Archive for October, 2008

Go See: Pharrell Williams ‘Perspectives’ Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, through January 10th, 2009

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Musician and artist Pharrell Williams sitting on work from Perspectives, via The Clones.

Pharrell Williams, music producer and member of N.E.R.D, is currently exhibiting his latest design ambition entitled Perspective at the Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris. The exhibition consists of a single chair its seat supported with the legs of both a man and a woman and was created with the help of furniture designer Domeau & Pérès. The chair which is on display in four colors comes with a seat that can either be wrapped in leather, velour, or veal skin. Williams, no stranger to design, has previously worked on two separate jewelry lines, one in collaboration with Louis Vuitton’s in-house jewelry designer Camille Miceli the other with street artist KAWS. Earlier this year Williams curated the show Saturated by KAWS at Miami’s Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, as covered by Art Observed here.

Pharrell Williams: Perspectives [Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin]
Pharrell Williams Debuts His “Perspectives” Chair at Gallerie Emmanuel Perrotin [supertouch]
Pharrell’s Perspective Chairs at Gallerie Emmanuel Perrotin
Pharrell Williams at Galerie Emmanuel Parrotin, Paris [Digital Ape]

Go See: Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion, through November 9 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

View of Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion
A View of Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion, at Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield, designed by Zaha Hadid, via the New York Times

After stops in Hong Kong and Tokyo (as covered by AO here), the Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion has arrived in New York. The itinerant art exhibit was commissioned by Karl Lagerfeld, the ubiquitous link between the art and fashion worlds, and was designed by Zaha Hadid, a Pritzker Prize winner and one of today’s foremost architects. The pavilion, whose design has most often been compared to a spacecraft’s, is set in Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield, offering a stark contrast to the park’s landscape through Hadid’s compelling use of smooth, white contours that resemble canvas–but are actually made of steel.  Inside the installation, 20 artists display works inspired by Chanel’s coveted, iconic quilted handbag on a chain, also known as the 2.55. Admission to the exhibit is free by making a reservation on-site.

Chanel: Mobile Art
Zaha Hadid: Architect’s Website
A 7,500-Square-Foot Ad for Chanel, With an Artistic Mission [New York Times]
Art and Commerce Canoodling in Central Park [New York Times]
Chanel’s Purse Show Lands in New York With Curves by Zaha Hadid [Bloomberg]
Video: Inside the Chanel Mobile Art Exhibit! [New York Magazine]
Karl Called [Park Avenue Peerage]
Chanel Mobile Art Container Lands in Central Park [Unbeige]


Newslinks for Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Banksy’s controversial One Nation Under CCTV via

Banksy issues a statement on London City removal of his CCTV work
[Time via TWBE] and a video of Banksy’s pet store/charcoal grill in NYC [Wooster Collective]
At the Whitney: Leonard Lauder, Cindy Sherman, Mary Boone, Donatella Versace, Christina Ricci, Sting and assorted socialites show up for the Gala and Studio Party [ArtInfo]
Art and Commerce: Julian Schnabel, sponsored by Mastercard, completes portrait of sweepstakes winner [Tradingmarkets]
A quiet but strong video of Jenny Holzer at the Guggenheim, New York []
Takashi Murakami, a bit hurt perhaps from the his Phillips Frieze auction, comments on the art market: “Everyone is very nervous. Everything is negative” [NYMag]
And in the latest in Damien Hirst: the Guardian quotes his art market comments from four years ago: “they would sell your granny to Nigerian sex slave traders for 50 pence and a packet of woodbines” [GuardianUK] his cover art for British band The Hours [Brand Republic] and Sarah Thornton has a thorough summary of Hirst and some of his series: “he faces all the problems of an aging rock star” [TheArtNewspaper]

Go See: Catherine Opie’s Midcareer Survey at Guggeinheim Museum, New York, through January 7, 2009

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Self Portrait / Cutting (1993) by Catherine Opie
Self Portrait / Cutting (1993) by Catherine Opie

The Guggenheim Museum on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is currently featuring a comprehensive midcareer survey of Catherine Opie’s work, which blends high formalism with unconventional subjects, often from society’s margins. The exhibition encompasses most of the photographer’s output, which ranges from portraiture to urban landscape photography, and includes more than 200 works. Opie first came to prominence after ‘Being and Having’ (1991) and ‘Portraits’ (1993-1997), shows that focused on queer communities and culture in San Francisco and Los Angeles, with many of the heavily pierced and tattooed sitters coming from the queer artist and sadomasochist subcultures.  The artist also gave her subjects exaggerated facial hair to make their gender even more opaque and transmutable, exposing the subjectivity of sexual and gender ideology.

Guggenheim Museum: Catherine Opie: American Photographer
Regen Projects: Catherine Opie
A Retrospective of Many Artists, All of Them One Woman
[New York Times]
Shock and awe of another age [Financial Times]
Doug McClemont on Catherine Opie at the Guggenheim [Saatchi Online]
The AI Interview: Catherine Opie [ArtInfo]
Dykes! Tutus! Off-ramps! The Guggenheim Mounts a Catherine Opie Retrospective [Village Voice]


Last Chance to See: Rirkrit Tiravanija: Demonstration Drawings at the Drawing Center, NYC through November 6

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Rirkrit Tiravanija, “Untitled (demonstration no. 138), 2006. via the Drawing Center

The Drawing Center will present over 200 works on paper in Rirkrit Tiravanija: Demonstration Drawings. The series is the artist’s first U.S. museum exhibition displaying drawings he commissioned derived from demonstrations published in the International Herald Tribune. Composed by Thai artists, many of whom were students of Tiravanija, his visions convey a photorealistic portrayal of immediacy responding to power, oppression, and global capital. Curated by João Ribas, Demonstration Drawings fashions a perspective centered on popular sovereignty movements worldwide and ongoing forms of social strife.  In part know for his cooking-sessions-as-art in gallery exhibitions, Rirkrit’s work usually deals with “relational aesthetics,” a theoretical departure from private space while creating inclusion of the whole of human relations and their social context.

Rirkrit Tiravanija: Demonstration Drawings [Drawing Center]
The Conceptual Provocateur: Rirkrit Tiravanija [NewYorkSun]
Rirkrit Tiravanija, Demonstration Drawings at Drawing Center
Rirkrit Tiravanija, Demonstration Drawings
RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA Demonstration Drawings at the Drawing Center
by David Cohen


Newslinks for Sunday, October 26th, 2008

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) Concetto Spaziale, Forma

Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) Concetto Spaziale, Forma sold at Sotheby’s London last Tuesday

Sotheby’s £13.6 million, 20th Century Italian Art sale holds up within estimate last week [ArtDaily]
Jerry Saltz has a fairly grim prognosis for the art market [NYMag] while The Economist suggests more resilience, where “bulk-buying big names is gone, and the rare and the beautiful are back in vogue” [The Economist]
Sotheby’s, with $375 million of cash at last count, takes a $15 million loss on guarantees this month [Bloomberg]
Damien Hirst’s £50 million ‘For the Love of God,’ exhibiting in Amsterdam in November, will go on auction if not sold privately [The Art Newspaper] more Hirst: Toddington Manor, his 188 year old, soon to be exhibition space, shows its new side [Daily Mail]
An artist-in-residency for 30 studios planned for Governors Island [NYTimes]
23-year old Vito Schnabel plans to open 4,300 sf Chelsea gallery and is soon to show Terence Koh [ArtNet via ArtInfo}

Go See: Peter Doig Retrospective at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, through January 4, 2009

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Hitch Hiker, a 1989-90 painting by Peter Doig on display now at the Schirn Kunsthalle via Tate Modern.

A Peter Doig retrospective is currently on display at at Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The exhibition spans the past two decades of the Scottish artist’s work and follows two major retrospectives held earlier this year, one at the Tate Modern, London (as reported by Art Observed in February here) and the other at the Paris Museum of Modern Art. On display are 50 paintings, 130 painted posters, and a group of works on paper. The showcased works include some of Doig’s most famed landscapes and primarily reflect his childhood spent in Trinidad and Canada, and the cityscapes of London where he spent the greater part of his adult life. Although Doig often uses photographs as a reference his paintings are not of specific places and are equally influenced by past memories creating a signature style that has both photo-realist and abstract qualities. In addition to the exhibition Doig has also set up a special series of film screenings of his selection entitled STUDIOFILMCLUB in Frankfurt.

Peter Doig Retrospective at Schirn Kunsthalle / Frankfurt a. Main [VernissageTV]
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt: Peter Doig [E-flux]
Peter Doig Retrospective [Schirn Kunsthalle]

Newslinks for Wednesday, October 22th, 2008

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

George Michael
George Michael via TelegraphUK

At Frieze, George Michael and partner annouce plans for 10,000 sf Dallas space for $200 million in British contemporary art
Emily Rauh Pulitzer gives $45 million for Harvard’s collection, as well as 31 works, incuding Picasso, Modigliani, and Giacometti valued at an additional $200 million [Boston Globe]
Jackie Wullschlager summarizes 20 years following Damien Hirst’s curated “Freeze” show of YBA ‘s [FinancialTimes]
Two new London outposts for existing galleries: Yvon Lambert across from White Cube and Pilar Corrias in Rem Koolhaas-designed space in Fitzorivia []
A Fernando Botero video interview on his Circus series, and part two here [Vernissage]
In new Moscow Museum of Modern Art branch, Sotheby’s previews 50 20th-century works, including Bacon, Warhol and Picasso to be sold for estimated $200 to $300 million in New York in November [The Moscow Times] more on that, and Christie’s Moscow previews, here [NYTimes]

AO Roundup: 2008 Frieze Art Fair, Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips London Auctions; Art Market Inflection Point Reached

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Duane Hanson’s Flea Market Lady
Duane Hanson’s “Flea Market Lady” staffs Emmanuel Perrotin’s booth at Frieze via New York Magazine

In the midst of perhaps the most spectacular global financial and credit market cave-ins ever experienced, The Frieze Art Fair in London, one of the three largest contemporary art fairs, felt a slowdown in some attendance indicators, sales volume and pricing; a harbinger of similar buyer sentiment reflected in anemic sales totals from all of the three major contemporary art auctions that followed in London over the weekend from Sotheby’s, Phillips and Christie’s respectively. In light of the true magnitude of the global wealth disrupted in recent weeks, overall, the output of the Frieze art fair and the concurrent contemporary art auctions likely could have been worse. The following is a roundup of the news and images looking back from the close of the Frieze fair as well as detailed summaries of each auction.

TAKASHI MURAKAMI - Tongari-kun, 2003-2004
Takashi Murakami’s “Tongari-Kun” 2004. Though it was headliner of the Phillips Auction on Saturday, it failed to sell. Image via Phillips

Newslinks, images and more on the Frieze Art Fair and on the Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips auctions after the jump…


Go See: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s ‘TH.2058′ at the Tate Modern, London, Through April 13, 2009.

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s installation TH.2058 at Tate Modern in London via The Independent.

The Tate Modern, London is currently displaying its ninth Turbine Hall installation by French artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. The installation is inspired by the artist’s vision of an apocalyptic London 50 years into the future. The work aptly named TH.2058 imagines the city under siege by flooding, bombing, and invasion, its residents forced to take shelter in the Tate’s Turbine Hall in order to escape the never-ending rain. Gonzalez-Foerester has filled the hall with rows of of bunk beds scattered with science-fiction novels such as George Orwell’s 1984 and Jack Finney’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers. A literal homage to the writings that helped inspire the work. The beds are pinned beneath giant replicas of sculptures previously housed in the Tate, including a gigantic duplicate of a spider by Louise Bourgeois and a colossal copy of Alexander Calder’s pink flamingo. A screen hangs over the end of the space and displays what Gonzalez-Foerester calls The Last Film; a montage of science fiction clips from Planet of the Apes, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and Solaris among others. All of this coupled with the constant sound of rain. The piece was inspired not only by science-fiction works but also by the 2005 London subway bombings that killed 52 and the 1940-41 bombings of Britain by the Nazi’s.

Catastrophe at the Tate: new installation sees future world as a disaster shelter [Guardian UK]
Art Refuge [Financial Times]
Apocalyptic vision of London comes to Tate Modern
[The Associated Press]
Tate’s vision of a London under fire
[The Independent]
Bunk beds fill Tate Turbine Hall
[BBC News]
Bed and bored in Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s chamber of horrors [TimesOnlineUK]

Go See: Elizabeth Peyton ‘Live Forever’ at the New Museum in NYC through January 11, 2008

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Portrait of Poitr Uklanski (1996), Elizabeth Peyton via NYTimes

Elizabeth Peyton’s midcareer survey presents over 100 works in “Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton” currently at the New Museum.  Peyton emerged in the early 1990s along with painters such as John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage and at that time helped define their collective painterly, outsiderish, illustrational, art-smart figurative styles.  Her portraits generally portray two types of subjects: one being the people she has personal rapport with and the other being those in her imagination.  Portraits of Kurt Cobain, Liam Gallagher from the band Oasis, and Matthew Barney are included, manifested in a suitably thin and somewhat androgynous lens. The survey encapsulates fifteen years of Peyton’s career while the catalogue includes essays from curator Laura Hoptman, Iwona Blazwick, and poet and Warhol icon John Giorno.

The Personal and the Painterly [NYTimes]
Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton [New Museum]
Roberta Smith on Elizabeth Peyton’s Show at The New Museum [Badatsports]
New Museum Organizes First Elizabeth Peyton Survey and International Tour of Over 100 Works
Elizabeth Peyton’s Opening [WWD Lifestyle]
Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton at the New Museum, NY [Art2bank]


The first major post-financial collapse art market event, The 2008 Frieze Art Fair, in London, is on right now.

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Cory Arcangel’s “Golden Ticket” to the 2008 Frieze Art Fair via Artnet

With over 150 galleries, The Frieze Art Fair, set in London’s Regent’s Park, began selling works by over 1,000 artists on October 15. Since its first year in 2003, the Frieze fair has grown to be regarded as the youngest and perhaps the most cosmopolitan and cutting edge of the global fairs, which include Art Basel, Art Basel Miami Beach and the Venice Biennial. The fair, which runs until the 19th of October, and the London auctions that will occur this evening and this coming weekend, mark the first major opportunity for transparency into the the status of the global art market since the widespread financial turmoil began. Following Damien Hirst’s groundbreaking, clearing house, £111.5 million, direct-to-market auction of his own work at Sotheby’s last month (as covered by ArtObserved here) the market has had some clouds brewing over it, with beginning indications of weakness manifesting in events such as Sotheby’s lackluster first evening sale of contemporary Asian art in Hong Kong earlier this month (as covered by ArtObserved here), which sold £7 million against expectations of £30 million to another auction that same weekend in which Sotheby’s sale of modern 20th-century Chinese art left over a third of the lots unsold. More recently, the Singapore Art Auctions were also a dissapointment.

London’s Frieze Prepares for a Chill [Wall Street Journal]
Crisis Imperils U.K. Art Fairs, $183 Million Sales, Dealers Say and Auction Houses Guarantee Top Lots; Dealers See Falling Demand and Paltrow, Saatchi, Zhukova Browse Frieze Art as Sales Go Slowly, Aguilera Parties, Damien Hirst Has a Head Case: London Art Buzz [Bloomberg]
Deep Frieze: UK’s hottest art fair braces itself for the chill of the banking crisis and Prank canvas [GuardianUK]
Frieze Art Fair: Super-rich to cast economic crisis aside and Andy Warhol’s Skulls up for auction [Telegraph]
All the fun of the fairs: the art world gathers for Frieze [Independent]
The Post-Materialist | Frieze Art Fair [TheMoment]
Diary: Frieze Frame [ArtForum]
Frieze Factor [Artnet]
Frieze: First night blur [ArtReview]
Frieze Art Fair 2008 [Frieze Art Fair]


Metallica’s drummer to sell Basquiat painting at Christie’s New York, November 12th auction; ‘Boxer’ to be displayed during Frieze Art Fair in London

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Untitled by Basquiat
Untitled (1982) (known unofficially as The Boxer) by Basquiat, via

Lars Ulrich, drummer for heavy metal band Metallica and erstwhile art collector, is putting up an untitled Basquiat painting up for sale in New York through Christie’s.  Known as ‘The Boxer,’ it depicts a triumphant black boxer with arms raised, painted in Basquiat’s signature style: very raw with elements of graffiti and ‘primitive’ aesthetics. The painting was a feature of the Basquiat retrospective shown at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Los Angeles, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston in 2005.  Christie’s will be putting ‘Boxer’ on sale on November 12th, and will display it in London over the weekend of October 17th to coincide with the Frieze art fair, when collectors will converge en masse in London.

Basquiat’s ‘Boxer’ is expected to sell for $12 to $16 million, with some estimates going as high as $20 million. Given the art market’s recent performance, it remains to be seen if the auction will break the artist’s previous record of $14.6 million for an unnamed painting from 1981. Nevertheless, given the fact that Basquiat has a limited, in-demand body of work due to a premature demise, pricing is still expected to be at the higher end of estimates.

Brooklyn Museum: Basquiat Retrospective with biographical information
Metallica Drummer to Sell Basquiat ‘Boxer’
[New York Times]
Another Rock Star Auctioning Off His Rare Basquiat
[New York Observer]
Metallica Drummer Puts $12 Million `Boxer’ Basquiat Up for Sale
Metallica drummer to sell Basquiat painting in NYC
[Washington Post]
Musician selling a Basquiat at Christie’s
[Crain’s New York]
Good as Gold
[Art Market Monitor]


Newslinks for Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Damien Hirst
Damien Hirst via TheDailyMail

Science, Damien Hirst’s corporation, tops the ArtReview power 100, Gagosian follows, and MoMA’s Kathy Halbreich is first woman to make the top 10 [ArtInfo]
Designer Yohji Yamamoto uses museum curators in New York, Paris, London and Antwerp as models in latest campaign [TheMoment]
PaperMag’s latest issue interviews artworld figures such as Terence Koh, Cecily Brown, Tauba Auerbach, Shepard Fairey and James Fuentes [PaperMag]
Sotheby’s secures $250 million loan from Bank of America while cutting auction guarantees [Bloomberg}
A Liechtenstein billionare is on his second attempt to build 23,000 sf Las Vegas Museum of Contemporary Art [ArtForum]
What happens to the corporate artwork of failed companies? [WallStreetJournal]
Jake Chapman interviewed on, for example, his ideal home: with six or seven of his enemies hanging from trees in front of it [GuardianUK]
Fashion designer Stella McCartney and Artist Ed Ruscha together on Iconoclasts [SundanceChannel]

GO SEE: Andy Warhol- Other Voices, Other Rooms at Hayward Gallery, London, through January 18

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Self-Portrait via The Hayward Gallery, London

Nearly twenty years after The Hayward Gallery in London put on Andy Warhol: A Retrospective (1989), Hayward is now hosting Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms, another retrospective of Warhol’s work. Other Voices, Other Rooms, which has been on tour since last October at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and then at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, uses Warhol’s film and video work as a starting point to explore the artist’s core subjects, “voyeurism, celebrity, the mundane, blurring distinctions between high and low culture.”

Highlights from Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms
[Art Daily]
Andy Warhol at The Hayward Gallery
Review of Other Voices, Other Rooms
Overexposed and over here [Guardian UK]
Giant who changed the world [Financial TImes]
Works in Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms
[The London Paper]
The Hayward Gallery, London

More images and information after the jump (more…)

Sotheby's hopes to smash Russian art at auction record with $60 million sale of Malevich painting in New York on November 3rd

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

Suprematist Composition by Malevich
Suprematist Composition (1916) by Kazimir Malevich, via Art Daily

Despite the ongoing deterioration of global stock markets, including, at the time of this article, a 61% decline in the Russian Stock Market since May, Sotheby’s is confident that it will break the $20.9 million record set for  the sale of Russian art at auction by Kandinsky set in 1990.  ‘Suprematist Composition,’ composed by Kazimir Malevich in 1916, is widely considered a masterpiece of early 20th century avant garde art–Sotheby’s calls it “one of the greatest modern paintings ever offered for sale.” It is expected to fetch $60 million dollars when it goes on sale at the Impressionist and Modern Art auction on November 3rd.  The piece goes on sale after Malevich’s heirs recouped it from the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

Sotheby’s optimism in the face of recent subpar auction performances [AO] is due to what they say is the unprecedented quality of the work and the historical importance of the artist, who has recently risen in profile to the ranks shared by Picasso, Pollock, Chagall and other marquee 20th century artists.  Sotheby’s is also counting on the interest of Russia’s billionaire art collectors, who have had a major impact on art markets this decade, paying record prices and avidly acquiring trophy works by the likes of Damien Hirst as well as Russian artists. The results of Sotheby’s prediction remains to be seen and some of the factors that will affect the outcome certainly have developed for the worse, as Bloomberg estimates that Russia’s billionaires have lost close to $230 billion of their net worth in the recent Russian stock market’s decline.

Sotheby’s: Suprematist Composition (1916), Lot #6, Impressionist and Modern Art Fall Sale [Sotheby’s]
“Suprematism” by Kazimir Malevich, plus selection of artwork
Sotheby’s expect Malevich to smash Russian record
Heirs to Auction Russian Painter’s Work
[New York Times]
Malevich Painting May Fetch More Than $60 Million
Restituted Malevich to Be Sold at Sotheby’s
Sotheby’s To Auction One of the Greatest Modern Paintings Ever Offered for Sale
Sotheby’s predicts Russian Malevich masterpiece to fetch a record-smashing £33million
[Daily Mail]
Abramovich, Deripaska, Oligarchs Lose $230 Billion [Bloomberg]

a history of the current painting and how it came to auction after the jump…


Newslinks for Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Richard Serra
Richard Serra via TigerofSweden

With his show on at Gagosian London, [AO] a lookback at the soon-to-be-70 iconoclast Richard Serra [Guardian UK]
New York gallery sues Ex-Enron official Jeff Shankman regarding his attempted extortion of six figure sums lest he “go public” that works sold to him were fake [Bloomberg]
Irish group begins futures market trading based on famous Mei-Moss art price index [Financial Times]
Controversially Christie’s-owned Haunch of Venison gallery moving to landmark, Victorian, David Chipperfield-renovated building owned by the Royal Academy [ArtInfo]
Arab and Iranian art on the rise, the sales of which grew from £1 million in 2006 to £17 million (thus far) in 2008 with 260% price increases in that time [TelegraphUK]
In related, Sotheby’s announces intentions to open branch in Doha, Qatar [ArtDaily]

More of Banksy in New York: Two more murals go up; animatronic show/installation "The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill" opens in West Village

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Chicken Nuggets by Banksy
Nuggets by Banksy, at the Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill, via the New York Times

Two new Banksy rat murals have gone up (following two previous murals, as covered by AO here and here); one at the corner of Houston and MacDougal, the other at Canal and West Broadway. The murals are tie-ins for The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill, Banksy’s new installation/storefront in the West Village and his first official show in New York. The storefront features a number of animatronic representations of animals and food derived from animals, highlighting the disintermediation between the two due to excessive processing and the contemporary consumerist, fast food culture. “I wanted to make art that questioned our relationship with animals and the ethics and sustainability of factory farming,” said Banksy, quoted through a publicist in the New York Times. “But it ended up as chicken nuggets singing.”

Artist site: Banksy
Exhibition site: Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill
ArtObserved Profile: Banksy

Banksy exhibition features chicken nuggets [TelegraphUK]
Banksy Unveils Singing Chicken Nuggets at New York “Pet Supply Shop” [ArtInfo]
Where Fish Sticks Swim Free and Chicken Nuggets Self-Dip
[New York Times]
Banksygate 2008: Banksy opens new show in New York!
Banksy rats now in NYC!
[Art Fag City]

89 7th Avenue South – between West 4th Street and Bleecker
10am to 12am every day
through October 31st, 2008


Newslinks for Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Rubens\' The Apotheosis of James I
Rubens’ The Apotheosis of James I – via the TimesUK

Before deadline, Tate raises £5.7m to keep Flemish master Paul Rubens sketch The Apotheosis of James I [GuardianUK]
The Queen’s composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies declared Damien Hirst’s art to be “bejewelled trinkets” [TimesUK]
Takashi Murakami’s bi-annual Geisai Fair, an upstart artist free for all, drew 1,176 applicants [TheArtNewspaper]
A weighty review of Louise Bourgeois’s art as: “a comprehensive assault on my sense of wellbeing” [GuardianUK]
An insightful summary of where the art market is headed [Wall Street Journal]
With his show at the Serpentine, Gerhard Richter interviewed [The National via ArtMarketMonitor]

With a sweeping survey of Chinese contemporary art, Charles Saatchi opens much anticipated new gallery in Duke of York Headquarters Building, Chelsea, London

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

A silica gel sculpture “Communication” by Cang Xn in the new Saatchi Gallery via Reuters

One of the most influential art collectors, Charles Saatchi, who years ago jump started the careers of the Young British Artists such as Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, has opened his new gallery in Chelsea in Central, London. The neoclassical former military barracks from 1801 known as the Duke of York Headquarters building is the now home to Saatchi’s gallery and his opening exhibit called “The Revolution Continues: New Art From China.” Within the space, a standard “white cube” internal architecture, the inaugural group show features works of art from the most of the top contemporary Chinese artists. Duke of York Headquarters buildings provides an impressive 70,000 square feet of space of gallery space, and in its past life was the military headquarters and barracks for the Duke’s soldiers.

Also notable is that the new Saatchi Gallery, a huge space that compares with City or National arts spaces in its scope and quality of offerings, is entirely free, due to a corporate sponsorship by Phillips de Pury & Company, which only this week was purchased by the Mercury Group of Russia, as reported by Art Observed yesterday here.

Saatchi Gallery Website
Saatchi Gallery Opens at Duke of York’s HQ Building, Chelsea
Saatchi leads Chinese revolution with video here, and more video here [BBC]
Classical frame for Saatchi’s brand-new look [Financial Times]
Art guru Saatchi back with new gallery, China show [Reuters]
Saatchi’s New London Gallery Hails Britart, Chinese Revolution [Bloomberg]
Charles Saatchi’s old favourites – made in China [TimesUK]
Stuck with Saatchi [ArtReview]
The Revolution continues at the new Saatchi Gallery [TimesUK]
The verdict on Saatchi’s new gallery and Dog chews and Mao [Independent]
Saatchi Gallery: great space, shame about the art
and Saatchi gallery: a study in blandness [GuardianUK]
Last scene by Saatchi and Charles Saatchi: Did I say that? and Is it third time lucky for Saatchi gallery? [GuardianUK]
Saatchi Gallery Opening – London [Jean Pigozzi for Colette]
Update: Opening of the Week: Saatchi rolls out the red carpet [Independent]


Go See: Banks Violette at Maureen Paley Gallery, London through October 19

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

not yet titled (smashed screen with refrigeration) (2008), Banks Violette via ArtRabbit

Banks Violette’s second solo show at Maureen Paley offers black-metal fervor in a minimalist shell. While Violette’s previous installments have focused more upon audible aesthetics like his collaboration with the drone-metal musician Sun O)))), this will be Violette’s first exhibit featuring video. An appropriated and manipulated clip of the signature TriStar Pictures horse is projected upon an invisible screen of water vapor to appear as if the image is hovering (which can be seen here). Upstairs includes influences from his previous works that take on the formal language of billboards and projection screens but mangled, broken, and extruded. Violette was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial and the Black Album in 2005 and since then has garnered international exhibitions. His work primarily deals with ritualistic presentations of death-metal in American culture derived from his tattoo-artist and crystal-meth induced upbringings in Hawaii. His nihilistic approach also deals with real-life narratives like teen suicides in New Jersey or church burnings in Norway.

Maureen Paley Official Site
Banks Violette at Maureen Paley
Artist of the week no 10: Banks Violette [GuardianUK]
Steve Pulimood on Banks Violette at Maureen Paley
[Saatchi Gallery]
Video Footage of Banks Violette TriStar horse animation


Sotheby’s stock drops 14% (down 75.7% from its high) following dismal Asian auction results

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Sotheby\'s Stock Chart
Sotheby’s (NYSE: BID) 1-year stock chart, via Yahoo! Finance

Sotheby’s (BID) stock declined by 14% on Monday, October 6th, 2008, to close at the lowest levels since July 2005 according to Bloomberg.  By ArtObserved’s calculations, Sotheby’s has lost more than 75% of its value since falling from its October 12th, 2007 high of $57.12 to today’s close of $13.86.  Besides the general buckling of the US Stock markets, Sotheby’s stock’s decline has presumably also been due to concerns about the buoyancy of the art market (as specifically reflected in this past weekend’s Asian art sales by Sotheby’s) which some analysts consider to be overheated and on the verge of a decline, especially in light of the global financial contagion.  Despite the overwhelming success of the landmark Damien Hirst direct to market auction less than a month ago in London (as reported by AO here), overall in the past month, Sotheby’s shares have dropped three times that of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Evidence supporting the decline in the market is mounting: several recent auctions have failed to make the grade, including one recently featuring previously extremely in-demand artwork of Banksy. Some hoped that the continued influx of funds into the art market from collectors in ‘new markets’ such as Russia, China, India and the Persian Gulf, would prop up prices in Western markets and in burgeoning domestic contemporary art scenes. The results of Sotheby’s fall sale of Asian contemporary art however, selling a sector of the market which had previous momentum that seemed relentless, poke holes in that assertion. The auction failed to sell 19 of 47 of its headline lots, including pieces by Subodh Gupta, Zheng Xiaogang, Yue Minjun and Takashi Murakami. “Today’s results aren’t acceptable, they’re very poor. The contemporary Chinese art market has raced ahead too quickly and now people can’t prop it up anymore,” a Taiwanese dealer was quoted as saying in the Wall Street Journal.

Hong Kong tests art buyers’ courage [Financial Times]
Weak Sales for Sotheby’s in Hong Kong
[Wall Street Journal]
Sotheby’s Shares Fall Amid Concern About Art Market
Top Lots Shunned in Post-Lehman Art Sale at Sotheby’s Hong Kong [Bloomberg]
Chinese contemporary art palls in Sotheby’s HK sale [Reuters]
Pop Goes the Bubble in Chinese & Indian Art
Credit crunch crushes art auction [BBC]
Sotheby’s Sale of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings Brings US$9,165,947 [ArtDaily]
Sotheby’s Website


Top Auction House Phillips de Pury bought by Russian luxury retail company Mercury Group

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Simon de Pury
Simon de Pury, Chairman and Co-Founder of Phillips de Pury, via Getty Images

Phillips de Pury, a pre-eminent auction house with a strong contemporary art and photography focus, has been bought by Mercury Group, a Russian luxury retail group that owns top shelf department stores selling Gucci, Prada, Ferrari, Maserati, Rolex and other high end names.

Phillips was acquired in 1999 by Bernard Arnault who is the chairman of Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessey. Following that acquisition by Arnault, Simon de Pury and Daniella Luxembourg, both art dealers, ran the auction house then called Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg. In March 2004 Simon de Pury acquired majority control of the firm which was then renamed Phillips de Pury.

Coincidentally, the acquiring firm Mercury Group, headed 41 year old self made billionarie and tobacco tycoon Igor Kesaev, owns the shopping center that was the site of Sotheby’s preview of contemproary art, as reported by AO in April. Simon de Pury will stay at the helm of the company as Chairman, and will remain an important shareholder. According to de Pury, who was quoted in the company’s press release, the ‘strategic partnership’ with Mercury will “allow us to provide a unique platform to new and fast growing markets.”

Press Release: Phillips de Pury announces partnership with Mercury Group
Russian Group Buys Auction House
Russian Luxury Retailer Acquires Phillips
Russia’s Mercury Group Buys London Art Company Phillips de Pury
Phillips de Pury sold to Russian group
[Financial Times]
Phillips auction house is sold
[Wall Street Journal]
Phillips de Pury hopes takeover will secure future sales
Newslinks for Wednesday, September 24, as summer’s China-focused news comes to an end, Autumn news centers on Russia [AO]


Newslinks for Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

The Peaceable Kingdom, by Edward Hicks
The Peaceable Kingdom, by Edward Hicks, the subject of a dispute between Halsey Minor and Sotheby’s, via Wikimedia

The founder of CNET sues Sotheby’s, citing non-disclosure of its economic interest in a painting sold to him, which he has withheld payment for [Bloomberg] more on this here [LATimes] and here [Wall Street Journal] and here [New York Times]
A prediction that the new leadership of the MoMA and Guggenheim will broaden and focus each institution respectively [NewYorkMag]
A profile of the emerging Zoo Fair artists at the National Academy in London [Guardian]
In a recent interview, Tracey Emin addresses her being raped at age 13 in Margate as well as her being a victim of child abuse [ThisisKent]
Artist builds a custom environment to work for 3 months at the Whitney for an upcoming exhibit of photographs of the happenings
[ArtInfo] more on this here [New York Times]