Global contemporary art events and news observed from New York City. Suggestion? Email us.
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Paintings By Queen Victoria Head to Auction in London

January 20th, 2023

A rare pair of floral paintings by Queen Victoria will go to auction next week, expecting prices of £8,000 and £10,000, Art News reports. 
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Michael Rakowitz Proposes Gift of Fourth Plinth Statue to British Museum in Exchange for Return of Assyrian Arifacts to Iraq

January 20th, 2023

Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz is proposing that the British Museum return one of its ancient Assyrian treasures to Iraq in exchange for the donation of his fourth plinth sculpture to the UK. “As I pondered my gift to the nation of Great Britain, I began to fantasise that it could be attached to a second gift: the return of one of the British Museum’s lamassu to the country of Iraq, to replace what was destroyed by Daesh [or Islamic State],” he writes in an open letter.
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Art News Traces Continued Challenges of Repatriation at The Met

January 20th, 2023

Art News has a piece this week discussing ongoing issues with repatriation at The Met, reviewing some disputed works still on view. “Once you know that someone is acquiring artifacts without looking too closely as a source, the first thing you should do is look deeper,” says Erin Thompson, an associate professor of art crime at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
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UNESCO Seeks to Prevent Looting of Ukrainian Artifacts

January 20th, 2023

UNESCO is holding programs in Warsaw to help identify looted cultural materials from the Ukraine. “Poland is really a country at the forefront of this work,” Krista Pikkat, UNESCO’s director of culture and emergencies, says.
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NYT Profiles Revival of Robert Whitman’s “American Moon” at Pace

January 20th, 2023

The New York Times writes on the revival of artist Robert Whitman’s 1959 happening American Moon at Pace. “I used to try to explain things to myself — what I was doing,” he said. “Then I suddenly realized my ideas and thoughts and rationalizations were nonsense, and I just decided to go with my intuition.”
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Whitney Curator Marcela Guerrero Profiled in NYT

January 20th, 2023

The New York Times profiles Whitney Museum curator Marcela Guerrero, the first Puerto Ricaan curator at the Museum. “She is at the right place at a time when Latinx art is emerging as a force to be reckoned with,” says Mari Carmen Ramírez, the first curator of Latin American art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. “We all expect her to contribute to this transformation in a significant way.”
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Clearing Gallery to Leave Bushwick Space

January 20th, 2023

Clearing Gallery will depart its longtime home in Bushwick for a new space on the Bowery. “There’s nothing wrong with Brooklyn, but there’s more to New York than Brooklyn,” says founder Olivier Babin. “We’re not leaving for a bigger or better space. We’re leaving for a better location.”
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Jean-Michel Basquiat Work at TEFAF 2017 Revealed as Fake by André Heller

November 3rd, 2022

Musician and artist André Heller fabricated a falsely attributed Jean-Michel Basquiat for sale at TEFAF in 2017, Art News reports. “In retrospect, the whole thing is, firstly, a childish prank. Secondly, it is naturally showing off. And thirdly, it is a stupid mixture of fiction and truth,” he says. “Just a private fairy tale.”
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Monica Bonvicini “Pauses” Representation with König Galerie After Allegations Against Founder

November 3rd, 2022

Monica Bonvicini has “paused” her relationship with König Galerie after sexual harassment allegations broke against its founder, Johann König.
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Oscar yi Hou Profiled in NYT

October 25th, 2022

Artist Oscar yi Hou gets the profile treatment in the New York Times this week, as he opens a show at the Brooklyn Museum. “I think by creating symbolic densities, you’re able to invite the viewer to pay more attention to the works,” he says. “I try to honor the opacity of the subject.”
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

New York – Alex Prager: “Part Two: Run” at Lehmann Maupin Through March 4th, 2023

January 31st, 2023

Alex Prager, Run (2022), via Lehmann Maupin
Alex Prager, Run (2022), via Lehmann Maupin

This winter, Lehmann Maupin presents Part Two: Run, an exhibition of work by Los Angeles-based artist Alex Prager, that marks the debut of Prager’s ambitious new film, Run and features a selection of new photographs and sculptures made in conjunction with and in response to the film. Directly responding to a period of cultural ambivalences and uncertainties, the exhibition urgently examines human perseverance and explores the opportunities for empathy, participation, and action present both within art and everyday life. Read More »

Paris – David Salle: “Tree of Life, This Time with Feeling” at Thaddaeus Ropac Through March 4th, 2023

January 30th, 2023

David Salle, Tree of Life, This Time with Feeling (Installation View), via Thaddaeus Ropac
David Salle, Tree of Life, This Time with Feeling (Installation View), via Thaddaeus Ropac

Presenting a body of new works at the Thaddaeus Ropac exhibition space in Paris, artist David Salle returns for the culmination of his celebrated Tree of Life series, a body of works that used human dramas and a comical undertone to create a space fro the meditation and reflection on contemporary art and its relation to history.  Read More »

London – Jonathan Baldock: “we are flowers of one garden” at Stephen Friedman Through February 25th, 2023

January 27th, 2023

Jonathan Baldock, Mother Flower (2022), via Stephen Friedman
Jonathan Baldock, Mother Flower (2022), via Stephen Friedman

Centered on themes of nature and the cycle of life, artist Jonathan Baldock presents a deeply personal and resonant exhibition this month at Stephen Friedman Gallery in London, a show that reflects on the artist’s relationship with his mother and her garden. Arranging a selection of new works in wall-mounted sculpture and ceramic, Baldock presents a peaceful and expressive meditation on human emotion, quietude, and the experience of life in nature. Read More »

London – Joseph Beuys: “Forty Years of Drawing” at Thaddaeus Ropac Through March 22nd, 2023

January 26th, 2023

Joseph Beuys, 40 Years of Drawing (Installation View), via Art Observed
Joseph Beuys, 40 Years of Drawing (Installation View), via Art Observed

This month in London, Thaddaeus Ropac has embarked on a particularly striking and powerful exhibition, bringing together almost 100 works on paper from the archives of the Joseph Beuys family for the first time in the United Kingdom. On view now, Joseph Beuys: 40 Years of Drawing is the first major exhibition dedicated solely to the artist’s drawings to take place in London for 20 years, and offers a cohesive and engaging look at the role drawing played in the artist’s work over the course of his career.

Joseph Beuys, 40 Years of Drawing (Installation View), via Art Observed
Joseph Beuys, 40 Years of Drawing (Installation View), via Art Observed

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London – Richard Long: “Drinking the rivers of Dartmoor” at Lisson Through February 4th, 2023

January 25th, 2023

Richard Long, Walking at the Speed of Spring (1998), via Lisson
Richard Long, Walking at the Speed of Spring (1998), via Lisson

For his latest exhibition at Lisson Gallery, artist Richard Long presents a series of text works and photographs spanning his entire practice, from the 1970s to the present day. These works chart Long’s innovative path through and alongside histories of conceptual art, centering the artist’s life-long concern with walking as an aesthetic and philosophical practice. As textual and visual documentations of walks embarked upon worldwide, through mountains and deserts, shorelines and grasslands, rivers and snowscapes, Long’s works give poetic form to the ineffability and ephemerality of human perceptual experience. Read More »

London – Nicole Wermers: “P4aM2aRF!” at Herald St Through February 18th, 2023

January 24th, 2023

Nicole Wermers, Reclining Female #1 (2022), via Herald St
Nicole Wermers, Reclining Female #1 (2022), via Herald St

On view this month in London, Herald St presents P4aM2aRF!, an exhibition by Nicole Wermers taking place in the gallery’s East London location. Resembling a code or password, the acronymic title stands for ‘Proposal for a Monument to a Reclining Female!’ and alludes to the public realm and its interactions with the female body. The exhibition features two main groups of work: a new series of photographs of locked bicycles entitled Attachments, and three sculptures from the artist’s Reclining Females series. Read More »

New York – “Junkyard of Dreams” at Bortolami Through March 4th, 2023

January 23rd, 2023

Duane Linklater, croatoan 1 (2023), via Bortolami
Duane Linklater, croatoan 1 (2023), via Bortolami

This month at Bortolami’s 39 Walker location, the gallery presents its first exhibition of the year, Junkyard of Dreams, bringing together the work of five artists; Frieda Toranzo Jaeger, Duane Linklater, Virginia Overton, Kathleen Ryan, and Christopher Williams. Drawing on the disparate modes of both knowledge and object construction in the discourse of post-industrial modernity, the works on view here walk delicate lines between critique and active engagement with modern capital. Read More »

AO On-Site – San Francisco: “FOG Art + Design Fair” at Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, January 19th – 22nd, 2023

January 20th, 2023

Pat Steir at Hauser & Wirth
Pat Steir at Hauser & Wirth, all images via Hannah Zhang for Art Observed

Opening this week in the famously cloudy expanse of the San Francisco Bay, Fog Art and Design Fair has once again opened its doors for another year. Celebrating today’s most significant creatives and leading contributors to the worlds of design and visual arts, the fair assembles 45 leading international galleries; prominent 20th-century and contemporary design dealers; and a weekend of exciting programs. Read More »

London – Ciarán Murphy: “this appear” at GRIMM Through February 25th, 2023

January 18th, 2023

Ciarán Murphy, hollow daze (2023), via GRIMM
Ciarán Murphy, hollow daze (2023), via GRIMM

On this month at GRIMM in London, Irish artist Ciarán Murphy presents a solo exhibition of new paintings that mark his ninth solo show with the gallery, and his first at its new London outpost. Engaging with the entanglement of technological and analogue modes of image-making, the artist’s work here works through a range of histories of the image and the act of art-making in turn. Read More »

Los Angeles – Alma Allen at Blum & Poe Through February 25th, 2023

January 17th, 2023

Alma Allen, not Yet Titled (2022), via Blum & Poe
Alma Allen, Not Yet Titled (2022), via Blum & Poe

This month in Los Angeles, Mexico-based artist Alma Allen’s fourth solo exhibition with Blum & Poe marks a continuation of the artist’s work in intense, gesturally-oriented sculpture and meticulously carved and cast bronzes, here exhibited for the first time as a series of wall-hanging works. Read More »