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

Frieze London Announces Raphael Gygax as New Projects Curator

November 28th, 2015

Raphael Gygax, via FriezeFrieze London has announced Swiss curator Raphael Gygax as the new curator for its Projects section.  Gygax currently serves as Curator at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich. Read More »

Mexico City’s Material Art Fair Announces Exhibitor List

November 28th, 2015

Material Art Fair, via Art NewsThe exhibitor list for the 2016 edition of Material Art Fair has been announced, continuing its focus on young, experimental galleries while tripling in size this year.  “The layout is super important because it won’t replicate any other art fair,” says co-founder Daniela Elbahara.  “It will be quite different and a little bit like a labyrinth.” Read More »

Paul Allen’s Pivot Art Center Moving Away from Full-Time Programming

November 28th, 2015

Benedict Heywood, director of Pivot Art + Culture, via The StrangerBillionaire Paul Allen’s Pivot Art + Culture space in Seattle is closing this March, with plans to use the space only occasionally as a gallery, flying in the face of previous plans to turn the exhibition space into a broadly-focused year-round art center. Read More »

Nahmad Family Sued Over Modigliani Portrait Claimed as Nazi Loot

November 28th, 2015

Modigliani’s Seated Man With a Cane, 1918, via Art NewsThe Nahmad Family is currently facing a lawsuit from the estate of a Paris dealer claiming that the family owns a Modigliani work formerly seized by the Nazi’s from the collection of Oscar Stettiner.  The suit claims that the Nahmad’s are allegedly holding the painting through a shell company called the International Art Center.  “This is one large enterprise that is a scheme to move these things around, and they are all alter egos for one another,” says lawyer Joel M. Aurnou, who represents the estate. Read More »

Hauser Wirth and Schimmel to Open This March with Show of Female Sculptors

November 27th, 2015

Soon to open Hauser Wirth and Schimmel, via LA TimesHauser Wirth and Schimmel is set to open this March, featuring a show of female sculptors, the LA Times reports, including Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, Yayoi Kusama, and others.  The show is inspired by gallery founder Ursula Hauser.  “I come from the museum world, where it’s always best to start with what’s in a collection, with the history of an institution and build out from there,” Schimmel says. “This came from a real personal recognition that these are artists who [Ursula] deeply related to, but were under-appreciated.” Read More »

Artist Sonia Boyce Creating Record of Black Artists Held in UK Public Collections

November 27th, 2015

Sonia Boyce, via Art NewspaperBritish artist Sonia Boyce is creating a database of artworks by black artists held in public UK collections, seeking to create a comprehensive record of their presence across the nation’s museums and galleries.  “It’s a big job; no one has done this before,” Boyce says. “One of the problems for anyone trying to do research in this area is that the information is there, but it’s hidden. This project will leave a trail for future scholars.” Read More »

Tehran Museum to Host Historic Show of Work by Wim Delvoye

November 27th, 2015

Wim Delvoye, via ArtforumThe Tehran Museum has announced a historically significant exhibition of the work of Wim Delvoye, the first time the museum has used its entire space, comprising nine galleries and outdoor space, for a show focusing on a non-Iranian artist.  “They are very professional; they are easier to work with than the Louvre,” the Belgian artist said of the museum. Read More »

NYT Looks at Models of Quantum Physics and Space as Translated Through Contemporary Art

November 27th, 2015

Matthew Ritchie, via NYTThe New York Times notes an increased interest in artists over recent years in concerns of space, perception and dimensionality, drawing lines between the study of quantum physics, spatial politics, and work by artists like Rachel Whiteread and Matthew Ritchie.  “The formulation of the laws of perspective in the 14th century gave artists permission to see everything in a new way,” Ritchie says. “Now your sky isn’t flat. You’ve got a proper sky with depth, and now your angels can get up to some real mischief.” Read More »

Tate Appoints New Curators to International Art Department

November 27th, 2015

Clara Kim, via Art NewsThe Tate Modern has appointed two new curators, Clara Kim and Nancy Ireson.  Kim takes on the role of Daskalopoulos Senior Curator in International Art (Africa, Asia, and Middle East), with Ireson apointed as a curator of international art. Read More »

Met Contmporary and Modern Head Sheena Wagstaff Profiled in NYT

November 27th, 2015

Sheena Wagstaff, via NYTThe New York Times profiles Sheena WagstaffThe Met’s new head of Modern and Contemporary Art and former Tate Modern Chief Curator, in her mission to transform the museum’s offerings for more recent work, focused around its new exhibition space at the Breuer Building, former home to the Whitney.  “My work at the Tate Modern, along with my colleagues, too, was very much about re-addressing the Western canon, re-addressing the idea of what modernism actually means, and broadening and expanding that scope,” she says. Read More »

Mesler and Feuer Consolidating Spaces Downtown

November 27th, 2015

319 grand, via Art NewsThe dual galleries Feuer/Mesler and Mesler/Feuer are consolidating their exhibition spaces downtown, moving all operations to their Chinatown space at 319 Grand Street.  “It’s a really great time for the gallery,” Joel Mesler says.  “We have the possibility in the next few months to make a thoughtful expansion. The Lower East Side has changed so much, and we actually prefer that location.” Read More »

Paris’s Museums See Drops in Attendance Followign Attacks

November 27th, 2015

French Military outside the Louvre, via ArtforumA number of Parisian cultural institutions are reporting sizable drops in attendance following the attacks in the French capital this month.  The Louvre has reported a 30% decrease in attendance, and the Centre Pompidou has seen a 50% drop.  “1000 visitors per day versus the 2000 per day that had been coming to see the current Wifredo Lam exhibition,” says Benoît Parayre, director of communication. Read More »

UK Survey Finds Overwhelming Middle Class Presence in Art Field

November 27th, 2015

Miranda Hart with actor Eddie Redmayne, via GuardianA recent UK survey has found that the arts are widely dominated by those with a middle-class upbringing, due mainly to the precariousness of early years in the field (often requiring free labor among other financial sacrifices) that lower class artists are less likely to be able to take.  “What’s most alarming is how things are going to get harder for young people in the arts who haven’t got family support, because of how much more precarious the situation is looking like it will become,” says Hadrian Garrard, the director of Create, an organization which conducted the survey in conjunction with Goldsmiths. “The scale of people who have worked for free or are working without a contract is pretty scary. And given how much more expensive it is to live in London, it is more and more likely that people without money will just not be able to follow careers in the arts.” Read More »

Robert Irwin Installing Major Commission at Hirshhorn

November 27th, 2015

Robert Irwin, via Art NewspaperRobert Irwin has been commissioned for a full-room installation at the Hirshhorn, bringing more than 100ft of scrim to respond to the museum’s uniquely circular architecture.  “The 1960s is a crucial decade in the history of contemporary art, and Irwin’s investigations into the ways our perceptual processes are shaped and framed were at the forefront of the developments unfolding then,” says Evelyn Hankins, the Hirshhorn curator in charge of the exhibition. Read More »

Detroit Institute of Arts Scrambling for Major Endowment Drive

November 24th, 2015

Detroit Institute of Arts, via Detroit Free PressFollowing the Detroit Institute of Art’s preservation of its collection as part of the city’s “Grand Bargain” to leave bankruptcy, the museum is facing the challenge of building up a $400 million endowment by the time tax funding expires in seven years.  “Now that we can tell the story about the role we played, along with foundations and the state, in creating and successfully bringing the grand bargain to fruition, that’s an impactful message to take to prospective donors,” says DIA Board Chairman Gene Gargaro. Read More »

Palestinian Artist Sentenced to Death in Saudi Arabia

November 24th, 2015

Chris Dercon and artist Ashram Fayadh, via ArtforumPalestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh has been sentenced to death by the Saudi Arabian government, following the artist’s abandonment of Islam, and his outspoken stance against the national government.  “We condemn these acts of intimidation targeting Ashraf Fayadh as part of a wider campaign inciting hate against writers and using Islam to justify oppression and to crush free speech,” an online petition pushing for his release. Read More »

National Gallery Threatened Over Ownership of Matisse Painting

November 24th, 2015

Matisse's Portrait of Greta Moll, via The GuardianHenri Matisse’s Portrait of Greta Moll is the subject of a lawsuit in the UK, after the sitter’s descendants threatened to file a lawsuit over ownership of the work against the National Gallery.  Moll’s heirs claim that the work was sold from her collection without permission, but the museum states it has no obligation to return it even if these allegations were true.  “If it is true that the painting was stolen in 1947, then the family did suffer an injustice, but not at the hands of the National Gallery, who bought the painting in good faith over 30 years later,” a National Gallery spokesman said. Read More »

Art Market Monitor Traces Cooling Trend for Warhol Prices

November 24th, 2015

Andy Warhol, Silver Liz (Diptych) (1963-1965), via Art ObservedArt Market Monitor takes a look at what it calls a cooling market for Andy Warhol works, noting the trends of expansion and contraction of the artist’s median price over the past decade and a half.  “The Warhol market, and by extension the Contemporary art market, has moved far and fast in a short period,” the article reads.  “Taking time to consolidate would not be a bad thing for art or the art market.” Read More »

Urs Fischer and Tara Subkoff Interviewed in New York Magazine

November 24th, 2015

Tara Subkoff and Urs Fischer, via New York MagazineUrs Fischer and Tara Subkoff are profiled in New York Magazine this week, as the couple reflect on Subkoff’s new film #Horror, which premiered this week in New York, and documents the fraught emotional relations of young children.  “One of the things I love about the movie is its harshness — the harshness of the girls against the other girls, the harshness and brutality, which is not a male brutality,” Fischer says. “The movie reminds me a little of Stand by Me — as a romanticized girl version. Basically, I see your movie as the contemporary-girl version of Stand by Me.Read More »

Gary Hume Parts Ways with White Cube

November 24th, 2015

Gary Hume, via Art NewspaperArtist Gary Hume is parting ways with White Cube Gallery, the Art Newspaper reports, partially due to the artist’s increasingly limited time spent in the UK.  As [he] is spending more time working in the US, by mutual agreement, he will no longer be represented by [us],” says a White Cube spokeswoman, who referred to the relationship between Hume and White Cube as “close and extremely positive.” Read More »

Verona Museum Victim of $16 Million Art Theft

November 24th, 2015

Castelvecchio, via NYTVerona’s Castelvecchio is the victim of a $16 million art heist, after four men entered the museum this past Thursday, making off with a series of works including pieces by Rubens, and five pieces by Jacopo Tintoretto.  Italy’s art theft police task force is leading the investigation. Read More »

Indian Artist Detained, Released After Controversial Installation

November 24th, 2015

Bovine Devine, via BBCAn Indian artist was briefly detained this week in Jaipur, after unveiling a work depicting a cow hanging suspended in mid-air, a work that some Hindu viewers found offensive.  The local police chief who ordered the detainment has been “removed and I have spoken to the artist personally,” Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje says. Read More »

Lucian Freud Estate Donates Archive of Drawings, Letters to British Nation

November 23rd, 2015

Lucian Freud Drawing, via Art DailyLucian Freud’s sketchbooks, drawings and letters have been acquired by the UK from the estate of Lucian Freud, allowing the artist’s estate to sidestep its tax bill as part of the country’s Acceptance in Lieu Scheme.  “This rare collection of Lucian Freud drawings and letters provides a fascinating glimpse into the work of one of our most pioneering artists,” Culture Minister Ed Vaizey says.  “Bringing these never seen before treasures into public collections means that everyone can enjoy and see the early beginnings that shaped his most celebrated work.” Read More »

VR App Launches with 3-D Recreation of Cortauld Gallery

November 23rd, 2015

A VR Cortauld Gallery, via TechCrunchThe powerful new WoofbertVR app, used to digitally simulate immersive 3-D environments, has launched with a look into a room at the Cortauld Gallery, where the user can view works by Renoir, Gauguin, and Monet.  “What museums are excited about — among other things — is access,” says co-founder and chief executive, Robert Hamwee. “Pretty soon a kid with the smart phone in India can visit the Louvre.” Read More »

New York – Jennifer Bornstein “New Rubbing and Psychological and Performance Tests”at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise – Through December 6, 2015

November 29th, 2015

Jennifer Bornstein, Left Hiking Boot (2015), via Rae Wang for Art Observed
Jennifer Bornstein, Left Hiking Boot (2015), via Rae Wang for Art Observed

Jennifer Bornstein’s work has consistently dealt with the notion of obsolescence. This month, at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, the artist continues this pseudo-forensic body of work, that records the legacy of her father, a scientist specializing in collagen research.  Through her most recent body of work, Bornstein turns her father into the subject of study, evoking his presence and his work through a mixed-media installation of works on paper, plaster sculptures and film projection.

Jennifer Bornstein, Extension Cord (2015), via Rae Wang for Art Observed
Jennifer Bornstein, Extension Cord (2015), via Rae Wang for Art Observed

Read More »

Brussels – Huma Bhabha: “Wages of Fear” at Clearing Brussels Through December 5, 2015

November 27th, 2015

Huma Bhabha, Untitled (2015) photo courtesy Clearing Brussels
Huma Bhabha, Untitled (2015), all photos courtesy Clearing Brussels

New York-based artist Huma Bhabha is holding an exhibition of new work at Clearing Brussels, continuing her focus on found materials and their negotiations with the experiences and memories  of the cultural and historical past.  This series, including works on paper, photo-collage, and sculpture, references modern human construction from urban landscapes to utopian architecture to figure-based monuments. The artist’s work explores the different environmental relationships that have occurred over time and continue to linger in contemporary society, occasionally indicating a certain fusion of divergent materials that have been produced in Bhabha’s studio as the artist studies a more intimate understanding of modern debris. Read More »

New York – Martin Puryear: “Multiple Dimensions” at The Morgan Library & Museum Through January 10th, 2015

November 26th, 2015

Martin Puryear, Face Down (2008)
Martin Puryear, Face Down (2008)

The Morgan Library & Museum is hosting Multiple Dimensions, an exhibition featuring seventy drawings Martin Puryear has produced over the course of his decades spanning career, accompanied by a selection of medium size sculptural work.  Set to travel to the Art Institute of Chicago and later to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the exhibition sheds light on another thread in the artist’s grandiose practice as he prepares for his upcoming Madison Square Park Commission in 2016. Read More »

New York – “2015:1947″ at Equity Gallery through November 28th, 2015

November 23rd, 2015

2015:1947 (Installation View), all photos via Equity Gallery
2015:1947 (Installation View), all photos via Equity Gallery

Founded in 1947 by a group of over 160 prominent American artists, among them Thomas Hart Benton, Philip Guston, Edward Hopper, Louise Nevelson and Jacob Lawrence, Artists Equity was formed to advocate for artists’ rights and provide collective resources for economic, legal and health benefits. Following WWII and the end of the WPA Federal Art Projects, amid a political climate growing more conservative and reactionary, artist Yasuo Kuniyoshi began to discuss with other American artists, primarily in New York and Woodstock, the idea of a collective advocacy organization. Read More »

Oscar Murillo: “Lucky Dip” at the Alexander Hamilton Custom House,

November 22nd, 2015

Oscar Murillo, Lucky Dip (2015), via Rae Wang for Art Observed
Oscar Murillo, Lucky Dip (2015), via Rae Wang for Art Observed

Continuing his process of intricate, labor-intensive installations and performances, Oscar Murillo has set up shop at the Alexander Hamilton Custom House on Bowling Green, bringing his new work, Lucky Dip.  The performance, which places a series of laborers at the service of his own aesthetic and political interests, sees the artist reprising his interests in national identity, globalized labor and their exchange with the world of contemporary art. Read More »

Greenwich – Dash Snow: “Freeze Means Run” at The Brant Foundation Art Study Center Through March 2016

November 21st, 2015

Brant Foundation
Brant Foundation

Dash Snow’s work came of age during the dark years following 9/11 in New York City, a time when paranoia, violence and empire had written themselves large against the American consciousness.  Turning this dark, visceral atmosphere back outwards in his body of sculptures, installations, photographs and other works, Snow’s pieces demanded attention as much as his behavior did, part of a downtown ensemble of artists including Dan Colen, Ryan McGinley, Nate Lowman, Hanna Liden, and others, each of whom brought their own take on urban grit and anarchic living to their work. Read More »

New York – Juliana Huxtable: “There Are Certain Facts that Cannot Be Disputed” at MoMA for Performa 15, November 14th, 2015

November 20th, 2015

Juliana Huxtable, There Are Certain Facts that Cannot Be Disputed (2015), via Rae Wang for Art Observed
Juliana Huxtable, There Are Certain Facts that Cannot Be Disputed (2015), all photos via Rae Wang for Art Observed

Last Friday, MoMA played home to artist Juliana Huxtable’s There Are Certain Facts that Cannot Be Disputed, one of the marquee performance works commissioned this year for the Performa 15 biennial.  The sold-out set of performances, set in the museum theatre, featured a slew of the transgender writer, artist, DJ and promoter’s (whose recurring event ShockValue played home to the performance afterparty) compatriots and collaborators, winding its way through notions of parallel histories, white-washed narratives, and the ubiquity of digital technologies, all turned through the artist’s unique poetic and aesthetic inclinations. Read More »

New York – Jesper Just and FOS “in the shadow/ of a spectacle/ is the view of the crowd” at 225 Liberty Street for Performa 15, November 13th, 2015

November 19th, 2015

Jesper Just and FOS, in the shadow/ of a spectacle/ is the view of the crowd (Installation View), via Rae Wang for Art Observed
Jesper Just and FOS, in the shadow/ of a spectacle/ is the view of the crowd (Installation View), all photos via Rae Wang for Art Observed

Part of this year’s Performa proceedings, attendees at Danish artist Jesper Just’s performance In the shadow/ of a spectacle/ is the view of the crowd, found themselves suddenly guided up to the 43rd floor of a towering Financial District skyscraper, the downtown home of Time, Inc. on Liberty Street.  There, in an empty office floor, abstracted from the usual goings-on in the city’s bustling hub of banking and investment, a series of works presented themselves, continuing the artist’s investigations of structure and function, related to the movements of the modern urban context.

Jesper Just and FOS, in the shadow/ of a spectacle/ is the view of the crowd (Installation View)
Jesper Just and FOS, in the shadow/ of a spectacle/ is the view of the crowd (Installation View) Read More »

Berlin – Ed Ruscha: “Metro Mattresses” at Sprüth-Magers Through January 16th, 2016

November 18th, 2015

Ed Ruscha, Metro Mattress #4 (2015), via Sprüth Magers Berlin
Ed Ruscha, Metro Mattress #4 (2015), via Sprüth Magers Berlin

Currently on view at Sprüth-Magers in Berlin, artist Ed Ruscha is exhibiting a body of new color drawings, under the title Metro Mattresses, an exhibition that takes the cast-off mattresses of his native Los Angeles as an inspirational ground for an exploration of intertwined physical and imagined narratives, objective and subjective experiences of the urban environment. Read More »

London – Gerhard Richter: “Color Charts” at Dominique Lévy Through January 16th, 2015

November 17th, 2015

Gerhard Richter, 180 Farben (180 Colours) (1971) Photo: David Brandt
Gerhard Richter, 180 Farben (180 Colours) (1971) Photo: David Brandt, all photos © Gerhard Richter

The relentlessly inventive Gerhard Richter is the subject of a meticulously crafted exhibition at Dominique Lévy in London this month, shedding light on a less recognized body of work from the early years of his decades long career.  Dating back as far as 1966, Richter’s works in the Color Charts series promise a unique and disparate offering, juxtaposed with his eminent and contemporaneous Photo Paintings, which brought the German artist massive global recognition.   This selection, compiled from a number of different collections globally, reunites a handful of earlier examples from the Color Charts  series for first time since they debuted at Munich’s Galerie Friedrich & Dahlem in 1966. Read More »

New York – Camille Henrot at Metro Pictures Through December 12th, 2015

November 16th, 2015

Camille Henrot (Installation Pictures), via Art Observed
Camille Henrot (Installation Pictures), via Art Observed

Camille Henrot’s first solo show with Metro Pictures is something of a story in three parts, bringing the artist’s loosely flowing, cartoonish drawings to bear against her interests in environmental installation, digital artifacts and an interest in the modes and experiences of banality to bear across a broad selection of pieces. The artist’s work, presented here, offers a considered, meandering pathway through the iconography and subtle psychologies of modern life. Read More »

London – “Childish Things” at Skarstedt Gallery Through November 21st, 2015

November 15th, 2015

Robert Gober, Untitled (1997)
Robert Gober, Untitled (1997), all photos via Andrea Nguyen for Art Observed

Taking the fraught emotional landscape of early childhood as its central focus, Skarstedt Gallery’s London location is currently presenting a subdued but emotionally poignant group show, exploring the use and manipulation of the objects, scenarios and symbolism of youth as a productive force for a group of the gallery’s artist.  Exhibiting work from Robert Gober, the late Mike Kelley and Vija Celmins, the stripped-down exhibition carries an impressive punch. Read More »

New York – Rineke Dijkstra: “The Gymschool, St. Petersburg” at Marian Goodman Gallery Through December 19th, 2015

November 14th, 2015

Rineke Dijkstra, The Gymschool, St. Petersburg, 2014
Rineke Dijkstra, The Gymschool, St. Petersburg (2014)

Rineke Dijkstra’s new three channel video, The Gymschool, St. Petersburg, is currently on view at Marian Goodman Gallery. Originally commissioned for Manifesta in 2014, this 15-minute video was shot at an acclaimed gymnastic school in St. Petersburg, Russia, utilizing the minimal, pale atmosphere of the rehearsal studio.  Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Sotheby’s Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale, November 11th, 2015

November 11th, 2015

Cy Twombly, Untitled (New York City) (1968), via Sotheby's
Cy Twombly, Untitled (New York City) (1968), via Sotheby’s

Tonight Sotheby’s has logged its response to Christie’s moderate outing last evening, as the auction house’s Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale saw steady, albeit occasionally slow proceedings, bringing a final sales tally of $294,850,000 with 13 of the 57 lots offered going unsold. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale, November 10th, 2015

November 11th, 2015

Louise Bourgeois, Spider (1997), Art Observed
Louise Bourgeois, Spider (1997), via Rae Wang for Art Observed

Christie’s continued its impressive run of record-setting sales last night, with a steady, competitive sale tonight that ultimately brought a final tally of $331,809,000, with 13 of the 70 lots offered passing (barring several withdrawn, high-priced lots).  Read More »