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


Grayson Perry Publishes Autobiographical New Book

September 2nd, 2014

Grayson Perry, via The GuardianArtist Grayson Perry’s newest book, Playing to the Gallery, is out this month, tracing the artist’s early development and insights into the practice, inspiration and politics behind his unique work.  ”I firmly believe,” Perry says early in the book, “that anyone is eligible to enjoy art or become an artist – any oik, any prole, any citizen who has a vision they want to share.” Read More »

Art Market Monitor Publishes Perceptive Take on Detroit Bankruptcy, fate of DIA Collection

September 2nd, 2014

Detroit Institute of Arts, via NYTThe Detroit Bankruptcy hearings begin this week, and while some alarmists wring their hands over the fate of the Detroit Institute of Art’s collection, the Art Market Monitor notes a series of indications that the museum collection will likely not find itself on the auction block.  Citing a New York Times article, the site notes the “scorched earth” approach taken by debt holders Syncora, and the chances that it may only alienate the courts in attempts to collect whatever it can on the final rulings. Read More »

BBC Two Commissions Major Documentary on Life of David Hockney

September 2nd, 2014

David Hockney, via BBCBBC Two has commissioned a feature-length documentary on the life and work of David Hockney, focusing on the life and work of the iconic British painter.  HOCKNEY, as it has been titled, will air next year, and will be made by the same filmmaking team behind the popular Lucian Freud: Painted Life.  “David Hockney stands as one of Britain’s seminal and most important artists, and I’m delighted to be showing this major film on him on BBC Two,”  says BBC Two Controller Kim Shillinglaw:  Arts on BBC Two is all about bringing the biggest and best documentaries to the broadest of audiences, and I know this film will be a riveting and inspiring watch.” Read More »

Banksy’s New York “Residency” Profiled in HBO Documentary

September 2nd, 2014

Banksy Does New York, via Hollywood ReporterThis November 17th, HBO will premiere a documentary focusing on Banksy’s monthlog “residency” in New York City, titled Banksy Does New York.  Taking footage uploaded by viewers experiencing the artist’s work firsthand, director Chris Moukarbel has cut together a full-length film, which he calls “a city holding a mirror back up to the artist.” Read More »

Versailles – Lee Ufan’s Commission for Versailles Through November 2nd, 2014

September 2nd, 2014

Lee Ufan, Relatum - The Arch of Versailles (2014), all images Courtesy the artist ; kamel mennour, Paris and Pace, New York © Tadzio
Lee Ufan, Relatum – The Arch of Versailles (2014), all images Courtesy the artist ; kamel mennour, Paris and Pace, New York © Tadzio

Lee Ufan‘s work takes its strength from its silence.  Utilizing simple materials placed into careful interactions with the space around them, the Korean artist has pioneered his particular brand of minimalism over the past half century.  Tight, angular lines converge with natural materials in carefully measured configurations, often utilizing the passage of shadow and light through the work to create a nuanced dialogue with its surroundings.

Lee Ufan, Relatum - The Shadow of the Stars (2014), via Versailles
Lee Ufan, Relatum – The Shadow of the Stars (2014) Read More »

Yayoi Kusama Interviewed in The Telegraph

September 1st, 2014

Yayoi Kusama, via The TelegraphArtist Yayoi Kusama is interviewed in The Telegraph this week, in the run-up to the artist’s show of new work at Victoria Miro next month.  In the article, the artist discusses her life between Japan and New York, and her reasons for moving to New York in the late 1950’s.  “Japan was a very feudalistic society and I felt I wanted to live more freely,” Kusama notes. “So I decided to go to America. I thought lots of people were making beautiful images in America… It was a very interesting society to me, especially the younger generation. Everyone seemed to try really hard to find their own way.” Read More »

Artist Bernar Venet Launches Non-Profit Organization

September 1st, 2014

Effondrement, 2014, via ForbesFrench artist Bernar Venet has launched a new non-profit organization, The Venet Foundation will exhibit a collection of works the artist collected from close friends like Donald Judd, Yves Klein and Sol LeWitt under conditions that Vernet felt were ideal for exhibiting their works, including a subjective element to the foundation that fits quite well alongside the artist’s conceptual practice. Read More »

David Hockney the Subject of New Biography

September 1st, 2014

David Hockney, via The GuardianArtist David Hockney is the subject of a new biography by author Christopher Simon Sykes, who has chronicled some of the artist’s least known and most peculiar stories in a new book,  A Pilgrim’s Progress.  The book includes a number of Hockney’s famous feuds with artists and actors like Dennis Hopper and Rudolph Nureyev, whom Hopper once fired from a collaborative project.  ”Well, Rudi, it’s obvious that we are not going to be able to work together, so I’m afraid it’s all finished,” Hockney reportedly said. Read More »

Portugal Will Move Forward on the Sale of 85 Miró Works from the National Collection

September 1st, 2014

Joan Miro, via ArtnetThe country of Portugal will ultimately sell its collection of 85 Joan Miró works, after a national court overturned the ruling banning their sale.  With over $110 billion in debt, the European nation will seek to alleviate its financial burden by selling the series of works originally in the Banco Português de Negócios collection. Read More »

Essl Collection Works Valued at over $200 Million to Sell this October in London

September 1st, 2014

Agnes and Karlheinz Essl, via ArtnetA considerable proportion of the over 7,000 works from the Essl Collection will go to the auction block this October in London, worth an estimated €160 million ($211 million) in total.  The works, which will sell at both Christie’s and Sotheby’s, include iconic pieces by Gerhard Richter, Martin Kippenberger, and Georg Baselitz, among others.   Read More »

New York – Summer Exhibition at Skarstedt Gallery Through August 31st, 2014

August 31st, 2014

David Salle, Fooling with Your Hair (1985), via Skarstedt
David Salle, Fooling with Your Hair (1985), via Skarstedt

The Skarstedt Gallery continues its series of summer group exhibitions in Chelsea this month, presenting another series of works by artists sharing common interests in production, appropriation and the potential for painting after the advent of widely distributed photographic technologies.  The exhibition, featuring work by Martin Kippenberger, George Condo, Richard Prince, David Salle and Albert Oehlen, is spread across the two rooms of the Skarstedt space on 21st Street, offering ample space to pass back and forth between the monumental canvases, and examine the various artist’s techniques and formal interests. Read More »

New York – Nancy Rubins: “Our Friend Fluid Metal” at Gagosian Gallery Through September 13th, 2014

August 31st, 2014

Nancy Rubins, Our Friend Fluid Metal (2014)/
Nancy Rubins, Our Friend Fluid Metal (2014)

Nancy Rubins has not been hesitant about creating mammoth works of art, as seen in her first public installation at a shopping center in Illinois in 1981 or her 1995 installation of salvaged airplanes at MoMA.  Exhibiting objects collected from thrift stores and and secondhand shops, the artist’s sculptural assemblages are charged with an eclectic energy.  Televisions, planes, surfboards, heaters and mattresses are just a few source materials transformed into complex structures, charged with tangible energy and an inexplicable resistance to gravity.  Read More »

Washington, D.C. – Jeremy Deller: “English Magic” at The Hirshhorn Through August 31st, 2014

August 30th, 2014

Jeremy Deller, English Magic (2012),  All images courtesy of Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Jeremy Deller, English Magic (2012),  All images courtesy of Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Jeremy Deller’s English Magic has come to the United States this summer.   The artist’s video and installation work, created specifically for the British Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale, addresses British society and politics through a complexly intertwined mythology and cultural iconography.  It’s the latest participant in the Hirschhorn’s Directions series, an on-going program which has been running since 1979, and which has seen the likes of Tacita Dean, Juan Munoz and Pipilotti Rist bringing works to the Hirshhorn, aiming to engage with emerging and established artists showcasing both new and old works. Read More »

Gilbert and George Interviewed in Wall Street Journal

August 29th, 2014

Gilbert and George, via WSJArtists Gilbert and George are interviewed in the Wall Street Journal this week, discussing their most recent exhibition at White Cube, Scapegoating Pictures for London. “We thought it strange that the world’s governments, churches, mosques and schools are all confronting the issue of Islamist fervor, but the world’s artists aren’t touching it,” says George Passmore. “We try to create art we feel the world need.” Read More »

Miranda July Launches Participatory, Interactive Art Application “Somebody”

August 29th, 2014

Miranda July's Somebody app, via Miranda July
Miranda July’s Somebody app, via Miranda July

Artist Miranda July has announced a unique new app design, titled Somebody, which uses active participants and users to deliver messages to other users rather than receive a standard text-based message or email.   Read More »

Ai Weiwei Makes Presence Felt for Blenheim Palace Retrospective UK While Under House Arrest

August 29th, 2014

Ai Weiwei, via The Fake CaseAi Weiwei is currently under house arrest in Beijing, but that hasn’t stopped the artist from planning and overseeing the installation of his largest UK exhibition to date at Blenheim Palace.  Ai has had a 3-D digital model of the space created, and has used it to plot out the placement of works meticulously without leaving his home.  ”In the beginning, we sent him photographs and detailed plans, but he’s an absolute perfectionist and every inch of where works are placed matters to him. So in the end we lasered all the rooms to make the model for him,” says Lord Edward Spencer-Churchill said. Read More »

Annandale-on-Hudson – Anne Collier at CCS Bard Galleries Through September 21st, 2014

August 29th, 2014

Anne Collier, Developing Tray #2 (2009)
Anne Collier, Developing Tray #2 (2009)

In the winter of 2012, a gigantic human eye was gazed out intently on Chelsea and the Hudson River from the High Line billboard on 18th street. The billboard installation, Developing Tray #2, belonged to Anne Collier, an artist known for her appropriation based photographs culling a wide range of printed media from popular culture, suggesting a reinterpretation of otherwise neglected statements. Utilizing minimalistic techniques and a neutral white surface as a background, Collier photographs album covers, commercials, magazine pages or calendars, revealing the subtle ideological undertones related to feminism, consumerism and gender politics. Read More »

Detroit Bankruptcy Exit Shadowed by Potential Legal Issues

August 28th, 2014

Detroit Institute of Arts, via NYTAs Detroit’s “grand bargain” draws nearer to realization, The New York Times notes that parts of the deal for the city’s exit from bankruptcy may in fact be illegal.  This news comes as a lending company, Art Capital, has offered the city $3 billion in aid using the city’s art collection as collateral, an offer that the city has yet to respond to.  “The museum is owned by the city, and the city is, in fact, in bankruptcy. That asset lawfully should be available to assist in the plan of exit,” said Ian Peck, Art Capital’s chief executive. “But we also believe that this art is a national treasure and should be preserved as such.” Read More »

German Artist Reportedly Buried £10k in Gold Bars on Folkestone Beach

August 28th, 2014

Outer Harbor Beach in Folkestone, via IndependentGerman artist Michael Sailstorfer is preparing a “participatory” installation work for the arts festival at Outer Harbour beach in Folkestone, UK, claiming that £10,000 in gold bars have been hidden across the beach.  The work, titled Folkestone Digs, opens today at 4PM, around low tide. Read More »

New York – “Itself Not So” at Lisa Cooley Through August 29th, 2014

August 28th, 2014

Aram Saroyan, Lighght (1989)
Aram Saroyan, Lighght (1989), All images are by Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed.

Aphasia, a brain dysfunction resulting in the failure of comprehension of language, is the starting point of Lisa Cooley’s summer group show Itself Not So.  Curated by staff member Rachel Valinsky, and titled after a poem by Susan Howe, the selection grabs this condition as a metaphor for the disconnect between mind and speech, examining the possible fractures causing intellectual and emotional failures regarding the self. The exhibition argues that, with the corruption of the harmony among sound, thoughts and speech, a possible chaos and detachment brings an individual’s functionality to a standstill. Both intellectual and emotional, social and biological, this turmoil challenges the autonomy of those inflicted. Read More »

Jasper Johns Assistant Pleads Guilty in Art Fraud Case

August 28th, 2014

James Meyer at court, via WSJJames Meyer, a former studio assistant to Jasper Johns, has plead to selling a series of the unfinished works by the artist, and fraudulently covering his sales with false inventory.  Meyer ultimately made over $3 million off the sales.  ”Meyer will now have to pay for that decision,” says US Attorney Preet Bharara. Read More »

London – Phyllida Barlow at Tate Britain Through October 19th, 2014

August 28th, 2014

Phyllida Barlow at Tate Britain (Installation View), all images via Tate Britain
Phyllida Barlow at Tate Britain (Installation View), all images via Tate Britain

‘Our era has been defined by falling monuments’ says Phyllida Barlow in an interview with The Guardian about her Tate Britain commission. She points out the tragedy, triumph, beauty and the immense grief evident in the collapse of a public icon; underlining the extraordinary range of emotive qualities that such a public piece of imagery conveys.  Barlow is delivering another major show defining the notion of monuments in a collaboration with Tate Britain as a part of the museum’s annual artist commissions. Read More »

New York – Dan Graham and Günther Vogt: “The Roof Garden Commission” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Through November 2nd, 2014

August 27th, 2014

Dan Graham, Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout (2014), All Images Via Kelly Lee for Art Observed
Dan Graham, Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout (2014), All Images Via Kelly Lee for Art Observed

The annual rooftop commission at The Metropolitan Museum of Art always manages to draw a crowd, whether it be Imran Quereshi’s bloody installation last year, or Tomás Saraceno’s vastly popular Cloud City.  For this year’s Rooftop Commission at , the Met has sided with a more heritage artist, Dan Graham, working in conjunction with Swiss landscape architect Günther Vogt to create the work Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout (2014).  Graham, 71, known for his conceptual bent and exploration of multiple mediums, including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and performance art, has long focused on how architecture directly impacts its occupants and shapes their experiences of looking, a strikingly perfect fit for the Met’s scenic view and unique location.

Read More »

Marianne Boeksy Announces New Gallery Directors for New York Exhibition Spaces

August 26th, 2014

Marianne Boesky, via WSJMarianne Boesky Gallery has announced a group of new directors taking over at both New York locations.  Kristen Becker, who previously worked as Director at Luhring Augustine, will take over at Boesky’s Chelsea location, while the gallery’s new downtown space will be co-run by Kelly Woods and Veronica Levitt.  ”I’m thrilled to be expanding our dedicated and talented team with these new additions,” Boesky told Art Observed.  ”Kelly is a perfect fit to co-direct our new Lower East Side location with Veronica Levitt who will be moving there from Chelsea into her new role. Kristen brings a great depth of experience and energy to our Chelsea team. All three will surely augment our service to our artists and our clients in every way.” Read More »