Global contemporary art events and news observed from New York City. Suggestion? Email us.
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Jeffrey Deitch Featured on “Artbound”

June 17th, 2019

Jeffrey Deitch gets a profile in KCET’s Artbound program, spotlighting his recent work, his focus on Los Angeles’s thriving arts scene, and his early days expanding the scope of the contemporary art market.  “Some people say I created a monster because we basically invented the profession of professional art advisory,” Deitch says of his early work.
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CNN Speculates on Location of “Salvator Mundi” Painting

June 17th, 2019

CNN takes a look at the disappearance of Salvator Mundi after its landmark sale last year, noting that the work hasn’t been seen in public since its landmark sale.  “It’s either on the yacht or in a Geneva lock-up, and I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that the yacht is really quite plausible,” writer Ben Lewis said in a phone interview, alluding to speculation that the work is on a luxury yacht belonging to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. “But I would suggest that it may not be the safest environment in which to hang up this picture.”
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Sterling Ruby’s New Fashion Line Profiled in NYT

June 17th, 2019

Sterling Ruby’s new fashion line gets a profile in the NYT this week, as the artist and budding designer traces his experiences with fiber arts and clothing.   “Outside of the logistics of putting together the collection and the garments — in the kind of production of it — I don’t see it as any different to making a sculpture or a painting,” he says.
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Oscar Murillo Profiled in The Guardian

June 17th, 2019

Oscar Murillo gets a profile in The Guardian this month, speaking on his early studies and his drive to push his practice into new spheres. “History is history and you think: now let me forge my own path, ignoring what is allowed or not allowed… just going for it,” he says.
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RIP: Artist Martin Roth Has Passed Away at 41

June 17th, 2019

Artist Martin Roth, who often worked with living organisms and plants in his work, has passed away of unknown causes at the age of 41.  Roth’s last show, November 2017 I collected a plant from the garden of a mass shooter, earned him high praise, centered on a single plant taken from the rock-strewn lawn of the shooter responsible for the murder of 58 people at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas in 2017. “Martin was one of the best artists I ever had the pleasure of working with. He was an uncompromising perfectionist, moving one rock from this corner to that corner in order to achieve exactly what it was he was looking for, and the success of each exhibition was due to his perfectionism,” Roth’s gallerist, RJ Supa said. ” The shows, on a shoestring budget, were always received as dynamic and exhilarating social commentary, emerging masterworks from a talent gone too soon. His talent and vision will be deeply missed.”
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Sotheby’s Sold to Business Mogul Patrick Drahi

June 17th, 2019

In a major shake-up, French-Israeli media mogul and collector Patrick Drahi has reached an agreement to acquire Sotheby’s in a $3.7 billion deal. “With my family, we are very enthusiastic to build together with its current management and their teams the future of Sotheby’s, a fascinating and multi-secular company with such a celebrated history of uniting people all over the world through culture and arts,” Drahi said in a statement.
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Istanbul Biennial Announces Artist List

June 14th, 2019

The Istanbul Biennial has revealed its artist list for the 16th edition, set to open September 14. Titled The Seventh Continent, the show will feature artists like Glenn Ligon, Mika Rottenberg, Rashid Johnson, and more, organized by Nicolas Bourriaud, the director of the Montpellier Contemporary.
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Study Finds Large Number of Works with “Dubious Provenances” in East German Museums

June 14th, 2019

A study by the German Lost Art Foundation has found that a “surprisingly large number of objects with dubious provenances” linger in eastern German museums, the Art Newspaper reports. “We had the sense beforehand that there were items with critical provenances in all our museums, but we didn’t know how many,” says Alexander Sachse, a researcher at the Brandenburg State Museums Association behind the research.
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Broad Acquires Major David Hammons, Mark Bradford Works

June 14th, 2019

The Broad has acquired David Hammons‘s African-American Flag (1990), Art News reports. The museum also acquired Mark Bradford’s 50-feet-long mixed media work Deep Blue (2018), which is now on view.
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Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac to Host Survey of Roy Lichtenstein in Salzburg

June 14th, 2019

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac will host a major survey of 1980s-era works by Roy Lichtenstein this summer in Salzburg, Art News reports. “I have had a special history with Lichtenstein thanks to Leo Castelli, who introduced him to me in the 1990s,” Ropac says.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

New York – David Shrigley: ‘FLUFF WAR’ at Anton Kern Through June 15th, 2019

June 15th, 2019

David Shrigley, FLUFF WAR (2019), via Anton Kern
David Shrigley, FLUFF WAR (2019), via Anton Kern

In his seventh solo exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery, entitled FLUFF WAR, British artist David Shrigley continues his particular style of wry, surrealist humor through a selection of works, including a large-scale kinetic sculpture, two neon sculptures, and 100 new drawings. Read More »

Basel: Continuing Abstraction, June 10th – 16th at the Soon to Open Gagosian Basel, Rheinsprung 1

June 14th, 2019

Jackson Pollock, Moon Vibrations (1953-55), via Art Observed
Jackson Pollock, Moon Vibrations (1953-55), all images via Andrea Nguyen for Art Observed

Continuing Abstraction is a fitting title for the exhibition just opened at Rheinsprung 1, another pop-up fair exhibition by the mighty Gagosian Gallery that simultaneously serves as the inauguration for its 17th permanent exhibition space worldwide. Marking both an exploration and elaboration on the language of abstraction, both in the past and through today, the show seems to look back at Gagosian’s impact on contemporary art, intertwined with the languages of abstraction that have changed and evolved over the past century. Read More »

RIP – Painter Joyce Pensato Has Passed Away at the Age of 78

June 13th, 2019

Joyce Pensato, Liza at Berlin (2009), via Petzel
Joyce Pensato, Liza at Berlin (2009), via Petzel

American painter Joyce Pensato, whose recurring cast of American pop icons and slurred, often disturbing renditions of familiar cartoon characters made her a standout of the late 20th Century New York downtown scene, has passed away at the age of 78. Read More »

AO On-Site – Basel, Switzerland: Liste Art Fair, June 10th – 16th, 2019

June 12th, 2019

B.DONAHUE @ LISTE 2019

Bridget Donahue at Liste, via gallery

Liste Art Fair has returned to Warteck, a former brewery on the banks of the Rhine now serving as an exhibition and performance space, for another year of exhibitions showcasing adventurous and exploratory projects from a range of galleries around the globe. Liste continues to build on its position as one of the central hubs for the week of Art Basel, priding itself on a careful curation of young galleries, dynamic, forward-thinking works, and a roster of performances that remains one of the week’s main draws.

Adan Vallecillo, Saturacion Doble (2019), via Livia Benavides
Adan Vallecillo, Saturacion Doble (2019), via Livia Benavides

Adan Vallecillo, Saturacion Doble (detail) (2019), via Livia Benavides
Adan Vallecillo, Saturacion Doble (detail) (2019), via Livia Benavides

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AO On-Site – Basel, Switzerland: Art Basel Art Fair, June 13th – 16th, 2019

June 12th, 2019


Olaf Nicolai, Big Sneaker (2001), all photos via Art Observed

The first day is in the books as Art Basel has closed its doors tonight on its VIP opening, kicking off a marathon week of sales and shows in style in the Swiss city, and marking another year for the landmark giant of contemporary and modern art selling. Marking the terminus for the first half of the year’s primary market activity, the fair was a strong illustration of just how its impressive scale and appointments has turned the city into a hub for Europe’s network of dealers, galleries, artists and curators. Sightings of arts professionals from Europe and further afield were in ample showing, with Carroll Dunham, Leon Black, and many more wandering across the aisles of the fair, often pausing to greet a familiar face or to consider the pieces hung across the walls of the spaces.

Yoshitomo Nara at Pace
Yoshitomo Nara at Pace

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AO Preview – Basel: The Art Basel Art Fair, June 13th – 16th, 2019

June 8th, 2019

Tom Wesselmann, Smoker #23 (1976), via Almine Rech
Tom Wesselmann, Smoker #23 (1976), via Almine Rech

As the days of summer swing into focus, and the weather grows ever warmer in Europe, the art world once again returns to the home of the Art Basel fair, which opens next week in the Swiss city, held in conjunction with a number of various exhibitions and shows across the city.  Closing out the first half of the year’s major market activities (save a major auction coming the following week in London), the fair offers a last look at the European art market’s health, especially as turmoil and political crisis continues to roil the continent.

Zoe Barcza, Love, Positivity, and DON’T Forget to Take Care of your Health! (2018), via Bianca D'Alessandro
Zoe Barcza, Love, Positivity, and DON’T Forget to Take Care of your Health! (2018), via Bianca D’Alessandro

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New York – Matthew Ronay: “Betrayals of and by the Body” at Casey Kaplan Through June 15th, 2019

June 5th, 2019

Matthew Ronay, Engorged Follicle (Corazonin) (2018), via Casey Kaplan
Matthew Ronay, Engorged Follicle (Corazonin) (2018), via Casey Kaplan

Sculptor Matthew Ronay kicks off his first show with Casey Kaplan this month in New York, Betrayals of and by the Body, a fitting intro to the artist’s expressive sculptural language and his vivid sense of space and form. An adventurous and inventive voice in modern American sculpture, Ronay’s work conjures a range of links and ties between biological processes and transcendent spiritual elements, cells, mandalas, limbs and devotionals are transformed into a fluid structural language. Read More »

New York – Alex Israel: “As It Lays 2″ at Greene Naftali Through

June 4th, 2019

Alex Israel, As It Lays 2, 2019 (Production still with Tom Hanks and Alex Israel), via Greene Naftali
Alex Israel, As It Lays 2, 2019 (Production still with Tom Hanks and Alex Israel) (2019), via Greene Naftali

On view at Greene Naftali’s exhibition space in Chelsea, the Los Angeles-based artist Alex Israel has put forth a selection of new works and a collection of videos that reflect on his practice idolizing and reflecting the dizzying landscape of the Californian metropolis. Trafficking in the seductive, aspirational imagery that characterizes his hometown, Israel’s practice regularly draws on the aesthetics and iconographies so often reserved for commerce and Hollywood, and turns them towards a sort of suspended sense of both propduction and self-mythologization. Read More »

New York – Josh Smith: “Emo Jungle” at David Zwirner Through July 19th, 2019

June 3rd, 2019

Josh Smith, Emo Jungle (Installation View), via Art Observed
Josh Smith, Emo Jungle (Installation View), via David Zwirner

Marking his first solo presentation with David Zwirner Gallery this month in New York, painter Josh Smith has unfurled a sprawling body of new work at the gallery’s Chelsea exhibition space, bringing together a range of new graphical gestures and classic explorations in pursuit of an ever-evolving visual language. Read More »

Paris – Seth Price: “Self as Tube” at Galerie Chantal Crousel Through June 20th, 2019

May 31st, 2019

Seth Price, Self as Tube (Installation View), via Galerie Chantal Crousel
Seth Price, Self as Tube (Installation View), via Galerie Chantal Crousel

Marking an ongoing continuation and elaboration on his recent works dwelling on the body, shared and public space, production and the self, Seth Price has launched a show of new works on view at Galerie Chantal Crousel in Paris this month. Featuring a recent series of mixed media paintings and back-lit photographs, as well as a series of light-boxes and light tubes, the show continues Price’s recent work wrapping digital imagery around the bodies and the spaces they share, then translating those images to specific art contexts, forms, and functions.

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