Global contemporary art events and news observed from New York City. Suggestion? Email us.
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Whitney to Open January 20th on “Pay-What-You-Wish” Basis

January 17th, 2017

Outside the New Whitney Museum, via Art ObservedThe Whitney has announced today that it will open on January 20th on a “pay-what-you-wish” basis, turning the space into a site for dialogues on the current state of America and American politics through a speak-out organized by arts collective Occupy Museums, and open discussions.  
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Maria Balshaw’s Tate Directorship Approved by Prime Minister

January 17th, 2017

maria-balshaw-via-the-guardianMaria Balshaw’s appointment as Tate Director has been confirmed by the Prime Minister, putting her in a leadership position for the British art world.  “I am honored to be asked by the trustees of Tate to become the new director,” Balshaw said.  “Under Nicholas Serota’s leadership, Tate has changed forever how we all think about art and artists and has made visual art a central part of a vibrant cultural life in the UK. I am tremendously excited to be leading Tate in the next chapter of its life. I look forward to developing Tate’s reputation as the most artistically adventurous and culturally inclusive gallery in the world.”
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Artist Pyotr Pavlensky Flees Russian After Sexual Assault Allegations

January 17th, 2017

Pyotr Pavlensky, via Art NewspaperRussian protest artist Pyotr Pavlensky has fled Russia following accusations of sexual assault that the artist deemed a “denunciation,” pointing to his recent works, including setting the doors of the FSB security service headquarters on fire, as cause for the accusations.  “A system of informing and reporting on others is re-emerging in Russia, showing that totalitarianism is setting in again,” he said.
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Christie’s Announces Rauschenberg and Rothko Top Lots for London Sales Next Month

January 17th, 2017

Robert Rauschenberg's Transom, via Art NewspaperChristie’s has announced its selections for its February Contemporary Evening Sale in London, leading its offering with Mark Rothko’s No.1 and Robert Rauschenberg’s Transom.  “We saw quite a strong growth of American and Asian bidding in the London sales in October last year, which was partly to do with the fall of the value of the pound after Brexit,” says Francis Outred, Christie’s chairman of Post-war and contemporary art Europe.
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Indonesia to Open Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in November

January 17th, 2017

Museum MACAN, via Art InfoIndonesia is set to open The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara, the first contemporary art institution in the country, in Jakarta this November.  The opening will be anticipated by a series of pop-up events called “First Sight.”  “MACAN First Sight will highlight the creativity of Indonesian artists and their international counterparts, and give our audiences an early taste of all that’s to come once the museum officially opens in November 2017,” says Director Aaron Seeto.
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Munch’s “Girls on the Bridge” to Show in New Potsdam Private Museum

January 17th, 2017

Edvard Munch, Girls on the Bridge (1902), via Art ObservedEdvard Munch’s Girls on the Bridge, which sold for for $54 million this past year at Sotheby’s, will be the central work at a new private museum in Potsdam, Germany.  Software billionaire Hasso Plattner, who is funding the museum, is also the rumored buyer of the work.  “No one has ever painted water, or captured moisture in the air, or the smell of the sea and gleams of light like the Impressionists,” Plattner says. 
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Guardian Examines Future for Britain’s Art Community in Wake of Brexit Speech

January 17th, 2017

frieze-london-via-art-newsIn the wake of Theresa May’s proclamations on a hard Brexit this week, The Guardian examines the prospects for London’s art scene, which many felt would benefit from continued free movement of goods and people.  “The most unexpectedly potent factor in revitalizing Britain’s art market may, however, be the fall in the pound’s value since the Brexit vote, which means London’s galleries can offer bargains to international art collectors,” Jonathan Jones writes.


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Dealers Suing Getty for $77 Million Over Sale of Roman Sculpture That Never Happened

January 17th, 2017

Getty Museum, via museum siteA group of dealers are suing the Getty Museum for $77 Million over the transfer of ownership for a series of sculptures from the Torlonia family to the Italian government, which the dealers say were brokered using years of their research and labor.  “Plaintiffs cannot plausibly demand payment for a deal that never occurred,” the Getty said in a statement. “While we believe that the complaint should be dismissed, if necessary we will vigorously defend our position.”
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Centre Pompidou Prepares for Two Year, €100m Renovatoin

January 16th, 2017

Centre PompidouThe Centre Pompidou joins the list of Parisian institutions embarking on major facelifts, as it prepares for a two year renovation totaling over €100m.  “It will be a sort of construction game, but our aim is to stay open,” says Serge Lasvignes, president of the Pompidou Centre. “That is the objective.”

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French Prosecutors Appeal Wildenstein Acquittal

January 16th, 2017

FILE PHOTO International art dealer Guy Wildenstein arrives for his trial at Paris courtThe French financial prosecutor’s office has initiated an appeal in the tax evasion case against Guy Wildenstein“The case had shown a clear intention to evade paying tax” despite its dismissal, the appeal reads.

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REFERENCE LIBRARY

New York – Michelle Grabner at James Cohan Through January 28th, 2017

January 17th, 2017

Michelle Grabner, Untitled (2016), via Art Observed
Michelle Grabner, Untitled (2016), via Art Observed

Artist Michelle Grabner has work on view at James Cohan Gallery in Chelsea this month, continuing the artist’s explorations of intersections between physical and social contexts for her chosen materials, and the resulting conversations between the contexts of fine art and the artist’s own life and practice. Read More »

London – John Currin at Sadie Coles HQ Through January 21st, 2017

January 16th, 2017

John Currin, Newspaper Couple (2016), via Sadie Coles
John Currin, Newspaper Couple (2016), via Sadie Coles

Artist John Currin returns to the traditional forms of the marriage portrait for a new exhibition this month at Sadie Coles’s Davies Street exhibition space, bringing his uniquely vivd painterly techniques and often wry sense of humor to bear on a series of five new canvases.  Drawing on Currin’s long study of historical forms and context, the show continues the artist’s simultaneous study and subversion of the act of portraiture. Read More »

New York – Wade Guyton: “The New York Times Paintings: November – December 2015″ at Petzel Gallery Through January 14th, 2017

January 15th, 2017

Wade Guyton, Untitled (2015), via Petzel
Wade Guyton, Untitled (2015), via Petzel

Marking an expansion and elaboration of his ongoing engagement with the materiality and phenomenology of digital media formats, Wade Guyton is presenting a series of inkjet printer-based works from late last year at Petzel Gallery this month.  Comprised of scanned and reprinted pages from the New York Times, Guyton’s body of new works reflects on both the commodity value and disposability of both images and their technologies in the modern landscape.   Read More »

New York — “Warhol, Wool, Guyton” at Nahmad Contemporary Through January 14th, 2017

January 12th, 2017

Andy Warhol, Knives (1981-82)
Andy Warhol, Knives (1981-82), All images are by Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed

Nahmad Contemporary is currently presenting an impressive three-person exhibition at its Madison Ave exhibition space, contextualizing the work of both Christopher Wool and Wade Guyton through the artistic lens of Andy Warhol, making the latter artist’s impact all the more apparent in the work of the former two.  Combining the appropriation of existing imagery and the borrowed aesthetics of mainstream commercial imagery with a certain sense of spare visual arrangement, the show is a striking visual tour de force, connecting diverse focal points and concepts over a shared sense of composition and technique, especially in the sense of the gallery space as a transformational context. Read More »

Berlin – Robert Morris: “Refractions” at Sprüth Magers Through January 14th, 2017

January 11th, 2017

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Robert Morris, Untitled (Williams Mirrors) (1976-77), all photos via Anna Corrigan for Art Observed

Now through January 14, Sprüth Magers in Berlin is hosting a historical exhibition of works by Robert Morris, exploring a series of six works developed over the course of the artist’s career, and often drawing on the use of mirrors and reflective surfaces to expand the viewer’s perception of space.  Pulling from some of the earliest works in Morris’s conceptual practice up to a work completed in 2014, Refractions traces Morris’s engagement with movement, space and the body, often in relation to the gallery space itself.

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Paris – Gordon Matta-Clark at Marian Goodman Gallery Through January 19th, 2017

January 9th, 2017

Gordon Matta-Clark, Conical Intersect (1975), via Marian Goodman
Gordon Matta-Clark, Conical Intersect (1975), via Marian Goodman

Reflecting on the far-reaching impact of artist Gordon Matta-Clark’s career, Marian Goodman Gallery has opened an exhibition of works by the American artist, combining collages, drawings, video and other works that trace the artist’s enigmatic explorations of space and use, and the artist’s place as a negotiator between these states of stillness and movement.

Gordon Matta-Clark, Cut Drawing (1974), via Marian Goodman
Gordon Matta-Clark, Cut Drawing (1974), via Marian Goodman

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New York – Andrew Kuo: “No to Self” at Marlborough Chelsea Through January 14th, 2017

January 8th, 2017

Andrew Kuo, 100% (9:25:2016) (2016), via Art Observed
Andrew Kuo, 100% (9/25/2016) (2016), via Art Observed

Andrew Kuo’s work functions at an intersection of the cognitive and formal.  His paintings, jagged and winding swirls of color executed in meticulously arranged grids, draw on histories of formally precise, minimalist painting from across the 20th century.  Yet at the same time, his work twists these forms through a framework of subjectivity, using corresponding texts at the bottom of his paintings to turn them into charts and datasets of sorts.  The amount of time dwelling on various subjects, personal details or grand metaphysical questions are implied through his works, often tinged with a wry sense of humor.

Andrew Kuo, TRIP (7/15/2016) (2016), via Art Observed
Andrew Kuo, TRIP (7/15/2016) (2016), via Art Observed

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New York — Julian Rosefeldt: “Manifesto” at Park Avenue Armory Through January 8th, 2017

January 6th, 2017

Julian Rosefeldt, Manifesto (2015) © Julian Rosefeldt and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Julian Rosefeldt, Manifesto (2015) © Julian Rosefeldt and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Following its Australian and German debuts throughout 2016, Manifesto, German artist Julian Rosefeldt’s highly anticipated multi-channel video installation starring Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett, comes to Park Avenue Armory’s cavernous Drill Hall.  Projected on soaring screens dispersed around the empty space, Rosefeldt’s tour-de-force recites a range of influential manifestos from the history of art and philosophy through an impressively diverse range brought to life by Blanchett’s virtuosic and versatile acting ability.

Manifesto at Park Avenue Armory Photo by James Ewing
Manifesto at Park Avenue Armory Photo by James Ewing Read More »

New York – Rita Ackermann: “Kline Rape” at Hauser & Wirth Through January 14th, 2017

January 4th, 2017

rita-ackermann-kline-nurses-2015-via-art-observed
Rita Ackermann, Kline Nurses (2015), via Art Observed

Taking over Hauser & Wirth’s temporary exhibition space at 548 West 22nd Street, Rita Ackermann is currently presenting a broad range of new works drawing on her ongoing investigations into the modes and structures of mainstream painting.  A relentless experimenter with the conception, construction, and presentation of the painted canvas, Ackermann’s work here spans a range of varied approaches that further her dual interrogations of the material bounds of the painting, and the gestural or technical conceits used in its realization.

Rita Ackermann, Kline Rape III (2016), via Art Observed
Rita Ackermann, Kline Rape III (2016), via Art Observed

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London — Pat Steir at Dominique Lévy Through January 28th, 2017

January 1st, 2017

Pat Steir, Elephant Waterfall (1990), via Art Observed
Pat Steir, domini (1990), via Art Observed

Stepping into Dominique Lévy gallery space, one is immediately greeted by the towering columns of paint that make up artist Pat Steir’s waterfall paintings.  Opening her first exhibition in London in twenty-eight years, the artist’s exhibition features fourteen works made over the corresponding decades, from 1990-2011.  Tracing consistent evolutions in her style and hand in conjunction with stylistic divergences and experiments, the survey engages in an ongoing dialogue over her interests in both control and abstraction. Read More »