Global contemporary art events and news observed from New York City. Suggestion? Email us.
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British Museum Explores Partnership that Could Return Elgin Marbles to Greece

August 1st, 2022

The British Museum is testing the waters on a “Parthenon partnership” that could send the Elgin Marbles back to Greece, Bloomberg reports. “What we are calling for is an active ‘Parthenon partnership’ with our friends and colleagues in Greece,” says deputy director Jonathan Williams, noting that the move seeks to “change the temperature of the debate” around the disputed works.
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Harold Ancart Joins Gagosian

July 11th, 2022

Harold Ancart has joined the roster at Gagosian after leaving David Zwirner, the gallery announced this week.
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Armed Robbers Break into TEFAF, Causing Evacuation

June 28th, 2022

A group of armed men broke into TEFAF Maastricht this week in an attempted robbery, causing an evacuation of the fair.  “TEFAF has robust procedures in the event of a security breach,” a spokesperson for the fair said. “These were precisely followed, and all visitors, exhibitors and staff were safely evacuated. The fair has now reopened.”
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Michelangelo Sketch Sells for $24 Million in Paris

May 19th, 2022

A recently unearthed Michelangelo sketch, considered to be the artist’s first nude, has sold  at Christie’s Paris for a record 23 million euros ($24 million). “Michelangelo has decided to make the figure into something that corresponded more to his aesthetic by making him much more robust and monumental, while at the same time keeping the fragility of the figure, who is exposed and shivering” as he awaits baptism,” says Christie’s Old Masters expert Stijn Alsteens.
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Basquiat Work Sells for $85 Million at Phillips $224.9 Million Night

May 19th, 2022

The Jean-Michel Basquiat work from the collection of Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa had a strong return to auction last night at Phillips, where it achieved $85 Million, part of a total sale of  $224.9 million, the highest in the company’s history. 
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Independent Art Fair to Launch New Fair Around 20th Century Work

May 17th, 2022

The Independent Art Fair will launch a new fair in September this year that will focus on 20th Century Works. “Over the years, there has been a shift, with next-generation dealers showing a more diverse group of artists and territories, geographically, socially, politically,” says Independent director Elizabeth Dee. “They are looking forward and looking back, saying, ‘We need to have a canon that looks like our program.’”
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Sotheby’s Achieves $246.1 Million in Second Sale of Work from Macklowe Collection

May 17th, 2022

The second leg of Sotheby’s sale of works from the collection of real estate magnate Harry Macklowe and his ex-wife Linda Macklowe has netted $246.1 million, bringing the total sale price for the collection to a record $922 million, with fees. “Either art is one of the few assets that seem to have a good immunological protection against recession, or inflation is much stronger than we think,” says specialist Loic Gouzer. “The art market feels very close to the spare parts market — good works are hard to find and very expensive.”
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Warhol ‘Marilyn’ Sells for $195 Million, Smashing Records for American Artist

May 10th, 2022

An Andy Warhol portrait of Marilyn Monroe sold for $195 Million last night at a Christie’s charity auction, making it the most expensive American work of art to sell at auction. “We did sell the most expensive painting of the 20th century,” says Christie’s specialist Alex Rotter. “This is a big achievement.”
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Matthew Wong Profiled in New Yorker

May 10th, 2022

The artist Matthew Wong gets a profile in the New Yorker this week, reviewing his work and untimely death at the age of 35.  “Something in me was pushed by an urge to visually reproduce the uncalculated, almost accidental slice of poetry in front of me,” the article quotes him.
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Cornelia Parker Interviewed in The Guardian

May 10th, 2022

Cornelia Parker has an interview in The Guardian this week, discussing her work, vision, and thoughts on changing her citizenship to Germany. ” I’m thinking of applying for German citizenship because I’m half German. I don’t like feeling not part of Europe,” she says. “I don’t want to be a little Englander.”
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

New York – Christina Quarles: “In 24 Days tha Sun’ll Set at 7pm” at Hauser & Wirth Through October 29th, 2022

September 29th, 2022

Christina Quarles, Try n’ Pull tha Rains in on Me (2022), via Hauser & Wirth
Christina Quarles, Try n’ Pull tha Rains in on Me (2022), via Hauser & Wirth

Hauser & Wirth presents its first solo exhibition with Christina Quarles this fall at its New York exhibition space, bringing together a body of new works that continue the artist’s own investigations into the human form, human identity, and their constructions amidst the art historical and within the modern discourse of American and world culture. Read More »

The Hamptons – “Resilience” at The Eastville Museum through Sept 30th, 2022

September 21st, 2022

Renee Cox, Springs WinterWonderland, 2021, Image courtesy of Superposition Gallery
Renee Cox, Springs WinterWonderland (2021), Image courtesy of Superposition Gallery

On view at Eastville Museum (Eastville Community Historical Society) is a group exhibition titled “Resilience,” honoring the Eastville Museum in Sag Harbor—an institution founded in the 1980s to preserve the history of Black and Indigenous people in the community. Curated by Storm Ascher, the exhibit brings together 21 contemporary artists who have been called to respond visually to the curatorial theme of resilience. The Eastville Museum is situated within the Sag Harbor Hills, Azurest, and Nineveh Subdivisions, (a.k.a SANS) region of Sag Harbor, one of the oldest Black communities of the Hamptons, established in the 1940s. The tight-knit coastline community of SANS, written about at length in Pulitzer Prize winning author Colson Whitehead’s autobiographical novel, Sag Harbor, was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2019.
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New York – Marco Pariani: “Trees and Traditions” at Cheim & Read Through November 12th, 2022

September 19th, 2022

Marco Pariani, ABANDONED TREE (2022), via Cheim & Read
Marco Pariani, ABANDONED TREE (2022), via Cheim & Read

This month, Cheim & Read presents Marco ParianiTrees and Traditions, an exhibition of new paintings and drawings by the Brooklyn-based, Italian-born artist that marks his second show with the gallery. Citing Christmas trees and decorations as a secondhand reference point here, the show casts an ironic eye on the stress, materialism, and forced good cheer endemic to the holiday season, with Pariani focusing in particular on the inflatable decorations that bloom across suburban lawns and town squares as the holiday approaches. Read More »

New York – Jorge Galindo: “Verbena” at Vito Schnabel Through October 22nd, 2022

September 15th, 2022

Jorge Galindo, Camelia do Porto (2022), via Vito Schnabel
Jorge Galindo, Camelia do Porto (2022), via Vito Schnabel

Vito Schnabel Gallery presents its first solo exhibition with noted Spanish artist Jorge Galindo this month, debuting a new suite of monumental flower paintings, that continue the artist’s ongoing exploration of flora and its representation in art across centuries and genres. Titled after the small, wild vervain plant characteristic of the artist’s hometown of Madrid, Galindo’s flowers simultaneously nod to the popular Spanish street celebrations of summer– the verbenas of Spain’s capital city reinvigorate centuries-old traditions through contemporary reinterpretation. Employing a vivacious palette, Galindo’s new painted bouquets burst through their frames, exploding with color beyond the antique wallpaper borders that surround them.

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New York – Christian Boltanski: “Départ – Arrivée” at Marian Goodman Through October 15th, 2022

September 14th, 2022

Christian Boltanski, Animitas (Mères Mortes) (2017), via Marian Goodman
Christian Boltanski, Animitas (Mères Mortes) (2017), via Marian Goodman

On view this fall in New York City, Marian Goodman will present Départ – Arrivée, a solo presentation by Christian Boltanski that marks the first exhibition in the United States of a number of recent works by the iconic French artist. Mostly conceived by Boltanski himself before his passing in July 2021, the show is an homage to his life and work, offering a lens into the metaphysical preoccupations that drove his artistic practice for over fifty years. The exhibition reflects Boltanski’s ability to suggest the passage of time and the precariousness of our existence as well as his powerful skill as a universal storyteller. Bringing together works from two different time periods, the exhibition demonstrates how the artist, throughout the years, had become more and more interested in creating parabolas beyond the materiality of his works. Read More »

AO Interview: From Allegory to Artificial Intelligence, Zhivago Duncan’s Mythical World

September 13th, 2022

IMG_3585 edit

(Portrait of the artist by Aleph Molinari for Art Observed)

Painter, sculptor, and multi-disciplinary artist Zhivago Duncan reinterprets the myths and archetypes of antiquity to construct an overarching story of the development of human consciousness. Blending mythology and elements of science fiction, he creates elaborate allegorical paintings, kinetic machines, and large-scale raku sculptures that together form his own cosmogony. Zhivago’s multi-ethnic background could be a clue to his desire to hybridize elements of different cultures: his mother escaped Syria to settle in the United States, and his father is of Danish descent. Zhivago’s upbringing was nomadic, taking him from Terre Haute, Indiana to Malta, Saudi Arabia, Berlin, and finally Mexico City, where he currently works and resides. Art Observed met Zhivago at his studio, where he walked us through the inner workings of his mythical worlds and landscapes. Read More »

AO On-Site – Independent 20th Century at Battery Maritime Building Through September 11th, 2022

September 9th, 2022

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Francesco Clemente at Vito Schnabel, all images via Art Observed

Over the last several years, the Independent Art Fair has built a name for itself as a dynamic and focused exhibition project, culling together small selections of exhibitors that emphasize curation and focus over the sprawling aisles of mega fairs and blue-chip magnets. This year, the fair has launched a new offering for the run of The Armory Show further uptown, titled Independent 20th Century. The show, focusing in on historically-resonant works, makes for a striking new offering during Armory Week, and a fitting continuation of the fair’s well-established focus. Read More »

AO On-Site – SPRING/BREAK Art Show at Atlantic Production Center, 625 Madison Avenue Through September 12th, 2022

September 8th, 2022

Macon Reed, via Art Observed
Macon Reed, via Art Observed

The first chills of September are in the air in New York, temperatures are cooling again, and, like clockwork, another art season is now underway, kicked off once again by the opening of the Armory Show and its satellite fairs in New York City. That means that, once again, the night before the fair is the domain of Spring/Break Art Show, the curator-first, project oriented fair that brings together a range of expressive and imaginative works under a broad curatorial banner. Leaving ample space for exploration and investigation, the fair is a perennial highlight, and, now in its 10th year, seems to have hit its stride.

Noah Kloster, via Art Observed
Noah Kloster, via Art Observed

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New York – Matthew Wong: “Paintings from Los Angeles 2016″ at Cheim & Read Through September 10th, 2022

September 7th, 2022

Matthew Wong, The Thinker (2106), via Cheim & Read
Matthew Wong,  (2106), via Cheim & Read

On view this month at Cheim & Read, the late Matthew Wong is the subject of a targeted, curatorially minded show dwelling on a body of bright, colorful works the artist produced during a 2016 stay in Los Angeles. This is Wong’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, which follows Matthew Wong: Footprints in the Wind, Ink Drawings 2013–2017 (May 5–September 3, 2021), a suite of works that charted the artist’s exploration of ink wash on rice paper, materials traditional to Chinese landscape painting, some of which he began while living in Hong Kong and working in Zhongshan, China.  Read More »

AO On-Site: Frieze Seoul at Coex, September 2nd – 5th, 2022

September 2nd, 2022

Hans Josephson at Max Hetzler, all photos by Art Observed
Hans Josephsohn at Max Hetzler, all photos by Art Observed

With the first notes of fall drifting into the air, and August fading into September, attention turns this week to the South Korean capital of Seoul, where Frieze has opened the latest expansion of its burgeoning art fair franchise, running this weekend. The new fair, led by Frieze Seoul Director Patrick Lee, features over 110 galleries, with a strong focus on Asia alongside a range of galleries from 20 countries. The fair marks the continuation of several years of growth for Frieze, which has added expansions in LA, New York and now Seoul in several years of quick development.

Park Seo-Bo at White Cube
Park Seo-Bo at White Cube

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