Archive for June, 2011

AO Auction Preview – London: Sotheby’s & Christie’s to Hold Impressionist & Modern Art Sales June 21-22, 2011

Monday, June 20th, 2011


Claude Monet, Nymphéas, c. 1914-1917 (est. $27.4-39.7 million), via Christies.com

If collectors failed to find anything that struck their fancy at Art Basel they’ll have more opportunities to buy during the summer lineup of sales at the three big auction houses in London over the next two weeks. On Tuesday Christie’s will inaugurate with an immense 92-lot auction of Impressionist & Modern Art, followed by Sotheby’s comparatively petit 35-lot sale on Wednesday evening. Next week Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips de Pury will hold Contemporary Art sales.


Pablo Picasso, Jeune Fille Endormie, 1935 (est. $14.5-19.3 million), via Christies.com

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Go See – Berlin: Martin Creed ‘Paintings’ at Johnen Galerie Berlin through June 25th, 2011

Monday, June 20th, 2011


Martin Creed, Work No. 1219 (2011), all images via Johnen Galerie Berlin

Martin Creed’s solo exhibition ‘Paintings’ is approaching its final weekend at Johnen Galerie Berlin. Known primarily for his cheeky sculptural works, Creed’s Berlin show is made up of a sincere selection of paintings in which the artist uses his physical materials and certain formulas to dictate the resultant artworks.


Martin Creed, Work No. 1198 (2011)

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Go See – New York: Gillian Wearing “People” at Tanya Bonakdar through June 24

Monday, June 20th, 2011


Gillian Wearing, Snapshot (detail) (2005). All images Nicolas Linnert for Art Observed.

Gillian Wearing’s expansive, multi-room exhibition enters its final week at Tanya Bonakdar gallery. For People, the Turner prize-winning artist has installed works in a variety of media including video, sound, sculpture and photographic prints. Much of Wearing’s artistic practice explores notions of identity and memory, and the performativity associated with both.

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AO on site – Art 42 Basel 2011: a preview of the Swiss Art Awards

Sunday, June 19th, 2011


All photos by Caroline Claisse for Art Observed

The Swiss Art Awards ran concurrently to Basel this year, with 30 prizes of 27,000 Swiss Francs, awarded to 32 Swiss artists as announced this week. The exhibition of these winners was at Hall 3, Messezentrum Basel for the duration of the Art Fair. It was a highly selective process, whittling down 536 submissions to 88 participants in the second round, and from there down to the final winners. The award is decided by the Federal Office of Culture.


A sculpture by Luc Mattenberger

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AO on site – Art 42 Basel 2011: Art Parcours, contemporary art throughout the historic city of St. Alban Tal, Basel

Sunday, June 19th, 2011


Kris Martin Festum II (2010). All pictures by Caroline Claisse for Art Observed.

Art Parcours, a body and sculpture-based installation series located at the scenic St. Alban Tal along the Rhine, experimented with the body’s response to physical counter-normativity in the face of social and political oppression on Thursday and Sunday. It tied into Henrik Olesen’s How do I Make Myself a Body (2009), which tells the story of English mathematician and computer inventor Alan Turing.   Part of the Art Parcours exhibit was a dance performance entitled, Bodies in Urban Space which took place on Thursday. Artist participants in Art Parcours are Ai Weiwei (who is currently detained in China), Janet Cardiff, Ugo Rondinone, Yinka Shonibare, and Gabriel Sierra among others.


Ai Weiwei Fairytale People (2007)

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AO on Site: Michael Clark Company performace at the Tate Modern

Sunday, June 19th, 2011


Michael Clark Company, th (June 2011) via Hugo Glendinning/Tate Modern

Michael Clark Company occupied the Tate Modern‘s Turbine Hall last week, continuing last year’s Come, Been and Gone choreography project, in the form of a performance entitled th.  The commission was performed by the dance company’s corps of thirteen as well as forty eight volunteer performers.  Clark’s sell-out choreography was set to an 80’s and 90’s soundtrack of Bowie, Pulp, Kraftwerk and Relaxed Muscle, which pounded through the hall throughout the 90-minute performance.

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AO on site – Art 42 Basel 2011: Francis Alÿs ‘Fabiola’ VIP reception

Sunday, June 19th, 2011


All photos by Caroline Claisse for Art Observed

Before Art Basel opened its doors, AO was on site to experience Francis Alÿs ‘Fabiola’ display in the Haus zum Kirschgarten museum.  The unconventional installation was exhibited in 2007 for the first time in New York.  This time, the conceptual intervention takes place within the Haus zum Kirschgarten which hosts the 300 stereotypical replicas until August, 28.  Throughout America and Europe, the Belgian artist Francis Alÿs has collected copies of the iconic works created by amateurs and often sold in flea-markets. Including paintings, miniatures and embroideries, the portraits all reference to the old masterpiece and lost original of the saint Fabiola painted by the French nineteenth-century artist, Jean-Jacques Henner.

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Go See – New York – Donald Judd at David Zwirner Gallery through June 25th, 2011

Saturday, June 18th, 2011
Chinati: The Vision of Donald Judd
Click Here For Donald Judd Books


Donald Judd, Untitled (Menziken 89-2) (1989). All images by Nicolas Linnert for Art Observed.

David Zwirner gallery, now exclusively representing the Judd Foundation, is currently showing a collection of works by Donald Judd originally part of a seminal 1989 exhibition. Including nine sculptures and three wall-mounted drawings, the grouping showcases pieces brought together from international public and private collections. On the last day of the show, the gallery will be holding free screenings of Marfa Voices (2010), a film by Rainer Judd about her father’s philosophy and work. Also shown will be The Artist’s Studio: Donald Judd (2010), a film by Michael Blackwood comprised of interviews with and footage of the artist. Screenings will be at 1pm, 3pm and 5pm on Saturday, June 25th.

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AO On Site – New York: Nir Hod “Genius” opening at Paul Kasmin Gallery; with an interview with the artist

Saturday, June 18th, 2011


Artist Nir Hod, with a friend at the Opening of Genius

On May 19th Art Observed was on site for the opening of Israeli artist Nir Hod’s show “Genius” with depictions of  “precocious” children at Paul Kasmin Gallery. The series is rendered in classical portraiture style, and consists of paintings and sculptures of cartoon-like children partaking in adults-only behaviours: they smoke, are self-indulgent, and emote a specific type of narcissism that alludes not only to luxury and class, but perhaps also to the quickly-maturing teens of the current time.  After the jump is Stephanie Murg‘s interview with Nir about his work and the Paul Kasmin show.


Designer Marc Jacobs views the work at the opening

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AO On Site at the 54th Venice Biennale 2011: The Courtauld Institute’s “One of a Thousand Ways to Defeat Entropy,” through November 27, 2011

Saturday, June 18th, 2011


Alexander Ponomarev, Baffin Figure, 2006, Performance, Baffin Sea.

Currently on view at the Arsenale Novissima in Venice, Italy is “One of a Thousand Ways to Defeat Entropy.” Organized by the Courtauld Institute of Art, in collaboration with AVC Charity Foundation, the exhibition is one of the official collateral programs of the 54th Venice Biennale. Curated by Alexander Ponomarev and Nadim Samman, the exhibition comprises of  four contemporary artists have been commissioned to create a site-specific work engaging with the theme of entropy: Adrian Ghenie (London/Berlin), Hans Op de Beeck (Brussels), Ryoichi Kurokawa (Osaka/Berlin), and Ponomarev himself (Moscow).

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Don’t Miss – New York: “50 Americans” by Robert Mapplethorpe at Sean Kelly Gallery through June 18th, 2011

Friday, June 17th, 2011



Charles Tennant
(1978) by Robert Mapplethorpe, via Sean Kelly Gallery

Currently on view at Sean Kelly Gallery is “50 Americans”, an exhibition presenting fifty works by the renowned American artist Robert Mapplethorpe (1946- 1989). Fifty Americans, each from a different state in the country and some of whom were not yet familiar with the artist’s work, were invited to choose an artwork by the legendary photographer out of a selection of 2,000 images. Each participant revealed why he or she found each work to be particularly meaningful in a text box accompanying the piece. “50 Americans” is an exhibition which offers a fresh view of Mapplethorpe’s work and his practice while also revealing the tastes of the everyday Americans who acted as the curators.


Nick Marden (1980) by Robert Mapplethorpe, via Sean Kelly Gallery

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AO on site (Photoset) Art 42 Basel 2011: Volta 7, A Basel Satellite Art Fair For New and Emerging Art

Friday, June 17th, 2011


Marc FrommYoung Lady and Pet (2010). All pictures by Caroline Claisse for Art Observed.

Art Observed was on site in Basel, Switzerland for VOLTA7, an art fair that focus on new and emerging art.  The fair runs until Saturday June 18th and is held at that Dreispitzhalle, located in the rapidly developing and artistically focused Dreispitz area of Basel.  This year the curators have placed emphasis on single artist presentations or on booth concepts that bring the work of two artists into dialogue with one another.  Seen at the fair were US collectors such as Susan and Michael Hort and Jerry Speyer, Martin Margolis and artists such as Takashi Murakami whose Kakai Kiki collective performed a tea ceremony to initiate the fair.   The following is a selective photoset of the Volta 7 offerings.


Richard Stipl Derision (detail) (2011)

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Don’t Miss – New York: Martin Kippenberger “I Had A Vision” at Luhring Augustine through June 18

Friday, June 17th, 2011


Installation view at Luhring Augustine Gallery. All images Nicolas Linnert for Art Observed.

Luhring Augustine Gallery is currently showing I Had A Vision, a grouping of works by Martin Kippenberger. Together forming a kitschy carnival of mixed media installation and wall pieces, the works selected were earlier exhibited in various exhibitions dating to the early 1990s. The title of the exhibition is pulled from the catalogue accompanying Kippenberger’s 1991 show at SF MoMA. The “vision” in question is apparent in the gallery presentation, as Kippenberger consistently reappropriates objects and re-envisions their utilitarian intent.


Martin Kippenberger, Broken Kilometer (1990).

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Go See – New York: Kaws "Companion (Passing Through)" at the Standard Hotel, through October 2011

Friday, June 17th, 2011


KAWS “Companion (Passing Through)” 2011  – All photos by ArtObserved

Aptly titled “Companion (Passing Through)”, the sixteen feet tall sculpture by KAWS  has relocated from the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut to the front plaza of the Standard Hotel in New York City.  Originally commissioned for the expansive Harbour Mall in Hong Kong, “Companion” is a hybrid of KAWS’s signature skull head and the body of Mickey Mouse in grayscale.  With both hands covering his face, the cartoonish figure in repose appears to be experiencing a range of negative emotions induced by his surroundings.  The specific conditions are ambiguous yet the pose speaks to the viewer with its instant familiarity and universal language of shame, humiliation, and social withdrawal.

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AO on site Photoset (2 of 3) – Art Basel 42: Art Basel 2011, The Main Fair

Thursday, June 16th, 2011


Yutaka Sone Little Manhattan (2007-2009) at David Zwirner Gallery – All images by Caroline Claisse for Art Observed

Art Observed remains on site in Basel, Switzerland for Art 42 Basel 2011.  The following is our second of the photosets of the main fair.  Stay tuned for more coverage of the main fair before the end of the week as well as profiles of the satellite exhibitions and events.


Artist Wim Delvoye before one of his sculptures at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin

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Don’t Miss – New York: Eric Fischl, Early Paintings, at Skarstedt Gallery through June 18th

Thursday, June 16th, 2011


Eric Fischl, Barbeque (1982)

Skarstedt Gallery presents “Eric Fischl: Early Paintings”, on view through June 18th. Known for his postmodern style, this exhibition focuses on nine of Eric Fischl‘s early works that helped introduce his style. Dating from 1979 to 1989, the paintings depict everyday life in the suburbs—tan bodies by the poolside, family barbecues, and children and adults playing their expected roles.  Through these selected glimpses Fischl reveals more serious themes upon a closer look.

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AO on site Photoset – Art Basel 42: the Liste 16 – The young art fair in Basel

Thursday, June 16th, 2011


All photos by Caroline Claisse for Art Observed

Since its opening in 1996, the LISTE – the Young Art Fair in Basel has showcased new and important galleries and contemporary young art. The LISTE generally will restrict participants to galleries that have been in business for no more than 5 years and will show artists generallly under 40 years old.   Art Observed was on site to document some of the offerings.

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Don’t Miss – New York: “We Regret to Inform You…” at Martos Gallery through June 18

Thursday, June 16th, 2011


Jim Lambie, Black Metal (2004) (left) and Lisa Beck, Slacker (1991) (right). All images Nicolas Linnert for Art Observed.

Closing this week is Martos Gallery’s group exhibition We Regret to Inform You There is Currently No Space or Place for Abstract Painting. With a title sounding like a submission response dating from earlier half of the 20th century, the exhibition includes a significant amount of abstract painting. It also shows mixed media installation and slightly representational wall pieces.

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Don’t Miss – New York: Jack Smith, “Thanks for Explaining Me” curated by Neville Wakefield at Gladstone Gallery, through June 16th, 2011

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011


Jack Smith, Untitled (1981) Courtesy of Gladstone Gallery.

Gladstone Gallery is currently presenting “Thanks for Explaining Me,” a comprehensive exhibition of the works of Jack Smith, the seminal filmmaker and visual artist who is also credited as one of the earliest exponents of performance art. Curated by Neville Wakefield, this show, which is screening the formerly controversial film ‘Flaming Creatures,’ examines Smith’s imprint in a both documentary and anecdotical manner; hinting at the artist’s rigorous aesthetic and intellectual pursuits that may have appear to be veiled under the frenzied masquerades portrayed in his work. In addition, with the purpose of fostering a symbolic trans-generational dialogue, Wakefield included three collaborative pieces by contemporary artists Ryan McNamara, A. L. Steiner, and T. J. Wilcox, elaborating on the intricacies of Smith’s life and artistic endeavors.


Jack Smith, Untitled (Business card) (1978). Courtesy of Gladstone Gallery

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AO on site Photoset: Art Basel 42 Vernissage and VIP preview

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011


Iwan Wirth at Hauser and Wirth

Art Observed is on site this week for Art Basel 42, the world’s largest contemporary art fair.  Art Observed was on site for the VIP vernissage of the main fair.  Officially the fair opens Wednesday, with a duration of 5 days from June 15th to the 19th.  Roughly $1.75 billion of artwork is reportedly for sale by 300 galleries from 35 countries at the fair this year.  Initial energy from the fair can be gauged to be very brisk with many gallerists reporting healthy buying activity.  Already mega-collectors such as Eli Broad and Dasha Zhukova, girlfriend and partner of Billionaire collector Roman Abramovich were spotted at the fair as was actor Will Ferrell.   Bloomberg reported that a 1969 Mark Rothko abstract was sold by L&M Arts for over $5 million.  More coverage of events from Art Observed will follow this week.

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AO on site Photoset Preview: Art 42 Basel – Art Unlimited and Art Statements at the main fair

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011


Anish Kapoor Push – Pull (2008) – All photos by Caroline Claisse for Art Observed

Art Observed begins its onsite coverage with a photoset of the people and works of Art 42 Basel’s Art Unlimited and Art Statement.  Since 2000, Art Unlimited is Art Basel’s exhibition platform for projects that transcend the art booth formats.  It includes video projections, large-scale installations, oversized sculptures and often live performances. Selected by the Art Basel Committee, it has been curated this year and since the beginning by Geneva curator Simon Lamunière.

Art Statements, also at the main fair, consists mainly of emerging artists.  Art Statements features one-artist stands from rising galleries globally and is found in Hall 1.


Gallerist Tony Shafrazi

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Go See – New York: Francis Alÿs, ‘A Story of Deception’ at the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 through August 1st, 2011

Sunday, June 12th, 2011


Francis Alÿs, Modern Procession (2002), via PS1

Initiated in collaboration with, and previously presented at, Tate Modern, London and WIELS Centre of Contemporary Art, Brussels, Francis Alÿs’s survey show entitled ‘Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception’ is now on view through August 1 at both MoMA and MoMA PS1. Largely drawing upon MoMA’s collection of works from the Belgium-born artist and grouped around three recent acquisitions—Re-enactments (2001), When Faith Moves Mountains (2002), and Rehearsal I (Ensayo I) (1999–2001)—the New York iteration of ‘Franicis Alÿs: A Story of Deception’ brings together a sizeable amount of the artist’s works, which characteristically emphasize performance and repetition with results that range from absurd to stunning.

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AO Onsite – New York: Opening of Friends With You, “:)” and the inauguration of the The Hole Gallery on Bowery – June 9th, 2011

Saturday, June 11th, 2011


Kathy Grayson at her opening

Miami – based art collective “Friends With You” will open their first exhibition “:)” in New York tonight at The Hole.  Friends With You create work in a variety of mediums including sculpture, animation, publishing and performance art.  The collective is commercially successful as well, creating advertisements for companies such as Target and Match.com and additionally create highly prized limited edition toys and objects. The show will take place in The Hole’s sizable new gallery space on 312 Bowery (corner of Bleeker) which has yet to be opened to the public. To celebrate the newest 10-block addition to the Highline, Friends With You have also taken over the raised park on the West side, filling the area with their signature larger-than-life cartoon figures. The installation, entitled “Rainbow City”, is fully interactive and includes a pop-up shop where a new line of toys will be sold.

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Go See – New York: Cory Arcangel "Pro Tools" at The Whitney through September 11th, 2011

Friday, June 10th, 2011


Cory Arcangel, Various Self Playing Bowling Games (aka Beat the Champ) (2011), all images via The Whitney

Currently showing at The Whitney is “Pro Tools,” the first major retrospective of Brooklyn-based Cory Arcangel. The show surveys a diverse set of works that display a focused obsession with both outdated technology and pop culture.  The exhibition’s title refers to a software that is used in sound mixing, and becomes a synecdoche for the way in which tools and trends allow culture to move forward, but in doing so render themselves obsolete.


Cory Arcangel, Various Self Playing Bowling Games (aka Beat the Champ) (2011) (detail)

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