Global contemporary art events and news observed from New York City. Suggestion? Email us.
NEWS

Paddle 8 Bankruptcy Trustee Sues Former Board Member

September 28th, 2020

Following Paddle 8’s bankruptcy, the company’s bankruptcy trustee Megan Noh has filed suit against former board member John Textor, alleging “reckless disregard” for the company, and seeking $6 million in damages. “Neither I nor the companies mentioned have been involved in quite some time, though it is standard practice for a trustee to cast a wide net in filing speculative claims for recovery,” Textor claims.
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Auction Houses Record Uptick in Online Sales Amid COVID Shutdowns

September 28th, 2020

Auction houses are reporting massive upticks in online sales as galleries and auctions shutter due to Covid-19. “No longer will we have the joy and pain of crowded art fairs and gallery openings,” says Robert Head of the Hiscox agency. “Dealers will have to find new ways to create the buzz that makes us have to buy now, lest we dwell and lose yet another treasure that we can’t live without.”
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David Zwirner Gallery to Launch New York Gallery Space With All-Black Staff

September 28th, 2020

David Zwirner Gallery has appointed Ebony L. Haynes, formerly of Martos Gallery, as the head of a new gallery space in Manhattan, which will employ an all-black staff. “While you could argue that strides have been made on the artist side, the art world acts almost shamefully on the employment side,” Mr. Zwirner says. “Something has to happen.”
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Condemnations Mount Over Shelved Guston Show

September 28th, 2020

Controversy is mounting over the decision by four major museums to shelve a show of works by Philip Guston over his depiction of figures in Ku Klux Klan robes, with many in the art world, including the show’s curator, condemning the move.  “As art museums, we are expected to show difficult art and to support artists. By cancelling or delaying, we abandon this responsibility to Guston and also to the artists whose voices animate the catalogue such as Glenn Ligon [and] Tacita Dean,” says Tate Modern curator Mark Godfrey, who was set to organize the show at the museum.
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Sotheby’s Launches Financial Services Division

September 23rd, 2020

Sotheby’s is launching a new financial services division, with Alexander Klabin as Executive Chairman. A statement from Klabin emphasized his role as helping “to accelerate the future of authenticated asset-based finance.” 
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Guggenheim Acquires Maurizio Cattelan’s “Comedian”

September 22nd, 2020

The Guggenheim has received Maurizio Cattelan‘s iconic banana work Comedian, shown last year at Art Basel Miami Beach, as an anonymous gift.  “We are grateful recipients of the gift of ‘Comedian,’ a further demonstration of the artist’s deft connection to the history of modern art,” says museum director, Richard Armstrong. “Beyond which, it offers little stress to our storage.”
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Gerhard Richter Designs Stained Glass Windows for German Abbey

September 22nd, 2020

Gerhard Richter has created a series of impressive stained glass windows for Tholey Abbey in Germany. “Abstract art is not normally my thing,” says Abbot Mauritius Choriol. “But you don’t need to be an art expert to appreciate the qualities of these.”
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LACMA Unveils Gallery Plans for New Building

September 22nd, 2020

LACMA has finally unveiled the gallery plans for its new, Peter Zumthor-designed building. “I did ask for and got something that would be very different,” says director Michael Govan. “I think it’s going to be absolutely sublime, but that’s for the public to see.”
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Guggenheim Lays Off Additional 24 Employees

September 17th, 2020

As the museum plans to reopen, the Guggenheim Museum has laid off 24 employees, with an additional 8 taking separation agreements. “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Guggenheim has been devastating to our finances,” said museum’s director, Richard Armstrong in a letter to employees. “I am deeply saddened to say that the museum will not have the ability to support our previous number of staff members.”
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Brooklyn Museum Deaccession’s 12 Works from Collection

September 17th, 2020

In the midst of COVID-19-related financial pressure, the Brooklyn Museum will sell off 12 works from its collection to fund maintaining the rest of its holdings. “We expect this consignment to generate considerable interest from collectors who will not only respond to the paintings’ great quality, but will also be reassured by their distinguished provenance,” says Joshua Glazer, Specialist of Old Master Paintings at Christie’s New York.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

Paris – Isa Genzken: “Paris New York” at David Zwirner Through October 10th, 2020

September 28th, 2020

Isa Genzken, Paris New York (Installation View), via David Zwirner
Isa Genzken, Paris New York (Installation View), via David Zwirner

Taking over David Zwirner’s gallery space in Paris, German artist Isa Genzken returns with a new body of work that seems to both celebrate and destroy the assembled codes of historical knowledge in architecture and art, building a renewed awareness of space and time in the gallery spaces. This will be the artist’s fifth solo exhibition with David Zwirner and her first solo show in Paris since 2010, coinciding with a major presentation of Genzken’s early work at the Kunstmuseum Basel. Read More »

New York – Michele Abeles: “October” at 47 Canal Through October 3rd, 2020

September 25th, 2020

Michele Abeles, 10/28/19, 5:00PM (2020), via 47 Canal
Michele Abeles, 10/28/19, 5:00PM (2020), via 47 Canal

Upon entering the doors of 47 Canal Gallery, one is immediately greeted by a strangely familiar, and oddly timely series of images.  Skeletal hands, ghoulish visages and ghostly figures dance across a series of photos, while other frames bear the image if close up novelty gravestones and other Halloween decorations.  One month out from Halloween, the exhibition, presented by artist Michele Abeles, turns these familiar features into a meditation on commercial iconographies, capitalism and the spiritual undertones that these systems draw on, always centering the body in these conversations on space and time, the body and mortality.   Read More »

AO Online – Art Basel OVR:2020, September 23rd – 26th, 2020

September 24th, 2020

Kelly Akashi, via Tanya Bonakdar
Kelly Akashi, via Tanya Bonakdar

The fall art season is in full swing, at least in name, with galleries cautiously reopening, and a tense consideration for ways forward currently in the air, all serving as a fitting backdrop for the second iteration of Art Basel’s Online Viewing Room program.  Filling in for the cancelled Basel and Miami Beach editions of its fair program, the recently opened OVR:2020 invites a select group of artists and galleries to make up some lost ground in their seasonal calendar, and to offer works for sale, amplified by the fair’s global reach. Read More »

New York – Carmen Herrera: “Painting in Process” at Lisson Gallery Through October 21st, 2020

September 23rd, 2020

Carmen Herrera, Painting in Process (Installation View)
Carmen Herrera, Painting in Process (Installation View), via Lisson

Since her time in post-war Paris when she first developed her signature hard-edged style, painter Carmen Herrera has instilled a rigorous practice to create her distinctive body of work, culling together a range of various color structures and elusive geometric arrangements to arrive at her engaging and unique constructions.  Now, the artist is opening a show of recent works at Lisson, bearing the title Painting in Process, exploring her construction and exploration of her works before their final form.  Read More »

New York – Renée Green: “Excerpts” at Bortolami Gallery Through October 31st, 2020

September 18th, 2020

Renée Green, Excerpts (Installation View), via Art Observed
Renée Green, Excerpts (Installation View), via Art Observed

Entering Bortolami Gallery for its first show of the fall season, one is immediately greeted by a flurry of color.  Bright   banners hang from the ceilings, adorned with dazzling fluorescent pairings that emphasize the fragments of text that dot each piece, and which find a fitting counterpoint in a ring of framed pieces encircling the gallery walls.   The pieces are the product of artist Renée Green, whose body of new works returns to an ongoing interest in the concept of color and language, text and space, perception and understanding.   Spanning the artist’s three decades of working with color’s polyvalent effects, the works in Excerpts manifest her open-ended questioning of invented yet established taxonomies, in order to play with and to displace designations that may seem to be known. Read More »

Los Angeles – Cosima von Bonin: “HETERO” at GAGA Through September 26th, 2020

September 17th, 2020

Cosima Von Bonin, HETERO (2020), via GAGA
Cosima Von Bonin, HETERO (2020), via GAGA

Returning to Los Angeles for a second show with GAGA and her first in the gallery’s LA space, artist Cosima von Bonin has installed a body of new works, merging together her signature selections of pop cultural iconographies, material inversions and surreal interpolations of the gallery space, united under the title HETERO.  Using the gallery as a framework on which to explore and elaborate her unique formal investigations, the artist explores the idea of extended, and often distended, narrative flows.   Read More »

New York – Lisa Alvarado: “Thalweg” at Bridget Donahue Through August 30th, 2020

August 26th, 2020

Lisa Alvarado, Thalweg (Installation View), via Bridget Donahue
Lisa Alvarado, Thalweg (Installation View), via Bridget Donahue

Drawing on the shifting conceptions of political geography and economy, the work of Lisa Alvarado mines a certain point of friction between western art history and other modes of visual expression, using historical frameworks and objects to populate her work with subtle but enduring critiques of capitalism and colonialism.  Alvarado’s paintings operate as stage sets, artworks, and ritual objects simultaneously, often targeting a certain sense of meditative, considered reflection while looking, and using this space to incorporate new historical tropes into the work.

Lisa Alvarado, Thalweg (Installation View), via Bridget Donahue
Lisa Alvarado, Thalweg (Installation View), via Bridget Donahue

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Los Angeles – Ricky Swallow: “BORROWED SCULPTURES” at David Kordansky Through August 29th, 2020

August 10th, 2020

Ricky Swallow, Rocking Chair with Rope (Meditation #1) (2020), via David Kordansky
Ricky Swallow, Rocking Chair with Rope (Meditation #1) (2020), via David Kordansky

Currently on view at David Kordansky in Los Angeles is BORROWED SCULPTURES, an exhibition of new floor- and wall-based bronze sculptures by the Australian-born artist Ricky Swallow.  Continuing the artist’s enigmatic explorations of bronze sculpture and its relationship to the materiality of the everyday, the show mounts a body of works that walk a peculiar line between manufactured sculpture and readymade. Read More »

London – Heather Phillipson: “The End” Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth Commission

August 3rd, 2020

Heather Phillipson, The End (Installation View), via City of London
Heather Phillipson, The End (Installation View), via City of London

A riddle topped with a cherry, Heather Phllipson’s new sculpture installation on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth in London has all the makings of a work fittingly in line with the surreal progression of events that have marked 2020.  A massive dollop of whipped cream, topped off with a cherry, a large fly and whirling drone, the piece, titled The End, seems to invite questions of just what its title might imply: are we looking at the end of meaning, the end of the world, or perhaps just the end of a particularly large sundae? Read More »

New York – Gary Simmons: “Screaming into the Ether” at Metro Pictures Through September 19th, 2020

July 28th, 2020

Gary Simmons, Screaming into the Ether (2020), via Metro Pictures
Gary Simmons, Screaming into the Ether (2020), via Metro Pictures

As galleries reopen in New York and test out their new exhibition strategies, the first string of gallery highlights and highly touted shows are beginning to pop up online.  Among these is Screaming into the Ether, the newest show of paintings by artist Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures.  Mining the language of classic cartoon aesthetics and the often physically expressive poses its characters took, Simmons’s show turns moments of comical action into desperate, unnerving moments through his slurred, blurry hand.   Read More »