architects Herzog & De Meuron—this discussion about collecting and supporting art was with guests Pamela and Dick Kramlich, two of the world’s foremost patrons of video, new media and time-based art; Stuart Comer, chief curator of media and performance at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and artist Richard Mosse.
Episode #73 The Year in Art (28 December 2019)
“How are we going to better represent really who we are as a culture? That is so important.” —Ian Alteveer
Another show many of you have been drawn to since the lockdown, this was also something of an experiment with regular guests Julia Halperin and the ever-insightful Ian Alteveer (curator of Modern and contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum). 2019 was a year of protests and profound change and, in this show, we looked back on what happened, what our guests talked about and what our listeners most responded to.
Episode #76 The Magical Maureen Paley (12 March 2020)
“People like to think of art now as related to commerce and business, but I always saw it that it was related to a type of magic.”
Artists from around the world have emailed with their appreciation for Maureen Paley after listening to this show during which she talks about everything from running her gallery—which she founded in 1984—to the mysterious nature of great art.
Episode #77 “Art is About Freedom”, with Gallerist Sadie Coles (20 March 2020)
“The rules, whatever they may be, are in flux right now.”
Swiftly becoming one of our most popular ever shows, Coles talks frankly about everything from the nature of being an art dealer, to the sense of anxiety that has shaped both the market and art in this still-young century—and about the time she moonlighted to as a theatre critic to review a play starring Madonna as a ruthless art world operator.