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

UK Appoints Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal

May 21st, 2020

The UK has appointed Neil Mendoza as Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal, overseeing the country’s response to the coronavirus’s impact on the arts. Mendoza previously led a review of England’s museums three years ago, offering recommendations on how to further bolster the arts institutions in the country.
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Austrian Culture Minister Resigns

May 20th, 2020

Austrian culture minister Ulrike Lunacek has stepped down after fierce criticism of the government’s arts-sector pandemic response.  “This is not worthy of one of the richest countries in the world,” she said of the current state of the country’s artists.
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Damien Hirst Speaks on His Working During Lockdown in The Guardian

May 20th, 2020

Damien Hirst has an interview in The Guardian this week, as he charts his experience during lockdown, and how it has affected his work. “I used to listen to music a lot when there was more activity and people,” he says of his experience working alone. “The paintings are going more successfully, which is really strange. Maybe it’s my focus, maybe that’s why I’m not playing the music. I’m kind of getting lost in the paintings.”
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LA City Council Redirects Developer Fees to Emergency Arts Grants

May 19th, 2020

Los Angeles City Council has approved a measure to redirect developer fees to into emergency arts grants, the LA Times reports.  “This includes tiered grants of between $500 and $2,000 for individual artists, with the highest amounts reserved for artists who are full-time freelancers, and therefore “more vulnerable in an economic downturn,” The COVID-19 Emergency Response Program text reads.
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Arts Sector Employment Shrinks by Over 50%

May 19th, 2020

A look at unemployment and income data by FiveThirtyEight shows that the U.S. arts sector has suffered a contraction of over 54% since the beginning of lockdowns.
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Guggenheim Keeps Growing Tomatoes During Lockdown

May 19th, 2020

The Guggenheim is closed, but its installation of blossoming tomatoes, part of its last show before lockdown, Countryside, The Future, is still growing, yielding pounds of fruit each week from an installation on Fifth Ave.  “This tomato-growing module couldn’t just be turned off with the lights,” says curator Troy Conrad Therrien. “We brought the exhibition to the street, and the street is still accessible.”
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Venice Biennale Postponed

May 19th, 2020

Heading off logistical and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, the Venice Biennale has postponed its next two editions, moving its architecture show to next year, and the next iteration of its art exhibition to 2022.  “I hope that the occasion will mark a new celebration of togetherness,” says curator Cecilia Alemani, “a new sense of participation and communion.”
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Mayors of Major U.S. Appeal to Congress for More Arts Funding

May 14th, 2020

A group of mayors from major US cities have appealed to Congress for more funding support for the arts. “This is about individuals—artists and cultural workers alike—whose livelihoods are being threatened if not already irrevocably impacted,” the letter reads. “This is also about the soul of our communities: It is the arts that make each of our communities unique. And it is the arts that will help our communities survive and thrive economically.”
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Former Paddle8 CEO Sued

May 13th, 2020

Valentine Uhovski, former CEO of Paddle8, is being sued for alleged misuse of company funds in the days before the online auction house declared bankruptcy.
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MoMA Cuts Budget by $45 Million

May 13th, 2020

MoMA has cut its budget by $45 million, seeking to reduce its operations in the face of coronavirus.  “We will learn to be a much smaller institution,” says Glenn Lowry. 
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

AO DIGITAL ROUND-UP – NADA FAIR, May 20th – June 21st, 2020

May 23rd, 2020

Edward Kay, via Rob Tufnell
Edward Kay, via Rob Tufnell

Making its own entry in the string of fairs and digital viewing sites embaraced by the art world to mitigate some of the damage caused by COVID-19, the New Art Dealers Alliance has launched a new project, the aptly titled FAIR.  Spanning several weeks of curated exhibitions from member galleries in New York and further afield, NADA’s new project will look to keep attention and focus on smaller galleries and artists amidst a time where many are suffering from the drop in physical contact and face to face encounters that make up so much of the art world’s business model.   Taking place May 20–June 21, 2020, FAIR will directly support 119 NADA Gallery Members and 81 other galleries that have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, totaling nearly 200 galleries around the world.   Read More »

Hong Kong – Bosco Sodi: “A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains” at Axel Vervoodt Through September 5th, 2020

May 16th, 2020

Bosco Sodi, A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains (Installation), via Art Observed
Bosco Sodi, A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains (Installation View), via Art Observed

As the city of Hong Kong gradually reopens, galleries are slowly returning to business as usual, with shows returning to their exhibition schedules, albeit slowly and gradually.  Among these shows is a quite striking exhibition of new pieces by Mexican artist Bosco Sodi at Axel Vervoodt, incorporating a range of material investigations and variations on his already enigmatic and exploratory processes. Titled  A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains, the exhibition takes the artist’s own hand and his engagement with traditional Chinese art techniques in equal stride. Read More »

AO Digital Round-Up – Frieze Art Fair’s Online Viewing Rooms, May 8th – 15th, 2020

May 11th, 2020

Mark Manders, via Tanya Bonakdar
Mark Manders, via Tanya Bonakdar

Taking the challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic head-on, the Frieze Art Fair has opened its Online Viewing Room program, bringing a selection of works by its exhibitors to view on its website.  Opened as a stand-in for the cancelled New York edition of its international fair program, the online show has created an expansive online show, welcoming those left working from home or sheltering in place to take a leisurely browse through the show. Read More »

Education Resources for Artists During COVID-19 Quarantine

April 23rd, 2020

Dike Blair, Untitled (2020), via Karma's Online Viewing Rooms
Dike Blair, Untitled (2020), via Karma.  The gallery is hosting a show of the artist’s work in its Online Viewing Rooms

As the weeks progress and institutions remain shuttered over COVID-19 concerns, many arts organizations are responding with online virtual education programming related to the arts, often accessible globally at no cost. Art Observed has compiled a selection of these resources, from online classes and exhibitions to panel discussions and online interviews. There has perhaps been no better time to develop and hone one’s skills, as regards both creating and appreciating art, and through these links, Art Observed hopes to enable its readers to branch out, exploring new concepts and skills from the safety of their homes, while helping to relieve some of the pressures and tedium of social distancing.
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Dustin Yellin and Vik Muniz Converse Live on Art Observed’s Instagram Channel

April 23rd, 2020

Dustin Yellin and Vik Muniz Converse on Instagram Live, via Art Observed
Dustin Yellin and Vik Muniz Converse on Instagram Live, via Art Observed

This week, artists Dustin Yellin and Vik Muniz sat down this week on Art Observed’s Instagram Live channel to discuss art, the current state of the world, and share insights into their practice.  The full interview is now up on our Instagram channel. Read More »

AO Reviews – “Richard Prince: Cowboy” Compiled by Robert Rubin, Out Now

April 16th, 2020

Richard Prince, Cowboy, via Prestel
Richard Prince: Cowboy is now available HERE

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Resources for Artists During Covid-19

April 15th, 2020
Kiki Smith, via Timothy Taylor
Art Observed would like to share some information about resources available for artists during the ongoing Covid-19 situation. There are many organizations that, in the wake of galleries, exhibitions and museums closing, are providing resources for artists to continue their work. In addition, of the $2 trillion in economic stimulus provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, up to $300 million is earmarked for the arts, including funds specifically for artists, cultural organizations, museums, libraries, and other groups, administered by various federal agencies.
While Covid-19 is impacting everyone’s lives in a way that is unprecedented, it is perhaps causing many to appreciate the arts more than before. People may be more inclined to purchase pieces for their homes, and there has been demand for online, virtual art shows and talks – art that is uplifting and that is accessible. Coming out of this, Art Observed hopes and expects the art world to re-emerge with renewed vigor. Until then, Art Observed hopes the below resources will be helpful.

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A Message of Support from Art Observed

March 30th, 2020

Art Observed would like to send out a message of support and encouragement to all affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Art Observed will be changing in reaction to a world that is itself in a state of change.

Restricted ability to physically engage with art work does not prevent us from the experience of viewing and thinking about art as well as connecting with each other in the process.

Art Observed will continue to transmit information on shows and the news surrounding them, but in new ways.

Art Observed will look to continue to support those in the art world whom we covered before, as well new participants whom we can connect with meaningfully through a digital format.

We also hope to continue to develop a passionate following of those interested in new phases and frontiers for art.

We invite all to collaborate with Art Observed as we look to adapt, restructure and continue our role to promote and support the art world.

While we look forward to returning to providing our readers and supporters live and timely coverage of art exhibitions, fairs and projects in the near future, we also look forward to taking this new step with you in the time in between.

If you are interested in exploring new strategies and ideas with Art Observed, please feel free to contact us at the handles below:

Email: info@artobserved.com
Instagram DM: @ArtObserved

New York – Gerhard Richter “Painting After All” at the Met Breuer Through July 5th, 2020

March 29th, 2020

Gerhard Richter, Painting After All (Installation View), via Art Observed
Gerhard Richter, Painting After All (Installation View), via Art Observed

Editors Note: Art Observed was on site for the opening of the exhibition and photographed this show before the closings related to COVID-19.   

The Met Breuer is closing its doors this summer, following a fittingly ambitious final exhibition, a sprawling review of the work of Gerhard Richter, marking the first major exhibition in the United States on the work of the German artist in nearly twenty years.   Read More »

RIP – Paul Kasmin, New York Gallerist, at the Age of 60

March 23rd, 2020

PaulKasmin_photo_CariVuong-791x1024
Paul Kasmin, via Kasmin Gallery

Dealer Paul Kasmin, who was a formative voice in the development of the Chelsea gallery scene over the last 20 years has passed away at the age of 60.  Read More »