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Archive for March, 2011

AO News Summary – Chinese artist Ai Weiwei plans to move studio to Berlin

Thursday, March 31st, 2011


A portrait of Ai Weiwei via Shanghaiist.com

Artist and activist Ai Weiwei recently announced plans to move operations to a new European location – Germany’s capitol and global art destination Berlin.  Increasingly tense conditions in China and the recent destruction of his Shanghai studio by the communist government have more or less forced Mr. Ai to seek greener pastures.   According the to Associated Free Press Ai Weiwei has chosen Berlin as his European base for it’s “good atmosphere” and relatively lost cost of living .

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Don’t Miss – London: Mona Hatoum’s “Bunker” at White Cube Through April 2, 2011

Thursday, March 31st, 2011


Mona Hatoum, Suspended (2011). All images via White Cube.

Installed on three floors of White Cube Mason’s Yard in London is an exhibition showcasing new work by Mona Hatoum titled Bunker, now on view through April 2nd. Hatoum recently made headlines by joining a group of artists in threatening to boycott the Guggenheim due to allegations that the museum is mistreating laborers constructing the Abu Dhabi branch. While Bunker does not specifically address the boycott, the themes of displacement and violence permeate this latest body of work.


Mona Hatoum, Bunker (2011)

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AO on Site, with video – New York: Rob Pruitt and the Public Art Fund unveil “The Andy Monument” at Union Square, March 30th, 2011

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011


Artist Rob Pruitt admires his latest work, The Andy Monument (2011). All images Nicolas Linnert for Art Observed.

Today at the northwest corner of Union Square, Rob Pruitt unveiled his latest work, The Andy Monument, in partnership with New York’s Public Art Fund. The nearly 10-foot tall sculpture is a chrome tribute to the seminal figure of Pop Art and major cultural influence in 20th century New York City history. Situated at the pedestrian intersection at 17th Street and Broadway, it is just steps from the site of Warhol’s former studio space, the “Factory.”

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Video of Rob Pruitt unveiling The Andy Monument

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Don’t Miss – New York: Brendan Fowler at Untitled through April 3rd, 2011

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011


Brendan Fowler with Joel Mesler and Carol Cohen (Spring 2011),
via Untitled

Currently on view until April 3rd is Brendan Fowler’s show Brendan Fowler with Joel Mesler and Carol Cohen (Spring 2011), at Untitled,  located at 30 Orchard Street. As its title indicates, the show consists of work  that plays with art exhibition techniques. Fowler’s show is only the fourth since the gallery’s opening in September, where his work was included in the inaugural exhibition. Untitled is the reincarnation of RENTAL Gallery,  whose owners, Joel Mesler and Carol Cohen, wanted to open a new space with a different set of goals. As Cohen told Art Observed at Untitled’s opening, the gallery’s goal is to “give more stability to the Lower East Side…not necessarily an art gallery district, but a way of seeing galleries. A place that can be professional without being in Chelsea. We want to give everyone more access to the gallery world.”

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Art News – NADA to expand by opening new art fair in Hudson, New York this summer

Monday, March 28th, 2011


An outside view of the Basilica Hudson via Basilica Hudson Website

The New Art Dealers Association, or “NADA” for short, will be organizing a new version of it’s Miami Basel art fair this summer in Hudson, New York. Gearing up to launch the fair on July 30-31, the collective is currently still seeking exhibitors to fill the massive 8,000 square foot space in Hudson just two hours outside of New York City.  Lindsay Pollock posted details of the project on her website “Art Market Views” just today, describing the city as being “stocked with antiques stores and cheap, charming real estate”.


via Basilica Hudson Website

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GO SEE, NEW YORK – RACHEL WHITEREAD AT LUHRING AUGUSTINE GALLERY THROUGH APRIL 30TH, 2011

Monday, March 28th, 2011


Rachel Whiteread, Daylight, 2010. Via Luhring Augustine

Rachel Whiteread’s latest exhibition opened on March 25th at Luhring Augustine, displaying works that the British artist made between 2007 and 2011. In this show, the artist presents a new series of sculptures and work on paper. The sculptures have been made with resin, a medium that Whiteread has been using along with plaster, for the casting of objects or architectural structures, and sometimes, a subsequent recasting of the obtained mold. With this technique, Whiteread creates a material reproduction of the space that was contained by, or that surrounded the cast object. This resulting sculptural object then embodies an ascetic elegy for the relationships that existed between the object and the space, or the object and the users.

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Go See, London – Subodh Gupta at Hauser and Wirth/St James’s Church through May 8th, 2011

Monday, March 28th, 2011


Subodh Gupta, Et tu, Duchamp? (2009/10). All images via Hauser & Wirth

Taking root this spring in Piccadilly’s Southwood Gardens is Subodh Gupta’s tributary appropriation Et tu, Duchamp?, a larger than life black-bronze sculpture of the artist’s reinterpretation of the Mona Lisa. Gupta is well known for reworking common aesthetic tropes, in the past having made sculptures of steel utensils and visually referenced the stars of the Western contemporary art market (particularly Damien Hirst). In this instance, Gupta plays with early Modernist art history by injecting Marcel Duchamp’s L.H.O.O.Q. with a monumental three-dimensionality.

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Art News – Grayson Perry Named Royal Academician

Saturday, March 26th, 2011


Grayson Perry, via Esquire

British artist Grayson Perry has been named a Royal Academician for Printmaking at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, joining artists such as Tracy Emin and David Hockney as recipient of the prestigious title. Perry identifies as a transvestite and is known primarily for his ceramic work.

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Go See – Vienna: Egon Schiele “Self Portraits and Portraits” at The Belvedere through June 13th

Saturday, March 26th, 2011


Death and Maiden (Man and Girl)
(1915) by Egon Schiele, via The Belvedere

Currently on view at The Belvedere in Vienna is an exhibition dedicated entirely to the portraits and self-portraits of Egon Schiele (1890- 1918), one of Austria’s most important twentieth-century artists. Schiele’s work departs from traditional portraiture in order to render his subjects’ mental and emotional states with exaggerated expression. Elongated and skeletal limbs are accentuated through the use of somber colors, and often his models seem to be at the height of anguish. Such dark and exaggerated portrayals echo the stylistic tendencies of early Austrian Expressionism as well as the tension present pre-wartime Austria.


Der Verleger Eduard Kosmack
(1910) by Egon Schiele, via The Belvedere

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Art News – Artist Hunter Jonakin creates “Jeff Koons Must Die!!!” Video Game

Friday, March 25th, 2011

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Jeff Koons Must Die!!! The Video Game by Hunter Jonakin

“What if you were locked in an art museum overnight, with a rocket launcher, during a Jeff Koons retrospective.”  So begins the video preview for the videogame Jeff Koons Must Die!!!  MFA candidate Hunter Jonakin‘s 2011 sculpture, is a stand-up arcade cabinet where the viewer can play a video game in which the protagonist walk around an art museum during a Jeff Koons retrospective and is given the choice to destroy the work with a rocket launcher.  In choosing the virtuous path by not doing so, they merely wander the museum, see the work, and then the game ends. However, if they do destroy more than one work (and there’s the choice of puppies, basketballs, La Cicciolina paintings, etc.), Koons will appear and the game takes on the more familiar violent nature of popular first-person shooters, with enemy combatants being replaced with museum guards, curators, lawyers and studio assistants. The important action of the game is not the destruction itself, but which decision the player makes regarding whether to destroy Koons’ work. “Jeff Koons Must Die” clearly pays homage to one of the art world’s entrenched stars while also allowing its player to enact a virtual catharsis if they so choose.


Hunter Jonakin, Jeff Koons Must Die (2011), via Hunter Jonakin.com

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AO On Site – Paris: Robert Longo ‘God Machines’ at Thaddaeus Ropac through April 23rd 2011

Friday, March 25th, 2011


Robert Longo, Untitled (Mecca) (2011)

Art Observed was on-site for the opening of a solo-show by American Robert Longo entitled “God Machines.” A long-time collaborator of the gallery, this is Longo’s first major exhibition at the gallery in many years. The exhibit features three monumental works in the form of large-scale charcoal drawings which almost completely cover the walls of the main gallery space. The works are dedicated to three monotheistic religions and depict major places of religious worship. The event also celebrates the twentieth year anniversary of Galerie Thaddeus Ropac in Paris.


Gallerist Thaddaeus Ropac, Robert Longo and his wife at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.
All pictures by Caroline Claisse for Art Observed.

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Don't Miss – New York: Laurie Simmons, "The Love Doll: Days 1-30" at Salon 94 through Saturday, March 26th 2011

Thursday, March 24th, 2011


Laurie Simmons, Day 8 (Lying on Bed), (2010). via Salon 94

New York-based photographer Laurie Simmon’s show opened on February 15th and will continue through Saturday, March 26th. Simmons, who began photographing doll houses in 1976, has since mainly worked with puppets, ventriloquist’s dummies and various other sorts of dolls. Laurie Simmons  starred in the indie film “Tiny Furniture” directed by her daughter Lena Dunham, which was recently chosen as winner for best feature film at the South by Southwest Media and Music Conference. For her latest exhibition at Salon 94, entitled “The Love Doll: Days 1 – 30″ her subject of choice is none other than one “Love Doll”, a surrogate sex partner created out of silicon and other “life-like” materials.


Photo by Art Observed.

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AO on Site, Dubai – Art Dubai 2011 Summary

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Art Dubai (2011). All images John Mollett for Art Observed.
Bringing 75 art galleries from 30 different countries, Art Dubai is arguably the most significant Art Fair in the burgeoning Middle East. One of its main goals, as stated by Director Antonia Carver, was to “aim for Art Dubai to be a fair of discovery- for the international collectors curators, artists, galleries and museum groups that attended the fair to catch up on all that is happening in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.” Despite this, the fair has a reputation for forcing the removal of work seen to be possible violating censorship regulations.  This may explain why, upon attending the fair, it became clear that although a few galleries were using the venue as a forum to expose both conceptual work and work by artists who have yet to develop a reputation in the region, most chose a program that was relatively safe, and which appeased the decorative senses of certain patrons rather than showing work more clearly representative of visionaries in Middle Eastern art.
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Go See – Los Angeles: James Franco/Gus Van Sant’s ‘Unfinished’ at Gagosian Gallery through April 9th, 2011

Thursday, March 24th, 2011


Gus Van Sant, Untitled (2010) ©Gus Van Sant. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

Crossreferencing film and painting,  Gus Van Sant has never shied from an interdisciplinary approach to artmaking.  The show “Unfinished” is no exception.  Though the show bills both Van Sant and James Franco as the artists in charge,  it is heavy with Van Sant’s signature, especially in terms of the bold two dimensional art.  Van Sant uses watercolor and graphite to create striking images of the characters within his film, My Own Private Idaho.  These paintings are intimate while at the same time graphic and mindful of the medium.  Seven large-scale paintings adorn the front of the gallery, while a curious installation behind a curtain serves as its stablemate.


© Photo Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com.

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Don’t Miss – New York: Mark Flood, ‘MURK FLUID’ at Zach Feuer through March 26, 2011

Thursday, March 24th, 2011


Mark Flood, MURK FLUID installation view, (2011). All images Nicolas Linnert for Art Observed

Currently on view at Zach Feuer Gallery, MURK FLUID is artist Mark Flood’s latest showing of work that deals with various items, including notions of corporate structure, celebrity obsession, and human commodification. Born in Houston, Texas, the artist is known widely for his acrylic and spray-paint poster boards that are influenced by the 1980’s punk movement.


Mark Flood, MAINTAIN (2011)

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Don’t Miss – London: Sprüeth Magers Presents “Vertical Works” by Anthony McCall at Ambika P3 through March 27th, 2011

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011


Anthony McCall, Vertical Works (2004-2010). All images via Sprüeth Magers.

Now on view at Ambika P3 in London is an exhibition of four light projections by Anthony McCall, titled Vertical Works. The installation is presented by Sprüeth Magers, which is displaying a concurrent exhibition of related drawings at their London location. Though the four light works, created between 2004 and 2010, are abstract projections of lines and curves, their titles are purely figurative. Exhibited in London for the first time, Breath, Breath III, Meeting You Halfway, and You can be seen through March 26th at Ambika P3. The works on paper exhibition at Sprüeth Magers is up until March 27th.

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Go See – New York: Evan Penney at Sperone Westwater on the Bowery through March 26th, 2011

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011


Evan Penny, Michael, Variation #3 (2010), via Sperone Westwater

Walk one block north from the New Museum and you will find Evan Penny’s exhibition at Sperone Westwater, open until March 26th and presenting a collection of five oversized, hyperrealistic sculptures of human figures that bridge the gap between art and spectacle.  The gallery is also currently showing  work by Emil Lukas.

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AO On Site – Los Angeles: Scott Campbell’s ‘Nobless Oblige’ opening at OHWOW, Saturday, March 19 through April 22, 2011

Sunday, March 20th, 2011


A laser cut Powell Peralta (skateboard company) reference – All photos by Ava Rollins of Art Observed

New York based artist Scott Campbell made his West Coast debut last night at Los Angeles’ OHWOW Gallery. The show’s title, Noblesse Oblige, implies that whoever claims to be noble must conduct their life accordingly. Campbell harnessed thousands of bills of cut currency to transform tattoo subculture iconography into delicate and tempered work. In exhibiting a chronicle of imagery, Campbell suggests a fine art context for the genre.

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Go See – New York: Berlinde De Bruyckere’s ‘Into One-Another To P.P.P.’ at Hauser & Wirth through April 23, 2011

Saturday, March 19th, 2011


Berlinde De Bruyckere, Into One-Another I To P.P.P. (2010). All images via Hauser & Wirth

Berlinde De Bruyckere does not hold back when it comes to her art. The human form in her exhibition “Into One-Another To P.P.P.” at Hauser & Wirth is exposed in a series of sculptures expertly rendered in wax. Through experimentation with individuality and mortality, De Bruyckere draws the viewer into her sculptures’ struggle. Also on display are a number of recent works on paper done in watercolor and ink. The exhibition is dedicated to Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italian filmmaker, painter, and poet.


Berlinde De Bruyckere, Into One-Another I To P.P.P. (2010)

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Go See – London: Alexander Calder ‘Sculptures Made Between 1939 and 1960’ at Gagosian Gallery through March 26, 2011

Saturday, March 19th, 2011


Alexander Calder, Blue and Yellow Sickles (1960). All images courtesy of Gagosian Gallery

Larry Gagosian brings yet another big-ticket artist to his London location with a survey of Alexander Calder’s sculptures made between 1939 and 1960.  The exhibition occupies one long gallery and consists of three of Calder’s iconic mobiles: Triangles, Blue and Yellow Sickles, and an untitled composition.  Each work reflects the artist’s facility with wire and metal used to create tenuous “drawings” which float in mid-air.

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Go See – London: Bill Viola ‘The Quintet of the Unseen’ at Blain Southern Gallery through March 26, 2011

Friday, March 18th, 2011


Bill Viola, The Quintet of the Unseen, 2000 (production still) All photos: Kira Perov courtesy of Blain Southern

Currently on view in London is Bill Viola’s evocative installation, Quintet of the Unseen.  As a founding practitioner in the field of New Media, Bill Viola is perhaps most famous for his large scale, multi-projection installations.  The artist interests himself primarily with fundamental notions of lived human experience, often with the inclusion of religious subtexts and references to art history.  Death, birth, rebirth, purification, and penitence are common themes.

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AO On Site – Exhibition A opening of ‘Monochrome Set’ at the ACE Hotel Tuesday, March 15th, show runs through APRIL 7th

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Terence Koh Big White Cock 18" x 24"

For art purists, Terence Koh’s Big White Cock neon sculpture can be scooped up at the Saatchi Gallery.  For the rest of us, Exhibition A’s Monochrome Set at the Ace Hotel on Tuesday night provided an egalitarian entry into the contemporary art world.  Selected prints from prized contemporary artists including Koh, Hanna Liden, Nate Lowman, Josephine Meckseper, Aleksandra Mir, Olympia Scarry, Peter Sutherland, Leo Fitzpatrick, and Purple Magazine Editor in Chief Olivier Zahm were made available.

Todd DiCiurcio, Bill Powers
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AO Onsite Fair Preview – Dubai: Art Dubai’s Fifth Edition Offers Strongest Program To Date

Thursday, March 17th, 2011


Art Dubai 2011 – All photos by Art Observed unless otherwise noted

His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai officially opened Art Dubai for its fifth edition.  The region’s best attended art fair, this year’s Art Dubai features a total of 81 galleries from 34 countries in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the United States, making it one of the most diverse and strongest programs to date.  The fair witnessed a robust interest before its official opening to the public today after esteemed guests, royal patrons and international and regional art professionals attended the Jumeirah Patron’s Preview on Tuesday. The fair emphasizes Middle Eastern Art during a time of political upheaval in the region.


Landscape
(2009) by Subodh Gupta

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AO OnSite – Philadelphia Museum of Art: Paris through the Window: Marc Chagall and his Circle, through July 10, 2011

Thursday, March 17th, 2011


Marc Chagall, “To My Betrothed” (1913), at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. All pictures by Art Observed.

Art Observed was at PMA’s newest show, a celebration of Marc Chagall and his Paris contemporaries. The show encompasses 70 works in various media, including paint, sculpture, and paper, by the emigré artists of Paris.  Here are masterpieces by Modigliani, Kisling, Lipchitz, and Soutine, all set against and borne of La Ruche, a jumble of art studios in this early 20th-century community. As he did with the museum’s gorgeous Picasso show last year, PMA curator Michael Taylor recreates an artists’ colony, a whiff of nostalgia threaded throughout its galleries.


Detail, Marc Chagall’s “Paris through the Window” (1913) at Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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