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NEWS

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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Banksy Loses Court Case, Placing Copyright at Risk

September 17th, 2020

Banksy has lost a court case against a greeting card company this month, with the court putting the artist’s copyright at risk over his anonymity. “Banksy has chosen to remain anonymous and, for the most part, to paint graffiti on other people’s property without their permission, rather than to paint it on canvases or his own property,” the panel said.
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David Zwirner Brings on Kyla McMillan as Director

September 16th, 2020

David Zwirner has brought on former Gavin Brown Director Kyla McMillan as director, focusing on sales and artist management. “At Gavin Brown’s Enterprise I worked with so many artists who will forever inform how I think,” she says.
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Christie’s to Sell Picasso Dora Maar Portrait in New York, Estimated at $20-$30 Million

September 16th, 2020

Christie’s is selling Picasso’s Femme dans un fauteuil (1941) as the leading lot in its merged 20th/21st Century sale this October, with the lead lot tapped to fetch $20 million–$30 million. “By turns anguished and lyrical, aggressive and despondent, the works all share an urgency, making them as much expressions of Picasso’s state of mind as portraits of Dora,” says Conor Jordan, Christie’s deputy chairman of Impressionist and modern art. “Sequestered in the cool light and pressing angles of the attic space, Dora is depicted on a grand scale as proud and unbending, an image of stately defiance, a modern Marianne.”
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Dealer Max Levai Sues Malrborough Gallery

September 16th, 2020

Dealer Max Levai has filed suit against his former colleagues at Marlborough Gallery, alleging a scheme to discredit him and take over his personal Instagram account. “The Company and defendants Bergman and Plutschow’s defamatory statements have harmed [Levai] by causing, among other things, third parties to refuse to engage in any new business dealings with plaintiff, lost revenue and profits, increased expenses, legal fees, and costs expended to mitigate the impact of the Company and defendants Bergman and Plutschow’s dishonesty,” the suit reads. 
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Damien Hirst Launches Print Sale to Benefit Children’s Health Org

September 16th, 2020

Damien Hirst and Fondazione Prada are launching a round of print sales to benefit an international nonprofit dedicated to providing free access to educational, economic, and healthcare opportunities to children. “COVID-19 has been devastating for many people and families all over the world and lockdown has been really difficult, but especially difficult for children who haven’t been able to go to school,” Hirst said in a statement. “I wanted to find a way to raise money to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds who have been most affected by school closures and the support they provide.”
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Influential German Collector Erich Marx Dies Aged 99

September 16th, 2020

Erich Marx, a collector whose holdings stand as the basis of the Hamburger Bahnhof museum of Modern art has died at the age of 99. “Without him, the Hamburger Bahnhof would not exist,” says Hermann Parzinger, the president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. “Erich Marx was a great man who was also modest. He undertook everything with great passion—including his love of art and collecting.”
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FIAC Cancelled in Face of Paris COVID-19 Spike

September 15th, 2020

The FIAC Art Fair has been cancelled after a spike in Coronavirus cases in Paris.  “Despite its deep determination to organize FIAC–this unique rendez-vous bringing together specialists in the field of modern and contemporary art—in 2020, and its efforts to overcome the difficulties caused by the health crisis, the fair is not in a position to organize an event that meets the legitimate expectations of its exhibitors,” said the organizers, who are refunding all fees already paid by exhibitors. 
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Researchers Embark on Ambitious Laser Scanning Project in Venice

September 15th, 2020

Researchers are laser-scanning the city of Venice to create a digital replica, as rising floods threaten the city. 
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

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 »

AO Online – Hamptons Virtual Art Fair, July 23rd – 26th, 2020

July 25th, 2020

Sculptures by Anton Bakker at Walker Fine Art, via Hamptons Fine Art

Sculptures by Anton Bakker at Walker Fine Art, via Hamptons Fine Art

SPONSORED POST

With the summer months in full swing and the challenges of a post-COVID art world continuing to pose new issues for the market, an increasing number of fairs and exhibitions are moving towards online sales and shows.  Hamptons Virtual Art Fair, currently open online, marks a new entry in the string of fairs and online exhibitions that have run this summer, an intriguing addition that references the art world’s annual pilgrimage to the Eastern end of Long Island without the sun and sand.  It’s an interesting addition to an art calendar long defined by timing and travel for the collector class, a wink towards where, in late summer, its buyers may well be logging in from.

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RIP – Keith Sonnier, Pioneer of Neon-Based Light Works, Has Died at 78

July 20th, 2020

Keith Sonnier, Dala (2016), via Art Observed
Keith Sonnier, Dala (2016), via Art Observed

Artist Keith Sonnier, a pioneering voice in the development of light art and an ardent user of neon in complex, multi-layered sculptural arrangements, has died at the age of 78.  His studio confirmed the news the week. Read More »

RIP: Christo, Who Worked on a Monumental Scale, Passes Away at 84

June 1st, 2020

Christo at The Floating Piers, June 2016 Photo Wolfgang Volz
Christo at The Floating Piers, June 2016, Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Christo, the Bulgarian artist known for massively scaled environmental works that spread miles of fabric and other materials across natural landmarks and buildings at sites around the globe, has passed away at the age of 84.  Working for much of his life alongside his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, who passed away in 2009, the artist’s iconic pieces, like 2005’s The Gates in New York’s Central Park, or his wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin, turned modern locales into subtle, surreal echoes of themselves.   Read More »

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 »