Marina Abramovic is profiled in New York Magazine this week, as the artist turns 70, and reflects back on the course of her life and career. “I am one of the few people who don’t have secrets,” she says. “All of my secrets, I made performances out of them, or theater pieces.”
Read More »
The Foire International d’Art Contemporain (FIAC for short), has opened its doors in Paris, bringing another year of sales and shows to the grounds of the Grand Palais, and continuing to expand its scope and scale. Marking its 43rd year in operation, the fair’s reputation and mark on the market calendar has grown in leaps and bounds in the last several years, all under the guidance of director Jennifer Flay, and the 2016 edition looks to sustain this sense of forward momentum.
New York – Sol LeWitt at Paula Cooper Gallery, in Conjunction with a Show of Works by LeWitt and Liz Deschenes, Through October 22nd, 2016October 19th, 2016
Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #368: The wall is divided vertically into five equal parts. The center part is divided horizontally and vertically into four equal parts. Within each part are three-inch (7.5 cm) wide parallel bands of lines in four directions in four colors. In each of the other parts, three-inch (7.5 cm) bands of lines in one of the four directions. The bands are drawn in color and India ink washes. Red, yellow, blue, ink, India ink 3” (1982), via Art Observed
Spread across all three of Paula Cooper’s Chelsea spaces, the gallery has embarked on a major celebration of the work of Sol LeWitt, posing a series of exhibitions that explores the range of the artist’s conceptual oeuvre, both as a solo artist, and in his historical impact on the development and evolution of art in both the 2oth and 21st Century. Combining this diverse range of perspectives and interpretations of the artist’s work, the show is a fittingly nuanced exploration of an artist whose work continues to influence the progression of the field today, almost fifty years after his first exhibitions of work.
Brazilian-born, New York-based artist Karin Schneider is currently the subject of a solo exhibition, titled Situational Diagram, at Dominique Lévy this month, delving into artistic and philosophical potentials for “grasping” an artwork, both materialistically and ideologically. Schneider, who co-managed the experimental Lower East Side artist-run initiative Orchard Gallery between 2005 and 2008, embarks on a series of black canvases, which offer the artist a degree of freedom to leave narratives open-ended, and to allow relationships and commerce to leave their mark on the painting’s surface. Each work is subject to a specific agreement with its potential collector, where Schneider’s monochrome-heavy works utilize art history—particularly Minimalism—as a vessel to scrutinize social and consumerist dynamics in art through color and form. Read More »
Few artists in the contemporary discourse have continued to produce work with such unrelenting consistency and vitality as Giuseppe Penone, a member of the younger generation of Arte Povera artists who seems to almost ceaselessly produce new variations and explorations on the relationships between humanity and nature, body and space, presence and absence. Often posing unique material interactions with the human body, the bodies of plants or trees, and the material formats that he places between them, Penone’s work mines a rich multitude of lyrical interactions and relations of form and process.
New York – Walter Robinson: “Paintings and Other Indulgences” at Jeffrey Deitch Through October 22nd, 2016October 15th, 2016
Filling the open spaces of Jeffrey Deitch’s reopened space at 18 Wooster, Walter Robinson’s Paintings and Other Indulgences demonstrates the wide scope of the artist’s interest in consumerist desire. A traveling retrospective first launched at the University Galleries of Illinois State University, Paintings and Other Indulgences features a range of Robinson’s work spanning from 1979 to 2014, each of which address a wide span of pop culture imagery, imagined in the artist’s distinctive hand, ranging from greeting card kittens to Vicks VapoRub.
Robinson’s work elevates the kitsch by giving it a frame, yet also highlights the hedonism of contemporary culture. His process, immortalizing the vulgar and unspoken fragments of American society, evident in particular with his passionate re-creations of pulp novels, renders alluring works as occupied with their power of attraction as they are with their subject matter. Vibrant and aggressively romantic, the images of these works are saturated with color and posturing desire, a layered approach that speaks in part to his work as both an artist and critic. After co-founding the magazine Art-Rite in the 70s, Robinson went on to be an editor of Art in America, and a founder of ArtNet. A well-established writer as regards the New York art scene, Robinson’s editorial eye is evident in the self-awareness of his works.
Robinson’s use of images from popular culture explores the central themes of postmodern art. His reproductions of symbols such as the hamburger reflect only the emptiness of consumerist America, revealing a signifier that is, in many ways, constructed. The subconscious desires that his work involves lack true substance, and instead reflect the base human wants that sit at the core of advertising iconography. Robinson’s take on pop art allows the viewer to locate himself within the art, but through a detached, somewhat dehumanized subject, never spilling over into overt brand-centrism or easily read consumer imagery.
While drawing on some of the darker themes of postmodern art, Robinson’s work displays a playful attitude toward lowbrow aesthetics. The retrospective features several of his spin paintings, which predate those of Damien Hirst by roughly 10 years. Similar to the rest of the pieces in their bright color and kitschy quality, Robinson’s spin art offers another angle into the purpose of his work. These examples of abstract painting reveal the artist’s lighthearted approach, which he describes, overall, as “an accident.” Paintings and Other Indulgences displays this same line of humor and context that Robinson rides throughout, invoking pulp, while equally satirizing and elevating the oddities of our consumer society.
— M. Donovan
Photographer Alex Prager has returned to Lehmann Maupin’s New York exhibition space at 201 Chrystie Street this month for an exhibition of new photographic works, executed in conjunction with the production for Prager’s new film piece, La Grande Sortie. Continuing the artist’s investigations between the lines of performer and viewer, production and reception, her new works dwell on the act of public performance, and the intersecting emotions of anxiety, desire and frustration as they play out in her tightly choreographed and constructed scenes.
Marianne Vitale has joined Invisible-Exports this fall for her first exhibition with the downtown gallery, bringing a single installation of handmade torpedoes that plays on concepts of military machismo, violence, weaponization, and the underlying threads of handicraft and technology that unite these elements in the utilization and application of deadly force. Looming over the viewer in the center of the gallery space, Equipment’s inverse pyramid translates the artist’s long fascination with technology and materiality into a strikingly immediate, and highly animated format. Read More »
Lorna Simpson, Detroit (Ode to G.) (2016), via Art Observed
Lorna Simpson’s Salon 94 exhibition speaks volumes with only a few shades and a handful of images on view. Echoing throughout the gallery space’s small confines, her skeletal, eerie patterns contribute to a cohesive vision throughout the exhibition. Despite consisting of paintings of a variety of sizes and of a combination of media even across the surface of one piece, the artist displays a unity in terms of her finely tuned, yet free-roving style. The pieces themselves display an amalgamation of printed photographs, playing against spatters and blots of ink against a gradually altered background, providing a formal and thematic unity despite its disparate visual cues. Read More »
The Sotheby’s Contemporary and Post-War Evening Sale closed out a weekend of unexpectedly strong and enthusiastic sales in London this week, continuing both a solid week of sales at Frieze London as well as a series of impressive sales at both Christie’s and Phillips in the past days. Adding its own mark to the week’s proceedings, the auction house saw strong results for its first major offering of the fall season, tallying a final result £47,953,000 with 3 of the 34 lots going unsold. Read More »
Continuing the week’s unexpectedly strong auction results, Christie’s cinched up its entry in Frieze Week’s series of Contemporary Evening sales tonight in London, capping a 42-lot offering with a sale of brisk and enthusiastic bidding that ultimately pushed the sale to impressively strong results given the glut of sales and works on offer this week. Only 2 works went unsold over the course of the main sale, with 1 lot withdrawn to bring a final of £34,266,000, followed by a less impressive Italian sale that still managed to achieve £18,680,250 in its own right after a number of passes and underbid lots.