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Archive for January, 2011

AO News Summary – Cairo, Egypt: Museums Face Danger Amid Revolution

Monday, January 31st, 2011


Egyptian special forces on Monday secured the main floor inside the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Via NY Times

The National Egyptian Museum is currently guarded by tanks, having been looted Friday night. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities—and a member of the current administration—claims over 1,000 protesters stole from the gift shop, with ten making it into the galleries and smashing glass vitrines and antique statues, including one of King Tutankhamen, as well as beheading two mummies. Wafaa El-Saddik, former director of the Egyptian Museum (until just a month ago), believes the museum’s own guards did the looting, who are hugely underpaid despite El-Saddik’s previous efforts.

Next door, buildings of the National Democratic Party and the Press Club were in flames over the weekend; efforts lacked to save the structures, though the museum was kept safe. In Tahrir Square—Arabic for Liberation—protesters scorn current leader Hosni Mubarak with chants and clever graffiti and signs, speaking English in an appeal to the West.


Protestor, with National Egyptian Museum in the background, via Economist

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Go See – London: ‘Modern British Sculpture’ at the Royal Academy of Arts Through April 7th, 2011

Monday, January 31st, 2011


Alfred Gilbert, Jubilee Memorial to Queen Victoria (1887). Via The Guardian

It is understandable that critics are particularly divided in their reviews of Modern British Sculpture, at the Royal Academy of Arts through April 7. It attempts to question “What is British, what is modern and what is sculpture” ranging as far and wide as the African and Asian colonial influences of 20th century British sculptors, to the transitions between figurative and abstraction, to the work of Sarah Lucas and Damien Hirst. The show runs the gamut of well-known names but has fun throwing in the odd obscurity, like Alfred Gilbert’s Jubilee Memorial to Queen Victoria, a baroque piece by a classic British artist that is decidedly out of context in this exhibition. More familiar are Anthony Caro, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, who are newly contextualized in this first exhibition in 30 years to focus on 20th century British sculpture—its origins, evolution, and impact.


Damien Hirst, Let’s Eat Outdoors Today (1990). Via The Guardian

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Go See – New York: Christian Marclay ‘The Clock’ at Paula Cooper Gallery Includes Multiple 24 Hour Overnight Screenings Through February 19, 2011

Monday, January 31st, 2011


Christian Marclay, The Clock (still), 2010. Via River00000

Debuting at White Cube this past October (and already covered by AO), Christian Marclay‘s The Clock has been warmly accepted in New York at the Paula Cooper Gallery, with several 24-hour screenings throughout the exhibition, through February 19th. Splicing together a day’s worth of found film, the artist and six assistants spent two years on the project, drawing from classics like “Great Expectations” and “Mary Poppins,” to more recent films like “Tomb Raider.” Every single clip makes reference to the time—moving in realtime—with clocks synced to the actual time of New York (or wherever it’s showing). The highly acclaimed work is to be included in the British Art Show 7, a group exhibition ran only every five years, touring to the Hayward Gallery, Tramway-Glasgow, and Plymouth Art Centre later this year.

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Go See – New York: Joe Bradley at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise and Canada Gallery through Feburary 19th and 21st, respectively, 2011

Sunday, January 30th, 2011


Joe Bradley, Struth (2010). Via Gavin Brown’s Enterprise

American artist Joe Bradley is showing his work simultaneously at two New York Galleries: Gavin Brown’s Enterprise and Canada Gallery on the Lower East Side. Each gallery exhibits works by the artist in a completely different style. For his first show at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Bradley shows large colorful abstract paintings made with oil sticks instead of paint brushes. The canvases are full of the artist’s footprints, dirt, dust, references to comic book characters, and abstract expressionist and primitivist symbolism. At Canada, his longtime art gallery, he gives viewers large black and white silkscreens of male silhouettes.


Joe Bradley, Human Forms (2011). Via Canada Gallery

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Go See – Berlin: Wade Guyton at Capitain Petzel through March 5, 2011

Saturday, January 29th, 2011


Wade Gutyon, Installation view (2010), Capitain Petzel. All images via Capitain Petzel, Berlin.

Currently on view at Capitain Petzel in Berlin is the gallery’s first solo show of American artist Wade Guyton.  Having once been quoted by New York Times Magazine as saying “I am too lazy to paint,” Guyton continues to press the boundaries of creating art in a digital age by making heavy use of an Epson ink jet printer.  This installation features 86 pieces of paper displayed under glass in fifteen vitrines.  A continuation of an installation at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany in 2010, Guyton has expanded the project to an entire series of blue-tiled vitrines and works on paper.  Although these papers have the appearance of a handcrafted painting, each underwent a process involving multiple printings and digital additions or “drawings.”

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Go See – London: Martin Creed ‘Mothers’ at Hauser & Wirth Through March 5, 2011

Friday, January 28th, 2011


Martin Creed, Mothers (2010). Via Time Out London

Martin Creed’s Mothers at Hauser & Wirth nearly beats viewers over the head with his exploration of relationships. The centerpiece, a huge sculpture bearing the same title as the exhibition, bears the word “MOTHERS” in neon above the heads of the audience. Creed is also releasing a new single and music video, Thinking/Not Thinking, at this show.

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AO News Summary: New Record For Titian Painting Set at Sotheby’s Old Master Sale in New York January 27, 2011

Friday, January 28th, 2011


Tiziano Vecellio (Titian), A Sacra Conversazione: The Madonna and Child with Saints Luke and Catherine of Alexandria, c. 1560 (est. $15-20 million, realized $16.9 million), via Sothebys.com

Sotheby’s 378-lot Old Master Sale in New York today realized a total of $90.6 million and set a record for a Titian painting at auction. The painting generated only one bid from an unidentified European collector and sold for its low estimate of $15 million. Still, the sale broke the previous record for a painting by the artist at auction that was set 20 years ago with the sale of Venus and Adonis for $13.6 million at Christie’s in London. The new record-holding painting is a late work and, according to the auction house’s research, has changed hands only six times since its creation around 1560.

-J. Mizrachi

At Sotheby’s Sale, Titian Draws One Bidder [New York Times]
Titian Painting Fetches Auction Record [ABC News]
Titian’s Madonna Fetches Record $16.9 Million at Sotheby’s Old Master Sale [Bloomberg]

AO News Summary: Artists Vik Muniz and Banksy Vie for Best Documentary Feature at Oscars February 27, 2011

Thursday, January 27th, 2011


Still, Waste Land, via Oscar

Documentary films by Vik Muniz and Banksy have both been nominated for an Academy Award in the same category of Best Documentary Feature. Muniz’s stirring Waste Land and Banksy’s clever Exit through the Gift Shop will face off at the Oscars in Hollywood on February 27, with hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco. The question of Banksy’s presence is especially hyped as the artist’s true identity is entirely secretive—as dictated by his edgy work and persona, he appears only in silhouette throughout his own film.


Still, Exit through the Gift Shop, via Oscar

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Go See – New York: Will Ryman ‘The Roses’ Tower Over Park Avenue from 57th-67th Streets Through May 31, 2011

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011


Will Ryman, The Roses (2011). All photos via Paul Kasmin Gallery unless otherwise noted.

Along Park Avenue, from 57th to 67th Streets, New Yorkers can enjoy an early spring thanks to Will Ryman‘s steel and fiberglass installation, The Roses. Towering up to 25 feet high, the works brighten up the wintry uptown grayness, breaking down the elitism of gallery-laden art and offering a different experience from each point of view—below, above, in a cab passing by. From a family of artists, and a background in theatre, Ryman capitalizes on the public placement, relying on the viewers to “complete my piece,”according to NY Times. Working with City Hall, the Borough Hall Commissioners Office, and the Park Avenue Sculpture Committee, Ryman had his trash vetoed—matches and a Doritos bag—but a variety of dog-sized bugs survive, as well as 20 scattered rose petals, six of which double as lawn chairs.

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Go See – New York: Piotr Uklański ‘Discharge!’ at Gagosian Gallery through February 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011


Piotr Uklański, Jupiter Glow (2010). All images via Gagosian Gallery

In his new series on display at the Gagosian Gallery, Discharge!, Piotr Uklański stretches the boundaries of what can be called painting. Rather than add color to a blank canvas, the artist removes color by applying bleach to cotton sheets treated with fiber reactive dyes. This discharge of the bright pigments brings the creative process of painting into question by using an act of removal, rather than addition, to generate images. His method in this series produced vivid images often reminiscent of astronomical photographs in their bursts of color, or cellular patterns in their organic repetition.

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Go See – London: Gilbert and George 'The Urethra Postcard Pictures' at White Cube through February 19th, 2011

Monday, January 24th, 2011


Gilbert and George, Buses (2009). Via The Independent

“They made themselves,” Gilbert and George reassure of the 564 postcard works that comprise the Urethra Series, only 155 of which are currently on view at White Cube, Mason’s Yard in London. Since their first exhibition of postcard works in 1972, Gilbert and George have continued methodically collecting postcards, phone box cards, fliers and other ephemeral, everyday modes of communication—two collections of which make up the Urethra Series. The Urethra Postcard Pictures represent 30 odd years of English visual culture, with images of Parliament and St. Paul’s Cathedral shown alongside S+M adverts and other such handouts that litter London’s phone boxes.


Gilbert & George, with installation behind. Via SlamXHype

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Art News – Online: VIP Art Fair Opens Virtual Doors on Saturday, January 22nd; Over 2000 Artworks at 139 Galleries On View Through January 30th, 2011

Monday, January 24th, 2011


The Fair’s logo, via VIPArtFair.com

Contemporary art buyers and admirers, many undoubtedly slippered in the comfort of their own homes, logged in for the opening of the VIP Art Fair on Saturday at 8:00AM (EST).  The online Fair was three years in the making, but until Saturday the website consisted of little more than a list of participating galleries and organizations, a brief overview, and a promotional video. Though the galleries had also been publicizing featured works to be offered and screenshots of their virtual booths, those not lucky enough to attend the fair’s opening party were still gripped with curiosity about the kind of experience the site would offer.


Zoomed in on Neo Rauch’s Haus de Lehrers, 2003 (est. over $1 million), via VIP Art Fair

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Go See – London: Carl Andre ‘Travertine/Basalt’ at Sadie Coles HQ through March 5, 2011

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011


Carl Andre, Sum Roma (1997). Via Sadie Coles HQ

Now on view at Sadie Coles HQ in London is TRAVERTINE/BASALT, featuring the American sculptor and minimalist, Carl Andre. This show marks Andres’ fifth at the gallery, the current exhibition a sequence of sculptures made from Icelandic basalt and two works of travertine (a form of limestone). Made throughout his career, the artist’s work conveys qualities of linearity, repetition, and geometry. The three installments on display, the basalt Altbase series and the two travertine works, Grecrux and Sum Roma, reinforce Andre’s appreciation for the material physicality and aesthetic qualities of structural—and architectural—forms of sculpture.

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AO On Site (w. Video) – New York: Jim Campbell ‘Scattered Light’ in Madison Square Park Through February 28, 2011

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011


Jim Campbell, Scattered Light (2010). All photos on site by C. Claisse, of Art Observed.

New media artist Jim Campbell brings his signature light sculptures to Madison Square Park, illuminating the lawns with works that draw inspiration from life in New York City. The largest of his three works on view is Scattered Light, incorporating 1,600 light bulbs implanted with LEDs and suspended in a huge three-dimensional grid, spanning 50’ in length and 16’ in width and height. The M.I.T. graduate has twenty years’ experience as an electrical engineer in Silicon Valley and created custom circuitry which pixilated video of Grand Central Station pedestrians, projecting them onto his LED grid. The result is shadowy, life-size figures moving through three dimensional space, visible from far away, yet progressively more abstract as one moves closer to the work. Scattered Light is Campbell’s largest and arguably most ambitious work to date.

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Go See – Los Angeles: Nigel Cooke at Blum & Poe Through February 12th, 2011

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Nigel Cooke, Stumpy’s Nights (2010). All images via Blum & Poe unless otherwise noted

British artist Nigel Cooke is currently showing at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles through February 12.  The installation spreads three galleries, displaying Cooke’s most recent sculptures and paintings, including his stunning triptych: Departure, upheld by the curators as the exhibition’s centerpiece.  The work continues to examine the artist’s interest in the surreal, perhaps this time with a touch of the sublime, some of the works recalling the hazy, perilous romance of Caspar David Friedrich.   

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Go See – Hong Kong: Damien Hirst’s ‘Forgotten Promises’ exhibition, complete with a pink, diamond encrusted baby skull, inaugurates the new Gagosian Gallery through March 19th, 2011

Thursday, January 20th, 2011


Damien Hirst, For Heaven’s Sake (2008). Platinum, pink and white diamonds, 85 x 85 x 100 mm. © 2011 Damien Hirst and Hirst Holdings Ltd, DACS 2011

For the inauguration of the Gagosian Gallery‘s new Hong Kong exhibition space, Damien Hirst presents Forgotten Promises, a show displaying new paintings and sculpture by the artist. With these new works Hirst continues his existential interrogations of existence, death, beauty, and decay, including Butterfly Fact Paintings, a series of diamond studded cabinets, and a life-size human baby skull covered in diamonds. “Diamonds are about perfection and clarity and wealth and sex and death and immortality. They are a symbol of everything that’s eternal, but then they have a dark side as well,” says Hirst in the press release.


Artist Takashi Murakami at the exhibition, via Arrested Motion

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Go See – Paris: Jean-Michel Basquiat at Musée d’Art Moderne through January 30, 2011

Thursday, January 20th, 2011


Slave Auction
(1982) by Jean-Michel Basquiat, via Musee d’Art Moderne

Currently on view at the Musee d’Art Modern in Paris is a retrospective of the work American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.  Featuring a hundred major pieces including paintings, drawings and objects from numerous collections and museums in the United States and Europe, the show marks the fiftieth anniversary of Basquiat’s death and is the first exhibition of such a scale of the artist’s work ever to be held in France. The exhibition offers the viewer a chronological view of the artist’s career and his influence on post-1980s art history.


Untitled (Fallen Angel) (1981) by Jean-Michel Basquiat, via Musee d’Art Moderne

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Go See – London: Cindy Sherman at Sprüth Magers Through February 19, 2011

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
Cindy Sherman The Complete Untitled Film Stills Retrospective
Click Here For Cindy Sherman Books


Cindy Sherman, Untitled, 2010. All images via Sprüth Magers

Dressed in anything from a faux-nude suit to a modest red gown, Cindy Sherman stares out from the walls of Sprüth Magers in London. The costumes and odd personas follow in Sherman’s usual tactics, but the large size and unframed wallpaper-like appearance are a step away from her past series. Stretching from floor to ceiling, her photographs dominate the gallery space with surreal characters standing guard over symmetric idyllic backgrounds.


Cindy Sherman, Untitled, 2010.

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AO News Summary: Guggenheim Foundation To Study Helsinki For Possible New Site

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011


Richard Armstrong, director of Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, via ArtDaily

Helsinki, Finland’s largest city and the Nordic nation’s cultural center, may be home to the sixth museum under the Guggenheim banner. On Tuesday Mayor Jussi Pajunen and the Director of Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Richard Armstrong announced that a $2.5 million study will be conducted over the course of 2011 to determine the appropriateness of building a museum in the city. Adding to an already vibrant Helsinki art scene, growing steadily since the 1990s, a Guggenheim endorsement could vastly improve the city’s economic development and infrastructure; the Guggenheim Bilbao paid for itself ten fold in only five years.


Helsinki waterfront, via Viking River

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AO On Site (with Photoset) – Paris: Erwin Wurm and Tom Sachs Opening Reception at Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery, Tuesday, January 11th, 2011; show runs through through February 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011


Erwin Wurm, with his Big Suit (2010) – all photos by C. Claisse for Art Observed

Currently on view at Thaddeus Ropac Gallery in Paris are two shows: Drawings from 2000–2010 by Tom Sachs and Yes Biological by Erwin Wurm. Tom Sach’s fifth solo show at the gallery, this time he presents a symbolic group of works spanning the last decade of his oeuvre, referring to central themes in American culture and society. Elsewhere in the gallery, visitors can stumble upon Erwin Wurm’s massive sculptures. The Austrian artist’s works often rely upon viewer participation, occasionally even prompting spectators to add their own pose.


Tom Sachs with his McDonald’s Hamburger Prep (2009)

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Go See – Los Angeles: Mike Kelley at the Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills through February 19th, 2011

Monday, January 17th, 2011


Mike Kelley, Still from Extracurricular Projective Reconstruction #34 (The King and Us/The Queens and Me) (2010). Via Gagosian

Mike Kelley rages ahead at the Gagosian, expanding on projects from his infamous show at the gallery’s New York hub, titled Day is Done, in 2005. Exhibiting for the first time at the L.A. Gagosian, Kelley presents Kandor 10/Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction, #34 Kandor 12/Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction #35, a combination of two earlier works, Kandors (1999) and Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction (EAPR) (2006). Recently known for exemplifying what art critic Jerry Saltz coined as “clusterfuck aesthetics,” Kelley continues his explorations of the grotesque pop cultural diaspora. The titling of this new show alone indicates Kelley’s continued interest in clusterfuck art: the scrambled code of his earlier works, barely intelligible key words that read like an internet pop up.


Mike Kelley, Kandor 18 B (2010). Via Gagosian

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Go See – New York: ‘Amnesia’ Featuring Felix Gonzalez-Torres, On Kawara, Rebecca Cleman, and Josh Kline at Andrea Rosen through January 22nd, 2011

Monday, January 17th, 2011


All Installation views via Andrea Rosen Gallery

Amnesia at the Andrea Rosen Gallery brings together three ambitious projects: Felix Gonzalez-Torres“Untitled” (It’s Just a Matter of Time) from his Billboard series, 12 On Kawara canvases from the artist’s Today project, with each work representing a month of one year, and a video program over nine monitors curated by Rebecca Cleman and Josh Kline of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI). The show attempts to bridge the gap between seemingly incongruous works through the very theme of discontinuity. Amnesia references the gaps in memory that extend to the fibers of culture, and, ultimately, the historical archive.

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AO News Summary: London’s 2012 and 2013 Fourth Plinth Winners Announced: German ‘Hahn/Cock’ and Scandinavian ‘Powerless Structures, Fig. 101′

Sunday, January 16th, 2011


Via Telegraph

In the center of London, Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth will display sculptures of a bronze boy on a rocking horse in 2012, and a bright blue rooster in 2013. Danish artist Michael Elmgreen and Norwegian artist Ingar Dragset created Powerless Structures, Fig. 101 to playfully contrast the ‘ordinary’ and a hope for peace against the other plinths’ weathered war heroes. Hahn/Cock, by German artist Katharina Fritsch is a colorful 14 foot tall addition to the square, representing regeneration and awakening, as well as male domination (with no specific nationality).

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Go See – New York: Lee Lozano ‘Tools’ at Hauser & Wirth through February 19, 2011

Saturday, January 15th, 2011


No title, 1963, oil on canvas, 65 x 80 in.

New York in the 1960s and early 1970s held no shortage of female artists making a name for themselves: Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, Lee Bontecou, Joan Jonas, Yayoi Kusama, Jo Baer, and Agnes Martin, among others.  These names ring familiar in our ears, and almost all have had well-earned retrospectives throughout the following decades. But there is one name we do not often see—Lee Lozano.  The new exhibition at Hauser & Wirth sheds light on Lozano’s practice, a legacy shrouded in dramatic acts of rebuff.

The artist, photographed in 1963 by Hollis Frampton

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