Archive for May, 2009

AO On Site: Banks Violette’s “Not Yet Titled” at Team Gallery New York, through June 20th, 2009

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Opening Banks Violette’s “Not Yet Titled” at Team Gallery. Photo by Art Observed.

From May 7th until June 20th, Team Gallery presents new work by artist Banks Violette. Last night, a crowd -among which fellow artists Dash Snow and Matthew Barney- gathered at Team Gallery and Grand Street to take a first look at the work. The exhibition consists of drawings of graphite on paper and one sculpture.   The iconography in the works is wide-ranging, but all revolve around transformation, death, faith and redemption.  In one piece, Violette has taken the portrait of Bela Lugosi  – the renowned Count Dracula in the 1931 film Dracula who later fell into obscurity – and depicted him as a Christ figure, thus blending evil and the benign.  Violette’s drawing is hard edged, yet he succeeds in rendering his works with an air of ghostly vagueness. The works derive their power from a sense of the unclear and unreal.

Opening Banks Violette’s “Not Yet Titled” at Team Gallery. Photo by Art Observed.

Violette Banks: Not Yet Titled
Team Gallery
83 Grand Street, New York
May 7th, 2009 – June 20th, 2009

Exhibition Page
[Team Gallery]
The ghost of goth art [GQ]
Master of the Dark Arts
(2005 article) [New York Times]
Death Becomes Him [Art Review]
Banks Violette: Kryptologo Cryptologist [Spike Art Quarterly]
Kill to get the money [i-D]
Banks Violette by Neville Wakefield, Banks Violette and Stephen O’Malley [Amazon]

AO Auction Results: Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale at Christie’s – Expectations reached

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Pablo Picasso’s ‘Femme au Chapeau,’ via Christie’s, sold by Julian Schnabel, went for $7.7 million, slightly under the estimate of $8-12 million

Last night’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale at Christie’s fared better than Sotheby’s auction on Tuesday covered here by AO, with 38 of the 48 lots selling, realizing 94% of potential value, bringing in a total of $102.7 million, falling within estimates of $86.7-125.2 million. Highlights include two late Picasso paintings and a Giacometti sculpture, in contrast to the pricey Picasso and Giacometti works offered by Sotheby’s which failed to sell. Picasso’s ‘Mousquetaire à la Pipe,’ offered by Madoff victim Jerome Fisher, was the highest selling lot at $14.6 million, falling between estimates of $12-18 million. Julian Schnabel sold his own Picasso, ‘Femme au Chapeau,’ to recover debts due to construction costs at his West Village townhouse. The painting sold for $7.7 million, just shy of its low estimate of $8 million. The Giacometti sculpture, ‘Buste de Diego (Stele III)’ sold for $7.7 million, surpassing its high estimate of $6.5 million.

Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale [Christie’s]
Picassos Sell at Christie’s Auction, After Faltering at Sotheby’s [NY Times]
Christie’s Bests Sotheby’s With $102.7 Million Sale [WSJ]
Works by Picasso and Giacometti Lead Christie’s Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art [Artdaily]
Madoff Victim Sells Picasso for $14.6 Million at Christie’s [Bloomberg]


AO Newslinks for Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

David Zwirner via Art Info

An interview with power gallerist David Zwirner [WSJ] and more here [WSJ]
Jerry Saltz on the controversial Adel Abdessemed video of animals killing animals on display at David Zwirner
The Turner Prize Shortlist is announced [ArtDaily]
ArtPrize out of Grand Rapids, Michigan will award nearly $1/2 million to its winners
Art Basel announces eight works for its public art projects [ArtDaily]
A walk through Peter Brant’s new contemporary exhibition space in Greenwich, complete with a Jeff Koons sighting

An annotated view of Roxy Paine’s ‘Maelstrom’ at the Met’s Roof Garden [NYMagazine]

A self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

Book asserts that Paul Gauguin and his sword were the cause of Van Gogh’s lost ear[NYTimes] and more here’ [TelegraphUK]

A self-portrait of Paul Gauguin

And a refute of the assertion here [Bloomberg] and another non-believer here [GuardianUK]

Art Collector Nicolas Berggruen

Nicolas Berggruen to open private museum in Berlin [ArtNewspaper]
The Getty Museum will cut 205 people from its work force
Sotheby’s cuts its dividends and plans to cut more jobs
Art + Auction publisher Louise T. Blouin MacBain cuts executive salaries

A work by Nam June Paik via

The Smithsonian receives the complete Nam June Paik archives [ArtInfo]

‘Burn, Baby, Burn’ by Roberto Matta

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has acquired a 10′ x 30′ work by Roberto Matta [CultureMonster]

JR in Brazil

JR shows up in Brazil with more installations [WoosterCollective]
California Judge dismisses suit against MOCA regarding Takashi Murakami prints
NYTimes has an article on the resurgence of private sales amidst high profile failures at auctions

New York Magazine on opportunities to be had in the art world
And an anonymous forecast on artists by their contemporaries [NYMag]
Impressionist works and their value

AO Auction Preview: Impressionist and Modern Art and Sotheby’s and Christie’s

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Pablo Picasso’s ‘Mousquetaire à la Pipe’ via Artnet, goes on sale at Christie’s with estimates between $12-18 million

Following mixed results at last night’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale at Sotheby’s, where two high profile works by Picasso and Giacometti failed to sell, auctions at Christie’s and Sotheby’s continue tomorrow.  C hristie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale tonight features two late Picasso paintings, both with estimates between $12-18. One, ‘Mousquetaire à la Pipe,’ is offered by Madoff victim Jerome Fisher, co-founder of show company Nine West.  The other painting, ‘Femme au Chapeau,’ comes from the collection of artist Julian Schnabel. The auction sees 50 lots with estimates of $94.9–134.6 million.

Madoff Investor Puts Picasso ‘Musketeer’ on Sale at Christie’s [Bloomberg]
What a Difference a Year Makes [Artinfo]
Impressionist and Modern Art [Christie’s]
Bernie Swindle Is a Pablo Blow

AO Auction Results: Picasso and Giacometti fail to sell at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Spring Art Auction
Picasso’s ‘La Fille de l’Artiste a Deux Ans et Demi Avec un Bateau’ via AP. Failed to reach its reserve, attracting one bid at $12.25 million, falling short of the $16-24 million estimate.

Hours after Standard and Poor’s downgraded Sotheby’s credit rating to junk status, citing the depressed art market, the auction house’s spring Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale got underway last night in New York, yielding mixed results. The auction brought in $61,370,500 against estimates of $81.5/1-8.8 million, and was 80.6% sold by lot. This year’s figure represents slightly more than a quarter of last year’s sale, which realized $208.63 million. The auction’s highest priced lots, Picasso’s ‘La Fille de l’Artiste a Deux Ans et Demi Avec un Bateau,’ put up by a victim of the Madoff Ponzi scheme, and a rare Giacometti sculpture, ‘Le Chat,’ both failed to sell.  For both pieces, the $16-24 million reserve was cited as overreaching in an uncertain market.

However, the auction did have its highlights.  A 1934 painting by Piet Mondrian, ‘Composition in Black and White, with Double Lines,’ nearly doubled its high estimate of $5 million, selling to an anonymous caller for $9,266,500 after extensive bidding.  Four paintings by Polish Art Deco artist Tamara de Lempicka, from the collection of German fashion designer Wolfgang Joop, sold for a total of $13.8 million. ‘Portrait de Marjorie Ferry’ sold for $4.9 million, a new record for the artist.

Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art Totals $61,370,500, Picasso and Giacometti Go Unsold [Artdaily]
Modern Masters Suffer at Auction
Sotheby’s $61.3 Million Sale Disappoints; Picasso Goes Unsold [Wall Street Journal]
Top Lots Flop at Sotheby’s Imp/Mod Sale [Artinfo]
Sotheby’s Impressionist Sale Hits 7-Year Low as Picasso Flops [Bloomberg]
$80 Million? Try a Tenth of That. Art’s New Numbers. [NY Times]
What a Difference a Year Makes [Artinfo]


Go See: Wassily Kandinsky at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris through August 10th, 2009

Monday, May 4th, 2009


Kandinsky’s “First Abstract Watercolor 1910″ via abcgallery

After showing at Munich’s Städtische galerie im Lembachhaus and before moving to New York’s Guggenheim Museum (autumn 2009) the international retrospective of Wassily Kandinsky will spend the spring and summer months at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (8 April – 10 August 2009).  The exhibition, showcasing some hundred of Kandinsky’s paintings, will offer a comprehensive chronological survey of the Russian Artist’s contribution to modern art while investigating his formal and conceptual offerings to the course of 20th century abstraction.  Kandinsky is noted for striving to give painting the freedom from nature he felt in music.

Pompidou Offers Comprehensive Overview of the Work of Russian Artist Wassily Kandinsky [Art Daily]       
“Kandinsky” at Centre Georges-Pompidou, April 8–August 10, 2009
Kandinsky’s Squiggles, Amoeba Delight in Paris Show: Review [Bloomberg]                                                                    
Landmark Kandinsky Retrospective Planned for Guggenheim Museum’s 50th


AO On Site: Francesco Clemente “A History of the Heart in Three Rainbows” at Deitch Projects New York, through May 30th, 2009

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Artist Francesco Clemente at the opening of A History of the Heart in
Three Rainbows
at Deitch Projects. Photo by Art Observed.

Last night, Francesco Clemente’s latest show at Deitch Projects opened with a star-studded evening in SoHo.  The exhibition consists of large-scale watercolor paintings that are positioned in a continuous line along the gallery walls. This particular hanging corresponds to Clemente’s aim to embed art with a spiritual experience.  The idea of a rainbow closely reflects the works in the show.  For Clemente, a rainbow is a symbolic structure that sets up connections between people and worlds, and using watercolor allows the light of the paper to come through. Moreover, the watercolors are bright and come after a long period in which the artist worked with a darker palette.  In order to arrive at the final form of the works, Clemente started out with three large scale canvases that were each 60 foot (about 18 meters) long.  He then divided each of them by cutting them into five separate sections. When hung next to each other, the rainbows reconnect in the mind of the viewer. The iconography in the work is derived from candomblé from the Americas, alchemy from Europe and tantra from India. The exhibition will run through May 30, 2009.  Among the crowd were Goldie Hawn and daughter Kate Hudson who were enjoying the show with artist Dustin Yellin who was is now showing at Robert Miller Gallery and who was interviewed by AO recently here.

Opening Francesco Clemente’s A History of the Heart in
Three Rainbows
at Deitch Projects. Photo by Art Observed.

A History of the Heart in Three Rainbows
Deitch Projects
18 Wooster Street, New York
May 2, 2009 – May 30, 2009

Exhibition Page and Press Release
[Deitch Projects]
Francesco Clemente at Deitch [Purple Diary]
Francesco Clemente: The History of the Heart in Three Rainbows [Dante Ross]
Francesco Clemente [Daily Serving]


Go See: Franz West’s “To Build a House You Start with the Roof: Work, 1972 – 2008” at the LACMA, Los Angeles, through 7 June, 2009

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009
Franz West at LACMA. Via TRYHARDER.Franz West at LACMA. Via tryharder

Spanning from early interactive work from the 1970s to more recent large installations, LACMA’s retrospective exhibition on Austrian artist Franz West is his most comprehensive in the United States so far.  The exhibition, organized by The Baltimore Museum of Art, explores West’s history and position and highlights West’s critical contributions to post-1965 art.  West expanded the definition of sculpture as an environmental and social experience and “continues to do so today,” according to Michael Govan, LACMA CEO.  His work with furniture, found materials, papier-mâché has infused his work with a unique European character.  Informed by philosophers Freud and Wittgenstein, West brings together the aesthetics of trash art and painterly abstraction in prosthetic and biomorphic forms.  West’s collages, installations, sculptures and furniture can be experienced in over a hundred objects at LACMA, through June 7th, 2009.

Franz West, To Build a House You Start with the Roof: Work, 1972 – 2008
Los Angeles County Museum
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
March 12, 2009 – June 7, 2009

Exhibition Page
Press Release [LACMA]
An Interview with Franz West
LACMA Presents West Coast Premier of First Comprehensive Franz West Survey in U.S. [Artdaily]
Review: Franz West at LACMA [Los Angeles Times]
Franz West arrives at LACMA [Artsjournal]
Franz West Installation [Vimeo]


Go See: Dustin Yellin's 'Dust in the Brain Attic' at Robert Miller Gallery in New York through May 22, 2009

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Dustin Yellin’s ‘The Invisible Man’ via Robert Miller Gallery

Currently at Robert Miller Gallery in Chelsea is Dustin Yellin’s third New York solo exhibition, ‘Dust in the Brain Attic.’ Yellin’s signature works are composed by building up layers of ink and resin to create what appears to be an entity trapped in amber. Yellin works primarily with organic forms, creating a bizarre taxonomy of suspended plant and animal artifacts, as well as MRI scans of human heads and skeletons. The works skirt between painting and sculpture, and could be more accurately described as 3D painting, with the final forms created by as many as 100 of resin painted with acrylic, ink, or computed generated transfers.  When Yellin spoke with AO before the opening of the show here, he explained that with many of the pieces, the work becomes like a computer code set in motion to create a final product, while with other, more abstract works, the process is far more painterly and inventive.

Robert Miller Gallery
Dustin Yellin
Skeletons in the Attic [Interior Design]
Dustin Yellin talks to Rebecca Schiffman [ArtObserved]
Dustin Yellin – Dust in the Brain Attic [Look Into My Owl]