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


New York – Louise Bourgeois: “Suspension” at Cheim & Read through January 10th, 2015

December 21st, 2014

Louise Bourgeois, Arch of Hysteria (1993), all photos via Emily Heinz for Art Observed
Louise Bourgeois, Arch of Hysteria (1993), all photos via Emily Heinz for Art Observed

The first sight of the Louise Bourgeois Suspension exhibition at Cheim & Read must be the closest simulation available of watching artworks ascending to heaven. There is a sense that each of the pieces are being called upwards, as their weight hangs below them, pulling them back towards the ground. However, the works don’t fight this strange, heavenly magnetism, and in fact, seem to accept to their celestial trajectory.

“Hanging is an ambivalent gesture,” says Jerry Gorovoy, her assistant and close friend of thirty years, who was kind enough to expand upon her works on the opening night of the show.  “It’s as though they’ve given up.” It’s this sense of the works’ submission that makes the tension of their bold physical presence so palpable.

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Paris – Camille Henrot: “The Pale Fox“ at Betonsalon through December 20th, 2014

December 20th, 2014

CamilleHenrot-ThePaleFox-Betonsalon-SophieKitching-23
Camille Henrot, The Pale Fox (2014), all photos by Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

Camille Henrot’s The Pale Fox is an immersive journey through the artist’s conceptual creative process. Imagined as a multidimensional extension of the artist’s award-winning film Grosse Fatigue, 2013 (Silver Lion at the 55th Venice Biennale), this itinerant exhibition is currently presented at Bétonsalon – Centre for art and research in Paris.

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Camille Henrot, Baby (2014) and The Principles of Being (2014), via Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

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New York – R. H. Quaytman: “O Tópico, Chapter 27″ at Gladstone Gallery Through December 20th, 2014

December 20th, 2014

R. H. Quaytman, O Tópico, Chapter 27 (Installation View)
R. H. Quaytman, O Tópico, Chapter 27 (Installation View)

Currently on view at Gladstone Gallery’s 21st street location is O Tópico, Chapter 27, R. H. Quaytman’s latest chapter in her ambitious, ongoing project of cohesive, site-specific installations.  Quaytman started her serial painting project in 2001 with eighty paintings she made to be exhibited at the Queens Museum, and has now reached the 27th installment of the project, this one inspired by Inhotim, a botanical garden and art park located in the Brazilian region of Minas Gerais. Read More »

Giacometti Foundation Moves Forward After Years of Controversy

December 19th, 2014

Alberto Giacometti, via Art NewsOver the past year, Catherine Grenier, the former deputy director of the Musée national d’art moderne at the Centre Pompidou, has been streamlining the Giacometti Foundation, working to repair years of scandal and controversy over the artist’s legacy.  “I’m not interested in archaeology, in digging up the past,” she says. “I’m only interested in progress, in moving forward in a positive way.”  Read More »

LA Times Reviews Auction House Shake-Ups

December 19th, 2014

Steven Murphy, via LA TimesThe LA Times reviews the departure of both Christie’s and Sotheby’s CEO’s this year, and investigating the motivations behind each’s departure.  “I think it makes dramatic copy to characterize boardroom confrontations,” says William Ruprecht, the soon to depart Sotheby’s head.  “The fact is, the board and I have had extremely civilized conversations. Dan has been respectful to me and only respectful. It has been an orderly and thoughtful process.” Read More »

Frieze New York Announces Exhibitor List

December 19th, 2014

Frieze Art Fair, via New York MagazineFrieze New York has announced the details for the 2015 edition of the fair, with over 190 galleries from around the world set to return to Randall’s Island from from May 14 to 17, 2015.   Read More »

MoMA to Reunite Jacob Lawrence’s ‘Migration Series’

December 19th, 2014

Panel 22 form Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series, via Art NewspaperThe Museum of Modern Art has announced plans for an exhibition focusing on the African-American migration north during the early 20th Century, including a reunited Migration SeriesJacob Lawrence’s 60-panel drawing featuring scenes of the Great Migration.  “Lawrence was rectifying what it meant to be a young man in a segregated North with being part of a people that have just moved from slavery to freedom,” says radio host Terrance McKnight.  Read More »

Stolen Works Valued at $10 Million Recovered in Los Angeles

December 19th, 2014

Marc Chagall, Les Paysans (detail), via LA TimesNine works valued at $10 million, and stolen less than a decade ago have been recovered in Los Angeles, the LA Times reports.  The works, stolen from an Encino home in 2008, included Marc Chagall’s Les Paysans, and Diego Rivera’s Mexican Peasant.  Federal authorities arrested Raul Espinoza in connection with the theft.  Read More »

Leo Villareal’s ‘Bay Lights’ set for Permanent Installation in San Francsico

December 19th, 2014

Leo Villareal, The Bay Lights (2013) Courtesy of The Bay Lights; Photography Lucas SaugenBay Lights, the LED installation by Leo Villareal on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge is set to become a permanent installation, after nonprofit Illuminate the Arts announced that it had raised the $4 million needed to pay for new equipment and maintenance.  The work will be removed next year to treat bridge cables, but will likely be reinstalled by the time Super Bowl 50 takes place in the city in 2016. Read More »

New York – Sigmar Polke: “Photocopierarbeiten” at Fergus McCaffrey Through December 20th, 2014

December 19th, 2014

Sigmar Polke, Untitled (circa 2000), *All images are by Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed
Sigmar Polke, Untitled (circa 2000), All images are by Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed

Fergus McCaffrey is currently presenting Sigmar Polke: Photocopierarbeiten, the gallery’s third exhibition focusing on the late artist following 2006’s Sigmar Polke/Andy Warhol: Drawings and 2011’s Sigmar Polke. This year has been an  exceptional one in terms of the presentation of Polke’s legacy in New York, considering his recent exhibition Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963-2010, a major retrospective at the MoMa that later traveled to the UK and Germany, as well as a coinciding exhibition at Michael Werner Gallery focusing on the German pioneer’s early works on paper. Read More »

New York – Ahmed Alsoudani at Gladstone Gallery Through December 20th, 2014

December 18th, 2014

Ahmed Alsoudani, Untitled, (2014), All images are by Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed.
Ahmed Alsoudani, Untitled (2014), all images are by Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed

In his first exhibition at Gladstone Gallery, Iraqi artist Ahmed Alsoudani is delivering an eminently profound set of paintings, managing to remain current and relevant while at the same time tying strong references to pioneers of 20th century painting, a body of work that suggests a limitless array of interpretations. Read More »

Cézanne Masterwork Looks to Achieve $12 Million at Christie’s London Next Year

December 17th, 2014

Paul Cezanne, Vue sur L’Estaque et Le Château d’If, via Financial TimesA rare, vertical Cézanne landscape from the Cortauld collection is set to hit the auction block early next year at Christie’s in London, carrying a sale estimate of up to $12 million. “It’s quite rare to see Cézanne at auction and incredibly rare to have these major motif,” says Jay Vincze, head of Impressionist and Modern art at Christie’s London. Read More »

Berlin – “Sed Tantum Dic Verbo (Just Say The Word)” at Blain|Southern, through December 20th 2014

December 17th, 2014

Dash Snow, Untitled (2008), all images courtesy Blain|Southern Berlin
Dash Snow, Untitled (2008), all images courtesy Blain|Southern Berlin

On view at Blain|Southern Berlin is a group exhibition examining the use of text and poetics in art objects from the 1960s to the present day. Entitled Sed Tantum Dic Verbo (Just Say The Word), the exhibition was curated by American writer and editor Glenn O’Brien and will remain on view through December 20th.

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Venice’s Accademia Announces Expansion Plan

December 17th, 2014

The Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, via Art NewspaperThe Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice has announced an expansion plan that will double the institution’s exhibition space to 10,000 sq. meters by April of next year, just in time for the 2015 Biennale.  The project was made possible by a grant from Samsung and US non-profit Venetian Heritage, and marks “the conclusion of a project that has been close to our hearts for a long time, after a restoration that has lasted more than ten years,” says Giovanna Damiani, head of the Venetian museums authority. “We hope it is the beginning of a long collaboration.”  Read More »

Smithsonian’s Asian Art Collection to Go Online by End of Year

December 17th, 2014

Smithsonian photographer Neil Greentree working on the collection, via Art NewspaperMore than 40,000 works from the Smithsonian’s Asian Art Collection have been digitized, and will be placed online for public use by New Year’s Day.  “The depth of the data we’re releasing illuminates each object’s unique history, from its original creator to how it arrived at the Smithsonian,” Courtney O’Callaghan, the director of digital media and technology, says.  Read More »

New York – George Condo: “Double Heads / Black Paintings / Abstractions” at Skarstedt Gallery Through December 20th, 2014

December 17th, 2014

George Condo, Lost at Sea (2014), via Art Observed
George Condo, Lost at Sea (2014), via Art Observed

George Condo is currently presenting a new body of work, on view at Skarstedt Gallery‘s recently opened Chelsea exhibition space, titled Double Heads / Black Paintings / Abstractions.  Decamping to his studio in East Hampton, Long Island, this summer the artist has produced a series of paintings that marks a noted departure from his most recent exhibitions. Read More »

New York Times Reviews the Louvre’s Ambitious Renovations

December 16th, 2014

Jean Luc Martinez, via NYTThe New York Times looks at the nearly $67 million in upcoming renovations slated for the Louvre in Paris, and president Jean-Luc Martinez’s vision for a more visitor-centered experience.  “I lived in a suburb that was very modern, and everything was new,” Martinez tells the NYT. “And when I arrived here, everything was ancient. Imagine for a child, to see five centuries of art, some as old as two or three millenniums. In this space, I felt the depth of human history.” Read More »

Manifesta Eyes Palermo, Italy for 2018

December 16th, 2014

Palermo, via Art NewspaperThe Art Newspaper reports that the European art exhibition Manifesta is in the final stages of negotiations in securing the Italian city of Palermo as the location for its 2018 edition.  The exhibition will aim to look at “how artistic practices and interventions can play a role in improving the social cohesion of this remarkable city,” says Manifesta director Hedwig Fijen. Read More »

New York – “Freezer Burn” Organized by Rita Ackermann at Hauser and Wirth Through December 20th, 2014

December 16th, 2014

Bernadette Corporation, no kinda ho3 (2014), via Art Observed
Bernadette Corporation, no kinda ho3 (2014), via Art Observed

Painter Rita Ackermann takes the curatorial helm at Hauser and Wirth’s uptown gallery this month, presenting an exhibition of works that offers a fascinating, and notably specific study of recent art history.  The exhibition, titled Freezer Burn, focuses on a specific group of artists cresting in the early years of the 21st century, as well as affiliated artists from the past decade exploring the pervasive aesthetics of pop culture and political interference. Read More »

Connecticut Dealer Awaits Sentencing in Chagall Fraud Case

December 16th, 2014

David Crespo, via CT postDavid Crespo of the Connecticut-based Brandon Gallery is awaiting sentencing today over his conviction in the sale of imitation Marc Chagall lithographs, which the dealer reproduced and forged the signature on.  Crespo was apprehended after selling a fake print to an undercover FBI agent.   Read More »

New York – Kader Attia: “Show Your Injuries” at Lehmann Maupin Through December 14th, 2014

December 14th, 2014

Kader Attia, Asesinos! Asesinos! (2014)
Kader Attia, Asesinos! Asesinos! (2014), All images are the courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong. Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Currently on view at both Lehmann Maupin spaces in New York, on the  Lower East Side and in Chelsea, Kader Attia’s Show Your Injuries presents a striking first show for the artist with the gallery.  Born in the suburbs of Paris, and raised both in France and Algeria, Attia appoints his multicultural background as his source of inspiration, studying the consequences of his dual cultural identity, both as an advantage and as a challenge. Read More »

Madrid Gallery Robbed of over 70 Works in Overnight Heist

December 13th, 2014

Puerta de Alcala GalleryThieves in Madrid have broken into Puerta de Alcalá art gallery, stealing 70 paintings worth an estimated €600,000.  The thieves reportedly entered the gallery through a hole punched through the wall of an adjacent building.  “This has destroyed us. It’s left us in a really tough situation,” gallerist Pedro Márquez says. “Forty years of work and they just walked out with it.” Read More »

Maurizio Cattelan Tours the LA Art World, Reviews Jim Carrey’s Painting

December 13th, 2014

Maurizio Cattelan and Jim Carrey, via NY MagazineArtist Maurizio Cattelan is in New York Magazine this week, taking a tour of the Los Angeles art world, including studio visits with Frances Stark, reviews of the Pierre Huyghe LACMA show, and an afternoon spent with actor, comedian and long-time painter Jim Carrey.  “His energy is boundless, and he’s clearly having fun testing the boundaries of painting and sculpture,” Cattelan says. Read More »

A Look Inside the Trend Towards Data Mining in Large Museums

December 13th, 2014

Degenerate-Art-Exhibition-View-at-Neue-GalerieThe Wall Street Journal notes the growing trend for museums to collect visitors data as they pass through the museum, using the information in exhibition planning, marketing, and other strategies in running a successful institution, despite some criticism.  “It’s not as if people going out of museums say, ‘Jeez, I wish that museum knew a lot more about me, I would’ve had a lot better experience,’” says Marc Rotenberg, the law professor heading the Electronic Privacy Information Center.  “It’s being driven by the possibility of increased sales, advertising and better marketing.” Read More »