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Catherine Hutin-Blay Investigation Over Allegedly Stolen Picasso’s Uncovers More Missing Works

May 29th, 2015

Catherine Hutin-Blay, via TelegraphThe case surrounding the theft of works from Picasso descendent Catherine Hutin-Blay has taken a new turn, as Art Newspaper reports that more than 60 works could be missing from Hutin-Blay’s Gennevilliers storage facility.  “One thing is for sure,” her lawyer, Anne-Sophie Nardon says, “this case is extremely serious and much bigger that we first thought.” Read More »

A Look Inside a Landmark Collection of the Russian Avant-Garde, Hidden Away in Uzbekistan

May 29th, 2015

Inside the Savitsky Collection, via Al JazeeraAl Jazeera looks at the massive Savitsky collection in Uzbekistan, where tens of thousands of Russian avant-garde masterpieces were salvaged and put on display by artist and founder Igor Savitsy following their censorship in their home country, including long forgotten works by Kandinsky, Chagall, and more.  “Without him, they would have been gone without a trace,” says Marinika Babanazarova, the current director of the Nukus Art Museum where his collection lies.  “These days, he is an authority figure, genius, but at the time they saw him as a weirdo, an absolute nutcase.” Read More »

Hermann Nitsch Retrospective Finds New Home in Palermo

May 29th, 2015

Hermann Nitsch, via Art NewspaperThe retrospective of Vienna Actionist Hermann Nitsch’s work, previously pulled from Mexico City’ s Museo Jumex this past year, has found a new home at Palermo’s Museo Zac.  “Everybody who knows me, knows that I am an animal protector,” says Nitsch, responding to accusations of animal cruelty that some feel were responsible for closing the show.  “From my point of view, factory farming is the biggest crime in our society.”   Read More »

Codes and Algorithms Seeing Big Success in Art Market

May 29th, 2015

Code by artist Chris Maury, via WSJThe WSJ looks at the recent focus on algorithms as hot items on the art market, as collectors purchase classic codes and objects emblazoned with famous code.  “It is a whole new dimension we are trying to grapple with,” says Cooper Hewitt curatorial director Cara McCarty. “The art term I keep hearing is code.” Read More »

Marina Picasso Speaks to The Guardian on Selling her Grandfather’s Works

May 29th, 2015

Marina Picasso, via The GuardianMarina Picasso is interviewed in The Guardian this week, as she prepares to sell off an extensive collection of her grandfather’s ceramics and paintings, a gesture she feels will help to heal a painful childhood. “Being Picasso’s granddaughter was very hard. I don’t snub the inheritance, not at all, I just want a lighter way to live and to be able to devote myself to my humanitarian work,” she says. “There is absolutely no hatred, no bitterness, no vengeance on my part.”  Read More »

New York Times Looks at Trend Towards Boutique Art Fairs

May 29th, 2015

Atsuko Tanaka, via NYTThe New York Times looks at the recent trend towards smaller and boutique art fairs, where collectors can experience specially selected works and a more nuanced buying experience. The article focuses particularly on London’s Art15 fair, where a focus on international buyers and new investors has defined it as a leader in the growing market. “We deliberately made it smaller,” says Art15 Director Kate Bryan. “We wanted to create a concentrated, boutique-style event. The demographic of London is changing all the time, and we wanted to respond to that.”  Read More »

National Gallery Acknowledges Irish Claim to Disputed Collection

May 29th, 2015

London’s National GalleryManet’s Music in the Tuileries Gardens, via Guardian has indicated that Ireland has some claim to a series of long disputed Impressionist masterpieces.  The collection of Hugh Lane, who died on the Lusitania explosion in 1915, had been willed to Dublin, but since the will had not been witnessed, they were legally bound to Britain.  “The National Gallery claims legal ownership of the paintings bequeathed by Sir Hugh Lane, but has long conceded that Dublin has some moral claim to them,” said National Gallery Director Nicholas Penny, during a lecture on the collection. Read More »

CNBC Claiming Buyer of $179 Million Picasso Still at Large

May 27th, 2015

Les femmes d’Alger (Version O), via CNBCCNBC is reporting that the mystery buyer of the record-setting Picasso canvas this month is still at large, refuting the New York Post’s reporting that former Qatari prime minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani had purchased the work for a record-setting $179 million. Read More »

Agnes Martin Interviewed in The Guardian

May 27th, 2015

Agnes Martin, via The GuardianPainter Agnes Martin is profiled in The Guardian this week, as the artist prepares to open her new exhibition at the Tate Modern next month, tracing her early work and her exacting vision for her production. “When you give up on the idea of right and wrong, you don’t get anything,” Martin says. “What you get is rid of everything, freedom from ideas and responsibilities.” Read More »

Jeff Koons Work Nets €12 Million for amFAR

May 27th, 2015

Jeff Koons's Coloring Book, via ReutersColoring Book, a monumental new sculpture by Jeff Koons, has sold for €12 million euros at a Cannes charity auction that ultimately brought in more than €33 million to fund AIDS research through amFAR.    Read More »

Eric Fischl Parts Ways with Mary Boone Gallery After 30 Years

May 25th, 2015

Eric Fischl, via Art NewspaperAfter 30 years working with Mary Boone, Eric Fischl is parting ways with the gallery, the Art Newspaper reports.  “Right now, Eric says he wants to concentrate on his work, not be affiliated with a gallery. We respect that and will continue to have a good relationship with him,” says Ron Warren, director and partner at Mary Boone. “I think he has decided that the art world and the market have changed so much that he wants to concentrate on making his work, and distance himself from being represented by a gallery.” Read More »

Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani Reportedly Buyer of $179 Million Picasso

May 25th, 2015

GERMANY-QATAR-MERKEL-AL-TAHNIThe New York Post quotes an unnamed source disclosing that the mystery buyer of the record setting, $179 Million Pablo Picasso several weeks ago in New York is former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.  “The painting almost certainly will not go on public display in Qatar because of the nudity, even though it is a cubist work,” the source says. Read More »

MoMA Announces Donald Judd Retrospective for 2017

May 24th, 2015

Donald Judd at Paula CooperThe Museum of Modern Art has announced plans for a major retrospective focused on the work of Donald Judd, set to open in 2017, organized by Chief Curator Ann Temkin.  “Half a century after Judd established himself as a leading figure of his time, his legacy demands to be considered anew,” said Ms. Temkin. “The show will cover the entire arc of Judd’s career, including not only quintessential objects from the 1960s and 1970s, but also works made before he arrived at his iconic formal vocabulary, and selections from the remarkable developments of the 1980s.” Read More »

Scott Rothkopf Taking Over as Chief Curator of Whitney

May 20th, 2015

Jeff Koons and Scott Rothkopf, via NYTThe Whitney has named Scott Rothkopf, the man behind last year’s Jeff Koons retrospective, as the institution’s new chief curator, taking over for Donna De Salvo as she assumes the new position of deputy director.  “Now that the institution has grown, we need more firepower at the top,” says President Adam Weinberg said, adding: “I wouldn’t say so much that it’s a generational change but it is about bringing that next generation into the curatorial and programmatic leadership.” Read More »

Georg Baselitz Interviewed in The Guardian

May 20th, 2015

Georg Baselitz, via The GuardianGeorg Baselitz is interviewed in The Guardian this week, discussing his early life and his recent contributions to the Glyndebourne  Opera Festival.  “They tell me it’s rather conservative and more than just a bit elitist,” he says. “I don’t even like classical music that much – it bores me. Except for Bach. But he didn’t write opera so that’s not much good.” Read More »

Gilbert and George Give The Guardian Tour of East London Home

May 20th, 2015

Gilbert and George, via GuardianThe Guardian takes a tour of Gilbert and George’s East London home and studio, where the pair have lived and worked since 1968, and which they have restored to its original 18th century interior.  “It took 300 years to go downhill,” explained George. “We’ve prepared it for the next 300 years, see? We’ve used the same paint as they used originally, the same plaster, everything is as it would’ve been originally.” Read More »

Bank of England to Put Artist on £20 Note

May 20th, 2015

Mark Carney, via NYTA new British £20 note has been announced this week, and this time, a creative figure from British history will replace economist Adam Smith, the New York Times reports.  “Banknotes are the principal way the Bank of England engages with the British public,”Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England. “These sparse pieces of paper from the 17th century have developed over the years to become the small works of art that are in everyone’s wallets.  There are a wealth of individuals within the field of visual arts whose work shaped British thought, innovation, leadership, values and society and who continue to inspire people today.” Read More »

Christie’s High Guarantees Make for Record-Breaking Auctions

May 20th, 2015

The sale at Christie's this week, via NYTThe Telegraph looks at the record-breaking sales last week at Christie’s in the context of the auction house’s penchant for pre-sale guarantees, noting that over $250 million of the Looking Forward to the Past sale’s monumental $706 million final tally was guaranteed.  They are effectively buying market share,” says one unnamed art advisor. Read More »

Chris Burden’s Last Sculpture Goes on View at LACMA

May 20th, 2015

chris-burden1Ode to Santos Dumont the last work completed by the late Chris Burden this year, has gone on view at LACMA, a helium-filled dirigible that circles inside the Resnick Pavilion, paying tribute to the balloon pilot who sailed around the Eiffel Tower in 1901.  “The idea that you try and fail and try and fail and have an imagination is very much Chris Burden the artist,” LACMA Director Michael Govan says.  “I think he saw in Santos Dumont a bit of himself having ideas and an imagination and tenacity and also that kind of joy of achievement.” Read More »

Michael Heizer Profiled in The Guardian

May 20th, 2015

Michael Heizer, via Washington PostMichael Heizer is profiled in The Guardian this week, following the opening of his newest show in New York.  “Years ago, when I had no money and I made a work of art, maybe I couldn’t afford to make it more resistant to the weather. I did, however, exploit that situation,” he says of his early work.  “I wasn’t an environmental, greenie artist making things out of moss and leaves. But I knew that some things dissipate, and I factored that into the work.” Read More »

Paintings Allegedly Stolen from Picasso Heir Purchased by Dmitriy Rybolovlv

May 20th, 2015

Catherine Hutin-Blay, via TelegraphSome of the paintings allegedly stolen from Picasso’s stepdaughter, Catherine Hutin-Blay, were found in the collection of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who purchased them through art broker and adviser, Yves Bouvier (currently under investigation for fraud).  Bouvier’s lawyer denies any knowledge of the works’ stolen status.  “For all the paintings he acquired, he asked for a certificate from the Art Loss Register, demonstrating that it has not been registered as missing or stolen,” says Bouvier’s attorney, Luc Brossollet.   Read More »

Guggenheim Collection Lawsuit Begins in Venice

May 20th, 2015

Guggenheim Collection in Venice, via Art DailyThe court case over the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice has begun, a lawsuit by the collector’s grandson to prevent the Guggenheim Foundation from showing any works not in the collection within the museum space, “alleging it breaks with the original arrangement that Peggy wanted and which should be respected after her death,” according to plaintiff Sandro Rumney. Read More »

Whitney Inaugurates New Emerging Artist Series

May 18th, 2015

Work by Jared Madere, via WhitneyThe Whitney Museum has launched a new program for emerging and young artists, giving them access to the spaces of the new downtown location to put on their first U.S. solo exhibitions.  The first artists selected for the project are New York-based artists Jared Madere and Rachel Rose, as well as Qatari-American writer and artist Sophia Al-Maria.   Read More »

Arvo Pärt and Gerhard Richter Creating Works Dedicated to Each Other’s Careers

May 18th, 2015

Arvo Pärt and Gerhard Richter, via GuardianThe Guardian has an article this week looking at composer Arvo Pärt and Gerhard Richter’s early careers under communism, and the pair’s respective pieces dedicated to the work of the other, to premiere at this year’s Manchester International Festival this month. Read More »

Berlin – Christoph Niemann: “Es Gibt Nichts Gutes” At Galerie Max Hetzler Through May 30th, 2015

May 30th, 2015

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Es Gibt Nichts Gutes (Installation View), courtesy of the artist and Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin I Paris, photo: def-image.com

For his new exhibition, Es Gibt Nicht Gutes [There Is Not Good], artist Christoph Niemann has taken an incisive route through Germany’s tumultuous history with its creative class during WWII through the framework of author Erich Kästner’s work.  Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Kästner’s work Es gibt nicht Gutes außer: Man tut es [There is not good unless man makes it], Niemann has collaborated with the book’s original publishers to illustrate the book’s re-released edition, with these visual vignettes comprising Galerie Max Hetzler’s exhibition bearing the abbreviated name.

Read More »

Venice and New York – Aurel Schmidt’s Pop-Up Exhibition “New Gods” at Cannaregio, 5825 Venice and New York on St. Marks Place

May 29th, 2015

Aurel Schmidt with a work from New Gods, via Art Observed
Aurel Schmidt with a work from New Gods, via Art Observed

Recently, artist Aurel Schmidt launched another entry in her series of unexpected pop-up shows, bringing her uniquely visceral, surrealist drawings to an uninhabited apartment on St. Marks Place downtown.  It was a rough and ready affair, with works installed across the hauntingly empty rooms of the walk-up (one work was mounted near the kitchen sink, while another sat above the laundry machine), and a number of the artist’s friends on hand, making it feel more like a casual gathering than a gallery show.  In one room, guests were treated to an impromptu concert by Devonté Hynes (a.k.a. Blood Orange), while Schmidt welcomed guests and showed them around the space.

Read More »

Paris – Yang Fudong: “The Coloured Sky: New Women II” at Marian Goodman Gallery Through May 30th, 2015

May 29th, 2015

Yang Fudong, The Light That I Feel 1 (2015) via Marian Goodman Gallery
Yang Fudong, The Light That I Feel 1 (2015) via Marian Goodman Gallery

Artist Yang Fudong is exhibiting his latest series of photographs at Marian Goodman’s Paris location.  Titled The Coloured Sky: New Women II, the exhibition incorporates two bodies of work as well as a high-definition colored video installation that continues his use of dream-like worlds and constructions of fantasy through the female body. Read More »

New York – Rosy Keyser: “The Hell Bitch” at Maccarone Gallery Through June 6th, 2015

May 27th, 2015

Rosy Keyser, Terrestrial Mime (2015), via Maccarone
Rosy Keyser, Terrestrial Mime (2015), all images via Maccarone Gallery

The idea of a frame places a spatial limit on its painterly contents, a statement of intent that rules its exteriors as just that, outside space.  For her first show with Maccarone GalleryRosy Keyser takes that logic  to a deconstructive conclusion, presenting a body of works under the title The Hell Bitch that continues the discourse of painterly reduction.  While breaking away from the traditional frame, Keyser’s works allow for viewers to consider definitions of empathy, profanity and form through her patchwork assemblages, fixed to the classic signifier of the canvas stretcher.   Read More »

New York: Jeppe Hein ‘All We Need is Inside‘ at 303 Gallery Through May 30th, 2015

May 25th, 2015


Jeppe Hein, All We Need Is Inside (Installation View)
Jeppe Hein, All We Need Is Inside (Installation View), all photos via Art Observed

Currently on view at 303 GalleryAll We Need is Inside continues Jeppe Hein’s unique combination of reflective, sculptural and painterly works, investigating the powerful and playful combination of art and personal dialogue. The new show is a strong presentation of the artist’s approach to the act of interaction and the phenomenology of viewing art, and plays on notions of calming minimalism while incorporating immersive, challenging works throughout. Read More »

New York – David Shrigley at Anton Kern Gallery Through May 23rd, 2015

May 23rd, 2015

David Shrigley at Anton Kern Gallery (Installation View)
David Shrigley at Anton Kern Gallery (Installation View)

An ‘Open’ sign outside David Shrigley’s new exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery greets visitors, announcing that the gallery is ready for business. In his sixth solo show with the gallery, the Glasgow-based artist brings together seventy-eight drawings, along with two sculptural pieces and a video.  Coming in two different sizes, these ink and acrylic drawings on paper deliver the artist’s signature, whimsical technique, putting him in a distinct place in today’s art world.

Read More »

Venice – Jimmie Durham: ‘Venice: Objects, Work and Tourism’ at Fondazione Querini Stampalia through September 20th, 2015

May 20th, 2015

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Jimmie Durham, On The Island of Burano Women Make Lace Hopefully (2015), all photos by Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

The American-born artist and poet Jimmie Durham presents a site-specific project entitled Venice: Object, Work and Tourism at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia during the 56th Venice Biennale. The exhibition features a series of subtle yet vibrant sculptures, which incite our perception of commonplace objects and everyday materials. Stone, glass, brick, wood, water, words, gold, leather, paper, metal, shell, and plastic are thus collected, displaced and assembled by the artist, distilling a new physical language.

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New York – Nina Beier at Metro Pictures Through May 22nd, 2015

May 20th, 2015

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Nina Beier, Female Nude (2015), all images via Art Observed

Metro Pictures’s airy gallery is currently open to artist Nina Beier’s plotted sculptures that map the conceptual revisions of objects and their representation. Interposing sculptural still lives with flattened three-dimensional picture hangings, the artist presents crisply-laundered down comforters and jackets, flattened as a backdrop for wigs and fashionable ties, while nearby, burrowed coconut forms perched on lush soil.  In another room, gigantic stemware houses familiar objects, introduced by the gallery as an effort in problematizing representation and depiction.

Read More »

New York – Elmgreen & Dragset: “Past Tomorrow” at Galerie Perrotin Through May 23rd, 2015

May 18th, 2015

Elmgreen & Dragset, Past Tomorrow (Installation View)
Elmgreen & Dragset, Past Tomorrow (Installation View)

Currently on view at Galerie Perrotin is Past Tomorrow, Elmgreen & Dragset’s second installment of their ongoing tale focused on the life and loves of imagined architect Norman Swann.  The project that, in its core, is an unrealized play by the Berlin-based Scandinavian duo, had its inception at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2013 exhibition, titled Tomorrow, turning the museum’s galleries into Mr. Swann’s residence.  The narrative resumes as their protagonist migrates to a studio apartment in New York’s Upper East Side neighborhood, after he consumes his entire family inheritance and vacates his London house in South Kensington. Read More »

AO On-Site: NADA New York 2015 AT Basketball City, May 14th-17th, 2015

May 18th, 2015

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Josh Reames at Johannes Vogt, all photos via Art Observed

NADA New York returned to the edge of the Lower East Side, drawing a diverse, hip crowd to the Basketball City complex. Free in price, NADA once again brought high-quality exhibitors and young artists, combining art from regional and international galleries alongside NYC Downtown heavy hitters.  This year’s preview event was an engaging alternative to the bright lights and high prices of Frieze. Embodying the social, communal nature of the city’s young arts scene, NADA’s Preview day was filled with with conversation, friendly jokes and familial reunions.  Maintaining the lightness of art openings opposed to the serious air of sales oriented art fairs, the galleries, their friends and artists will spend this weekend sipping drinks out of plastic cups while a roster of interdisciplinary performances, conversations and events take place. Read More »

AO On Site – New York: Frieze New York Art Fair on Randall’s Island May 14th-17th, 2015

May 16th, 2015

Galeria Franco Noero, via Art Observed
Galeria Franco Noero, via Art Observed

The doors are open on Frieze New York, marking the early days of the summer art season with a major art event up the East River on Randall’s Island.  Returning for its fourth year, the fair has come into its own as a dedicated staple in the New York Art Calendar, and its presentation this year seems to echo it, with a stripped back tent design that seemed to stretch out much longer than in previous years, but distilled the experience down to only three rows of booths, with the occasional inlet allowing for an enjoyable wander through the space.  The VIP opening launched Wednesday morning for a quiet preview where a number of major collectors and celebrities strolled the aisles, among them Neil Patrick Harris, Mike Meyers, Uma Thurman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Richard Gere and François Pinault. Read More »

Venice – Christoph Büchel: ‘THE MOSQUE’ at the Icelandic Pavilion During the Venice Biennale Through November 22nd, 2015

May 16th, 2015

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Santa Maria della Misericordia church converted in THE MOSQUE: The First Mosque in the Historic City of Venice (2015) by Christoph Büchel, all photos by Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

Historically, there have been no mosques in the city of Venice.  Despite the port city’s history as an open gateway to the East and a point of trade that facilitated new cultural, artistic and scientific developments to spread across Europe from trade with the Ottoman Empire and beyond, the city has never permitted the construction or reconstitution of a site of worship for its Muslim population.  Today, in the heated political climate that surrounds international conflicts, not to mention the recent Italian (and, at large, European) controversy regarding immigration from Syria, Lebanon and other regions in North Africa and the Middle East, the prospects for a dedicated Islamic worship site seems even less likely.  For the time being, however, the Venice Biennale has changed this scenario, as the Swiss-born, Iceland-based artist Christoph Büchel opened his frankly-titled installation THE MOSQUE: The First Mosque in the Historic City of Venice this month. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Phillips Contemporary Evening Sale, May 14th, 2015

May 14th, 2015

Francis Bacon, Seated Woman (1961), via Phillips
Francis Bacon, Seated Woman (1961), via Phillips

The Phillips Contemporary Evening sale has concluded, bringing to a close a week full of fireworks and smashed records with a relatively lackluster sales event that saw several impressive sales, countered by a number of less than exceptional performances.  Of the sale’s 71 lots, 14 went unsold, and few others managed to surpass high estimates, bringing the final sales tally to a respectable $97,100,000.   Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, May 14th, 2015

May 14th, 2015

Piet Mondrian, Composition No III Red, Blue, Yellow, and Black, (1929), via Art Observed
Piet Mondrian, Composition No. III Red, Blue, Yellow, and Black (1929), via Art Observed

The auction week has come and gone, and Christie’s has closed out a major week for both its Impressionist/Modern and Contemporary Departments, as the combined sales of its three Evening events this week have collectively brought in well over a billion dollars in sales.  This Evening, the Impressionist and Modern Evening sale added an exclamation point to the proceedings, bringing in a final tally of $202,608,000 that saw a major new record for Piet Mondrian. Read More »

Venice – ‘Armenity’ at the Armenian Pavilion for the Venice Biennale, Through November 22nd, 2015

May 13th, 2015

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Golden Lion for Best Pavilion amongst Rene Gabri and Ayreen Anastas, When counting loses its sense (2015), via Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

In 1915, during the clashes of WWI, the Ottoman Empire set out on a path of systemic destruction of its Armenian subjects, massacring male Armenians or forcing them into conscripted labor, while leading women, children and the infirm on arduous death marches off into the Syrian desert.  The brutal and politically contentious genocide killed, on estimate, up to 1.5 million citizens, and stands as one of the Twentieth Century’s most horrific episodes of war.  Even so, the political body of Turkey still refuses to acknowledge the term genocide in relation to these war crimes, and the historical scars of the killings run through the distributed population of the Armenian diaspora worldwide. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Christie’s Contemporary and Post-War Auction, May 13th, 2015

May 13th, 2015

Lucian Freud, Benefits Supervisor Resting, via Art Observed
Lucian Freud, Benefits Supervisor Resting (1994), via Art Observed

Christie’s has concluded the first days of Frieze week in style tonight, continuing its impressive performance over the course of the Contemporary Auction week with a strong sale tallying $658,532,000.  Selling 72 of the 85 lots offered, the sale saw several major records fall during the course of the evening, signaling the intense enthusiasm for the contemporary market both in the U.S. and abroad. Read More »

Venice – The National Pavilions at the Venice Biennale Through November 22nd, 2015

May 13th, 2015

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Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, Rêvolutions (2015), French Pavilion, via Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

Running concurrently with the Central Pavilion’s curated exhibition, the respective National Pavilions on view at the Giardini and Arsenale are one of Venice’s defining aspects.  Featuring important solo exhibitions for both emerging and career artists, carefully-curated group shows and special projects, each pavilion’s focus allows the international perspective of the Biennale to truly take shape. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Sotheby’s Contemporary and Post-War Evening Sale, May 12th, 2015

May 12th, 2015

Christopher Wool, Riot (1990), via Sotheby's
Christopher Wool, Riot (1990), via Sotheby’s

Another night come and gone in New York, and another impressive evening auction in the books as Sotheby’s concludes its Contemporary and Post-War Evening Sale this Tuesday night with a final tally of $379,676,000, failing to top Christie’s impressive auction from one night prior despite some impressive sales records of its own.  The 65-lot sale saw 8 of the works go unsold, for a final sell-through rate of 87.7%, a hard figure considering last evening’s single unsold lot out of 35. Read More »

AO Preview – New York: Frieze Week, May 13th-17th, 2015

May 12th, 2015

Richard Tuttle, Aspect XII (2015), via Pace
Richard Tuttle, Aspect XII (2015), via Pace

As the New York art world returns home following the Biennale previews last week, the first days of the Frieze Art Fair are set to get underway.  Opening its doors to VIPs this Wednesday, May 13th, the fair brings a number of events, openings and exhibitions along with it, marking the last major fair week in the U.S. for several months, and penultimate major fair week internationally before the slow summer months. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – Christie’s ‘Looking Forward to the Past’ Sale, Setting a New World Auction Record of $179 Million for Pablo Picasso’s ‘Les Femmes D’Alger,’ May 11th, 2015

May 12th, 2015

 

Pablo Picasso, Les Femmes D'Alger (1955), via Art Observed
Pablo Picasso, Les Femmes D’Alger (1955), via Art Observed

The crown for the most expensive artwork at auction has returned to the master, as Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes D’Alger lived up to its lofty expectations at auction this evening, as Christie’s “Looking Forward to the Past” exhibition kicked off Frieze Week (and a week of Contemporary Sales in New York) in grand style, tallying a massive $705,858,000 for a 35-lot offering that saw numerous records fall by the wayside, and only one lot going unsold, on the way to Picasso’s triumphant evening. Read More »

Chris Burden, Landmark Performance Artist and Sculptor, Passes Away at 69

May 11th, 2015

Chris Burden, via NY Times
Chris Burden, via NY Times

Chris Burden, the Californian performance art pioneer and sculptor, who consistently pushed the envelope of physical endurance and human capacities, passed away at home this weekend from a malignant melanoma.  He was 69. Read More »

AO On-Site – Venice: “All the World’s Futures” at the Giardini in Venice Through November 22nd, 2015

May 9th, 2015

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At the entrance to the Biennale’s Central Pavilion, via Art Observed

The Central Pavilion in Venice’s Giardini is the second site for All the World’s Futures, the main curatorial project around which the Biennale centers itself.  Featuring another series of artists spread out inside the exhibition space’s remarkable white facade, the exhibition continues its investigation of debris and late capitalism through a more playful, yet equally critical set of works from its counterpart at the Arsenale. Read More »

Venice – Peter Doig at Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa Through October 4th, 2015

May 9th, 2015

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Peter Doig, Rain in the Port of Spain (White Oak) (2015), all photos by Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

Venetian Ettore Tito was one of the first stars of the Venice Biennale at its inception, presenting his work in almost every one of the early exhibitions through at 1920.  The artist’s colorful compositions often tinged with a slightly surreal, impressionist edge, were a prize of the Italian state in the early decades of the twentieth century, and often filled rooms during the first exhibitions in the city.

It’s a fitting parallel then, that the Scottish-born Peter Doig would be tapped for an exhibit at the former home of the artist, and current location of the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa.  Presenting a body of new works, including fourteen paintings and an additional six large-scale canvases, the exhibition’s intimate locale and rich history offers a strong parallel for Doig’s own interpretive and illusory meditations on modernity, memory and fantasy.

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Venice – Cy Twombly: “Paradise” at Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art Through September 16th, 2015

May 7th, 2015

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Cy Twombly, Paesaggio (1986), via Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

Undeniably one the greatest artists of 20th century, Cy Twombly‘s work is currently on display at the Ca’ Pesaro International Gallery in Venice, offering an in-depth look at the American artist, and his long residence in Italy.  Combining work from Twombly’s last series produced in 2011, an early painting on wood from 1951, and sculptural work from late in his career, this show delivers on its promise of a look at the artist’s career, while avoiding the demands of an exhaustive survey of his practice.  Read More »