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

Documenta Work Faces Challenges by Far-Right Over Pro-Refugee Sculpture

August 22nd, 2017

Olu Oguibe, via DWDocumenta 14 is at the center of more political conflict this week, after a far-right German politician attacked a pro-refugee sculpture by Nigerian-born, US-based artist Olu Oguibe. Kassel city council member Thomas Materner, a member of Germany’s far-right AfD party, called the work “ideologically polarizing, disfigured art,” over its message. Curator Adam Szymczyk was reportedly “appalled” by the comments.
Read More »

Maxxi Museum Partners with Bulgari for New Arts Prize

August 22nd, 2017

Maxxi, via ArchdailyBulgari is aligning itself with Rome’s Maxxi museum to present a new prize for Italian contemporary arts, WWD reports. “The Premio Maxxi sees Italy at the center of the work of the artists involved,” says Jean Christophe Babin, Bulgari’s chief executive officer. “Supporting a prize that valorizes Italy but with significant international scope is in perfect harmony with the identity and values of a company such as Bulgari,” said Babin. “I am sure that this partnership will give new impetus to the prize.”
Read More »

London’s National Gallery Buys Bellotto Landscape for £11 Million

August 22nd, 2017

Bellotto, The Fortress of Königstein from the North (1756-58), via Art NewspaperLondon’s National Gallery has bought Bernardo Bellotto’s The Fortress of Königstein from the North (1756-58) for £11,670,000 following the deferment of an export bar on the work, the Art Newspaper reports. The piece “shows Bellotto as one of the greatest view painters of his time,” according to director Gabriele Finaldi.
Read More »

NADA Miami Beach Announces 2017 Exhibitor List

August 22nd, 2017

NADA Miami Beach, via Art NewsThe Exhibitor List for NADA Miami Beach 2017 has been announced, with booths from 108 galleries from 16 different countries, including 23 galleries that have never shown at NADA before. “NADA was founded to fill a void in the art world by providing a community where lesser-known international galleries, emerging artists, artist-run spaces, and both young and established galleries can co-exist,” says NADA director, Heather Hubbs.
Read More »

Maurizio Cattelan’s Toilet Piece to Come Down at Guggenheim

August 21st, 2017

Cattelan's Toilet, via NYTMaurizio Cattelan’s golden toilet work, titled America, will conclude its popular installation run at the Guggenheim Museum on September, exactly one year after it was installed. “When the sculpture comes off view on September 15, [Donald] Trump will have been in office for 238 days, a term marked by scandal and defined by the deliberate rollback of countless civil liberties, in addition to climate-change denial that puts our planet in peril,” curator Nancy Spector says of the piece.
Read More »

Donald Trump to Skip Kennedy Center Honors

August 21st, 2017

donald-trump-via-art-newspaperDonald and Melania Trump will skip this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, the New York Times reports. “In choosing not to participate in this year’s Honors activities,” Kennedy Center leadership, David M. Rubenstein and Deborah F. Rutter, wrote, “the administration has graciously signaled its respect for the Kennedy Center and ensures the Honors gala remains a deservingly special moment for the honorees.”
Read More »

Artist Cai Guo-Qiang Gives NYT Tour of New Jersey Home

August 21st, 2017

Cai Guo-Qiangs New Jersey Home, via NYTThe New York Times takes a tour of artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s Chester, N.J home this week, designed by Frank Gehry.  ‘‘An artist is like a cook,’’ Cai says, ‘‘who needs not only the dining area but also the kitchen.’’
Read More »

Former Scotland Yard Detectives Call on London’s Metropolitan Police to Not Abandon Art Crimes Division

August 18th, 2017

New Scotland Yard, via Financial TimesFormer Scotland Yard detectives have called on London’s Metropolitan Police to maintain its art crimes investigation, following the reappointment of the division’s detectives to investigating the Grenfell Tower fire. “There’s a point when you have to ask when they’re going to come back,” says Vernon Rapley, former head of the art squad at Scotland Yard. “Temporary can become permanent. They are one of the very few international teams that are able to deal with what are incredibly complex and difficult cases that could not easily be dealt with using normal detectives or officers.”
Read More »

Njideka Akunyili Crosby Interviewed in W Magazine

August 18th, 2017

Njideka Akunyili Crosby, via WNjideka Akunyili Crosby is profiled in W Magazine this month, with a profile tracing the artist’s work and her response to her recent successes. “People expect me to be happy, but it put a spotlight on me in a way I don’t like at all,” she says. “I like operating quietly, on my own, in the background.”
Read More »

Collector David Roberts to Open Sculpture Park in Somerset

August 17th, 2017

David Roberts, via Art NewspaperLondon collector David Roberts has plans to close his gallery, and open a 20-acre sculpture park in Somerset, west England, Art Newspaper reports.“We’ll still continue to do things in London,” he says. “The sale of the venue, which is funded mainly by me, means we can take on more projects.” 
Read More »

REFERENCE LIBRARY

New York- Carsten Höller: “REASON” at Gagosian Gallery through September 1, 2017

August 21st, 2017

77c42bc57409a2c610f7019d4f4c95bd
Carsten Höller, Double Mushroom Vitrine (Threefold), 2015. All images via Gagosian Gallery.

 

On view through September 1st, the Gagosian Gallery in New York presents REASON, an exhibition of recent work by Carsten Höller.  In this show, the artist’s first in New York since 2011, Höller unites scientific exactitude, play, and art through work that transforms the gallery into a laboratory for exploring and disproving the conceptual act and understanding of reason. Revolving doors, rotating mirrors, giant mushrooms, and huge dice create a world of discovery and whimsy, in which viewers are invited to explore the fascinating and beautiful logic behind the natural world.
06a61510b93700aedd126142ec7bc8c7
Divisions Square (Senegal-yellow Surface), 2017

Trained in the natural sciences, Höller’s work has revolved around interrogating the methods through which humans seek to understand the world. Towards this end, he imposes standardized systems of logic on the behaviors and appearances of humans, fungi, insects, and animals, then lets go and observes what happens. As the artist states, “I start with a formula to get a process going, then the formula takes over and continues into infinity on its own. It is not about creative decisions anymore; there is no choice, only reason.” The effect of this process is the sense that Höller’s work seeks to invite viewers into the satisfying and inspiring process of discovery and experimentation. By eliminating subjectivity, the subjects are treated as independent, organic material acting and reacting independently. This places both the viewer and the artist in the position of an objective observer, passively admiring the results of some predetermined formula.  Both formally and conceptually captivating, Höller’s topics work to involve the viewer and inspire reflection and wonder. In this exhibition, the overall scheme for the two galleries is that of binary, diametric opposition and division. Following a pattern of diminishing halves, this takes place through color gradations, light intensity, and the positioning of the work itself.

bb0a3f1cfa01dab4db0c0a6fb493e6b5
Installation View.

In Revolving Doors, constructed according to the concept of triadic division, the viewer is engulfed in a sea of changing, shifting, turning reflections. The Divisions series of paintings, as well as two murals that cover the gallery walls, instead follow a binary logic. A biological equivalent to this geometric pattern is explored in Divisions (Rose-grain Aphid and Surface), which shows the parthenogenesis of a female rose aphid against a red background. The Giant Triple Mushroom sculptures are composed of enlarged cross-sections of three different fungal species, while Muscimol 3. Versuch, sees the artist exploring the hallucinogenic effects produced by the fly agaric mushroom when ingested. Another mushroom work, Flying Mushrooms is a giant stabile with moving parts, involving the rotation of seven fly agaric mushroom replicas slowly through the air like a propeller.

79dc3c062f2e11b0845850e7449db4c6

Installation View.

As in his other investigations, Höller seeks to eliminate subjectivity in order to apply and allow divisional formulae to determine the composition of each work. Setting objects free in a loose network of objects and interpretations, his pieces push the viewer into an extended space of indeterminacy and playful construction of meaning. The standardized systems of logic applied here produce a captivating and hyperreal resulting piece. The artist’s fascination with the formulaic rationality that rules the natural world comes through in REASON, and invites the viewer into an experience of wonder and play, predicated on the foundation of objective precision. In turn, the exhibition takes on the role of homage to the exquisite symmetry of the natural world.

01d0e287a2836615578cfcfa7dd85b35
Revolving Doors, 2014/16

— A. Corrigan

Related Links:
Exhibition Page [Gagosian Gallery]

Berlin – Thomas Ruff: “New Works” at Sprüth Magers Through August 26th, 2017

August 19th, 2017

Thomas Ruff, PRESS++32.54, (2016), via Art Observed
Thomas Ruff, PRESS++32.54 (2016), via Art Observed

Process is product for Thomas Ruff.  The German photographer has explored a wide ranging body of work over the course of his thirty-plus years of his practice, frequently using the act of creating a photographic image as the generative locus for his work. Embarking on a new body of work in past years, the artist’s press++ series makes its debut this month at Sprüth Magers in Berlin, a fascinating investigation of the act of image production and consumption. Read More »

New York – Julien Ceccaldi: “Gay” at Lomex Gallery Through August 17th, 2017

August 17th, 2017

Julien Ceccaldi, Pompeii Bathhouse (2017), via Art Observed
Julien Ceccaldi, Pompeii Bathhouse (2017), via Art Observed

Lomex Gallery, housed in Eva Hesse’s former studio, continues a hot streak of quality programming with their current exhibition of new works by artist Julien Ceccaldi. The show, bluntly titled Gay, is a gathering of Ceccaldi’s paintings on various materials, combining a range of unique, well-orchestrated surfaces. Read More »

New York – “Sunset Décor,” Curated by Magali Arriola at Marian Goodman Through August 25th, 2017

August 16th, 2017

Sunset Decor (Installation View), via Marian Goodman
Sunset Décor (Installation View), via Marian Goodman

Taking its cues from the pioneering work of Marcel Broodthaers, Marian Goodman’s summer group show serves as a fascinating inquiry into the line between reality and fiction, between concrete objects and the narratives that ultimately spring forth from their often incomplete contexts.  Curated by Magali Arriola, former curator at the Fundacion Jumex in Mexico City, Sunset Décor takes aim at the possibilities conjured by Broodthaers’s late work, and the state of uncertainty that objects, and often images, are able to sustain in the modern cultural landscape. Read More »

New York – Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo: “Border Cantos,” Presented by Pace Gallery and Pace/MacGill Gallery Through August 18th, 2017

August 13th, 2017


Installation View. All images via Pace Gallery.

Pace Gallery and Pace/MacGill Gallery present Border Cantos, a collaborative multimedia exhibition by artists Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo. Misrach, an American photographer, and Galindo, a Mexican-American experimental composer, have been working together since 2011, blending musical scores and photography, instrumentation and sculpture, to discuss and represent the increasingly militarized 1,969-mile border wall between the United States and Mexico. The work in Border Cantos spans photography, sculpture, and sound, integrated seamlessly to create an impression of the presence of tragedy and tenuousness. Read More »

New York – Robert Grosvenor at Karma Through August Through August 13th, 2017

August 12th, 2017

Robert Grosvenor, Untitled (2014-2017), via Art Observed
Robert Grosvenor, Untitled (2014-2017), via Art Observed

Three cars parked side by side make up Robert Grosvenor’s Untitled (2014-17), a single work presented as the artist’s second solo exhibition at Karma’s downtown exhibition space. We can’t be certain that the term “parked” accurately describes these objects, however, as it implies movement that was halted, and a close assessment of the vehicles does not yield a consensus on their past or present mobility. Our fascination with Grosvenor’s sculptures runs parallel to our suspension in this perpetual state of uncertainty, in which the work of art becomes the site of an investigation into the identity of an object.

Robert Grosvenor, Untitled (detail) (2014-2017), via Art Observed
Robert Grosvenor, Untitled (detail) (2014-2017), via Art Observed

Read More »

New York – Jenny Sabin Studio’s ‘Lumen’ on view at MoMA PS1 Through September 4th, 2017

August 10th, 2017

Jenny Sabin, Lumen, via Art Observed
Jenny Sabin, Lumen, via Art Observed

Marking its embrace of the hot summer months in New York, MoMA PS1‘s popular Warm-Up summer concert series has returned to New York City, bringing with it the annual Young Architects Program design for an outdoor canopy structure to shade and entertain visitors and concert-goers in the museum’s open courtyard.  This year, the museum has tapped Jenny Sabin Studio, a Cornell-based design group known for its tech-first design concepts and use of woven, photo-reactive materials, spreading a photo-luminescent tent structure, and robotically-woven chairs across the space.  Read More »

New York – Tom Burr and Andrea Zittel: “Concrete Realities” at Bortolami Gallery Through August 11th, 2017

August 7th, 2017

Andrea Zittel and Tom Burr, Concrete Realities (Installation View), via Art Observed
Andrea Zittel and Tom Burr, Concrete Realities (Installation View), via Art Observed

Over the course of their respective careers, Andrea Zittel and Tom Burr have both negotiated an enigmatic and thorough interest in the built environment, addressing questions of site-specificity, subjectivity, and the body through spaces and environments that pull lived space and imagined realities into a shared domain.  This month at Bortolami, the pair’s respective visions will also share a common site, grappling with similar visual languages and interests in text, assemblage and architecture to challenge readings of space, and the strategies we employ to exist within our given environments.  Read More »

New York — Ai Weiwei, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron: “Hansel & Gretel” at The Park Armory Through August 6th, 2017

August 6th, 2017

Ai Weiwei, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, Hansel and Gretel (Installation View) at Park Avenue Armory. Photo by James Ewing
Ai Weiwei, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, Hansel and Gretel (Installation View) at Park Avenue Armory. Photo by James Ewing

Exploration of surveillance and its corresponding limits has long remained a prominent thread in Ai Weiwei’s aggressively political multimedia practice, particularly following his detainment and imprisonment by Chinese authorities in 2011 due to his vocal dissent of the country’s governmental policies on human rights. Hansel & Gretel, Weiwei’s Park Armory tour-de-force in collaboration with architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, furthers his past surveillance-themed projects such as 2012’s WeiweiCam, for which the artist had installed fifteen cameras around his Beijing residence to stream a 24-hour live footage of his home. Coinciding with the one year anniversary of his detention by the Chinese government, the comparison the artist built between actual imprisonment and systematic violation of privacy echoes with his current occupation of Park Armory’s Guild Hall, transforming the column-free exhibition space into a pitch black zone of uncertainty and peril. Read More »

New York – Leo Xu Projects and Metro Pictures Host “A New Ballardian Vision” for Condo: New York, Through August 4th, 2017

August 4th, 2017

Robert Longo, Untitled (Bodyhammer 9mm) (2008), via Art Observed
Robert Longo, Untitled (Bodyhammer: 9mm) (2008), via Art Observed

Few writers have walked such a fine line between coy observations of modernity and the possible dystopian future that lay just under the surface of daily life in the way that writer J.G. Ballard had over the course of his more than fifty years of writing.  Mixing a playful sense of imagination with dark and disturbing meditations on the state of the world, the writer’s work continues to serve as a major inspiration for artists and philosophers in the 21st century, just as some of the futuristic conditions he so often described have begun to manifest themselves in the real world. Read More »