Art Dirt: Artist Takes $83,000 from Danish Museum & Is Abstraction Dead?

by Glasstire October 10, 2021
Jens Haaning, Take the Money And Run artwork

Jens Haaning, Take the Money And Run, 2021. Image courtesy the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art.

Christina Rees and Brandon Zech discuss artist Jens Haaning’s recent viral artwork, Take the Money and Run, and also discuss David Hockney’s recent essay about the state of abstraction.

“This is the kind of thing that makes taxpayers angry in the U.S. … and this is the kind of thing that gets artists into hot water and gives them a really bad name.” 

To play the podcast, click on the orange play button below. You can also listen to it here. You can also find Glasstire on Apple Podcasts.


If you enjoy Glasstire and would like to support our work, please consider donating. As a nonprofit, all of the money we receive goes back into our coverage of Texas art. You can make a one-time donation or become a sustaining, monthly donor here.

Related Reading:
NY Times: In the Name of Art, an Artist Pockets $83,000 and Creates Nothing
Washington Post: A Danish museum lent an artist $84,000 for his work. He kept the cash and named the art ‘Take the Money and Run.’
Secession: Jens Haaning: An Average Austrian Year Income
ARTnews: Artists Makes Off with $84,000 (as Art), Swiss Museum Leader Battles Critics, and More: Morning Links for September 28, 2021
Bloomberg: Danish Artist Takes Museum’s Money and Runs, Calls It Artwork
ARTnews: Hard Cash: A History of Artists Using Money as a Metaphor—and a Medium in Their Work
Artnet News: A Danish Museum Lent an Artist $84,000 to Reproduce an Old Work About Labor. Instead, He Pocketed It and Called It Conceptual Art
The Guardian: Danish artist delivers empty frames for $84k as low pay protest
Artnet News: Is There Anything Mr and Mrs Doodle Can’t Do? Is the Guy Who Stole $84K as Art a Hero? + Other Questions I Have About the Week’s Art News
Hyperallergic: Danish Artist Runs Away With Museum’s Cash and Calls It Art
NPR: For $84,000, An Artist Returned Two Blank Canvasses Titled ‘Take The Money And Run’
The Art Newspaper: David Hockney: ‘Abstraction in art has run its course’
Artnet News: Can Abstract Art Still Be Radical?
The New Republic: The End of Abstract Art


You may also like


Julie Speed October 10, 2021 - 21:10

It’s not like we have to decide which team we’re on, abstract OR figurative. Malevich’s “Black Square and Red Square” hits me exactly the same way as Piero della Francesca’s “Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Angels” . In the long run, I go back to a painting again and again, not because of it’s story, message or historical context but just because if it’s a good painting then I want to look at it again.

carl October 12, 2021 - 09:17

thanks C Rees for laying out some really important notes about our current times, really great podcast episode


Leave a Comment

Funding generously provided by: