Archive for October, 2010

Go See – New York: "Alternative Histories" at Exit Art through November 24, 2010

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Exit Art Founders Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman at Exit Art, 578 Broadway, Manhattan, 1986. Courtesy of Exit Art

Exit Art’s Alternative Histories attempts to assess the inception and development of “alternative” art spaces in New York since the 1960s. The show presents various forms of documentary and archival material drawn from more than 130 organizations and collective experiences which have, from this establishment’s perspective, shaped  the cultural topography of the city over the past 50 years, informing and inspiring generations of artists and practitioners.

All installation views courtesy Exit Art


Go See – London: Marina Abramović at Lisson Gallery through November 13, 2010

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Marina Abramović, Portrait with white lamb. 2010. Courtesy the artist, Marco Anelli and Lisson Gallery.

Currently on view at Lisson Gallery London is an exhibition of new and retrospective works by Marina Abramović. The installation showcases videos, photographs, and sculpture, divided in two parts between galleries across the street from one another. In one, her seminal Rhythm series is mounted in its entirety for the first time; in the other, Abramović’s new series Back to Simplicity makes its debut.

Back to Simplicity reveals a somewhat softer side of Abramović: exhausted from her recent 90-day performance at the MoMA New York, the artist returned to nature to renew her energy. Shot in upstate New York, where Abramović intends to open an institute for the preservation of performance art, the recent images are a far cry from the challenging, violent, and provocative work for which Abramović is known. Instead of pills, guns, or other tools of violence, the artist’s new companion is the lamb. As a symbol of innocence, this creature carries with it a gentler, more vulnerable air.

Marina Abramović. Video still from Confession. 2010. Image courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery.

More text, images, and link to the artist’s Twitter interview with Lisson Gallery after the jump… (more…)

AO News Summary: Prince Sixte-Henri de Bourbon-Parme files injunction to halt Murakami exhibit at Versailles

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Takashi Murakami, Oval Buddha 2010, Chateau de Versailles, via Luxuo

Controversy over the Takashi Murakami exhibition at Versailles continued this past week as Prince Sixte Henri de Bourbon-Parm, descendant of King Louis XIV, filed a court order to suspend showing of the manga inspired contemporary pieces in the royal apartments. According the the Independent, the French aristocrat has taken the action out of “respect of the château and of his ancestors” and opposes the display because it has degraded “supreme good French taste.”  He joins the voices of the over 12,000 opponents who have signed petitions to remove Murakami’s playful works since the show was announced at the beginning of this past summer.

Prince Sixte-Henri de Bourbon-Parme, via

More text and images after the jump…


AO Auction Preview: Sotheby’s and Christie’s to Hold Impressionist and Modern Auctions in New York November 2-4, 2010

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Amedeo Modigliani, Nu Assis Sur un Divan (La Belle Romaine), 1917 (est. $40 million), via

Sotheby’s and Christie’s will both hold Impressionist and Modern sales in New York during the first week of November. Sotheby’s will offer 61 lots during the Evening Sale on November 2nd, with Christie’s Evening Sale following on the 3rd. The latter is comprised of 85 lots, and is expected to bring at least $200 million.

More text and images after the jump…


AO On Site Video-New York: Nate Lowman “Stay In School” at NYU Washington Square Park 80WSE Windows through October 31, 2010

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Nate Lowman, Stay in School, 2010, photo by Art Observed

AO was onsite at Nate Lowman’s installation “Stay in School” at 80WSE Windows. Located on the east side of Washington Square park, “Stay in School” features three windows each with paired images either mounted on or exposed from within sheetrock walls that Lowman contructed. As the title indicates, the exhibition addresses issues of youth and education, appropriate for an area that receives among the highest student foot traffic in New York City.

More Text and Images after the jump…


AO On Site – Paris: FIAC 2010 Art Fair Review and Final Photo Set

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Grand Palais FIAC 2010, all photos by Tiphaine Popesco for Art Observed

Events at the Grand Palais and Cour Caree du Louvre concluded Sunday afternoon as FIAC 2010 came to a close in Paris. Looking back on what happened in the city’s biggest week for contemporary art, the fair seems to capture many of the same trends that marked the hesitant atmosphere of the Frieze art fair in London. The fair unofficially opened last Tuesday, October 19th, to an ever growing VIP preview audience that this year numbered over 20,000.

Robust early sales at well established galleries suggested that dealers would enjoy even greater success than was seen in London in the same week, several high price tagged items, including Anish Kapoor’s $2.4 million Slug and Takashi Murakami’s $1.6 million Kiki, remained unclaimed well into this weekend. Even the French government toned down its own purchasing, as the cultural ministry spent $280,000 on eight works this year, down from 24 works for roughly twice as much last year. The market certainly isn’t dead but lavish spending akin to the 2007 boom hasn’t made an aggressive comeback.

At Gagosian, photo by Tiphaine Popesco

More text and images after the jump…


Don’t Miss – New York: Gregory Crewdson’s “Sanctuary” at Gagosian Gallery Madison Avenue, September 23 through October 30, 2010

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Gregory Crewdson, Untitled (08), 2009. © Gregory Crewdson. All images of courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.

Sanctuary, the Gregory Crewdson exhibition currently on view at Gagosian Gallery’s Madison Avenue branch, further develops the artist’s on-going investigation into the realm of staged photography. With this new body of work, Crewdson addresses questions of format and color, presenting a series of black and white images that offer an intimate entry point into his visual journey through Italy.

Gregory Crewdson, Untitled (06), 2009. © Gregory Crewdson.

More text and images after the jump…


Don’t Miss-New York: Roy Lichtenstein “Reflected” at Mitchell-Innes and Nash through October 30, 2010

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Roy Lichtenstein, Reflections: Sunday Morning, 1989. Image © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

The Pop-art of Roy Lichtenstein has garnered a great deal of attention this fall, with three monographic shows currently taking place in New York City. Reflections represents one third of this trio, presented at Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery. As the title suggests, the twelve paintings featured are connected through themes of mirrors, reflection, and doubling. Also included are a number of preparatory drawings, which provide important insight into the development of these stylized, vivid depictions of fragmented figures and forms.

Roy Lichtenstein, Reflections: Nurse, 1988. Image © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein


AO On Site – Paris: FIAC 2010 Mid-Fair News Brief and Photo Set 1 of 2 (final photo set to follow the conclusion of the fair)

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Matthew Day Jackson, The Way We Were, 2010. All photos by Tiphaine Popesco for Art Observed unless otherwise noted

While pension strikes increasingly paralyze all other aspects of life in Paris, the activities at FIAC have seemingly managed to go on unbothered. Two days into the fair, visitors have already lauded this year’s success. According to ArtInfo, a new physical layout of the venue  has dramatically improved the experience. Surly other changes, namely the headlining debuts of Gagosian and the Rosenblum Collection, as well as healthy sales at such galleries as Hauser & Wirth, Thaddeus Ropac, Blum and Poe, and David Zwirner have fueled this sentiment. Details on sales and the first in a series of two comprehensive photo sets follow the jump.

Jean Michel Othoniel and Emmanuel Perrotin

More text and images after the jump…


Don’t Miss – Los Angeles: “Bright White Underground” Presented by Country Club Projects at The Buck House through October 30, 2010

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe, Bright White Underground, 2010. Installation view. All images via Country Club Projects.

Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe’s Bright White Underground weaves myth, history and experience into a compelling and memorable site-specific installation at an iconic Los Angeles residence.  The Buck House itself, an achievement of American Modernism, participates in the installation’s nod to sixties psychedelia in what might be more appropriately labeled an experiential and temporal collage.  Traveling through Bright White Underground, the “real” history of the house and the fabricated history of a fictitious Dr. Arthur Cook and his psychedelic vision become obscured and intertwined, questioning social norms, truth, and the erosive process of memory.

Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe, Bright White Underground, 2010. Installation view.

More text and images after the jump…


AO On Site – Paris: FIAC 2010 begins at the Grand Palais and the Cour Carrée du Louvre through Sunday October 24th

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Less than a week after the Frieze Art Fair ended in London, the Foire d’art contemporain, or FIAC, prepares to open to the public later this week in Paris. In its 37th year, the fair will feature nearly 200 dealers with work from over 3,500 artists, and expects to see an estimated 80,000 visitors to its two locations, the Cour Carrée and the Grand Palais–opening Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Grand Palais during FIAC 2007, photo via Grand Palais

Running through Sunday the 24th, FIAC annually provides an arena for a wide variety of contemporary art, from blue chip galleries–the likes of Barbara Gladstone, Gagosian Gallery, David Zwirner, Blum and Poe, Cheim and Reid, Contemporary Fine Arts, Yvonne Lambert, Emmanuel Perrotin, Thaddaeus Ropac, Sprüth Magers, and Hauser and Wirth to name a few — peddling million dollar pieces to the lesser known emerging talents in the field. In a tandem move with the week’s events, industry powerhouse Larry Gagosian opened the latest installment in his global network of galleries off of Champs Elysees, noting the resurgence of modern art in France.

An early picture from the FIAC preview: Victor Man, Untitled, 2008, photo via Art Observed

More Text and Photos After the Jump…


AO On Site – New York: The New York Academy of Art’s 19th Annual “Take Home a Nude” Benefit at Sotheby’s October 18, 2010

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

NYAA’s “Take Home a Nude” benefit, hosted by Sotheby’s, October 18, 2010. All photos by Deborah Heuberger for Art Observed.

For the 19th installment of the New York Academy of Art‘s annual Take Home a Nude benefit, the organization honored Eric Fischl for his outstanding contribution to contemporary art, scholarship, and the mission of the Academy. The representational style and enduring interest in the human form which characterize Fischl’s body of work are consistent with the Academy’s reputation as “The first and most significant graduate school in the United States to focus on the human body.”

What began in 1991 as a modest fundraiser held at the Academy’s Tribeca headquarters has evolved into one the most prestigious arts events of the season. This year’s venue was generously provided by Sotheby’s, where works were installed throughout five gallery spaces, hosting cocktail hour, silent and live auctions, and a post-auction dinner.

Andres Serrano, Taylor Mead, 2010.

More text and images after the jump…


AO On Site w/ Video – New York: RE:FORM SCHOOL (co-sponsored by the Hole Gallery) St. Patrick’s School, October 8-11

Monday, October 18th, 2010

WK Interact, Reform School, 2010, photo via Samuel Lee

Friday, October 8th marked the opening of RE:FORM SCHOOL, a comprehensive pop up art group exhibition held to raise public awareness for the need to reform American public education. The show, which ran through the Columbus Day Holiday, utilized virtually all of the available space at 322 Mott Street, in Little Italy. Formerly St. Patrick Old Cathedral School, which closed at the end of the 2009-2010 academic year, the site included three floors of indoor and outdoor space. Desks, chalkboards, pencil sharpeners, and other educational artifacts remained alongside the work of the over 150 artists who participated, reinforcing the five main themes of the installations: Knowledge is Power, Community, Teachers Inspire, Creativity, and Innovation.

More text and photos after the jump… (more…)

AO on Site – London: Frieze Art Fair 2010; final image set and newslink summary

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Hooded Woman Seated Facing the Wall, Spanish Pavillion. Venice, Italy. 2003. All photos by Art Observed unless noted

With Freize 2010 coming to a close Sunday evening in London’s Regent Park, the fair’s guests have had a chance to reflect on the various elements of the event that defined the weekend. The fair opened on Friday with a VIP preview that saw encouraging multimillion-dollar sales; however, from booth to booth the art seemed to lack the brute sex appeal that in past years drove buyers to such transaction. With a global recession not far enough behind, it appears that it will be a while before the same level of extravagance returns to Frieze. Some pieces sold well initally, but not all pieces were bought up in boom time fashion, Damien Hirst’s Viagra-tablet-filled pill cabinet, with an estimated asking prince of $6 million dollars, reportedly remained unsold at Gagosian Gallery by at least the end of Friday night’s event.

more photos, story and a full news link summary after the jump…


Go See – London: “Gauguin: Maker of Myth” at Tate Modern through January 16th, 2011

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Two Tahitian Women
(1889) by Paul Gauguin, via The Guardian

Currently on view at the Tate Modern is Gauguin: Maker of Myth, the first exhibition devoted exclusively to the work of Paul Gauguin in over half a century. Featuring more than 100 works from private and public collections worldwide, the exhibition examines the artist’s unique approach to storytelling in his compositional practice. The works displayed offer greater insight into the narrative process of one of the most prominent figures of the Post-Impressionist era.

The Ham
(1889) by Paul Gauguin, via The Guardian

More text and images after the jump…


AO Auction Results – London: Sotheby’s Oct. 15th Contemporary Art & 20th C Italian Art Bring In Combined Total of 30.4 million GBP

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Andy Warhol, Diamond Dust Shoes, 1980 (est. 1.3 -1.6 million GBP, realized 1,553,250 GBP), via

Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London today brought in 13.3 million GBP against a low presale estimate of just under 10 million GBP.  Of the 39 lots offered for sale, 4 were bought in, 15 lots sold above their high presale estimates, and 2 works sold for under their low presale estimates. Andy Warhol‘s Diamond Dust Shoes, never before seen at auction, realized 1,553,250 GBP against a high estimate of 1.6 million GBP and was the highest earning lot of the night.

Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attese, 1965 (est. 1.5-2 million GBP, realized 2,281,250 GBP), via

more images and story after the jump…


AO Auction Results – London: Christie’s Oct. 14th Contemporary Art Auction in London Brings in 19.6 million GBP, Hirst Sells Under Presale Estimate

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Damien Hirst, I am Become Death, Shatterer of Worlds, 2006 (est. 2.5-3.5 million GBP, realized 2.2 million GBP), via

Thursday’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening auction brought in a total of 19,585,400 GBP, within the presale estimate of 15.9-22.7 million GBP. The auction had a sell through rate of 86% by lot and 92% by value, with 7 of the 51 lots bought in. While 40% of the lots exceeded their high presale estimates, the featured lot did not reach its low presale estimate. Damien Hirst‘s I am Become Death, Shatterer of Worlds carried a presale estimate of 2.5-3.5 million GBP and sold for 2.2 million GBP.  All sale totals stated in this article include buyer’s premiums and come directly from Christie’s official website or courtesy of The Baer Faxt.

more results and images after the jump…


AO On Site – London (with newslink summary): Frieze Art Fair 2010 opens to relatively brisk buying from still measured collectors

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Hans Peter Feldman, Untitled, Installation outside Regent’s Park for 303 Gallery, Frieze Art Fair, 2010. Photo by Art Observed.

Art Observed is on site in London for Frieze 2010, which opened yesterday to a crowded VIP preview and featured 173 galleries (up from 164 last year) with reportedly over 2,000 works of art from 1,500 artists and likely between 50-75,000 people expected (there were 60,000 visitors at last year’s fair).  Since its inception in 2003, the Frieze Art Fair, founded by Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp, has become the center point for the most important week for contemporary art in London.  The fair is distinctive in that it is devoted entirely to living artists.

Spotted inside the fair were many collectors, art world figures and the occasional bold-faced name including collector Marty Margulies, hedge fund manager Steve Cohen with his art adviser Sandy Heller, Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota, Klaus Biesenbach of MoMA, Charles Saatchi, young dealer Vito Schnabel, mega-collector Dakis Joannou, jeweler Laurence Graff, Dasha Zhukova art curator and companion of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, and Claudia Schiffer.  Artists Ai Weiwei, Yinka Shonibare, Gabriel Orozco, Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry and Tracey Emin were also in attendance.

Sales at the fair:

A detail of Damien Hirst’s cabinet piece The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths, photo via Tate Etc. Magazine

The sales were robust for the VIP opening, but not at the frenzy of years before the recession.  Perhaps the most talked about sale was at White Cube’s booth, where a large Damien Hirst installation The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths (2006) sold for £3.5 million or $5.6 million.  The work, which takes its title from a quote by artist Bruce Nauman, is a shelf work filled with fish and may have been the the most expensive work ever sold at the fair.  Very nearby at Gagosian, another Damien Hirst sculpture, a Viagra-tablet-filled pill cabinet was reportedly on sale for $6 million.

more images, story and full news link summary after the jump.


AO Auction Results – London: Wednesday, October 13th, Phillips de Pury Contemporary Art Auction Within Presale Estimates, Sets New Records for Aaron Young, Sterling Ruby

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

David H0ckney, Autumn Pool, 1978 (est 700,000 – 1 million GBP, realized 1,329,250 GBP), via

Wednesday’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale at Phillips de Pury in London, which carried a presale estimate of 5.6 – 8 million GBP, brought in 6,562,900 GBP, with 21 of 56 lots unsold (86% by value, 69% by lot). The featured lot, David Hockney‘s Autumn Pool, sold for 1.3 million GBP against a high presale estimate of 1 million GBP. This also broke the record for a work on paper by the artist at auction.

Andy Warhol, The Scream (after Edvard Munch), 1984 (est. 500,000-700,000 GBP), via

more story and pictures after the jump…


AO Auction Preview: Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips de Pury to Hold Contemporary Art Auctions This Week in London During Frieze Art Fair

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Damien Hirst, I am Become Death, Shatterer of Worlds, 2006 (est. 2.5-3.5 million GBP), via

The Frieze Art Fair begins this week in London and is accompanied by Contemporary Art sales at the three major auction houses. This year, Phillips de Pury will kick things off with a 56 lot evening sale on October 13th, followed by a 51 lot sale at Christie’s on the 14th and a 40 lot sale at Sotheby’s on the 15th. After the dismal results of last year’s equivalent sales and the lackluster results of the summer sales, the art world is hoping that these auctions will give a stronger indication that the market for contemporary Western art is in fact recovering.

Read more…


Go See-New York (With On Site Video): Sue Williams at 303 Gallery, Curated by Nate Lowman, Through October 23, 2010

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Installation View of “Al Qaeda is the CIA” at 303 Gallery, 2010. Image courtesy of 303 Gallery.

Currently on view at 303 Gallery is a retrospective of work by Sue Williams, spanning the last twenty years of the artist’s career, curated by Nate Lowman. Lowman’s curatorial objective was not to chronologically organize the objects on view, but to contextualize her experimentation with different mediums and socio-political themes within the trajectory of her stylistic development. Together, the two artists revisited Williams’ work and selected a small representative body of pieces produced between 1989 and the present, which comment and reflect upon her current practice and conceptual goals.


AO Guest Editorial/Review by Patrick Meagher of The Silvershed – New York: “Jeff Koons: Made in Heaven, Paintings” at Luxembourg & Dayan, through January 21, 2010

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Jeff Koons by Schneider, Sischy and Siegel Jeff Koons: The Painter and the Sculptor Jeff Koons by Jeff Koons
Click Here For Jeff Koons Books

Jeff Koons, Violet Ice (Kama Sutra), 1991. Photo by Patrick Meagher.

The most recent museum-grade show at Luxembourg & Dayan gathers 9 pieces of Jeff Koons‘ seminal sex-infused series “Made in Heaven” in a multi-story love and sexuality tour-de-force of human(istic) nature. Eight life-sized silkscreen and early-inkjet paintings, based on photographs, and a cast-glass sculptural tableau were conceived and produced in a life-meets-art process spanning approximately ten years from the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties.

It is worth mentioning that it has now been nearly twenty years since these hardcore and soft-core-looking works were first presented by the late, great Ileana Sonnabend, and yet they still manage to really irritate, shock or bother some people for one reason or another. The re-presentation of this formerly scandalous, yet newly exciting and loaded work comes at an interesting time, with regard to the unabashed state of popular reality-media today, as well as the neo-sex-drugs-and-rock n’ rollish art of late in lower Manhattan.

La Ciccolina, Taschen Poster Book, 1992.


Go See-London: Anish Kapoor “Turning the World Upside Down” at Serpentine Gallery through March 13th, 2011

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

Sky Mirror, Red
(2009) by Anish Kapoor, via The Guardian

On view in London’s Kensington Gardens is a major exhibition of outdoor sculpture by London-based artist Anish Kapoor. Presented jointly by the Serpentine Gallery and the Royal Parks, the exhibition displays works not previously shown together in London. Dispersed throughout the gardens, Kapoor’s sculptures are made from highly-reflective stainless steel, which create large mirrored surfaces to distort the image the surrounding environment.

(2007) by Anish Kapoor, via The Guardian

More text and images after the jump…


Go See – London: Turner Prize 2010 Finalist Exhibition at Tate Britain Through January 3, 2010

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Angela de la Cruz, Super Clutter XXL, 2008. All images via Tate Britain.

On October 5, Tate Britain unveiled its Finalist Exhibition for the 2010 Turner Prize. Painter Dexter Dalwood, installation artist and painter Angela de la Cruz, sound artist Susan Philipsz, and film collaborative Otolith (comprised of Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun) represent the shortlist for the coveted annual award. The winner selected from among this group will be announced at the museum on December 6, 2010.

Dexter Dalwood, Death of David Kelly, 2008.