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

Armed Robbers Break into TEFAF, Causing Evacuation

June 28th, 2022

A group of armed men broke into TEFAF Maastricht this week in an attempted robbery, causing an evacuation of the fair.  “TEFAF has robust procedures in the event of a security breach,” a spokesperson for the fair said. “These were precisely followed, and all visitors, exhibitors and staff were safely evacuated. The fair has now reopened.”
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Michelangelo Sketch Sells for $24 Million in Paris

May 19th, 2022

A recently unearthed Michelangelo sketch, considered to be the artist’s first nude, has sold  at Christie’s Paris for a record 23 million euros ($24 million). “Michelangelo has decided to make the figure into something that corresponded more to his aesthetic by making him much more robust and monumental, while at the same time keeping the fragility of the figure, who is exposed and shivering” as he awaits baptism,” says Christie’s Old Masters expert Stijn Alsteens.
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Basquiat Work Sells for $85 Million at Phillips $224.9 Million Night

May 19th, 2022

The Jean-Michel Basquiat work from the collection of Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa had a strong return to auction last night at Phillips, where it achieved $85 Million, part of a total sale of  $224.9 million, the highest in the company’s history. 
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Independent Art Fair to Launch New Fair Around 20th Century Work

May 17th, 2022

The Independent Art Fair will launch a new fair in September this year that will focus on 20th Century Works. “Over the years, there has been a shift, with next-generation dealers showing a more diverse group of artists and territories, geographically, socially, politically,” says Independent director Elizabeth Dee. “They are looking forward and looking back, saying, ‘We need to have a canon that looks like our program.’”
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Sotheby’s Achieves $246.1 Million in Second Sale of Work from Macklowe Collection

May 17th, 2022

The second leg of Sotheby’s sale of works from the collection of real estate magnate Harry Macklowe and his ex-wife Linda Macklowe has netted $246.1 million, bringing the total sale price for the collection to a record $922 million, with fees. “Either art is one of the few assets that seem to have a good immunological protection against recession, or inflation is much stronger than we think,” says specialist Loic Gouzer. “The art market feels very close to the spare parts market — good works are hard to find and very expensive.”
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Warhol ‘Marilyn’ Sells for $195 Million, Smashing Records for American Artist

May 10th, 2022

An Andy Warhol portrait of Marilyn Monroe sold for $195 Million last night at a Christie’s charity auction, making it the most expensive American work of art to sell at auction. “We did sell the most expensive painting of the 20th century,” says Christie’s specialist Alex Rotter. “This is a big achievement.”
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Matthew Wong Profiled in New Yorker

May 10th, 2022

The artist Matthew Wong gets a profile in the New Yorker this week, reviewing his work and untimely death at the age of 35.  “Something in me was pushed by an urge to visually reproduce the uncalculated, almost accidental slice of poetry in front of me,” the article quotes him.
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Cornelia Parker Interviewed in The Guardian

May 10th, 2022

Cornelia Parker has an interview in The Guardian this week, discussing her work, vision, and thoughts on changing her citizenship to Germany. ” I’m thinking of applying for German citizenship because I’m half German. I don’t like feeling not part of Europe,” she says. “I don’t want to be a little Englander.”
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Group Makes Off with Portfolio of Works from Fergus McCafferty Gallery

May 6th, 2022

Police are searching for a group of 5 people who stole a portfolio of photographs from Fergus McCafferty Gallery in Manhattan. 
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Selldorf Architects Tapped for Major Project with Art Gallery of Ontario

April 28th, 2022

The Art Gallery of Ontario has contracted Selldorf Architects, Diamond Schmitt and Two Row Architect to lead the design phase of AGO Global Contemporary, the museum’s proposed expansion project. A project with global impact requires an international perspective, grounded in this land and this city,” says Director and CEO Stephan Jost. 
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

RIP – Ground-Breaking Abstract Artist Sam Gilliam Has Passed Away at Age 88

June 28th, 2022

Sam Gilliam at Mnuchin
Sam Gilliam at Mnuchin, via Art Observed

Artist Sam Gilliam, known for his work in abstraction and for his ground-breaking experimentations in freeing the canvas from the confines of the stretcher, has passed away at the age of 88. Rising to prominence in the late 1960’s from his early work as a school teacher, the artist was known for his dynamic and expressive works, which combined lyrical strokes and painterly movements with three-dimensional arrangements of cloth, which the artist titled “Drapes.” Read More »

New York – Alex Israel: “Sunset Coast Drive” at Greene Naftali Through June 25th, 2022

June 21st, 2022

Alex Israel, Sunset Coast Drive (2022), via Greene Naftali
Alex Israel, Sunset Coast Drive (2022), via Greene Naftali

On view this month at Greene Naftali, the gallery plays host to Sunset Coast Drive, its second solo show presenting the works of Alex Israel. An outing that looks to deepen the artist’s ongoing ongoing engagement with the culture and aesthetics of his native Los Angeles, it mines the sparkling optimism exported by its entertainment industry, while presenting imagery subject to close scrutiny.  Read More »

AO On-Site – Basel: Liste Art Fair at Messe Basel, June 13th – 19th, 2022

June 18th, 2022

Veit Laurent Kurz at Weiss Falk
Veit Laurent Kurz at Weiss Falk, all images via Art Observed

Returning to its recently transplanted site in another hall of the Messe Basel, the Liste Art Fair makes its voice felt on the landscape and layout of Basel Art Week this season with another edition of its event showcasing works by a range of galleries presenting the latest and newest voices in contemporary art. Running in conjunction with the Art Basel fair just a few minutes away in another hall of the expansive exhibition center, Liste welcomes 82 galleries, each centering on younger artists, new concepts and exploratory work. For gallerists, participating at LISTE, the fair is an opportunity to network globally and present their program to professionals and art lovers that gather in Basel during this important week on the international art calendar.

Tomas Diaz Cedeño at Peana
Tomas Diaz Cedeño at Peana

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AO On-Site – Basel: Art Basel at the Messe Basel, June 16th – 19th, 2022

June 16th, 2022

Folkert de Jong at Sofie van de Velde
Folkert de Jong at Sofie van de Velde

Marking it’s return to its usual spot in early summer, the 2022 edition of Art Basel has opened its doors for its early hours, preparing for a public opening this weekend with an expansive offering of works from European galleries and those further afield. Open once again at the Messe Basel, the fair continues its reputation as a flagship for the international fair brand, with over 200 leading galleries and more than 4,000 artists from five continents. Emphasizing it’s place as a central force in the run of events and fairs worldwide, Basel’s return to form is a tentpole in a run of reopenings in the wake of the Covid-19 shutdowns.

David Hammons at Xavier Hufkens
David Hammons at Xavier Hufkens

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New York – Anna-Sophie Berger: “Sin” at JTT Through June 18th, 2022

June 14th, 2022

Anna-Sophie Berger, Lady Wealth (2022), via JTT
Anna-Sophie Berger, Lady Wealth (2022), via JTT

On view this month at New York’s JTT Gallery, artist Anna-Sophie Berger presents a selection of new works that draw on bodies, space and perception to create striking visual and psychological effects. Using a fusion of everyday materials posed in unique new permutations, her body of work is a striking and potent investigation of how these items construct a shared reality, or perhaps just the sense of one.  Read More »

New York – Anne Imhof: “Avatar” at Galerie Buchholz Through July 2nd, 2022

June 13th, 2022

Anne Imhof - Avatar 06
Anna Imhof, Avatar (Installation View), all images by Aleph Molinari for Art Observed.

Continuing her experimentation with spatial arrangement and irreverent institutional takeovers, Anne Imhof has transformed the uptown gallery space of Galerie Buchholz for her new exhibition, Avatar. A simulacra of an institution of learning, the exhibition plunges the viewer into an alternate universe that embodies the industrialized cut-and-paste production of knowledge and identity. It is both an avatar for these spaces of socialization, as well as the avatars people adopt while navigating  them. Presenting physical signifiers in opposition to surreal juxtapositions of other works, the show explores the role of space in the production of power, sites of cultural socialization, and its interrelations to social constructs.  Read More »

VENICE — MARLENE DUMAS: “OPEN-END” AT PALAZZO GRASSI THROUGH JANUARY 8TH, 2023

June 10th, 2022

IMG_0216
Marlene Dumas, The Martyr (2002-04). All images via Art Observed.

The Pinault Collection’s Palazzo Grassi presents Open-End this summer, a major monographic exhibition of work by Marlene Dumas, the Cape Town-born artist renowned for her portraiture exploring the depth, breadth and intensity of human emotion. Coinciding with the 59th Venice Biennale, the solo-exhibition features over 100 works from 1984 to 2021, including previously unseen paintings such as Persona (2020). Curated by Caroline Bourgeois and the artist herself, open-end spans 33 rooms across two floors of the 18th-century Pinault Collection space alongside the Grand Canal in Venice. Read More »

New York – Francis Bacon: “Faces & Figures” at Skarstedy Through June 25th, 2022

June 9th, 2022

Francis Bacon, Seated Woman (1961), via Skarstedt
Francis Bacon, Seated Woman (1961), via Skarstedt

On view this summer, Skarstedt has assembled a striking selection of work by painter Francis Bacon, titled Faces and Figures. The exhibition unifies a group of masterworks spanning the 1950s to the 1970s. Featuring depictions of some of his most beloved friends, lovers, and muses—Peter Lacy, George Dyer, Muriel Belcher, and Henrietta Moraes—along with an intimate self-portrait and a portrait of Pope Pius XII, the exhibition traces poignant moments of loss and companionship that underscores the artist’s masterful blending of art and life.  Read More »

Paris – Lawrence Abu Hamdan: “Errata” at Mor Charpentier Through June 18th, 2022

June 7th, 2022

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Errata (Installation View), via Mor Charpentier
Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Errata (Installation View), via Mor Charpentier

Marking his second solo show at mor charpentier, British-Lebanese artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan continues a body of research on sound as legal evidence, focusing on the unbreakable relationship between testimony and the technology used to record it. Interested in the blind spots of global justice systems, the artist examines sound as a means to reveal historic acts of erasure and rupture. Here, that concept centers around the Nuremberg Trials, and the structures of justice and witnessing this process created and perpetuated.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Errata (Installation View), via Mor Charpentier
Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Errata (Installation View), via Mor Charpentier

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Los Angeles – Lynda Benglis: “Excavation” at Blum & Poe Through June 25th, 2022

June 6th, 2022

Lynda Benglis, Yellow Tail (2020), via Blum & Poe
Lynda Benglis, Yellow Tail (2020), via Blum & Poe

On view this month Blum & Poe, the gallery presents Excavation, marking the second solo exhibition of works by Lynda Benglis, continuing the artist’s work in soaring, swooping strokes of bronze. Alluding to themes of referencing the artist’s past in relation to her current work, and referring to the interchanges of positive and negative space as if one was digging or displacing earth, similar to the cast-making process.  Read More »