Global contemporary art events and news observed from New York City. Suggestion? Email us.
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Bloomberg Takes a Look at Sotheby’s Lending Practices

July 30th, 2016

Jho Low, via BloombergBloomberg has an article on Sotheby’s increasingly broad lending practices, which have grown from $682 million to almost $1 billion in recent years, a point that some consider extremely inviting for those looking to launder money.  “One way to launder is to use art as a security for a loan,” says David Hall, former special prosecutor for the FBI Art Crime Team. “The level of scrutiny you’ll receive from a bank is much higher than you will receive from an auction house.”
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China’s Taikang Life Buys 13.5% Share in Sotheby’s

July 30th, 2016

Chen Dongsheng, via China OrgTaikang Life, one of China’s largest insurance companies, now owns a 13.5% stake in Sotheby’s, CNN reports.  The company is run by Chen Dongsheng, who is also the founder of China Guardian Auctions, the country’s first government-run auction house.  Taikang has not disclosed whether it will seek an active position in the company.
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Bass Museum to Reopen During Art Basel Miami Beach

July 30th, 2016

Ugo Rondinone, via Miami HeraldMiami’s Bass Museum is set to reopen during Art Basel Miami Beach in December, drawing its $12 million renovation to a close with a major museum show by Ugo Rondinone.  “It used to be that going to a museum was akin to going to church,” she said. “Now museums are places where people gather,” says director Silvia Karman Cubina.
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Jeff Wall Leaves Marian Goodman for Gagosian

July 30th, 2016

Jeff Wall, via Art NewsGagosian is now representing Jeff Wall, who leaves Marian Goodman after 25 years.  “He would like to be seen more widely as an American artist,” says Gagosian director Mark Francis.  “I think that may be something we can do well.”
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Tate Ordered to Reveal BP Sponsorship Figures

July 30th, 2016

Protests against BP, via The GuardianThe Tate has been ordered to reveal how much sponsorship money it has received in the last five years from British Petroleum, a victory for activists who have harshly criticized the museum for its role in greenwashing the oil company’s image.  “Oil branding of art is a threat to our galleries and our climate,” says Anna Galkina of the activist organization Platform.  “Tate has tried to hide how embarrassingly low BP sponsorship fees were. We’re delighted that the information tribunal ruled against Tate’s secrecy.”
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The Tate Modern Borrows Major Rauschenberg Assemblage for Retrospective

July 30th, 2016

Robert Rauschenberg, Monogram, via The GuardianThe Tate Modern has announced that it will borrow a major Rauschenberg assemblage, Monogram, which features a full-size stuffed Angora goat bound to a canvas, for the artist’s retrospective later this year. “Rauschenberg is one of those artists who, in the decade after the second world war, truly transformed the nature of artistic practice, smashing through the boundaries of different media,” says Tate Director Frances Morris.
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David Salle Publishes Book of Essays

July 30th, 2016

David Salle's new book, via NYTDavid Salle has published a collection of his essays and writings on art, written during the past several years in conjunction with his painting work.  “I like the challenge of finding a verbal equivalent for certain states of looking,” he says, “and taking apart what it is someone made.”
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Sotheby’s Announces Sale of Ames Collection with Trove of Gerhard Richter Pieces

July 30th, 2016

Gerhard Richter, via NYTSotheby’s has landed a major collection for its fall auctions, selling works from the holdings of Steven and Ann Ames, including a pair of Gerhard Richter works valued at $20-$30 million each.  “They have a Richter from every major period and a de Kooning from every major period,” says Amy Cappellazzo, chairwoman of Sotheby’s fine art division. “That’s an immense and important study about painting.”
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J. Tomilson Hill to Open Museum in Chelsea

July 30th, 2016

J. Tomilson Hill, via NYTThe New York Times reports that billionaire J. Tomilson Hill is opening a museum in Chelsea, where he wants to show his $800 million collection, and to use the space for arts education. “They’re cutting out arts programs in the public schools,” he says.  “These are kids who wouldn’t even think The Frick was accessible to them,” Mr. Hill said.
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Christie’s Employees Leave Following Announcement of Sales Drop

July 30th, 2016

Christie's, via Art NewspaperThree Christie’s employees have left the company, shortly after the auction house announced its sales had dropped last year from $4.5 billion to $3 billion in the past year.  “As a private company, we don’t comment on speculation around our employees,” the company said in a statement.  “However, like any business, we continue to review the deployment of resources and focus investment on areas of growth so as to best to serve our clients.”
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

New York – Richard Serra on View at Gagosian Gallery Through July 29th, 2016

July 29th, 2016

Richard Serra, NJ-1 (2016), via Art Observed
Richard Serra, NJ-1 (2016), via Art Observed

Spread across both of Gagosian’s Chelsea exhibition spaces, Richard Serra’s immense spatial investigations have returned to New York City, marking a continuation and expansion of the artist’s already tightly honed sculptural language.  Consisting of a total of only four works, the gallery is showing Serra’s immense rolled steel work NJ-1 in its 21st Street space, while giving over its 24th Street gallery to a trio of Serra’s pressed steel installations, a pairing that sees him returning to his precise visual vocabulary while pushing its expressive limits.

Richard Serra, Every Which Way (2015), via Art Observed
Richard Serra, Every Which Way (2015), via Art Observed Read More »

Paris – Alex Katz: “New Landscapes” at Thaddaeus Ropac Through July 30th, 2016

July 28th, 2016

Alex Katz, Fall (2015), via Thaddaeus Ropac
Alex Katz, Fall (2015), via Thaddaeus Ropac

Continuing his recent surge of output, Alex Katz has brought a new series of landscapes to Thaddaeus Ropac’s Paris Marais exhibition space.  Bringing his attention yet again to the landscapes of Maine, the artist’s work here presents his calm, subdued style in a fitting conversation with the untouched curves and lines of Northern New England.

Alex Katz, New Landsacpes (Installation View), via Thaddaeus Ropac
Alex Katz, New Landsacpes (Installation View), via Thaddaeus Ropac

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New York – “Goulding the Lolly” at Gavin Brown Through July 30th, 2016

July 28th, 2016

Brian Belott, Untitled (After Guston) (1995), via Art Observed
Brian Belott, Untitled (After Guston) (1995), via Art Observed

Gavin Brown’s 291 Grand Street location is playing home to the gallery’s summer exhibition this month, a cunning and often comical play on art history curated by painter Brian Belott.  Inviting a group of artists to take their own improvisational runs on various artists from the last 100 years of painting and sculpture, the show plays on the memory of Glenn Gould, whose own takes on popular figures and music themes equally expressed his own artistic brilliance.

Bobo, The Legendary Impetus Behind Wegmans (2016), via Art Observed
Bobo, The Legendary Impetus Behind Wegmans (2016), via Art Observed

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New York – “False Narratives” at Pierogi Gallery Through July 31st, 2016

July 28th, 2016

Roxy Paine, Meeting (2016), via Art Observed
Roxy Paine, Meeting (2016), via Art Observed

The concept of “the narrative” is one that feels increasingly relevant in a contemporary art context defined in part by gestures and approaches that owe much to the last 60 years of creative practice.  Considering the work in relation to an isolated other, a sort of phantom context that either motivates, grounds or produces the work in question ultimately seems to be one such strategy for re-invigoration of the techniques used in creating the object itself.  This is the strategy through which the current group exhibition at Pierogi’s LES Gallery space, False Narratives, presents its artists, compiling work that not only explores the construction of ulterior situations and modes for the work itself, but equally questions these narratives as unreliable.

Brian Conley, Decipherment of Linear X (2004), via Art Observed
Brian Conley, Decipherment of Linear X (2004), via Art Observed

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New York – Sadie Benning: “Green God” at Mary Boone and Callicoon Fine Arts Through July 29th, 2016

July 27th, 2016

Sadie Benning, The Crucifixion (2015), via Art Observed
Sadie Benning, The Crucifixion (2015), via Art Observed

Artist Sadie Benning has returned to New York for a strong summer exhibition this month, filling Mary Boone’s Fifth Avenue location and Callicoon Fine Arts’s downtown space with a series of mixed media pieces that continue a taste for colorful abstraction, formal evasiveness, and cartoonish figures, applied here towards the perception of and reflection on the presence of higher powers.  Viewing the catastrophes and power struggles of modern society through the lens of the divine, Benning has realized a series of images depicting various gods and value systems in her signature blocks of color, lending a loose style to already weighty subject matter.

Sadie Benning, Nature (2015), via Art Observed
Sadie Benning, Nature (2015), via Art Observed

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AO On Site, Marfa, TX – Robert Irwin: Debut of “Dawn to Dusk” Permanent Installation at Chinati Foundation

July 26th, 2016

Robert Irwin, Dawn to Dusk (2016), via Art Observed
Robert Irwin, Dawn to Dusk (2016), via Art Observed

For the past two decades, Robert Irwin’s installation in the Texas town of Marfa has been something of a distant possibility, a long-rumored project commissioned by the Chinati Foundation, and focused around the dilapidated grounds of the former Fort D.A. Russell hospital where the organization makes its home.  Now complete, the massive installation work, Irwin’s only permanent, free-standing composition, has transformed the space into a placid marker of time, a place where meticulous architectural geometries make masterful use of the West Texas sun and landscape in a prime example of Irwin’s unique sculptural vocabulary.

Robert Irwin, Dawn to Dusk (2016), via Art Observed
Robert Irwin, Dawn to Dusk (2016), via Art Observed

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London – Nairy Baghramian: “Scruff of the Neck” at Marian Goodman Through July 29th, 2016

July 25th, 2016

Nairy Baghramian, Scruff of the Neck 1, via Marian Goodman
Nairy Baghramian, Scruff of the Neck (LR 30/31/32), All images via Marian Goodman Gallery

Now on view, Marian Goodman Gallery in London is presenting Scruff of the Neck, a series of site-responsive sculptures by artist Nairy Baghramian.   This is Baghramian’s first major solo show in London since The Walker’s Day Off at the Serpentine Gallery in 2010, and continues the Berlin-based Iranian artist’s practice in creating formally inventive sculptures that operate in both physiological and mechanical dimensions, articulating and reflecting the artist’s interest in exploring the space of the body in a non-habitual way. Read More »

New York – Jason Moran: “STAGED” at Luhring Augustine Through July 29th, 2016

July 24th, 2016

Jason Moran, STAGED Savoy Ballroom 1 (2015), via Art Observed
Jason Moran, STAGED: Savoy Ballroom 1 (2015), via Art Observed

In STAGED, on view at Luhring Augustine, artist and musician Jason Moran explores the history of jazz in America, in connection with explorations of the relationship between music, language and communication.    The show, on view at the gallery’s Bushwick location through the end of next week, marks his first solo exhibition, where his work as a musician is complimented by artworks and installations that reflect and expand upon his profound knowledge of jazz and jazz history.

Jason Moran, Run 4 (2016), via Art Observed
Jason Moran, Run 4 (2016), via Art Observed

Moran is best known as the MacArthur-winning jazz pianist and artistic director for jazz at the Kennedy Center.  In recent years, however, he has worked with visual artists like Theaster Gates, Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker, Stan Douglas and Adam Pendleton to expand his repertoire beyond the concert hall.  In 2015, Moran debuted sculptures and a series of works on paper at the Venice Biennale, works that now constitute part of STAGED, an ongoing project.

Moran Run 4 Right Hand
Jason Moran, Run 4, Right Hand (2016), via Luhring Augustine

Negotiating the limits of historical and artistic investigation, the show examines the forces of performance and process that drive at the cultural and social history of jazz, the mingling of physical locations and the immense talents that graced their stages, in conversation across decades. Moran has created two installations based on historic New York City jazz venues that are no longer in existence: the Savoy Ballroom (opened in Harlem in 1926, now known as an emblem of the swing era), and the Three Deuces (a comparatively modest venue located in midtown prominent from the 1930s-1950s). These installations present a mix of both mythical imagining and historically accurate representation of these spaces, in which so much of jazz history took place. Moran’s installations recreate the stages of these institutions sourced from photographs taken at the height of their popularity.  Over the course of the viewer’s time in the show, the piano will strike up into song, or voices will echo out from the Savoy’s ceiling, entering into a ghostly dialogue that transcends easy readings of time and space.

Jason Moran, The Temple (For Terry Adkins) (2016), via Art Observed
Jason Moran, The Temple (For Terry Adkins) (2016), via Art Observed

Jason Moran, Basin Street Runs 1 and 2 (2016), via Art Observed
Jason Moran, Basin Street Runs 1 and 2 (2016), via Art Observed

Memory and material residue feature prominently in this exhibition. Works are created by making runs on the piano with charcoal-covered fingers, or smearing the hands across piano rolls, as if the practice of musicianship was slurred across easy boundaries or notation, much in the way that Jazz so often upended the logical structure of early 20th Century music.  The smudges and flourishes of these works seem distinctly musical, as if the performative energy of the piece had been captured, a record of musical engagement that is charged with its musicality despite its purely material dimensions.

Jason Moran, STAGED: Three Deuces (2015), via Art Observed
Jason Moran, STAGED: Three Deuces (2015), via Art Observed

In STAGED, Moran resurrects the material of musical history and negotiates the traces it leaves behind. This exhibition represents a stunning example of the productive and fascinating ways in which history, memory, art and research can intersect.  Though it resists classification under the heading of contemporary art, the sculptural and visual dimension of Moran’s STAGED are striking examples of how the immateriality of music and history can be captured on paper and in space.

— A. Corrigan

Related Links:
Exhibition Page [Luhring Augustine]

 

New York — “A Modest Proposal” at Hauser & Wirth Through July 29th, 2016

July 24th, 2016

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Untitled (2015) © the Artist Courtesy Hauser & Wirth
Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Untitled (2015) © the Artist Courtesy Hauser & Wirth

A Modest Proposal, Hauser & Wirth’s summer exhibition curated by staff members Madeline Warren and Yuta Nakajima, adopts its eloquent title from Jonathan Swift’s namesake essay from 1729.  Recognized for being one of the foremost satirists in English language, Swift vigorously mocked Ireland’s political climate at the time through his sharp wit in various forms of writing—perhaps most famously in the show’s namesake essay, where the writer suggests the poor profit off of their children by selling them as food to the wealthy. Read More »

New York: “People Who Work Here” at David Zwirner Through August 5th, 2016

July 22nd, 2016

Colin O'Con, Magma Arch (2015), via Art Observed
Colin O’Con, Magma Arch (2015), via Art Observed

In 2012, David Zwirner Gallery launched a novel concept for the summer group show.  Called People Who Work Here, the gallery opened its floors to its own employees, launching an exhibition of works that underscored the depth of talent of those working for the international mega-gallery.  Four years later, the gallery has picked up where the last exhibition left off, opening a new iteration of the show that welcomes over 35 artists to show their work at the gallery’s 19th Street location, just steps away from a massive new Jeff Koons sculpture in the gallery’s open garage exhibition space.  Curated by Marina Gluckman and Jaime Schwartz in gallery’s Research and Exhibitions department, the show takes a playful look at the gallery’s skilled employee based, and offers subtle historical parallels with its own selection of artists.

Joel Fennell, Still-life (after McCobb) (2016), via Art Observed
Joel Fennell, Still-life (after McCobb) (2016), via Art Observed

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