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


Hong Kong – Sterling Ruby: “VIVIDS” at Gagosian Hong Kong Through October 25th, 2014

October 22nd, 2014

Sterling Ruby, SP288 (2014), Courtesy Sterling Ruby Studio and Gagosian Gallery.
Sterling Ruby, SP288 (2014), Courtesy Sterling Ruby Studio and Gagosian Gallery.

Declared ‘one of the most interesting artists to emerge in this century’ by Roberta Smith, Sterling Ruby has become one of the major fixtures among West Coast artists after leaving the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 2005. The L.A. based artist, who is known for his large scale ceramic or bronze sculptures and ambitious installations challenging the limits of artistic production (his first exhibition with Hauser & Wirth was on view in Chelsea this spring after the artist joined the gallery roster), is presenting VIVIDS, his spray paint works on canvas at Gagosian Hong Kong.  This exhibition is another addition to Ruby’s recent series of projects in Asia, which started with an exhibition at Taka Ishii Gallery in Tokyo, and will continue with the Gwangju and Taipei biennials, alongside an upcoming exhibition at the Ullens Center in Beijing. Read More »

New York – Genieve Figgis: “Good Morning, Good Night” at Half Gallery Through October 25th, 2014

October 22nd, 2014

Genieve Figgis, Our First Party (2014)
Genieve Figgis, Our First Party (2014), All images via Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed.

Following her American debut at Harper’s Books in East Hampton this past summer, Genieve Figgis moves to the Upper East Side for her first New York City show at Half Gallery. One of the recent rising stars of the art world, the Dublin native received major international attention with her unearthly depictions of aristocracy’s heydays, maneuvering between an impressionistic figurativeness and bold abstraction. In Good Morning, Good Night, the artist continues her ambitiously exhilarated portrayals of joyous escapism. Read More »

Monet Painting Could Break Record for Artist at Sotheby’s New York

October 21st, 2014

Alice Hoschedé au jardin, via The GuardianSotheby’s Impressionist sale in New York this November is anticipating record numbers for a 1881 Claude Monet painting, already estimated to achieve $35 million on the auction block.  “It truly is the ultimate trophy painting: dappled sunshine, lovely garden and a pretty woman in a white dress, it’s got everything you would want in a Monet,” says Sotheby’s Impressionist expert Peter Hook. Read More »

The New York Times Reviews the Legal Battle Between Ron Perelman and Larry Gagosian

October 21st, 2014

Ron Perelman, via New York TimesThe New York Times takes an in-depth look at the ongoing court battle between Ronald Perelman and Larry Gagosian, noting the immense legal fees that the collector has racked up (over $3 million) in his ongoing battle over the sale of a Cy Twombly work he claims was fraudulently overpriced, and Gagosian’s subsequent lawsuits over his failure to pay.  “Ron Perelman’s disingenuous claims that he is a crusader are nothing more than a cover for the fact that he is a notorious bully with a well-known history of filing meritless litigations who once again won’t pay what’s owed,” says Gagosian’s lawyer, Matthew S. Dontzin. Read More »

AO Recap and Photoset – London: Frieze Art Fair at Regent’s Park, October 15th-18th, 2014

October 21st, 2014

Alexandrea Da Cunha at Thomas Dane, via Andreay Nguyen for Art Observed
Alexandrea Da Cunha at Thomas Dane, all photos via Andrea Nguyen for Art Observed unless otherwise noted

The last hours of Frieze London have come and gone, with a sizable portion of the $2.2 billion in works on sale changing hands over the course of the week, with a number of noteworthy sales, performances and events capping the fall art staple. Read More »

Gagosian Gallery to Represent Estate of Walter de Maria

October 21st, 2014

American sculptor Walter De Maria, via LA TimesGagosian Gallery has announced that it will represent the estate of artist Walter de Maria, continuing a relationship the artist had with the gallery during his life, showing there several times.  The gallery’s first step is assisting in establishing a Foundation to oversee his estate and work.  “Walter so wished to establish his own foundation, but sadly, he did not accomplish this during his lifetime,” says Elizabeth Childress, former director of the artist’s studio. “It is an important step to have as a protection and a promotion of his legacy.” Read More »

Paul McCarthy Installs Controversial Sculpture in Paris, Attacked by Onlooker, Sculpture Ultimately removed

October 21st, 2014

Paul McCarthy's Tree at Place Vendome, via BBCContinuing what could arguably be the most controversial series of Christmas-themed public artworks, Paul McCarthy this past week installed Tree, an enormous inflatable sculpture on Place Vendome in Paris that bears a striking resemblance to both a Christmas tree or a sex toy.  The work has already garnered considerable controversy, with one man slapping McCarthy as he viewed the work.  “Does this kind of thing happen often in France?” McCarthy reportedly asked shortly after being attacked.

Since being installed, the sculpture has been repeatedly attacked by vandals, and has ultimately been removed from Place Vendome.
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Christie’s CEO Steven Murphy Interviewed on Bloomberg TV

October 21st, 2014

Steven Murphy, via BloombergIn an interview with Bloomberg, Christie’s chief executive officer Steven Murphy has commented on the ongoing growth of the contemporary auction market, noting that sales are only increasing, and that Christie’s is increasingly focused on digital auctions.  “We have 14 exhibition spaces around the world where we exhibit the art, and we’ve really grown our accessibility to clients through the online experience,” he says.  “What brings the most consignments is the number of buyers.” Read More »

Frank Gehry Meeting with MOCA About Possible Renovation

October 21st, 2014

Frank Gehry, via Art NewspaperFrank Gehry is reportedly in talks with Philip Vergne and the rest of the MOCA board regarding a potential renovation of the Geffen Contemporary branch in downtown Los Angeles.  “It is a priority and a necessity to make the Geffen a true public space and to use the plaza and the canopy as a civic, urban and spontaneous gathering place for our visitors and for the citizens of downtown. It should be a town square,” Vergne says. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – London: Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Sale, October 17th, 2014

October 21st, 2014

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (1981), via Sotheby's
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (1981), via Sotheby’s

This past Friday, Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Sale concluded the week of auctions during Frieze Week in London, with a £28,203,200 final tally.  Following the results of the previous two evenings, the sales were relatively staid affairs, with few works exceeding their original estimates.

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Set of Cindy Sherman “Film Stills” Heading to Auction at Christie’s

October 20th, 2014

Cindy Sherman’s “Untitled Film Still #17” (1978), via NYTNext month, Christie’s New York will place a landmark set of 21 “Film Stills” by Cindy Sherman on sale, a set of works from early in the artist’s career that carries an estimate of $6 million – $8 million.  The stills were originally collected by curator by Ydessa Hendeles, who sold them in turn to industrialist Mitchell P. Rales, who noted his intent to keep the works together as a set.  “We are deep into Cindy’s work and will continue to collect it,” he says. “Ydessa did a fabulous job putting it together, and it would be almost impossible to replicate it today.” Read More »

W Magazine Looks Inside the Finnish Retreat of Anita and Poju Zabludowicz

October 20th, 2014

Anita Zabludowicz, via W MagazineW Magazine takes a look at the remote art colony and sculpture park established by collectors Anita and Poju Zabludowicz in the Gulf of Finland.  “They really support artists before they break through,” says curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, codirector of London’s Serpentine Galleries. “It’s a form of patronage.” Read More »

Artists Design Their Own Ads in New York Times

October 20th, 2014

Barbara Kruger for the New York Times, via NYTIn a special feature, The New York Times has invited 15 artists to create imaginative advertisements for themselves as they might run in the newspaper, with submissions from Jenny Holzer, Carol Bove, and Francesco Vezzoli, whose particularly bizarre ad offers a body double of himself as a sexual partner.  ‘‘I immediately felt that it would be hilarious to see a real/fake prostitute ad in the pages of the most respected newspaper in the world,” the artist writes. Read More »

Essl Collection Sale Nets £46.9 Million

October 18th, 2014

Sigmar Polke, Indian With Eagle via BloombergChristie’s auction of works from the Essl Collection launched Frieze week last night in London, with the 44-lot sale attracting £46.9 million in sales, within the estimate for the evening.  The exhibition cover lot, Gerhard Richter’s Netz, failed to sell at auction, but ultimately sold privately after the auction for £5.5 million.  “Through the proceeds of this sale, the long-term future of the Essl Museum is now secured,” Karlheinz Essl said in a statement. Read More »

New York — Jonathan Monk: “I went to school with someone called Jonathon Monk” at Casey Kaplan Through October 18th, 2014

October 17th, 2014

Jonathan Monk, A Copy of Deflated Sculpture No. 1 (2009-2014), all photos via Casey Kaplan
Jonathan Monk, A Copy of Deflated Sculpture No. 1 (2009-2014), all photos via Osman Yerebakan for Art Observed

Appropriating the works of the lead players of Conceptual and Minimal art with an allusive wit, the British artist Jonathan Monk is known for adding his own accent to the often trenchant dynamics of the art world.  In his current show at Casey Kaplan, however, Monk embarks on an autobiographical investigation, reminiscing and eventually interpreting his artistic relation with various other artists. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – London: Christie’s Contemporary Evening Sale, October 16th, 2014

October 17th, 2014

Joe Bradley, Untitled (2011), via Christie's
Joe Bradley, Untitled (2011), via Christie’s

Last evening, Christie’s auction house closed its first auctions of the fall season in London, a successful affair that saw only 5 of the 46 lots on sale go unsold, with a final sales tally of £40,344,500, settling firmly into the auction house’s estimated £32 million to £47 million sales range. Read More »

Gavin Brown to Open Space in LES

October 16th, 2014

Gavin Brown, via WGavin Brown is opening a new location on the Lower East Side at 291 Grand Street, a building which has also recently seen the addition of Margaret Lee’s 47 Canal.  The gallery will also maintain the same name has his original space.  “We couldn’t think of what else to call it!” the gallerist says. Read More »

Miami Collector Announces Plans for Latin American Art Museum

October 16th, 2014

Gary Nader’s Latin American Museum of Art, via Miami HeraldMiami collector Gary Nader has announced plans for his new museum, focusing on Latin American art and featuring about 600 paintings, drawings and sculptures from his personal collection.  “The influence of Latin America in the U.S. is extremely prominent,” he says. “We want to tell the story.” Read More »

Gerhard Richter Interviewed in WSJ

October 16th, 2014

Gerhard Richter, via WSJGerhard Richter is interviewed in the Wall Street Journal this week, as the artist opens a new show of works at Marian Goodman in London.  “Abstract pictures do indeed show something, they just show things that don’t exist,” he says. “But they still follow the same requirements as figurative works: they need a setup, structure. You need to be able to look at it and say, ‘It’s almost something.’ But it’s actually representing nothing. It pulls feelings out of you, even as it’s showing you a scene that technically isn’t there.” Read More »

New York – Helen Frankenthaler: “Composing with Color” at Gagosian Gallery, through October 18th 2014

October 16th, 2014

Helen Frankenthaler, Cool Summer (1962), Courtesy Gagosian Gallery
Helen Frankenthaler, Cool Summer (1962), © 2014 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Photo by Rob McKeever

On view at Gagosian Gallery in New York is an exhibition of work by American abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler, focusing on a period of her career (1962-1963) in which the artist focused primarily on composing with color and tone rather than formal lines and shapes.  The display will remain on view through October 18th. Read More »

Phillips Opens New Space, Exhibition in London

October 16th, 2014

Phillips' New Space in London, via Art NewsPhillips has opened its new exhibition and auction space at 30 Berkley Square in London, part of its increased efforts to compete at the highest end of the contemporary market.  The space is currently exhibiting a curated show in the space, titled A Very Short History of Contemporary Sculpture, and curated by Francesco Bonami.  “I thought about sculpture, as soon as I saw this space,” Mr. Bonami says. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – London: Phillips Contemporary Evening Sale, October 15th, 2014

October 16th, 2014

Christopher Wool, Untitled (1990), via Phillips
Christopher Wool, Untitled (1990), via Phillips

Last night, Phillips wrapped its Contemporary Evening Sale in London, corresponding with the opening days of Frieze London, and setting the stage for the fall season of auctions in both the British capital and New York. Phillips kicked the week off with a moderate sale, featuring a few impressive achievers alongside a number of more subdued sales marks, achieving a final sales total of £14.9 million for the 47 lot sale. Read More »

AO On-Site: Frieze London at Regent’s Park, October 15th-18th, 2014

October 16th, 2014

Outside the Frieze Fair, via Art Observed
Outside the Frieze Fair, via Art Observed

As Wednesday winds down, the 2014 edition of Frieze London is well underway, starting another fair off with strong sales and impressive attendance.  As the VIP preview opened, a number of prominent celebrities could be seen browsing the aisles.  Famed German footballer Michael Ballack was seen wandering the aisles, as was writer Salman Rushdie, joining MOCA’s new director Philip Vergne and his DIA successor Jessica Morgan.

Erwin Wurm, via Andrea Nguyen for Art
Erwin Wurm, via Andrea Nguyen for Art Read More »

New York – “Rite of Passage: Vienna Actionism” at Hauser and Wirth Through October 25th, 2014

October 15th, 2014

Hermann Nitsch at Hauser and Wirth, via Art Observed
Hermann Nitsch,Kreuzwegstation (Station of the Cross) (1961) at Hauser and Wirth, via Art Observed

The Viennese Actionist movement was one of the more visceral post-war collectives that sprung up from the war-torn landscape of mid-20th Century Europe.  The group of Austrian artists (while claiming they were never affiliated officially), among them Otto Mühl, Günter Brus, and Rudolph Schwarzkogler, combined disturbing and often surreal imagery with a ritualistic approach to art making, creating elaborate pieces that often involved flayed animal carcasses, body parts, and bucket upon bucket of blood.

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