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Ernst Neizvestny, Sculptor Who Famously Debated Kruschev on Art in 1962, Passes Away at 91

August 22nd, 2016

Ernst Neizvestny, via NYTThe New York Times reports that Ernst Neizvestny, the sculptor who famously debated Nikita Kruschev on aesthetics at a Moscow exhibition, has passed away at the age of 91.  Neizvestny confronted the former Soviet head over an exhibition in 1962, and discussed the arts for some time, arguing in favor of his own modes of abstraction and technique, ultimately impressing Kruschev.  “You’re an interesting man — I enjoy people like you — but inside you there are an angel and a devil,” Kruschev reportedly told him.  “If the devil wins, we’ll crush you. If the angel wins, we’ll do all we can to help you.”
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Tom Sachs Speaks to Pitchfork About Frank Ocean’s Recent Video Piece

August 22nd, 2016

Tom Sachs, via PitchforkPitchfork speaks with Tom Sachs this week, as the artist breaks down his work with Frank Ocean on the recently 40-minute music video piece Endless, in which Ocean constructs a massive staircase piece by piece.  “You see each stair being stacked on top of each other onto a central steel column that’s welded and bolted to the ground,” he says.  “So there’s a transparency to the building that is the same as the transparency in the music.”
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SF Chronicle Gives In-Depth Analysis on Gift of Fisher Collection to SFMoMA

August 22nd, 2016

SFMOMA, via SF ChronicleThe SF Chronicle has a piece this week on the conditions for the donation of the Fisher Collection to SFMoMA, noting that the donation of the collection ultimately requires upwards of 60% of the museum’s space to show works from that collection, limiting the space provided for the museum to show other works, or even place works in conversation with the Fisher collection.  . “What Don was offering was, on the one hand, extremely generous … but Don wanted something that I felt we couldn’t offer him … a kind of curatorial control over what got shown,”Director Neal Benezra says.  “I felt that, as generous as this offer was, our integrity would be at risk,” Benezra said, “because the museum really needs to control, from a curatorial point of view, if nothing else, how art is presented in our building.”
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Antarctic Biennale Announces Call for Artists

August 22nd, 2016

Antarctica, via TelegraphThe Antarctic Biennale has announced an open call for artists, offering a chance for any interested artists aged 18-35 to apply for an opportunity to show on “the last pure continent on the planet.”  “It’s as if Jules Verne, Charles Darwin, and Leonardo da Vinci have banded together and invited their best and brightest colleagues to examine what will be created from the discoveries that await us,” says editor and curator Matthew Drutt.
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Jeff Koons Gazing Ball at Center of $2 Million Lawsuit Against David Zwirner

August 19th, 2016

Jeff Koons Gazing Ball, via Art NewspaperThe Art Newspaper has more information on the lawsuit between dealer Fabrizio Moretti and David Zwirner, noting that the dispute is over a recent Jeff Koons Gazing Ball work, which was repeatedly sent to different buyers, harming its value in the process.  “It’s a shocking level of indifference to customers that is frankly surprising for a dealer who has a buyer who paid $2m,” Moretti’s laywer John Cahill says.
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NSU Museum Receives Gift of Over 100 Contemporary Works

August 19th, 2016

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #5 (1977), via SkarstedtThe NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale has received a gift of over 100 contemporary works from David Horvitz, chairman of the museum’s board of governors, and his wife, artist Francie Bishop Good.  The gift includes pieces by Cindy Sherman, Ana Mendieta and Cecily Brown, among others.
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Curators Back New Online Art Sales Site

August 19th, 2016

Olivier Varenne, co-founder of Collectionair, via Art NewspaperA number of high-profile curators, among them former Musée National d’Art Moderne head Jean-Hubert Martin, are supporting a new art collection platform offering works for under $10,000.  The site, named Collectionair, organizes curated online exhibitions of work offered for sale.  “Our online exhibitions [which run for 40 to 60 days] are organized by curators from around the world, that come highly recommended by our advisory committee, and select 20 to 30 works,” says founders Olivier Varenne and Valerie Konde.
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Perishable Materials Present Considerable Challenges to Contemporary Conservators

August 19th, 2016

Rauschenberg dirt painting, via Creators ProjectAn article in The Creators Project charts the difficulties in contemporary conservation for works made from perishable materials, including pieces which are now too fragile to be shown.  “They are not exhibited and are archived in museum graveyards solely for research purposes,” says conservator Glenn Wharton.
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Brooklyn Museum Launching Year of Events Celebrating Sackler Center for Feminist Art

August 18th, 2016

Judy Chicago, via ArtforumThe Brooklyn Museum is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, embarking on a year-long series of projects and exhibitions including focuses on work by Marilyn Minter and Georgia O’Keefe, among others.  “The project recognizes feminism as a driving force for progressive change and takes the transformative contributions of feminist art during the last half-century as its starting point,” the museum said in a statement.  “[It] then reimagines the next steps, expanding feminist thinking from its roots in the struggle for gender parity to embrace broader social-justice issues of tolerance, inclusion, and diversity.”
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Podcast Documents Battle Over Bauhaus Photographs

August 18th, 2016

© Lucia Moholy Estate Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York VG Bild-Kunst, BonnThe podcast 99% Invisible profiles the quiet impact of photographer Lucia Moholy, wife of László Moholy-Nagy, on the history and reputation of the Bauhaus, as her documentation photos of its grounds and works became a central element of the school’s preservation and reputation.  The piece goes on to trace Moholy’s conflict with Walter Gropius over the ownership of the original prints.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

Los Angeles – Agnes Martin at LACMA Through September 11th, 2016

August 23rd, 2016

Agnes Martin, Falling Blue (1963), via Art Observed
Agnes Martin, Falling Blue (1963), via Art Observed

Currently on view at LACMA, Agnes Martin’s ambitious and expansive retrospective has touched down on American soil, giving the late artist her first major museum exhibition in the U.S. since 1992.  Previously on view at the Tate Modern in London, the show studiously wends its way through Martin’s career, beginning with a series of New York School paintings from the late 1950’s that not only makes a strong case for her inclusion among the pantheon of the city’s great post-war painters, but equally hints at the artist’s later work.  Even as her early work traces similar interests in space and the expressive capacity of color and form, a distinct focus on line and space makes her pieces here particularly noteworthy, with delicate yet careful attention paid to the interactions between each mark, and the qualities of weight and gesture that her minimal selections imply.

Agnes Martin, With My Back to the World (1997), via Art Observed
Agnes Martin, With My Back to the World (1997), via Art Observed

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Los Angeles – Ken Price: “Drawings” at Matthew Marks Gallery Through September 10th, 2016

August 23rd, 2016

Ken Price, Tubby (2011), via Art Observed
Ken Price, Tubby (2011), via Art Observed

Continuing a series of exhibitions devoted to the estate of Ken Price, Matthew Marks Gallery’s dual exhibition spaces in West Hollywood are currently showing a selection of works spanning the West Coast artist’s long and industrious career, ranging from black and white interiors to his signature sculptural inventions.  Echoing a similar curatorial focus from the last show of Price’s work in New York, the two-gallery exhibition pairs similar forms and images across media, ultimately tracing a line through the broad range of interests and series of reinventions that Price took over the course of his career.

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London – Bas Jan Ader at Simon Lee Through August 26th, 2016

August 22nd, 2016

Bas Jan Ader, Fall 2, Amsterdam (1970), via Simon Lee
Bas Jan Ader, Fall 2, Amsterdam (1970), via Simon Lee

Shown in conjunction with the recently closed exhibition at Metro Pictures in New York, London’s Simon Lee Gallery is currently showing a selection of landmark video works and photographs by Dutch conceptual pioneer Bas Jan Ader, whose short career ended 40 years ago this year.  Memorializing the artist across this series of pieces, the show underscores Ader’s ability to function along multiple theoretical lines and historical modes at once. Read More »

Los Angeles – Made in L.A. 2016: “a, the, though, only” at the Hammer Museum, Through August 28th, 2016

August 20th, 2016

Shahryar Nashat at Made in LA (Installation View), via Art Observed
Shahryar Nashat at Made in LA (Installation View), via Art Observed

Currently on view at Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum, the third Made in L.A. Biennial is exploring the broad experiences and voices of the city’s thriving arts community, culling together a body of work running from digital subversions to more concretely conceptual work, each time underscoring ideas of interconnected and related experiences of the Southern Californian experience.  With a subtitle written by poet Aram Saroyan, the show is intent on exploring concepts of expanded work, where the contributions and performances of those on view spill over into the city, and state, more broadly. Read More »

Los Angeles – “Eau de Cologne” at Sprüth Magers Through August 20th, 2016

August 18th, 2016

Jenny Holzer/Lady Pink, Trust visions that don't feature buckets of blood (1983-84), via Art Observed
Jenny Holzer/Lady Pink, Trust visions that don’t feature buckets of blood (1983-84), via Art Observed

Taking its own unique turn on the group exhibition, Sprüth Magers is currently showing a powerful two-floor exhibition devoted to the female artists on its roster, examining their shared interests in political and institutional critique, and explorations of the art object’s role in relation to the gallery.  Culling together a series of seminal works from Cindy Sherman, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler and Rosemarie Trockel, the exhibition is a well-executed work of its in, ultimately welcoming unforeseen material and political connections among this group of artists. Read More »

New York — “The Keeper” at New Museum Through September 25, 2016

August 17th, 2016

Oliver Croy and Oliver Elser, The 387 Houses of Peter Fritz (1916-1992), Insurance Clerk from Vienna’ (1993-2008), via Art Observed
Oliver Croy and Oliver Elser, The 387 Houses of Peter Fritz (1916-1992), Insurance Clerk from Vienna’ (1993-2008), via Art Observed

Curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Natalie Bell, Helga Christoffersen and Margot Norton, The Keeper is an ambitious group exhibition for which the New Museum has reserved its three floors and lobby. Covering a broad chronological and geographical span, the works in this exhibition investigate one of the quintessential human instincts, that of preservation and collection.  The ingrained urge to keep what is present for later, with all it stands for, imbues the works on view, presenting visitors with a wealth of perspectives on this human inclination, and its equally varied results.

Olga Frobe Kapteyn, Untitled (ca. 1927-34), via Art Observed
Olga Fröbe Kapteyn, Untitled (ca. 1927-34), via Art Observed

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New York — “The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men” at Cheim & Read Through September 2nd, 2016

August 16th, 2016

The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men (Installation View)
The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men (Installation View) feat. Louise Bourgeois, Filette (Sweeter Version) (1968-99) and Diane Arbus, Young couple on a bench in Washington Square Park, N.Y.C. (1965) via Art Observed

Cheim & Read is currently presenting the second installment of the gallery’s The Female Gaze series which had its inception with 2009’s Women Look at Women.  In the succeeding episode, on view through September 2nd, the female eye remains the object, but its subject switches to men, forming a full circle subversion on the male-centric narrative of art history. Placed as the subject, men—dressed or stripped, confident or meek, benevolent or distant—fill in the role of the objectified model, triggering the question of how influential the gender of its author is for interpreting an artwork.  The exhibition aims to investigate whether knowing these works, and their origins, impacts the viewer’s reading of each respective work. Read More »

Los Angeles – Daniel Richter: “Wild Thing” at Regen Projects Through August 20th, 2016

August 15th, 2016

Daniel Richter, yet to come (2016), via Art Observed
Daniel Richter, yet to come (2016), via Art Observed

Regen Projects in Los Angeles has lowered the walls in its spacious Hollywood gallery for an impressively selected show of new works by German painter Daniel Richter, who brings his unique formal approach and interest in the twisting shapes of the human form  to bear on a series of colorful abstractions.

Daniel Richter, a competition in sensitivity (2016), via Art Observed
Daniel Richter, a competition in sensitivity (2016), via Art Observed

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New York — “Landmark” at Socrates Sculpture Park Through August 28th, 2016

August 14th, 2016

Meg Webster, Concave Room for Bees (2016)
Meg Webster, Concave Room for Bees (2016)

Coinciding with Socrates Sculpture Park’s thirtieth anniversary this summer, LANDMARK brings together an exhibition featuring projects by Meg Webster, Hank Willis Thomas, Brendan Fernandes and Abigail DeVille, among others, for a show that both reflects on the park’s history, and projects each artist’s own vision onto its open expanse.  The park’s evolution from a landfill and illegal wasteland to an exhibition site with strong emphasis on three-dimensional works was spearheaded by Mark di Suvero, whose studio still resides alongside the park at the point where Astoria meets the East River.  The outdoor museum benefits from its unique ambiance and the history of its neighborhood, presenting works that interact with nature, sunlight and the local community. Read More »

Los Angeles – Shio Kusaka at Blum and Poe Through August 20th, 2016

August 13th, 2016

Shio Kusaka, (Installation View), via Art Observed
Shio Kusaka, (Installation View), via Art Observed

Blum and Poe in Los Angeles is currently hosting an exhibition of new works by artist Shio Kusaka, her second solo exhibition with the gallery.  Culling together a broad selection of ceramics ranging from pottery to small figurative totems, the exhibition examines shifting concepts of rhythm and tone as the viewer moves through the exhibition.   Read More »