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

American Collectors Rarely Sell Prized Works Once Purchased

December 13th, 2017

Christie's, via NY postA new study finds that few American art collectors sell their works once they have purchased them, the New York Post reports. “Collectors don’t apply the same principles to buying art that they would to a typical investment portfolio of stocks and bonds,” says John Mathews, head of private wealth management and ultra-high net worth at UBS Americas. “It is important, however, to institute management structures to ensure their legacy remains protected, correctly valued and insured.”
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Getty Museum Survives Brutal California Wildfires

December 13th, 2017

Getty, via ReutersThe Getty has survived a week of chaotic wildfires, keeping its collection intact while flames raged around the museum by wetting the surrounding hills with water and closing off all air intake valves. “By putting all these bells and whistles in, we are able to wet down our hillsides, close intake valves and keep smoke and debris out,” says Linda Somerville, assistant director of insurance and risk management for the J. Paul Getty Trust.
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The Frick Collection Acquires First Work in 30 Years

December 13th, 2017

François-Pascal-Simon Gérard, via ArtforumThe Frick Collection has acquired its first work since 1991, a 7-feet-tall portrait of Prince Camillo Borghese by François-Pascal-Simon Gérard, Artforum reports. “The last opportunity the Frick had to purchase a major French School painting was nearly thirty years ago, with the acquisition of [Jean-Antoine] Watteau’s Portal of Valenciennes,” director Ian Wardropper says. “Today, it is deeply rewarding to have the rare opportunity to bring to the museum such an important work as this one, a historic portrait we feel would have compelled Henry Clay Frick. While the portrait has been shown in Rome, it has never been seen publicly in America.”


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Dutch Aristocrat’s Donation Goes on View in London

December 13th, 2017

Still Life with a Bowl of Strawberries, a Spray of Gooseberries, Asparagus and a Plum by Adriaen Coorte, via GuardianDutch aristocrat Baron Willem van Dedem’s donation of four Old Masters paintings will go on view at the UK’s National Gallery this week. “We are honored that the National Gallery acknowledges the quality and rarity of these four paintings that our father and grandfather collected over a period of more than 50 years,” says the baron’s son, Frits van Dedem. “It gives us great pleasure that the gallery has decided to showcase these extraordinary works of art with the public.”
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China Lifts 11-Month Art Ban on Korea

December 13th, 2017

Korean anti-missile system, via Art NewspaperChina has lifted an 11-month ban on South Korean art that was the result of a U.S.-installed anti-missile system in the country. “It is not surprising that exchanges in art are affected by political issues. Diplomacy and politics are always stronger than art and culture. What was surprising was that, this time, the ban and embargo were so strong and visible,” says Eun Yong Kwon, a visual arts planner at the Korean Arts Management Service in Seoul.
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Carsten Höller Building New Slide Work for Bonn

December 13th, 2017

Carsten Holler slide, via Art NewspaperArtist Carsten Höller will build one of his signature slide works at Bonn’s Bundeskunsthalle next year, Art Newspaper reports. Höller, who has built several of these slides at various museums around the globe, has billed this one as “an efficient, environmentally friendly and time-saving means of transport.”
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Documenta Artists Pen Proposal to Improve Exhibition’s Bottom Line

December 13th, 2017

Documenta, via NYTA group of artists have signed an open letter to Documenta, offering alternatives and critiques of the exhibition’s profit motives and economic structure. “We are compelled to write to propose an improved structure for Documenta that does not prioritize revenue above all other priorities, and defends its future artistic and curatorial autonomy and progressive political mission,” the letter reads.
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RIP – Enrico Castellani, Figurehead of the Italian Avant-Garde, Passes Away at Age 87

December 13th, 2017

Enrico Castellani, via Art Observed
Enrico Castellani, via Art Observed

Enrico Castellani, one of Europe’s pioneering avant-garde artists in the year’s following WWII, has passed away at the age of 87 in his home of Celleno, Italy, near Rome.  Castellani was a relentlessly inventive and creative painter, having worked closely with a number of groups and collectives including Cobra group, Group Zero, and the Neo-Concrete artists in Brazil.  
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Critics Sign Letter Opposing Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

December 12th, 2017

Donald Trump, via Art NewspaperA group of over 100 artists, writers and critics have signed an open letter condemning Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “We reject Trump’s collusion with such racist manipulation and his disregard for international law,” the letter reads. “We deplore his readiness to crown the Israeli military conquest of East Jerusalem and his indifference to Palestinian rights.”
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Spanish Law Enforcement Seizes Works in Catalonian Museum

December 12th, 2017

Spanish demonstrators protest outside of the Lleida Museum, via Art NewspaperSpanish law enforcement has seized a selection of paintings and artifacts  from the Lleida Museum in Catalonia this week, continuing fierce tensions in the region over Catalonia’s attempted independence from Spain. “Aragonese authorities have a great interest in recovering pieces in Catalan museums, but have no desire to recover other objects from Sijena that are, for instance, in the Prado in Madrid,” says Santi Vila, Catalonia’s former cultural minister. “Why? For political reasons.”
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

New York – Jim Shaw at Metro Pictures Through December 22nd, 2017

December 13th, 2017

Shaw-Installation-View-via-Metro-Pictures-1
Jim Shaw (Installation View), all images via Metro Pictures

In his current show at Metro Pictures, artist Jim Shaw presents a group of new paintings, sculptures, and drawings—all from 2017. The show is the first in the city since his survey The End is Here was presented at the New Museum in 2015. Shaw’s work often mixes American cultural references with comic books, art history, religion, Greek mythology and his own subconscious. Suffice it to say that in the time that has passed since his New Museum. exhibition the political and social climate in America has undergone an upheaval. For this new show Shaw combines his usual brand of dark humor with themes of materialism, war and corruption in works that speak to the current state of affairs in America, post-presidential election.
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RIP – Enrico Castellani, Figurehead of the Italian Avant-Garde, Passes Away at Age 87

December 13th, 2017

Enrico Castellani, via Art Observed
Enrico Castellani, via Art Observed

Enrico Castellani, one of Europe’s pioneering avant-garde artists in the year’s following WWII, has passed away at the age of 87 in his home of Celleno, Italy, near Rome.  Castellani was a relentlessly inventive and creative painter, having worked closely with a number of groups and collectives including Cobra group, Group Zero, and the Neo-Concrete artists in Brazil.   Read More »

New York — Ashley Bickerton at The FLAG Art Foundation Through December 16th, 2017

December 13th, 2017

Ashley Bickerton. Catalog Terra Firma Nineteen Hundred Eight Nine #2 (1989). Mixed Media, Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.
Ashley Bickerton, Catalog Terra Firma Nineteen Hundred Eight Nine #2 (1989), Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

Bali-based artist Ashley Bickerton’s first U.S. survey dedicated to his multimedia work serves as a compact retrospective of his four-decade long career, shaped by various geographical and ideological milestones that show a continued response to the artist’s ongoing quest for meaning and space for contemplation in modern age. The exhibition, on view now at The FLAG Art Foundation proceeds a larger survey, Ornamental Hysteria, which opened in the spring of 2017 at the Damien Hirst-owned Newport Street Gallery in South London, including a total of 51 familiar and new works by the artist. The artist offers a range of work from both his current time in Bali and his long residency in New York, where Bickerton emerged in the 1980’s alongside Jeff Koons and Peter Halley. The show offers selections from various periods of his career, mostly including sculpture and painting, two mediums that have always remained intertwined since his early days. Read More »

New York – “Contingencies: Arte Povera and After” at Luxembourg & Dayan Through December 16th, 2017

December 12th, 2017

Jannis Kounellis at Luxembourg and Dayan, via Art Observed
Jannis Kounellis at Luxembourg and Dayan, via Art Observed

A contingency is a future event or circumstance that is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty, one that may rely on distinct conditions or concessions made in the present. This conditional framework serves as the namesake of the most recent exhibition of work on view at Luxembourg and Dayan this month, one that poses its exploration of the Italian post-war as contingent on a viewer’s willingness to freely-associate between various modes of practice in contemporary art. Read More »

AO On-Site – Miami Beach: Untitled Art Fair, December 6th – 10th, 2017

December 9th, 2017

Lucy and Jorge Orta at Jane Lombard, via Art Observed
Lucy and Jorge Orta at Jane Lombard, via Art Observed

Turning the corner onto the iconic drag of Ocean Drive, one’s attention is immediately drawn to the slender white tent laid out along the ocean skyline, a gleaming structure that houses the Untitled Art Fair underneath its minimalist structure.  Its annual home, placed squarely in the midst of boozey beachgoers, restaurant soundsystems, and the annual flood of Art Basel Miami Beach visitors, the fair has one of the more unique positions in a week full of unique offerings, one that balances some of the most familiar sights of the city with the impressive work on view inside.  Compounded by the floor to ceiling windows in the fair tent, the fair is an annual must-attend for those looking to get their dose of dynamic contemporary art and Florida sun in one go. Read More »

AO On-Site – Miami: NADA Miami at Ice Palace Studios, December 7th – 10th, 2017

December 9th, 2017

Lin May Saeed, via Art Observed
Lin May Saeed at Jacky Strenz, via Art Observed

As far as fairs go each year in Miami, few can compare with the unique flair and spirit of the New Art Dealers Association’s annual production in Miami, taking over hotel lobbies and ballrooms with a collection of works from young artists, smaller galleries and inventive projects that always make for an engaging, freewheeling time matched only by the fair’s impressive eye for vintage Miami charm.  So when the brutal storms that ravaged the southern tip of Florida this year made for some complications in planning at the fair’s annual haunt up-beach at The Deauville, it seemed as if some of the wind had been kept from its sails. Taking over Ice Palace Studios in an area close to downtown Miami, NADA’s most recent iteration manages to make the best of an unfortunate situation, adding the familiar atmosphere and communal spirit of the fair to an intriguing new locale on the other side of Biscayne Bay.

Molly Zuckerman Hartung at Rachel Uffner, via Art Observed
Molly Zuckerman Hartung at Rachel Uffner, via Art Observed

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AO On-Site – Miami Beach: Art Basel Miami Beach at the Miami Beach Convention Center, December 7th – 10th, 2017

December 8th, 2017

Allan McCollum at Thomas Schulter, via Art Observed
Allan McCollum at Thomas Schulte, via Art Observed

The doors have opened on the latest edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, bringing a stream of collectors and dealers into the Miami Beach Convention Center for another year of the fair’s high-profile sales, and an annual look back at the year for the art world.  Commanding a roster of over 200 galleries from around the world, the marquee event of the fall market season in the U.S., and one of the biggest social events of the art world calendar has gotten underway, with thousands flocking to the sun and sand of the Florida metropolis.

Kevin Beasley at Casey Kaplan, via Art Observed
Kevin Beasley at Casey Kaplan, via Art Observed

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AO Preview – Miami Art Week in Miami Beach, December 5th – 10th, 2017

December 4th, 2017

Nate Lowman, Maria (2017), via Maccarone
Nate Lowman, Maria (2017), via Maccarone

As another year in the art world draws to a close, global attention turns to the southern tip of the U.S. for another year of Art Week Miami, the sprawling multi-fair spectacle that each year flood both Miami Beach and Miami proper with waves of art lovers, artists, collectors and revelers for a range of installations and exhibitions, not to mention the infamous schedule of parties and events surrounding the week. Read More »

New York – Geta Bratescu: “The Leaps of Aesop” at Hauser and Wirth Through December 23rd, 2017

December 4th, 2017

Geta Bratescu, The Leaps of Aesop (Installation View), via Art Observed.
Geta Bratescu, The Leaps of Aesop (Installation View), via Art Observed.

This spring, the Romanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale opened its exhibition for this year’s iteration of the institution’s ongoing exhibition. The show, a string of drawings and paintings creeping up the walls of the gallery, and running across each of the rooms formed dense networks of gestures and panels that made each of their respective movements and concepts all the more powerful.  The show was a review of the career of Geta Bratescu, the 91-year old artist whose career has investigated the range of 20th Century practice as her own relationship to it grew and evolved over the course of her life. In the months running up to the opening of the exhibition, Bratescu joined on with Hauser & Wirth, and now brings a range of her works to bear on the gallery’s Chelsea exhibition space.   Read More »

New York – Shirazeh Houshiary: “Nothing is deeper than the skin” at Lisson Gallery Through December 22nd, 2017

November 29th, 2017

Shirazeh Houshiary, Exuviae (2016-2017), via Ondine Charlesworth for Art Observed
Shirazeh Houshiary, Exuviae (2016-2017), via Ondine Charlesworth for Art Observed

Iranian-born, London-based artist Shirazeh Houshiary returns to Lisson Gallery this month for a show of new works at the gallery’s New York location on 24th Street in Chelsea, continuing her nuanced exploration of architectural and gestural interactions.  Reflecting on physical and immaterial qualities that shape art and human life, the artist’s work in her new show draws on dualities of structure and chance, friction and fluidity, and the nuances of space that both bound and interact with the work itself.

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