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NEWS

Sotheby’s Appoints Benjamin Dollar as Chairman, Americas

June 24th, 2016

Benjamin Doller, via Sotheby'sSotheby’s has announced that Benjamin Doller will take over as the chairman of Sotheby’s Americas, effective immediately.  Dollar has worked with the company for over 35 years, and has recently served as the company’s Vice Chair for the Americas.  “The auction world is an evolving space, and I thrive on change,” he said in a statement.  “Sotheby’s its embracing that evolution in everything it does, which makes this a particularly exciting time to be a part of this business.” 
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Anish Kapoor Designs Stage Sets for Tristan and Isolde

June 24th, 2016

Anish Kapoor's set for Tristan and Isolde, via The GuardianAnish Kapoor has designed for the performance of Tristan and Isolde at the English National Opera.  “My sculptures are deeply rooted in orientating the body, in putting one in a frame of a certain kind of looking and thinking,” he says.  “I think that’s religious. It’s often processional and intentionally philosophical, too. That’s what Wagner is about, too.”
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Spanish Police Release List of Works Confiscated from Collector Benito Amor

June 24th, 2016

Collection of Benito Amor, via Arts JournalSpain’s Guardia Civil has released the inventory of works seized from collector Benito Amor, totaling over 10,000 pieces of art and antiques, including an alleged fragment of Jesus’s cross.  The collector had been arrested over several counts of theft, and questions remain as to the provenance of many of these works.
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New York Times Looks at Current Gallery Scene as New York Landscape Continues to Change

June 24th, 2016

Gavin Brown's Enterprise, via NYTThe New York Times charts the numerous challenges to galleries and museums in the face of rising rents and immense auction prices, and the solutions some art taking to sustain themselves.  Gavin Brown’s new exhibition space in Harlem is profiled alongside new spaces in the Lower East Side, the Meatpacking District, and elsewhere.
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Flooding Threatens Major Damage at Rotterdam’s Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum

June 24th, 2016

Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, via Art NewspaperThe Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam was forced to evacuate works from its collection last night as flooding and water seepage threatened to wreak major damage to museum holdings.  Deputy director of the museum Ina Klaassen described the threat to the works as “very serious.”
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Art Newspaper Notes Uncertain Path for UK Arts in Wake of “Leave” Vote

June 24th, 2016

David Cameron, via Art NewspaperAn article in the Art Newspaper this morning charts the uncertain fate of arts funding and international exchange in the UK following the vote to leave the EU this week.  “At one level there is obviously now great financial uncertainty—the effect on European funding streams for the arts, for example—but quite as important is the potential effect on the spirit that drives a myriad of international partnerships in the arts,” said Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund.
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MoMA Announces Louise Lawler Retrospective for 2017

June 24th, 2016

Louise Lawler, Portrait, via Art NewspaperMoMA has announced a major upcoming retrospective for Louise Lawler, running in the spring of 2017, and titled Why Pictures Now.  The show will cull together over 40 years of the artists work, and will include the artist’s sound work installed in the museum’s sculpture garden.
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Clara Drummond Wins 2016 BP Portrait Award

June 24th, 2016

Clara Drummond, via ArtforumClara Drummond has been selected as the winner of this year’s BP Portrait Award, receiving the award’s $44,000 purse and a commission by London’s National Portrait Gallery.  “‘She is always immersed in the ideas around whatever she is making at the time—history, nature, mythology, and art all feed into her work” Drummond said of her sitter in the winning picture, fellow artist Kirsty Buchanan, “so when I am drawing or painting her it feels more like a collaboration than a portrait sitting.’”
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LA Times Analyzes Benefits of Instagram to Art World Alongside Censorship Problems

June 24th, 2016

LACMA Instagram, via LA TimesThe L.A. Times looks at the boon Instagram has provided to artists and dealers looking to promote work online, but also notes the issues of censorship that have plagued the platform.  “We are making up the rules as we all go along,” says Rebecca Morse, associate curator of photography at LACMA. “This is a topic that social scientists are grappling with — how [a social media platform] is laid out affects the information that people insert into it.”
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MOCA LA Adds Peter Morton as Trustee

June 24th, 2016

Peter Morton, via Art NewsMOCA has added Hard Rock Cafe Founder Peter Morton to its board of trustees.  The board is co-chaired by Maurice Marciano and Lilly Tartikoff Karatz.  
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

London-Jean Dubuffet: “Late Paintings” at Timothy Taylor Through July 2nd, 2016

June 24th, 2016

Jean Dubuffet, Late Paintings (Installation View)
Jean Dubuffet, Late Paintings (Installation View), all images via Timothy Taylor

Now through July 2, London’s Timothy Taylor Gallery presents an exhibition of Jean Dubuffet’s late works, featuring paintings, sculpture, and works on paper completed from the late 1960’s through to the 1980′.  Works from his L’Hourloupe cycle, pieces from the Théâtres de mémoire, as well as a selection from the Psycho-sites, Mires, and Non-Lieux series join together in the gallery space, marking the artist’s transition from traditional painter to sculptuor and conceptual architect in the late years of his prolific career. Read More »

London – Walter de Maria at Gagosian Gallery Through July 30th, 2016

June 23rd, 2016

Walter de Maria, Truth/Beauty series (detail) (1993 - 2016), Walter de Maria (Installation View), © The Estate of Walter De Maria, Photo Joseph Asghar. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery
Walter de Maria, Truth/Beauty series (detail) (1993 – 2016), © The Estate of Walter De Maria, Photo Joseph Asghar. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

Comprising two separate series created by the artist during the course of his career, Gagosian Gallery on London’s Britannia Street has opened an exhibition of work by renowned minimalist Walter de Maria, opening a dialogue within the artist’s own body of work across decades of practice, and through a range of materials that underscore the artist’s particular approach to questions of space, subjectivity and time. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, June 22nd, 2016

June 22nd, 2016

Amedeo Modigliani, Madame Hanka Zborowska (1917), via Christie's
Amedeo Modigliani, Madame Hanka Zborowska (1917), via Christie’s

Early warnings about this week’s sales in London seem to have some weight to them following the sales outcome at Christie’s this evening.  The auction house’s summer Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale wrapped in London tonight with a dreary outing, closing the 36-lot auction to the paltry tune of £25,612,500, with almost one third of the works offered failing to find a buyer.

Claude Monet,  L’Ancienne rue de la Chaussée, Argenteuil (1872), via Christie's
Claude Monet,  L’Ancienne rue de la Chaussée, Argenteuil (1872), via Christie’s

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AO Auction Recap – London: Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, June 21st, 2016

June 22nd, 2016

Amedeo Modigliani, Jeanne Hébuterne (Au Foulard) (1919),
Amedeo Modigliani, Jeanne Hébuterne (Au Foulard) (1919), via Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s logged its entry in the Impressionist and Modern Evening sales last evening, with a healthy, brisk sale that reached a final tally of £103,280,000, beating initial estimates with only three works unsold.  Despite a small selection of lots, the evening’s offerings saw healthy competition, and several top lots that commanded hefty final prices, even if prices tapered off quickly after several marquee works.

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AO Auction Preview – London: Summer Auctions, June 21st-29th, 2016

June 20th, 2016

Sigmar Polke, Rotter Fisch (Red Fish) (1992), via Sotheby's
Sigmar Polke, Rotter Fisch (Red Fish) (1992), via Sotheby’s

As the sales and events surrounding Art Basel begin to wind down this weekend, many collectors will turn their attention to London, where two weeks of auctions will mark the final major sale of the first half of 2016.  Spread across five auctions, the sales seem notably subdued in comparison with last month’s attempts to shoot the moon in New York, perhaps in part due to concerns about Britain leaving the EU blunting collectors’ willingness to invest in the pound, yet strong works and seemingly hearty interest may manage to keep the them interesting. Read More »

New York – Nicole Eisenman at Anton Kern Through June 25th, 2016

June 19th, 2016

Nicole Eisenman, Weeks on the Train (2015), via Art Observed
Nicole Eisenman, Weeks on the Train (2015), via Art Observed

Blurring together vastly divergent styles, historical epochs and scenes, painter Nicole Eisenman’s work has defined itself as some of the era’s most stylistically inventive, moving from hyper-stylized abstraction and almost absurdist arrangements through to impeccably rendered portraiture and often lyrical arrangements of figures in space.  Offering a counterpoint to the artist’s current exhibition at the New Museum, Anton Kern is currently playing home to a series of new works by the artist, underscoring the artist’s ever-changing stylistic approaches, and aesthetic interpretation of image-making in the 21st Century.

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AO Recap – Basel: Art Basel Fair at Messe Basel, June 16th-19th 2016

June 19th, 2016

Haegue Yang, Sol LeWitt Upside Down - Structure with Three Towers, Expanded 23 Times, Split in Three (2015)
Haegue Yang, Sol LeWitt Upside Down – Structure with Three Towers, Expanded 23 Times, Split in Three (2015), all photos via Andrea Nguyen for Art Observed

With the early hours of Sunday morning comes the last sales of Art Basel’s flagship fair in Switzerland, as dealers begin to close up shop and begin their treks home from the Messe Basel, beginning the more relaxed summer months.  This recess begins on something of a high note, as the contemporary market pushed onwards in the face of foreboding predictions for a weak buying market.  Sales remained consistently strong across the course of the event, with a number of major sales occurring both in the early hours of the VIP Previews (which saw an impressive line of collectors outside the exhibition, patiently standing through the rainy weather), onwards throughout the rest of the week.

Yoshitomo Nara, MIA (2016)
Yoshitomo Nara, MIA (2016)

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New York – Martin Creed: ‘The Back Door’ at Park Avenue Armory Through August 7th, 2016

June 18th, 2016

Martin Creed, Work No. 2721: Shutters Opening and Closing (2016), via Art Observed
Martin Creed, Work No. 2721: Shutters Opening and Closing (2016), via Art Observed

The long-awaited Martin Creed retrospective at the Park Avenue Armory has opened its doors, bringing an almost exhaustive survey of the artist’s work to New York for one of the summer’s more peculiar, and ultimately, more striking exhibitions.  Pulling from the artist’s 20+ year career, the exhibition offers a fascinating and adventurous exhibition, that asks as much from the viewer as it presents, allowing free-roaming exploration and rewarding it with a range of shocks and surprises.

Martin Creed, Work No. 548 (2006), via Art Observed
Martin Creed, Work No. 548 (2006), via Art Observed

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New York- Meg Webster on view at Paula Cooper Gallery through June 24, 2016

June 17th, 2016

Meg Webster, Solar Grow Room (2016), via Paula Cooper Gallery
Meg Webster, Solar Grow Room (2016), via Paula Cooper Gallery

Currently on view at Paula Cooper’s West 21st Street space, Meg Webster is currently presenting a selection of new works, continuing her focus on sculptural works that encourage viewer participation while engaging subtly with the space around it.  In Chelsea, Webster has injected the pristine gallery with natural elements, fostering a deeper sensory examination of the spatial and relational interactions among viewers and the space they pass through, in turn revealing the always-existing power and beauty of nature through the individual’s relationship with it, and within it. Read More »

New York – Bernard Frize: “Dawn Comes Up So Young” at Galerie Perrotin Through June 18th, 2016

June 16th, 2016

Bernard Frize, Navia (2016), all photos via Art Observed
Bernard Frize, Navia (2016), all photos via Art Observed

The work of Bernard Frize is something of a painterly exercise in contradictions, playing with sensations of an endless void against dualities of hindrance and motion, creating complex dialogues over the surface of the canvas.  Lustrous veils of color plunge to the edge of the frame, highlighting its periphery in a vibrant glow. Voluminous swirls and blends of color challenge the often opaque surfaces with deeper dimensions, hints of infinite planes of white or black beneath its surface, that offer his pieces a sense of weight and depth far beyond their material capacities. Read More »