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


New York – “A Machinery For Living” Curated by Walead Beshty at Petzel Gallery Through August 8th, 2014

July 24th, 2014

A Machinery for Living at the Petzel Gallery, installation view, via Art Observed
A Machinery for Living at the Petzel Gallery, installation view, via Art Observed

On view at Petzel Gallery is a group exhibition organized by Walead Beshty entitled “A Machinery for Living.” Composed of over 100 photographs, drawings, paintings, sculptural and installation works, the exhibition approaches a concept of embracing the subversive within everyday life.

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London – “Bridget Riley: The Stripe Paintings 1961-2014″ at David Zwirner Through July 25th, 2014

July 24th, 2014

Bridget Riley, About Yellow, 2014-2013 via David Zwirner London
Bridget Riley, About Yellow (2013-2014) via David Zwirner London

Whether black and white stripes contrast with each other in bewildering harmony, or vividly sharp colors calmly line-up to soothe the eye, there exists an exquisite charm in Bridget Riley’s entrancing canvases. Starting her career in the late 50’s after graduating from London’s famed Goldsmith’s College, Riley experimented with Pointillism and Abstraction while working as an illustrator.  What she would be widely recognized for later in her career, however, were her optical works, which emerged as result of her fascination with Futurism, Constructivism and Minimalism.  Focusing on the artist’s colorful stripe paintings from 1961 to the present on a large scale, Bridget Riley: The Stripe Paintings 1961-2014 at David Zwirner’s London location marks Riley’s largest survey since her 2003 retrospective at Tate London. Read More »

Opening of Damien Hirst’s New Art Space in London Delayed Until Next Spring

July 23rd, 2014

Damien HirstIn May or June of next year London might finally play host to Damien Hirst’s new venture, an exhibition space built to house his considerable collection of contemporary art. In the works since 2012, the South London space plans to feature a restaurant and office space alongside six separate galleries filled with pieces by artists such as Jeff Koons, Francis Bacon, and, of course, Hirst himself. Read More »

James Turrell to Receive National Medal of Arts

July 23rd, 2014

James TurrellArtist James Turrell is among the group of recipients for the National Medal of Arts this week, alongside Linda Ronstadt, dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones, author Maxine Hong Kingston, and Broadway composer John Kander.  The group will be presented with the award by President Barack Obama. Read More »

Artists Destroy Joseph Beuys Work to Make Schnapps

July 23rd, 2014

Joseph Beuys, via Der SpiegelThree artists in Germany have used the fat from Joseph Beuys‘ work Fettecke (1982) to distill their own liquor, and to serve it to visitors during a performance.  The performers, professor of art in Bremen Markus Löffler and artists Andree Korpys and Dieter Schmal, combined the fat with blue pigment from a Yves Klein work, and created a home distilled drink.  “The taste is reminiscent of Parmesan,” says Löffler. Read More »

Scientists Find Link Between Synthetic Dopamine and “Obsessive” Creativity

July 23rd, 2014

Works created by Parkinson's Patients, via The AtlanticA new study has found an interesting link between a synthetic dopamine used to treat Parkinson’s Disease, and sudden bouts of intense creativity. “I started painting from morning till night, and often all through the night until morning. I used countless numbers of brushes at a time. I used knives, forks, sponges … I would gouge open tubes of paint–it was everywhere,” says one patient.  ”But I was still in control at that point. Then, I started painting on the walls, the furniture, even the washing machine.”  Read More »

Smithsonian Exploring Potential London Expansion

July 23rd, 2014

London's Olympic Park, via The GuardianThe Smithsonian Institution is reportedly in talks to build an expansion in London’s Olympic Park, a project that would become part of Mayor Boris Johnson’s plan to build a massive cultural center on the grounds of the 2o12 Olympics.  ”The mayor has made clear his ambitions for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a view that it becomes home to a range of prestigious higher education, cultural and technological institutions,” said Johnson’s spokesperson. Read More »

New York – “To do as one would” at David Zwirner Through July 25th, 2014

July 23rd, 2014

Charles Harlan, Pallets, 2013
Charles Harlan, Pallets (2013)

Seeking to understand the various materials and objects utilized in contemporary art To do as one would is on view at David Zwirner’s 19th street location this month. The exhibition, brought together by three staff members at the gallery, uses the full space provided to host a selection of works aiming to investigate the broad understanding of alternative materials as applied to various bodies of thought and execution. Read More »

Goldsmith’s Announces Plans for Public Art Gallery

July 22nd, 2014

Goldsmith's, via Art NewspaperGoldsmith’s London has announced plans to build a public art gallery on the University’s South London campus, repurposing the old water tanks of the Laurie Grove Baths.  To raise funds, the institution is asking many former pupils for donations and works to auction in support of the project, including Sarah Lucas, Damien Hirst and Antony Gormley. Read More »

Detroit Retirees Back Museum Spin-Off

July 22nd, 2014

Detroit Institute of Arts, via WSJDetroit retirees have passed a vote resolving to allow the Detroit Institute of Arts to spin-off as its own institution, and to accept pension cuts, reflecting what many believe to be the popular opinion towards the city’s art collection and its ability to recover.  “The voting shows strong support for the city’s plan to adjust its debts and for the investment necessary to provide essential services and put Detroit on secure financial footing,” said Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr.

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Art Basel HK Director Leaving for Bonham’s

July 22nd, 2014

Magnus Renfrew via Art NewspaperArt Basel Hong Kong Director Magnus Renfrew is reportedly leaving his post with the growing art fair to join Bonhams Auction House in the role of deputy chairman, Asia and director of fine arts, Asia.  “Renfrew will be responsible for defining the strategy for Bonhams in Asia relating to the fine arts and will oversee the established departments of classical, Modern and contemporary art in Asia,” Bonhams stated in a press release. Read More »

Judge Allows Corocran Lawsuit to Move Forward

July 22nd, 2014

Corcoran Gallery, via Washington PostJudge Robert D. Okun of the District of Columbia Superior Court has allowed the lawsuit filed by a group of students and faculty against the Corcoran Gallery to move forward, a move which may delay the absorption of the institution by George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art.  “Today’s decision is a meaningful step for transparency and inclusiveness ”says lawyer Andrew S. Tulumello. Read More »

Mana Fine Arts Brings Art Supercomplex to Jersey City

July 22nd, 2014

Mana Fine Art, via New York TimesThe New York Times takes a look inside Mana Fine Arts and Mana Contemporary, the nearly one million square foot art storage and exhibition space in Jersey City, which has become one of New York’s best kept secrets, and which is owned by moving magnate Moishe Mana, whose business has grown alongside New York’s art world.  “I remember moving artists in the early days,” Mana recalls. “And when they said they couldn’t afford my rate, I told them if they couldn’t make a living from their art, then they should find real jobs and keep art as a hobby.” Read More »

Los Angeles – “Titans of the Stratosphere” at Patrick Painter Through July 26th 2014

July 22nd, 2014

Stephen Prina, Detail of Monochrome Painting: A Posterior Prototype: Average Size (1994), all images courtesy Patrick Painter
Stephen Prina, Detail of Monochrome Painting: A Posterior Prototype: Average Size (1994), all images courtesy Patrick Painter

Patrick Painter Gallery in Los Angeles is currently hosting an impressively selected group show, culling artists from the past 30 years of practice entitled Titans of the Stratosphere, and featuring six artists: Rodney Graham, Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Stephen Prina, Christopher Wool, and Andrea Zittel.

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US Museums Step in to Save Syrian Art

July 22nd, 2014

Syrian ruins, via Art NewspaperUS Museums are joining forces with the Syrian Interim Government’s Heritage Task Force to assist in the preservation of the country’s cultural heritage against the tide of its ongoing civil war, training civilians in preservation techniques and strategies for securing important art objects and artifacts.  “Local communities are best equipped to identify heritage in need of preservation and protection, and this is precisely what is happening in Syria,” says Richard Leventhal, the executive director of the Penn Cultural Heritage Center. Read More »

Auction Houses Look to Expand Sales Through Curated Offerings

July 22nd, 2014

Andy Warhol sells at Christie's, via Art ObservedAuction Houses are placing an increased emphasis on pre-20th century art and other objects, in an effort to further expand the thriving auction markets.  Offering variety shows that present top works from a variety of areas and cultures, the auctions are designed to encourage top bidders by focusing sales.  “If the auction houses pick their 50 or so best objects, then their top buyers don’t have to sift through several sales,” says Stuart Lochhead, director of Daniel Katz Ltd. “People are less connoisseurial these days. Finance people are always rushing. They have so little time.” Read More »

New York – Carl Andre at Paula Cooper Gallery Through July 25th 2014

July 22nd, 2014


Carl Andre at The Paula Cooper Gallery, via Art Observed

On view at The Paula Cooper Gallery in New York is an exhibition of major sculptures by Carl Andre from a period ranging over thirty years. The exhibition coincides with the artist’s retrospective at Dia:Beacon, which is the first survey of Carl Andre’s entire body of work by a museum in North America since 1980.

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Artist Resale Royalty Gains Strength in Congress

July 21st, 2014

Republican Howard Coble, via Art NewspaperThe case for artist resale royalties in the United States is gaining strength in Congress, as the bill proposing the measure has earned six co-signers in the past weeks.  “We’re optimistic—the pace over the past month seems to have picked up,” says Ted Feder, the president of the Artists Rights SocietyRead More »

Cai Guo-Qiang Floats Ark of Stuffed Animals in Shanghai

July 21st, 2014

Cai Guo-Qiang loads his ark in Shanghai, via Art NewsLast week, artist Cai Guo-Qiang floated a specially made ark, filled with stuffed animals, around Shanghai harbor, in an attempt to draw further attention to the port city’s heavily polluted waters.  ”Not being dead leaves possibilities and space for imagination,” the artist said of his work, emphasizing the space between living and dead that his stuffed animals occupy. Read More »

Rhizome Announces $10,000 Prize for Net Art

July 21st, 2014

Prix Net Art, via RhizomePartnering with Beijing’s Tsinghua University Art and Science Media Laboratory (TASML) and the Center for Art and Technology at CCIA (CAT/CCIA), Rhizome has announced a $10,000 cash prize to one Internet artist.  The award will be handed out annually three times total over the course of the next three years, through 2016. “Internet art remains less recognized, less supported,” the organization said in a statement. “This prize gives a boost to those who continue to make art on the Internet, and emphasizes the unique cultural importance of such work.” Read More »

FIAC Announces New Fair for Young Galleries

July 21st, 2014

FIAC, via Art InfoFIAC has announced a new event set to take place during the larger fair this October, titled (OFF)ICIELLE, and focused around promoting young galleries and artists on the international circuit.  The event will present 50 galleries from around the world in Paris, opening for a private viewing on October 21st. Read More »

Art Newspaper Looks at Salaries for Independent Curators

July 21st, 2014

Germano Celant, via Art NewspaperThe Art Newspaper investigates the current payscales for independent curators, from Milan Expo 2015’s €750,000 salary for Germano Celant, to much lower rates for small-scale fairs and biennials.  “We’re not talking about the kind of field where you say, ‘A senior vice-president makes this and a schoolteacher makes that,’” says consultant András Szántó. “One of the interesting things about the art world as a labour market is that it is so fragmented.” Read More »

New Event to Examine Impact of 3D Printing in Contemporary Art

July 21st, 2014

Oliver Laric's Yuanmingyuan 3D, 2014, via Art NewspaperThe use of 3D Printing in contemporary art is growing, and this week, the International Foundation for Art Research will host a special event investigating the impact and use of the advanced technology in current studio practices.  “The technology, which facilitates replication, has legal implications, such as patent and copyright infringement and, down the road, possibly also forgery and fraud”, says Ifar Executive Director Sharon Flescher. Read More »

Bloomberg Notes Higher Prices for Female Artists on the Secondary Market

July 21st, 2014

Tracey Emin via BloombergBloomberg examines the record sale of Tracey Emin’s My Bed at Christie’s this past month, and notes its success as part of a growing trend towards higher prices for female artists on the secondary market. “Historical corrections are in vogue,” says  former Christie’s exec Amy Cappellazzo. “There are more women artists who are getting their due.” Read More »