Global contemporary art events and news observed from New York City. Suggestion? Email us.

KAWS Launches Exhibition in Fortnite Video Game

January 18th, 2022

KAWS is launching an online exhibition in the video game Fortnite, as well as one at London’s Serpentine Gallery. “Being able to create works,” the artist says, “and the version that I’m viewing in Brooklyn is the version you could be viewing in India, I just started to get really obsessed with the opportunities within that.”

Read more at The Guardian

Pissarro Work, Formerly Nazi Loot, Heads to US Supreme Court

January 17th, 2022

A Camille Pissarro work looted by the Nazis will head to US Supreme Court to hear a case over its ownership, as the descendants of Lilly Cassirer Neubauer sue for the painting’s return. “This has been three generations of the Cassirer family trying to take back what is theirs,” says attorney Stephen Zack of the US law firm Boies Schiller Flexner.

Read More at The Guardian

Jewish Museum Employees Vote to Unionize

January 17th, 2022

Employees at the Jewish Museum in New York have voted to unionize. “The Jewish Museum is aware that staff have petitioned for a union election,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “The Museum greatly values its staff and will respectfully engage in any process that transpires.”

Read more at Art Newspaper

Serpentine Galleries Remove Sackler Name from North Gallery Space

January 12th, 2022

London’s Serpentine Galleries have formally removed the Sackler name from its North Gallery. The museum had faced criticism over its sluggishness to remove the name after fierce criticism and similar moves at other major institutions.

Uffizi Director Charges Museums with Confronting “Toxic” Histories of Society

December 30th, 2021

The director of the Uffizi in Florence has called on museums to take an active role in reconciling the “toxic” past actions of society.
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Governments Look to Regulate NFTs, Cryptocurrency as Markets Heat Up

December 28th, 2021

A piece in the Art Newspaper looks at efforts to begin regulating NFTs alongside cryptocurrencies, and how much catch-up those governments will have to play. “Education is paramount to protect new entrants from falling prey to bad actors, and the online community can contribute to increasing the level of understanding around NFTs,” says Omri Bouton of the London-based media and technology law firm Sheridans. “The industry may also benefit from having standards to allow consumers to quickly identify trustworthy projects.”
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Director Leaves Parrish Museum After Less Than One Year on Job

December 28th, 2021

After less than a year at the Parrish Museum, Kelly Taxter has left. “It was something she worked out with the board as being the right thing to do at this point in time,” says  Parrish board president Mary E. Frank.
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Spain Grants Protected Status To Work Suspected to be Caravaggio Original

December 24th, 2021

Spain has granted protected status to a small work believed to be a Caravaggio original, The Guardian reports. “Elements such as the psychological depictions of the characters, the realism of the faces, the luminous force that illuminates the body of Christ, the interplay of the three characters and the communication it establishes with the viewer make this a work of great artistic interest,” the government said in a statement.
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Art Newspaper Notes Employees Still Negotiating Contract at MOCA Two Years After Negotiation

December 24th, 2021

A piece in the Art Newspaper notes that two years after forming its union, MOCA employees are still negotiating their first contract with management. “I, along with many of my fellow coworkers in the union, felt very disrespected and undervalued by the proposal,” says Anna Marfleet, a member of the union organizing committee. “The fact that the museum spent six months stalling and delaying only to deliver a gravely insufficient proposal really shows how little the museum values the time and labor of its employees, and how unaccountable upper management is to the actual workers that make the museum run every day.”
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Robert Indiana Cases Continue in Court as Firm Alleges Emotional Abuse and Forgery Against

December 24th, 2021

The latest in the ongoing fight over the estate of Robert Indiana accuses Michael McKenzie of forgery and emotional abuse as well as lying under oath about evidence in his possession. “We’ve corroborated every single allegation of wrongdoing against Michael McKenzie,” says the lawyer Luke Nikas, partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.
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London – “What Do You See, You People, Gazing at Me” at Sadie Coles Through January 29th, 2022

January 19th, 2022
Georgia Gardner Gray, Gustav (Tired) (2021), via Sadie Coles On view this month at Sadie Coles’ Kingly Street location, the gallery has compiled a range of works in both two and three dimensions that deal with the body and space, politics and class, race and identity, all through a range of approaches and executions. Drawing together work by Natalie Ball, Kevin Beasley, Georgia Gardner Gray, Tau Lewis, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Simphiwe Ndzube, Agata Słowak and Frieda Toranzo Jaeger, the show brings together a range of perspectives that make for an engaging, enervating project. Read More »

Paris – Yves Laloy: “VISION” at Galerie Perrotin Through March 12th, 2022

January 18th, 2022

Yves Laloy, Untitled (1956), via Perrotin

On view this month at two of Galerie Perrotin’s Paris exhibition spaces, artist Yves Laloy’s work gets an expansive and exploratory review, marking the first major exhibition since a 2004 retrospective at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rennes. Unifying a series of private loans for the show, the exhibition marks an unprecendented look at the architect-turned-painter and his kinetic, colorful painterly constructions. Read More »

New York – Robert Gober: “Shut up.” “No. You shut up.” at Matthew Marks Through January 29th, 2022

January 17th, 2022

Robert Gober, Waterfall (2105-2016), via Matthew Marks

This month in New York, Robert Gober makes his return to Matthew Marks Gallery, bringing forth new drawings and sculptures made from a wide variety of materials including wood, resin, acrylic paint, cotton fabric and running water, all the works in the exhibition were made in Gober’s New York studio over the past five years. A continuation of Gober’s expressive and illusory body of work exploring politics of the body, memory and time, his most recent show presents a series of new constructions running along similar conceptual avenues.

Robert Gober, Waterfall (detail) (2105-2016), via Matthew Marks Read More »

New York – Chris Daze Ellis: “Give It All You Got” at P•P•O•W Through February 12th, 2022

January 14th, 2022

Chris Daze Ellis, Is This Seat Taken? (2020), via PPOW

On view this month in New York, P·P·O·W has compiled a body of new works by Christopher “Daze” Ellis, the longtime graffiti writer and painter who came up among a new generation of taggers who began their work during the late 1970’s, and who would be among those who earned early recognition by the New York gallery scene during the 1980’s. Combining a selection of significant works from the 1980s and early 1990s with a series of new paintings and sculptures, Give It All You Got chronicles a lifelong dedication to portraying the lifeforce of New York City and commemorating those who were a part of what it once was. Read More »

New York – Louisa Gagliardi and Yves Scherer at Eva Presenhuber Through March 5th, 2022

January 14th, 2022
Yves Scherer, Le Cerisier (2021), via Eva Presenhuber

On view this month at Galerie Eva Presenhuber’s New York outpost artists Yves Scherer and Louisa Gagliardi present separate bodies of work unified by the gallery space, creating a subtle and enigmatic discourse on reality, perception and culture. Across a set of sculptures and paintings, the show is a striking meditation on the two artist’s work, and the unexpected but compelling linkages between them.

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New York – Paul Chan: “A drawing as a recording of an insurrection” at Greene Naftali Through February 16th, 2022

January 13th, 2022
Paul Chan, A drawing as a recording of an insurrection (Installation View)

In 2021, a mob of protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol, creating a wealth of now enduring images of a country in the midst of political and cultural strife. The images, something of a modern media collage, were at times surreal and unsettling, at others comical and bizarre, underscoring the United States’s modern crossroads of political and social identification. These images became the inspiration for artist Paul Chan, whose work A drawing as a recording of an insurrection, a massive double-sided illustration interpreting the day’s events, is on view now at Greene Naftali.

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New York – Arturo Kameya: “En esa pulga se mezcla nuestra sangre / In that flea, our blood mixes” at GRIMM Through January 15th, 2022

January 12th, 2022
Arturo Kameya, Fleas dream of buying themselves a dog, but dogs just want to go to outer space (2021), via GRIMM

On view at GRIMM this month in New York, artist Arturo Kameya presents a body of works unified under the title En esa pulga se mezcla nuestra sangre / In that flea, our blood mixes. Featuring a range of new works that expand beyond the narratives explored in the artist’s multimedia presentation currently on view in Soft Water Hard Stone, the New Museum Triennial, the show continues Kameya’s investigation of the plasticity of history and time, revisiting events and narratives through perspectives that are at times contradictory, and through the lens of the personal memories of his upbringing in Lima, Peru.

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New York – Lutz Bacher: “The Lee Harvey Oswald Interview” at Buchholz Through February 5th, 2022

January 11th, 2022
Lutz Bacher, The Betty Center (2010), via Buchholz

In 1976, the artist Lutz Bacher was approached to be interviewed for a volume of artist interviews, a young artist who had adopted a masculine, German-sounding pseudonym that covered her work in an air of conceptual mystique. Accordingly, the interview proved to be something of a challenge, breaking apart the artist’s concepts and motives in a manner that would ultimately force some of her underlying concepts into the light of critical appraisal. This awareness led Bacher to try something different, interviewing herself around one of her long-running fascinations, the assassin of President Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald. Delving into the conspiracies around Oswald and his convenient murder, the interview was then printed over with a series of photostatic prints.

Lutz Bacher, The Lee Harvey Oswald Interview (Negative) (1976-78), via Buchholz

This work, which would ultimately be called The Lee Harvey Oswald Interview, delves into the collective memory of this formative national trauma, and whose story continues to vex skeptics of the official narrative to this day. In the following decades, Bacher would reiterate The Lee Harvey Oswald Interview in different formats, including not only the photostats, but also as live multimedia performances in the ‘80s. The work is presented this month at Galerie Buchholz in New York this month, gathering all versions of the Interview together for the first time, including the positive and negative photostats, the performance and video versions, materials from the 1984 performance, its appearances in her publications, and a series of pasteups.

Lutz Bacher, The Lee Harvey Oswald Interview (Positive), (1976-78), via Buchholz
Lutz Bacher, The Lee Harvey Oswald Interview (Positive) (1976-78), via Buchholz

Each iteration was considering a new, unique version of the work, with the artist introducing various threads and variations on the understanding of the interview and her interests in both Oswald and the obfuscation of her own identity in turn. In Oswald, Lutz would find something like a cypher for her own conspicuously displaced subjecthood, and an example of how unknowability can provoke desire, intrigue, and speculation. In the Interview, she focuses on theories of Oswald having body doubles, and much in the same way, her work ultimately takes on a series of those same body doubles, mirror images of the work that seem to function in unspecified variations.

Lutz Bacher, The Lee Harvey Oswald Interview (Negative) (1976-78), via Buchholz

Taking the artist’s work as a jumping off point to explore her formative ventures into identities and bodies, generative projects and the hazy, nuanced understanding of the artist as operator and creator, the show is a fascinating look into Bacher’s work. This is perhaps best seen in The Betty Center, the preserved collection of her writings, sketches, and collected materials, assembled in a series of binders the artist has designated a work in its own right. Musing on the full scope of her work, the show seems to look at Bacher from both her early works, and her final pieces.

The show closes February 5th.

– D. Creahan

Read more:
Lutz Bacher at Galerie Buchholz [Exhibition Site]

New York – Etel Adnan: “Light’s New Measure” at The Guggenheim Through January 10th, 2022

January 6th, 2022
Etel Adnan, Untitled (1985), via Art Observed

Over the course of a lifetime that spanned almost a century, Etel Adnan expressed her prodigious creative and intellectual vision in many forms. In addition to being a visual artist, she is a renowned poet, a prominent journalist, and the author of one of the defining novels of the modern Arab world. Adnan’s biography is notable for its rich convergence of cultural influences. She was born in Lebanon to a Greek mother and Syrian father; grew up speaking French, Arabic, and Greek; and as an adult lived for extended periods in Lebanon, the United States, and France. She began to paint in the late 1950s, while working as a professor of philosophy in Northern California. It was a period when, in protest of France’s colonial rule in Algeria, she renounced writing in French and declared that she would begin “painting in Arabic.”

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New York – Darren Bader: “The American Express Holiday Show” at Harkawik Through January 6th, 2022

January 4th, 2022
Darren Bader, AES-PoPRS5 (2021), via Harkawik

On view this month in New York, the ever-enigmatic Darren Bader has put on a new show of work at Harkawik, continuing his playful repositions and deconstructions of his materials and their cultural assumptions. Continuing his plundering and extraction of the meanings and understandings of the objects he selects and suspends in a constellation of signs and symbols, the show offers a new set of works by the artist.

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