Global contemporary art events and news observed from New York City. Suggestion? Email us.
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Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez Introduces Bill Easing Student Loan for Arts Workers

June 28th, 2017

Nydia VelazquezNew York State Representative Nydia Velazquez has introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to ease student debt for those working in the arts by $10,000.  “Those working in the arts and related fields make invaluable contributions to New York City and to our entire nation,” said Velázquez. “Individuals that dedicate themselves to these professions enrich our culture and my bill would provide many of them with relief from mounting student loan debt.” 
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François Pinault to Convert Paris’s Bourse de Commerce Into Massive Art Museum

June 27th, 2017

Bourse de Commerce, via The GuardianFrançois Pinault and architect Tadao Ando are teaming up to convert Paris’s Bourse de commerce into a massive art museum, The Guardian reports.  The new exhibition site will serve as a permanent home for the luxury goods magnate’s €1.25 billion art collection.  “These are tumultuous times in Europe – the recurring terrorist incidents and the UK withdrawal from the EU have fueled anxiety over what the future holds, and countries and people alike seem unsure of their own identities,” Ando said of the project, hoping that it might “renew hope in the future.”
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The Guardian Tours Renzo Piano-Designed Centro Botin Gallery

June 27th, 2017

Centro Botin, via The GuardianThe Guardian takes a tour of the Centro Botin in Santander, Spain this week, the recently completed art gallery designed by Renzo Piano, which has already earned praise for its daring architectural design, levitating 20 feet above ground on a series of slender pillars.  “From the very beginning, I wanted the building to fly,” Piano says of his design.
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Ai Weiwei Interviewed in New Yorker Podcast

June 27th, 2017

ai-weiwei-via-nytArtist Ai Weiwei is featured in a podcast with the New Yorker’s David Remnick this week, as the artist reflects on his recent projects in the United States and Europe, and his political agency in both China and abroad.  “The whole thing is so ridiculous,” he says of the Chinese government’s seizing of his passport. “Right after I got my passport I left because they said I was free… I want to test them, to make them know I am not afraid.”
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NYT Charts Difficulties and Closures for Small and Mid-Size Galleries in Recent Years

June 27th, 2017

On Stellar Rays, via NYTThe New York Times reports on the string of closures for small and mid-size galleries in New York, and the challenges dealers are facing as the market leaves less and less room for younger artists. “I really feel like I’m not doing some of the things I love most — it’s just a very different business at this level,” says Candice Madey of On Stellar Rays, which just closed its doors in favor of a project-focused operational structure. “I’ve missed more of the spontaneity and the openness.”
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Financial Times Profiles Gallerists Moving Off the Beaten Path

June 27th, 2017

Joel Mesler in front of his East Hampton Gallery, via Financial TimesThe Financial Times profiles a group of galleries expanding to unfamiliar locales and cities in an attempt to break the mold of how art galleries do business in the 21st Century, focusing on projects like Thomas Dane’s new exhibition space in Naples.  “Everything we try to do is artist-led, and artists absolutely love Naples,” Dane writes.  “I wanted to offer them a different and interesting space, rather than just expanding. And I feel it will give them and myself more freedom to do what we want, rather than, say, in New York.”
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David Zwirner Partner Julia Joern Leaving Gallery for Health Reasons

June 27th, 2017

Julia Joern, via Art NewsJulia Joern, a partner at David Zwirner Gallery and a major voice in the gallery’s communications and publishing departments, is leaving the gallery due to health reasons, the Art News reports.  “In a field where a great deal of business is still conducted in a very old-fashioned way, Julia has been a relentless innovator and pioneer, and in the process has created the very blueprint for all the marketing efforts that are now necessary to effectively run and grow a large-scale, international art gallery,” David Zwirner himself wrote in an all-staff email last week.
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New York City to Build First LGBTQ Monument in Hudson River Park

June 27th, 2017

LGBTQ monument in Hudson Park by Anthony Goicolea, via NYTIn a timely announcement during New York’s Gay Pride weekend, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that artist Anthony Goicolea has been tapped to design the first official monument to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, which will be installed in Hudson River Park. “It feels like there are certain shapes and patterns that are encoded in our DNA as humans that transcend any particular culture and speak to how we are unified in the larger scheme,” the artist says. “I wanted to create a space that feels familiar, even though it is new.”
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Tintoretto Altarpiece Previously Owned by David Bowie to Return to Venice in 2019

June 27th, 2017

Tintoretto altarpiece, via Art NewspaperAn altarpiece by Jacopo Tintoretto, formerly owned by David Bowie, will return to Venice for the 2019 Biennale, the Art Newspaper reports, after Belgian researchers discovered an underdrawing implying the work was created earlier than previously thought.  The show in Venice will serve as a “unique opportunity to show the Flemish masters to the world in the place where—more than any other—they drew inspiration from their Italian colleagues and from the classical legacy,” according to Ben Weyts, Belgium’s minister for tourism.
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Tate Modern to Launch Largest Ever UK Modigliani Retrospective

June 27th, 2017

Modigliani, The Little Peasant, via GuardianThe Tate Modern has announced plans to stage the largest ever UK retrospective of the work of Amedeo Modigliani, The Guardian reports.  The exhibition will compile a wide view of the artist’s work, exploring his personal life and relationships to other artists of the era alongside his substantial body of paintings and sculpture.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

AO Auction Results – London: Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale, June 28th, 2017

June 28th, 2017


Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait (1963-64) final price£6,008,750, via Sothebys
Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait (1963-64), final price: £6,008,750, via Sotheby’s

Marking its entry in London’s final week of major evening auctions for the first half of 2017, Sotheby’s closed a small, 41-lot proceeding this evening in its Contemporary department, running through its offered works with impressive results and  steady bidding  that ultimately brought home a final total sales figure of £62,325,750 for the sale.  Bounding through its lots, leaving only works unsold, the sale offered a high note for the contemporary market’s continued strength.    Read More »

AO Auction Results – London: Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, June 27th, 2017

June 28th, 2017

Max Beckmann, Hölle der Vögel (1937-38), final price £36,005,000, via Christies
Max Beckmann, Hölle der Vögel (1937-38), final price: £36,005,000, via Christies

Continuing a series of auctions this month in London, Christie’s capped its Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale tonight at its King Street location in the British capital on a relative high note.  The decidedly subdued, yet well-appointed auction closed on a final tally of £149,500,000 for its 33 lot offering, with only a small fraction of works going unsold (94 per cent sold by lot) over the course of the proceedings. Read More »

Venice – Anne Imhof: ‘Faust’ at the German Pavilion, Winner of the Golden Lion for Best Pavilion at the Venice Biennale Through November 26th, 2017

June 26th, 2017

Anne Imhof, Faust (2017), via Art Observed
Anne Imhof, Faust (2017), via Art Observed

Images capture. They calcify. Within space and time, images appear to sustain a frozen existence with a kind of false grace that suppresses the perpetual change and motion that could be posed as all that which, for lack of a more concise term, is not the image itself.  The dialectic between motion and image, fluidity and representation, is the central conflict of Faust, Anne Imhof’s Golden Lion-winning performance for the German Pavillion at the 57th Venice Biennale. Read More »

New York – Daniel Buren: “To Align: works in situ 2017″ at Bortolami Gallery Through June 24th, 2017

June 24th, 2017

Daniel Buren, To Align: works in situ 2017 (Installation View), via Bortolami Gallery
Daniel Buren, To Align: works in situ 2017 (Installation View), via Bortolami Gallery

On view through the end of the week, Bortolami Gallery is currently presenting its fourth exhibition of work by Daniel Buren, taking place in the gallery’s new Tribeca location.  Buren’s rich and varied career has been the subject of major museum exhibitions worldwide, and here, in the gallery’s spacious location at 39 Walker Street, turns towards the architectural character of the newly inaugurated space.  His works here draw on space, position and perspective to transform the space with his bright colors and filtered light. Read More »

AO Auction Results – London: Sotheby’s Actual Size Curated Sale and Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, June 21st, 2017

June 23rd, 2017

Wassily Kandinsky, Bild mit weissen Linien (1913), via Sotheby's
Wassily Kandinsky, Bild mit weissen Linien (1913), via Sotheby’s

Holding court with a short but well-appointed pair of sales in London, Sotheby’s kicked off a week of auctions in the British capital, closing its Impressionist and Modern Evening sale with a string of impressive figures and a new auction record for Wassily Kandinsky at £33 million, ultimately bringing a final sales figure of £127,945,750.  The night also saw a short curated sale, “Actual Size” precede the evening’s main event, which saw mixed results and a £20,931,250 final tally for its offering.

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New York – Ellsworth Kelly: “Last Paintings” and “Plant Drawings” at Matthew Marks Through June 24th, 2017

June 22nd, 2017

Ellsworth Kelly, Diptych Green Blue (2015), via Art Observed
Ellsworth Kelly, Diptych: Green Blue (2015), via Art Observed

Since the passing of Ellsworth Kelly in December of 2015, the exhibition of the artists’s final works has made for a sort of bittersweet anticipation. The show could be seen as a grand farewell to an artist who changed the landscape of American painting several times over during the course of his career, each time delving deeper into his clean, almost rhythmic approach to the shaped canvas that filled its confines with rich bounties of color.  Presented this month at Matthew Marks, the artist’s last body of work does not disappoint, and the series of pieces, culled from past sketches and concepts or completely new ideas, feels like a fitting look at the furthest points of the artist’s exploration before he laid down his brush for the last time.  Read More »

Paris – Georg Baselitz: “Descente” at Galerie Thaddeus Ropac Through July 1st, 2017

June 21st, 2017

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Georg Baselitz, Descente (Exhibition view). All images courtesy the artist and Galerie Thaddeus Ropac

On now through the first of July, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is presenting a body of new works by German artist Georg Baselitz in its spacious Paris Pantin exhibition galleries.  The show, titled Descente, brings together a set of new paintings and works on paper that concern the concept of aging and that of the “late work” in the career and life of an artist. Read More »

New York – Felix Gonzalez-Torres at David Zwirner Through June 24th, 2017

June 20th, 2017

Felix Gonzalez-Torres (Installation View), via Art Observed
Felix Gonzalez-Torres (Installation View), via Art Observed

Reflecting on the landmark career and tragically short life of artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, David Zwirner has opened its first exhibition dedicated to his work.  Zwirner has partnered with Andrea Rosen to jointly represent the artist’s estate worldwide, a move that promises increasingly broad exposure and support for his vision and canon. Read More »

AO On-Site – Basel, Switzerland: Art Basel Art Fair, June 15th – 18th, 2017

June 19th, 2017

Subodh Gupta, Cooking the World (2017), via Art Observed
Subodh Gupta, Cooking the World (2017), via Art Observed

As Sunday drew to a close in Basel, the flagship Art Basel fair brought its program to its finale at the Messe Basel, capping an unexpectedly vigorous few days of sales and other programs that once again underscored the fair’s exceptional attraction for collectors across Europe, North America, and the rest of the globe.  Capping its five day run on Sunday evening, the week concluded on a high note, with ample sales that focused primarily around the blue-chip highlights of the fair’s lower floor, while sending a strong message on the market’s health more broadly.

Albert Oehlen, Geigenbau (2003), via Art Observed
Albert Oehlen, Geigenbau (2003), via Art Observed

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London— Jordan Wolfson at Sadie Coles HQ Through June 17th, 2017

June 17th, 2017

Jordan Wolfson, (Installation View), all images courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ
Jordan Wolfson, (Installation View), all images courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ

On view through June 17th, Jordan Wolfson’s first exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ spans both of the dealer’s London gallery spaces, with his new video work Riverboat song featured at the Kingly Street space, and a group of new sculptural and virtual reality works presented at the nearby Davies Street gallery.  Creating nightmarish scenes which often contain symbols that suggest a perversion or deconstruction of the American Dream, the artist’s work blends fantasy and reality into a chilling combination.

Jordan Wolfson, image from Riverboat Song (2017)
Jordan Wolfson, Still from Riverboat Song (2017)

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