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

Sotheby’s Makes Bids for Christie’s Execs

February 12th, 2016

Pablo Picasso's La Carafe (Bouteille et verre) sells at Christie's, via Rae Wang for Art ObservedThe New York Times reports that Sotheby’s is quite eager to hire top talent from Christie’s, noting that the auction house has offered waive standing noncompete obligations for former employees in order to hire former executives from Christie’s.  The proposal centered around former Christie’s America head Marc Porter, whom Sotheby’s had recruited as chairman of its new Fine Arts Division.
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Katie Hollander Named New Director of Creative Time

February 12th, 2016

Katie Hollander, via NYTCreative Time has appointed Katie Hollander, longtime deputy head of the organization, to take over for Anne Pasternak as its director.  “The thing I’m most committed to,” Hollander syas, “is thinking about new platforms to help amplify artists’ voices.”
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New Yorker Looks Inside Hermann Göring’s Nazi Art Log

February 12th, 2016

Hitler and Göring, via New YorkerThe New Yorker looks inside the personal art log of Hermann Göring, which catalogs many of the actions in seizing Nazi war loot, and the collectors they were taken from.  “For many people, wartime looting is a rather abstract concept,” says archivist Isabelle Richefort. “Here we can see how it happened, day by day.”
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Rotterdam Museum Embracing Public Art Storage Strategy

February 11th, 2016

Rendering of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen's Public Art Depot, via Art NewspaperThe Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam is planning a public art storage service for itself, which will allow the museum to rent space to collectors for storing works, while making the pieces available for public viewing.  “For the museum, this concept kills many birds with one stone. It provides private funding for a public initiative, it allows it to share the costs of its collection management services, and it brings private collectors closer to the museum,” says collector Alain Servais, “which should encourage donations. Storage is becoming a serious problem for collectors, with no easy or reasonably priced solutions.”   
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Pace Gallery Sees Success with Selling to Silicon Vallery

February 11th, 2016

TeamLab, via WSJAn entry in Wall Street Journal’s technology blog notes the success Pace Gallery has had in selling works to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, often by telling them that the works are not available.   Its recent show of works by Japanese collective TeamLab, which had a series of works listed as “not for sale,” have already sold a selection of works for up to $450,000.
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UK Cinemas Screening Art Films Before Features Nationwide

February 11th, 2016

Gabriel Abrantes, via GuardianThe UK is initiating a project in which art films and experimental will run before films at mainstream movie theatres, often without the audience’s prior knowledge.  The project launched this week, headed by the Independent Cinema Office and Lux, and funded by Arts Council England.  “I’m excited to share the work with wider audiences. It’s a wonderful opportunity to, however briefly, stimulate a dialogue about cinematic devices—camera, edit, sound, narration—and to both celebrate and deconstruct the ways in which we engage with and depict wild spaces and subjects in film,” says Margaret Salmon, one of the selected artists.
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Bjarke Ingels Heads Group of Designers for Ambitious Serpentine Pavilion Projects

February 11th, 2016

Bjarke Ingels, via GuardianBjarke Ingels has been announced as the commissioned architect for the 2016 Serpentine Pavilion, but the star Danish architect is also joined by an additional four designers this year, each of whom will initiate a design in a different location around the Kensington Gardens lawns.  
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Knoedler Gallery Settles Lawsuit with De Sole Family

February 11th, 2016

Ann Freedman leaving court, via NYTFollowing Ann Freedman’s settlement with the De Sole family earlier this week, the Knoedler Gallery itself has also settled its case for $8.4 million, bringing the collector’s claims against the gallery and its team to a close.  “I think our clients are extremely satisfied by this settlement,” says Gregory Clarick, a lawyer for the De Soles. “And they are also satisfied to get the truth out and tell their story.”
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Cindy Sherman to Get Retrospective at Broad Museum

February 11th, 2016

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #92, via NYTThe Broad Museum has announced a major exhibition on Cindy Sherman, drawing heavily from the museum’s own collection of the artist’s works (Eli Broad was one of her early collectors).  The show is curated by Philipp Kaiser, formerly of LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art and a guest curator at Cologne’s Museum Ludwig.
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Grand Palais Planning a Two Year Renovation

February 11th, 2016

Grand Palais, via Art NewspaperThe Grand Palais will close for an ambitious two-year renovation project, the Art Newspaper reports, which will cost upwards of €393 million, and which will also enable the institution to more effectively manage multiple exhibitions and projects at the same time.  “Today, to use a gallery, you must choose a time when the nave is not taken up with an event. Most of the increase in turnover will come from the management of separate spaces, optimizing the occupancy rate,” says former Grand Palais head Jean-Paul Cluzel.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

London – Park Seo-Bo: “Ecriture (描法) 1967-1981″ at White Cube Through March 12th, 2016

February 12th, 2016

 

Park Seo-Bo, "Ecriture (描法) No. 15-76 ," 1976, photo courtesy White Cube (George Darrell)

Park Seo-Bo, Ecriture (描法) No. 15-76 (1976) photo courtesy White Cube (George Darrell)

Considered one of the leading figures in contemporary Korean art, White Cube’s Mason’s Yard is currently presenting the work of Park Seo-Bo in his first solo show in the UK.  Best known for his Ecriture series of paintings, which he began in the late 1960s, the artist’s work in the series has allowed for his body, mind and creative process to merge together to form works that fully breathe out into space and time.  This exhibition traces the origins of these works, featuring 16 paintings made between 1967–81. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – London: Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale, February 11th, 2016

February 11th, 2016

Peter Doig, The Architect's Home in the Ravine (1991), via Christie's
Peter Doig, The Architect’s Home in the Ravine (1991), via Christie’s

The first week of 2016’s Contemporary Art auctions concluded this evening, as Christie’s capped a solid sale of works that further disrupted any easy conclusions on a widely rumored market adjustment.  All in all, the sale saw a strong sell-through rate, as only 7 of the sale’s 61 lots did not find a buyer, bringing in a final tally of £58,099,000.  Buyers seemed particularly eager over the course of the night, clamoring for a sizable portion of the work on competitive bids and rapid back and forth between buyers and Jussi Pylkkanen (cheerfully referred to as “good-old-days” bidding by WSJ’s Kelly Crow), pushing the sale quickly through its procession of works. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – London: Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale, February 10th, 2016

February 10th, 2016

Lucian Freud, Pregnant Girl (1960-61), via Sotheby's
Lucian Freud, Pregnant Girl (1960-61), via Sotheby’s

The London Contemporary Auctions continued its mixed run this week, as Sotheby’s concludes this evening’s entry to mixed results.  The 59-lot sale saw 11 works go unsold,not to mention a number of high-profile withdrawn lots, bringing a final tally of £69,461,000, a figure that sat squarely within the auction house’s presale estimates.  Of particular note in the early moments of the sale was the withdrawal of the evening’s star Gerhard Richter lot, a move that left the auction house with a considerable gap in its initial estimates.  Even so, the auction room was practically buzzing as the sale got underway.

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AO Auction Recap – London: Phillips 20th Century and Contemporary Evening Sale, February 9th, 2016

February 10th, 2016

Piero Manzoni, Achrome (1958), via Phillips
Piero Manzoni, Achrome (1958), via Phillips

The week of Contemporary Sales is now underway in London, after Phillips concluded its first major auction of 2016, its “20th Century and Contemporary Art,” to uneven results this past evening, seeing 9 of 43 lots going unsold, and a final total of £24,590,500.  Sales were decidedly reluctant this evening, despite the sale’s strong sell through this evening.  Many works lingered at low estimate, or only achieved the low with the added premium and fees, a note that underscores realistic estimates set by Phillips, but perhaps a far less rabid buying market.

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New York – Catherine Opie: “Portraits and Landscapes” and “700 Nimes Road” at Lehmann Maupin Through February 20th, 2016

February 10th, 2016

 

Catherine Opie, Cecilia, 2013 © Catherine Opie. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

Catherine Opie, Cecilia, 2013 © Catherine Opie. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

Two discernible genres in photography, portrait and documentation determine Catherine Opie’s current dual-gallery exhibition at Lehmann Maupin in New York.  In her inaugural exhibition at the gallery, Opie comes in full throttle, presenting her well-regarded photo-portraits alongside a group of abstracted landscapes in Chelsea, as well as her documentation of the late Elizabeth Taylor’s L.A. mansion in the gallery’s Lower East Side location. Read More »

AO Auction Preview – London Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sales, February 9th – 11th, 2016

February 9th, 2016

Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (1990), via Sotheby's
Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (1990), via Sotheby’s

Taking up the second week of London’s early-year, marquee auctions, the Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sales are set to get underway this week with a trio of offerings that will again test the health and enthusiasm of the market in the face of what many have called a “cooling off.” Read More »

AO On-Site: Mexico City Art Week, February 3rd – 7th, 2016

February 8th, 2016

Jan Peter Hammer at Labor Gallery, via Art Observed
Jan Peter Hammer at Labor Gallery, all photos via Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

As Sunday drew to a close, another week of fairs, openings and events concluded in Mexico City, centered around the Zona Maco and Material Art Fairs in the sprawling metropolis. Read More »

New York – “Active Ingredient” at Lisa Cooley Through February 14th, 2016

February 8th, 2016

Borden Capalino, Say Mr. Sandman (2016)
Borden Capalino, Say Mr. Sandman (2016)

Greeting the visitors at the entrance to Lisa Cooley during Active Ingredient, a group exhibition curated by the gallery’s long time collaborator Alex Fleming, is Colette Lumiere’s Sleeping in a Glass Cabinet. Portraying the renowned artist, known for such sleeping performances from inside a glass vitrine during the 1970’s, this 1991 print vividly summarizes the content of the exhibition, delving into a material reinvigoration and transformation of works and their compositional elements through exposure to time and space. Read More »

New York – Jonathan Borosfky at Paula Cooper Gallery Through February 13th, 2016

February 7th, 2016

Jonathan Borofsky, Acrylic on Unprimed Canvas with Bubble Wrap and Duct Tape at 2,680,377, 1978-80
Jonathan Borofsky, Acrylic on Unprimed Canvas with Bubble Wrap and Duct Tape at 2,680,377 (1978-80), all images via Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed

A large scale exhibition of historic work by artist Jonathan Borofsky is currently on view at Paula Cooper Gallery.  Globally recognized for his large-scale, representational and industrious sculptures exploring and elaborating on the human condition in performative gestures, Borofsky’s work here exposes his cognition and subjective outlets.  Compiled of modest scale sculpture, painting and print, the selection promises a studious route to the more remote corners of the artist’s practice. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – London: Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist Sales, February 3rd, 2016

February 4th, 2016

Pablo Picasso, Tête de Femme (1935), via Sotheby's
Pablo Picasso, Tête de Femme (1935), via Sotheby’s

The first week of February’s auctions concluded last evening, following a difficult set of sales at Sotheby’s that saw tepid, occasionally concerning results, with 13 of the 37 Impressionist and Modern works going unsold, bringing a total of £78,308,000, while the auction house’s small but impressive selection of 16 Surrealist pieces saw 2 go unsold, bringing the modest sale a tally of £14,860,500. Read More »