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


The Economist Looks at the Development of the Louvre Abu Dhabi

November 27th, 2014

The Louvre Aby Dhabi, via EconomistAn article in The Economist charts the ongoing progress of The Louvre Abu Dubai, part of the Saadiyat Island Cultural District being built on a sandbar off the course of the U.A.E. city.  “It will be a museum of and for the world,” says Rita Aoun-Abdo, head of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority. Read More »

Bjarne Melgaard Releases New Fashion Line

November 27th, 2014

Bjarne Melgaard's new line, via WSJArtist Bjarne Melgaard has unveiled a new fashion collection he designed himself, inspired by the 2013 Catherine Breillat film Abuse of Weakness.  “I was thinking about creating clothes that are about the mental state you’re in and the faults you feel you have,” the artist says. “And rather than do that in sculpture, I wanted to try it with a commercial fashion line.” Read More »

WSJ Interviews Paul Chan Discussing his Work and Retirement

November 27th, 2014

Paul Chan, via WSJArtist Paul Chan, the winner of this year’s Hugo Boss Prize, is interviewed in the Wall Street Journal this week, discussing the temporary retirement the artist took in 2008.  “At a certain point I realized I had no more ideas I was interested in making something out of, so I realized maybe this is time to stop,” he says.  “I cleaned my house and read and tried to live, but at a certain point I realized I needed something else to do besides just living, and that’s where publishing came in.” Read More »

David Hockney Discusses Purpose and Inspiration with WSJ

November 27th, 2014

David Hockney, via WSJArtist David Hockney is interviewed in the Wall Street Journal this week, reviewing his recent work, and offering his take on the meaning of being an artist. “Lots of people don’t really look,” he says. “They scan the ground in front of them, but they don’t really look that hard.” Read More »

Bill Ruprecht Receives $4 Million Severance Pay from Sotheby’s

November 26th, 2014

Bill Ruprecht, via Art NewsOutgoing Sotheby’s head Bill Ruprecht will receive a $4 million severance package from the company. The news was disclosed in an SEC filing today.  Read More »

New York – Maurizio Cattelan: “Cosa Nostra” at S|2 Through November 26th, 2014 and Venus Over Manhattan Through January 10th, 2015

November 26th, 2014

Maurizo Cattelan, Him (2001), via Art Observed
Maurizo Cattelan, Him (2001), via Art Observed

Maurizio Cattelan is back in New York.  It’s been some time since the artist’s retirement from the art world proper, capped by his well-attended Guggenheim retrospective in 2011/2012, a move that the artist has made quite good on.  Despite the occasional appearance high-profile appearance, Cattelan’s work has remained relatively outside of the art world spotlight for the past several years.  But the artist’s commitment to his own absence hasn’t deterred Adam Lindemann, who is currently mounting a pair of exhibitions of the artist’s work at both Sotheby’s S|2 Gallery, and at his own space, Venus Over Manhattan on Madison Ave. Read More »

New York – Christopher Williams: “For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons Sur La Société Industrielle (Revision 19)” at David Zwirner Through December 20th, 2014

November 26th, 2014

Christopher Williams, For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons Sur La Société Industrielle (Revision 19) (Installation View), via Art Observed
Christopher Williams, For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons Sur La Société Industrielle (Revision 19) (Installation View), via Art Observed

Christopher Williams, the Los Angeles-based artist who just recently closed his major MoMA retrospective earlier this month, is back in New York with a new solo exhibition with David Zwirner.

The artist’s current exhibition of new work at the gallery’s 19th Street space makes up for its minimal catalog in conceptual clout, examining the construction of narrative and spatial interactions through a coyly designed exhibition plan that shifts in theme and semiotic interaction based on the viewer’s position.

Christopher Williams, For Example (Installation View), via David Zwirner
Christopher Williams, For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons Sur La Société Industrielle (Revision 19) (Installation View), via David Zwirner

The exhibition is composed of a series of variations on Williams’s ongoing fascination with the value of the image, and its role as a circulator of information and ideology in contemporary capitalism.  During the construction of the show, or rather, the deconstruction of the prior show, Marcel Dzama’s Une Danse de Bouffons, Williams elected to remove several dividing walls, and, rather than remount them seamlessly, left them standing solitary, bearing the scars of their removal.  As a result, the exhibition is divided by a series of walls that seem to have slightly broken free in the exhibition space, a peculiar visual phenomenon that also serves as one of the core conceits for the artist’s work.

Christopher Williams, Untitled (Study in Gray) 1967 Citroen DS Serial number: DS851360a Color code: AC 226 Color name: gris satiné Color year: 1964 Studio Rhein Verlag, Düsseldorf November 3, 2013, 2014 Inkjet print on cotton rag paper 20 x 25 inches (50.8 x 63.5 cm ) WILCH0415 (2014) via Art Observed
Christopher Williams, Untitled (Study in Gray) 1967 Citroen DS Serial number: DS851360a Color code: AC 226 Color name: gris satiné Color year: 1964 Studio Rhein Verlag, Düsseldorf November 3, 2013, 2014 Inkjet print on cotton rag paper 20 x 25 inches (50.8 x 63.5 cm ) WILCH0415 (2014) via Art Observed

Regarding the photography itself, the artist follows a set of previously explored techniques with new angles.  In one series, he photographs camera lenses cut cleanly in half, underscoring the complexity of a mechanism often left unseen, but wholly complicit in delivering the image itself to the viewer.  In another, Williams photographs damaged car headlights, but shot after replacing all damaged parts and re-painting the car carefully so that only a peculiar, subtle bent can be detected, an inflection that remains buried underneath the aura of newness.

Christopher Williams, For Example (Installation View), via David Zwirner
Christopher Williams, For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons Sur La Société Industrielle (Revision 19) (Installation View), via David Zwirner

The third combines an image of a chicken, inspired by the fringe market for poultry appreciation magazines and the linguistic tropes these magazines have established for themselves, with a carefully manipulated magazine advertisement for dish soap with all evidence of food removed, leaving a clean, confusing pan in a pristine environment.

Christopher Williams, Cutaway model Leica Leitz Wetzlar Tele-Elmar 135/4.0 Focal length: 135 mm Aperture range: 4 – 22 Number of elements/groups: 4/4 Focusing range: 1.5 m – infinity Angle of range: 18 degrees Filter thread: 39 mm Weight: 405 g Dimensions: 53.4 × 122.69 mm Manufacturer part number: 11850 Lens design by Dr. Walter Mandler Manufactured by Ernst Leitz GmbH, Wetzlar, Germany Studio Rhein Verlag, Düsseldorf March 14, 2013, 2014 Inkjet print on cotton rag paper 7 1/4 x 21 7/8 inches (43.8 x 55.6 cm) WILCH0427 (2014), via Art Observed
Christopher Williams, Cutaway model Leica Leitz Wetzlar Tele-Elmar 135/4.0 Focal length: 135 mm Aperture range: 4 – 22 Number of elements/groups: 4/4 Focusing range: 1.5 m – infinity Angle of range: 18 degrees Filter thread: 39 mm Weight: 405 g Dimensions: 53.4 × 122.69 mm Manufacturer part number: 11850 Lens design by Dr. Walter Mandler Manufactured by Ernst Leitz GmbH, Wetzlar, Germany Studio Rhein Verlag, Düsseldorf March 14, 2013, 2014 Inkjet print on cotton rag paper 7 1/4 x 21 7/8 inches (43.8 x 55.6 cm) WILCH0427 (2014), via Art Observed

Placing these three sets of pieces along calculated sight lines, Williams’s manipulated walls effectively break the space of the room into various thematics based on the viewer’s position.  Depending on position, the viewer may contend with the camera alongside an image of the chicken, or perhaps the broken headlight in all of its cosmetic interference alongside a shining pan.  In each intersection, the idea of publication and the editorial decision, the act of depiction and its formatting within certain standards, takes a prominent role.

Christopher Williams, Demountable wall panel with panel storage cart from the exhibition The Production Line of Happiness, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, January 24 – May 18, 2014 Wall panel materials: Oak, plywood, metal, cardboard, fabric, rubber, vinyl, and adhesive Wall panel dimensions: 102 x 72 x 4 1/2 inches Storage cart materials: Steel, carpet, rubber, plywood, and paint Storage cart dimensions: 78 x 86 x 18 inches Gallery display system designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), Chicago, 1982 Pedestal materials: MDF, plywood, Douglas fir blocking, screws, lag screws, neoprene rubber spacers and shims, and metal Pedestal dimensions: 134 1/2 x 66 1/2 x 4 3/4 inches Pedestal designed by Mack Cole-Edelsack, Department of Exhibition Design and Production, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in accordance with loan specifications from the Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Photography Exhibited in The Production Line of Happiness, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, July 27 – November 2, 2014 July 20, 2014, 2014 Selenium toned gelatin silver print 22 x 18 1/4 inches (55.9 x 46.4 cm) WILCH0459 (2014) via David Zwirner
Christopher Williams, Demountable wall panel with panel storage cart from the exhibition The Production Line of Happiness, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, January 24 – May 18, 2014 Wall panel materials: Oak, plywood, metal, cardboard, fabric, rubber, vinyl, and adhesive Wall panel dimensions: 102 x 72 x 4 1/2 inches Storage cart materials: Steel, carpet, rubber, plywood, and paint Storage cart dimensions: 78 x 86 x 18 inches Gallery display system designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), Chicago, 1982 Pedestal materials: MDF, plywood, Douglas fir blocking, screws, lag screws, neoprene rubber spacers and shims, and metal Pedestal dimensions: 134 1/2 x 66 1/2 x 4 3/4 inches Pedestal designed by Mack Cole-Edelsack, Department of Exhibition Design and Production, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in accordance with loan specifications from the Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Photography Exhibited in The Production Line of Happiness, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, July 27 – November 2, 2014 July 20, 2014, 2014 Selenium toned gelatin silver print 22 x 18 1/4 inches (55.9 x 46.4 cm) WILCH0459 (2014) via David Zwirner

Williams is also exhibiting a series of inversions on the notion of the exhibition catalog, in which images and text are merely replaced with color-coded pages, as well as Printed in Germany, a remarkably comical book that is completely blank saved for the aforementioned words printed on the back cover (apparently a requirement for the books to be shipped out of the country).  Bearing only a single mark of international exchange, the book renders all content visually obsolete, underscoring only its place of origin.

Christopher Williams, For Example (Installation View), via David Zwirner
Christopher Williams, For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons Sur La Société Industrielle (Revision 19) (Installation View), via David Zwirner

Williams’s exhibition is small, but packs a hefty punch, allowing the construction of the image within a fixed context to underscore and emphasize the methods and modes of image production today.  The show is on view through December 20th.

— D. Creahan

Read more:
Christopher Williams at David Zwirner [David Zwirner]

New York – Julian Stanczak: “From Life” at Mitchell-Innes & Nash Through December 6th, 2014

November 25th, 2014

Julian Stanczak, From Life (Installation View)
Julian Stanczak, From Life (Installation View)

On view at Mitchell-Innes & Nash’s Chelsea location is a career spanning exhibition of Julian Stanczak, the renowned Polish artist considered to be one of the pioneers of Op Art movement. Starting with his works from the 1960’s until the present, the exhibition celebrates the artist’s long career, starting at a Polish refugee camp in Uganda in the 40’s after the artist permanently lost the use of his right arm due to an infection of encephalitis. Read More »

ArtPrize to Launch Dallas Event in 2016

November 24th, 2014

A work at ArtPrize 2009, via New York TimesArtPrize, the Grand Rapids-based art contest that has made the city an unexpected stop on the global art circuit, has announced plans to expand its event to Dallas in 2016.  “We want to make sure there’s an appetite for this sort of thing, and we think there is and we’ll go wherever the appetite is,” says Executive Director Christian Gaines. Read More »

Maurizio Cattelan Interviewed in Financial Times

November 24th, 2014

Maurizio Cattelan, via Financial TimesThe Financial Times speaks with Maurizio Cattelan this week, as the artist prepares to open an exhibition he curated in Turin.  “From my point of view, humor and irony include tragedy, they’re two sides of the same coin. Laughter is a Trojan horse to enter into direct contact with the unconscious, strike the imagination and trigger visceral reactions,” Cattelan says.  “If the humor of certain works was enough to pull anger, fear and amazement out of everyone, the psychoanalysts would be in disgrace . . . shame is not enough!” Read More »

London – Gerhard Richter at Marian Goodman Through December 20th, 2014

November 24th, 2014

Gerhard Richter (Installation View), via Art Observed
Gerhard Richter (Installation View), via Art Observed

Currently on view at Marian Goodman’s freshly inaugurated Mayfair gallery space in London is a new show of paintings and sculpture by Gerhard Richter, works that show the artist expanding his current practice while branching out into new formal space.   Read More »

Cousin of Late Cornelius Gurlitt Challenges Will

November 24th, 2014

Cornelius Gurlitt via NY TimesUta Werner, a cousin of embattled collector Cornelius Gurlitt, has stepped forward to challenge the late man’s will in a Munich court.  The move comes as Kunstmuseum Bern is preparing to announce its decision on the artworks, which were initially bequeathed to the institution when Gurlitt passed away earlier this year. Read More »

Simon De Pury Preps New Show in London

November 24th, 2014

Simon de PuryFormer auction house head Simon De Pury is branching out once again into the world of curating, preparing a show at 3 Grafton Street in London, focusing on the work of 92-year-old Polish artist Wojciech Fangor.  “The idea is to show great art in this space, we will have an international program,” De Pury says. Read More »

Will Self Challenges the New Tate Modern Expansion in The Guardian

November 24th, 2014

Tate Modern Extension, via The GuardianAs construction gets underway for the new Tate Modern extension, Guardian writer Well Self asks if the new renovations to the museum is just another step in the ongoing transformation of the museum as an extension of influence by the hyper wealthy, and an indication of the financial impact the contemporary market has made on the museum’s curatorial practices. “The new Tate Modern will not be an art gallery per se, but a sort of life-size model of what an art gallery might be should our culture have need of one,” he writes.  “Since it doesn’t, but rather has a requirement for visitor attractions that reify the ever‑widening gulf between haves and have-nots, I’m absolutely certain it will prove an outrageous success” Read More »

New Statesman Asks if Britain’s Art School are Facing a Crisis of Identity

November 24th, 2014

Central St Marins, via New StatesmanAn article in the New Statesman takes a hard look at the state of British art schools this week, noting tuition fees higher than anywhere else in Europe, and a change in the curriculum that has changed how students practice, both of which have limited access to education for lower income classes and discouraged Britain’s famously egalitarian higher education system. Read More »

New York – Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe: “Floating Chain (High-Res Toni)” at Marlborough Chelsea Through November 29th, 2014

November 23rd, 2014

Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe, Floating Chain (High-Res Toni) (Installation View)
Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe, Floating Chain (High-Res Toni) (Installation View)

In their newest exhibition at Marlborough Chelsea, artist duo Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe are inviting the viewers into another realm of phantasmagoria, in which rooms full of ambiguous tales are revealed in their most bizarre and contradictory forms. Floating Chain (High-Res Toni) is the duo’s third collaboration with Marlborough after 2012’s Stray Light Gray, which absorbed gallery visitors into adjacent chambers of gory experiments and untold incidents connected through curiously large holes on the walls. Read More »

Georgia O’Keefe Painting Resets Female Auction Record at $44 Million

November 22nd, 2014

George O'Keefe, Jimson Weed, via The GuardianThe record for the most expensive work of art by a female artist fell in unexpected fashion at Sotheby’s in New York last night, as a Georgia O’Keefe painting Jimson Weed/White Flower No 1 from 1932 sold for more than three times its estimate for $44 million.  The work was included in a sale of American Art last night, and beats the previous $11.9 million auction record for a female (held by Joan Mitchell).  Read More »

Kunstmuseum Bern Set to Announce Decision on Cornelius Gurlitt Trove of Artworks Donated Earlier This Year

November 22nd, 2014

Kunstmuseum Bern, via Kunstmuseum BernThe Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland, which found itself as the unlikely recipient of the late Cornelius Gurlitt’s trove of looted artworks, is preparing to announce its decision of the collection following a lengthy discussion among museum officials.  Initial reports are claiming that the museum will in fact accept the works. Read More »

New York – John Baldessari: “Movie Scripts / Art 2014″ at Marian Goodman Through November 22nd, 2014

November 22nd, 2014

John Baldessari, Movie Scripts/Art: With a Fly Crawling on It (2014)
John Baldessari, Movie Scripts/Art: With a Fly Crawling on It (2014), via Art Observed

One of the most prominent names that defines the past 40 years of West Coast conceptualism, John Baldessari is currently presenting a new body of work at Marian Goodman Gallery. Titled Movie Scripts / Art 2014, the series resumes the pioneer’s investigation on the visual language of artworks and the possibility of a dialogue between images, words and cultural formats like film and literature. Baldessari, who has always been curious about the range text can explore in artistic expression, has not been hesitant about placing images next to sentences and written situations, often directly posing questions to the work or offering sarcastic alternatives to its surface level relationships. Read More »

Armory Announces 2015 Performance Schedule

November 21st, 2014

Karlheinz Stockhausen and Rikrit Tiravanija, Oktophonie (Installation View), via Park Avenue ArmoryThe Park Avenue Armory has announced the list of events and exhibitions for its 2015 season, which will include a new work from Laurie Anderson’s “Language of the Future” series, a multimedia installation by Philippe Parreno, and a collaboration Marina Abramovic and the pianist Igor Levit. Read More »

CEO William Ruprecht to Leave Sotheby’s

November 21st, 2014

Bill Ruprecht Sothebys via WSJSotheby’s CEO William Ruprecht has announced that he will be stepping down from his position at the auction house, following a nearly year-long battle over control against investor Dan Loeb.  “The last few years have been the most successful in the company’s history,” Ruprecht said in a statement.  “I am comfortable and confident saying Sotheby’s is well positioned for the next chapter of its success and I will do all I can to contribute to a smooth leadership transition.” Read More »

Marina Abramovic Preparing New Installation for Sydney in 2015

November 21st, 2014

marina abramovicThe Guardian reports that Marina Abramovic is currently working on a major installation in Sydney for July of 2015.  The artist was courted by arts philanthropist John Kaldor, who previously brought Abramovic’s work to the country in his 2013 exhibition 13 Rooms. Read More »

Paul Chan Wins 2014 Hugo Boss Prize

November 21st, 2014

Richard Armstrong, Paul Chan, and Gerrit Rützel, via Fitz and CoArtist Paul Chan has been awarded the 2014 Hugo Boss Prize, the biennial award given by the Guggenheim Museum which carries a $100,000 prize as well as an exhibition at the museum.  “Paul’s protean ability to work across multiple platforms from his videos to his more elegiac light pieces and community-based performances is what particularly stood out,” Nancy Spector, the Guggenheim’s deputy director and chief curator told the New York Times. Read More »

Whitney to Open New Space May 1st of 2015

November 21st, 2014

Marcel Breuer building on Madison AvenueThe Whitney Museum has set the opening date for its new, Renzo Piano-designed building in the  Meatpacking District location on May 1st of next year.  The news came this week during the Museum’s annual gala benefit. Read More »