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NEWS

Market Thrives for Kerry James Marshall

June 19th, 2018

Kerry James Marshall, via NPRThe Art Newspaper looks at the thriving popularity of the work of Kerry James Marshall, after a record-breaking auction price drove new interest in his work, and a rampant demand for pieces, including those about to go on view at a show at David Zwirner’s London location. “We might not even keep a waiting list for the exhibition,” Zwirner says. “It’s going to be very hard to get a painting from that show, that’s for sure.”
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Theaster Gates Asks Collectors: “Support Artists That Live in Your Cities”

June 19th, 2018

Theaster Gates, via The GuardianTheaster Gates made a statement on supporting young artists in remarks last night at a party in Basel, asking collectors to support young artists making and selling their work. “You guys, I know that I’m the byproduct of people saying yes when they didn’t know me, saying yes at my potential and the possibility of the thing,” he said. “Throwing small dinners with me with five people that has turned into dinners for 200. I’m just grateful.”
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Art Newspaper Looks at Costs and Rewards of Major Art Prizes

June 19th, 2018

Glasgow-born artist Susan Philipsz is congratulated by friends and family after hearing that she has won the Turner Prize 2010, at the Tate Britain gallery, in central LondonA piece in Art Newspaper this week asks if arts awards really carry many of the benefits for winners that they claim, looking at a range of examples including a recent protest by a group of artists nominated for Germany’s Berlin Nationalgalerie Prize. “There is an unspoken assumption that the participants are likely to be remunerated by the market as a result of being nominated for or winning the prize,” the artists nominated for this prize said in an open statement. “We know that this is not always the case. The logic of artists working for exposure feeds directly into the normalization of the unregulated pay structures ubiquitous in the art field.”
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Agnes Denes Profiled in NYT

June 19th, 2018

Agnes Denes, via NYTAgnes Denes gets a profile in the New York Times this week, as she gets a critical re-evaluation with a solo show at The Shed. “I’m bursting with ideas because the time is short,” she says. “Creativity and innovation is the answer in a troubled world to swing the pendulum. Be creative. Never stop. Creativity is hope.”


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Freelands Foundation Issues Report on Gender Disparity in British Arts

June 14th, 2018

Phyllida Barlow, Folly at the British Pavilion, via Art ObservedThe Freelands Foundation in London has issued a report on gender disparity in British Art, noting continued challenges to gender disparity and representation in the field. “Female artists are still under-represented in the art world in 2017 despite outnumbering men studying in art school,” the foundation reports.  
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SFMOMA and Baltimore Museum of Art Jointly Organizing Show on Joan Mitchell

June 14th, 2018

Joan Mitchell, via Art NewsThe Baltimore Museum of Art and SFMOMA art organizing a show dedicated to the works of Joan Mitchell, Art News reports. “The time is right for a thoughtful reconsideration of Mitchell’s work and her impact on postwar painting on both sides of the Atlantic,” says Neal Benezra, the director of SFMOMA.
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Paula Cooper Relocating to 26th Street

June 13th, 2018

Paula Cooper, via Art NewsPaula Cooper is temporarily relocating to 524 West 26th Street.  “I’m looking forward to it,” Cooper says. “We’ll be able to exhibit works in a completely different way. It will be exciting for the artists.”
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Nan Goldin Profiled in New York Times

June 13th, 2018

Nan Goldin, via NYTNan Goldin is profiled in the New York Times this month, as she reflects on her recovery from opioid addiction, and her newfounded protest pieces against the Sackler family, which has benefitted from the widespread prescription of OxyContin.  “I had heard it was a really evil drug, but I didn’t think it would do me,” she says. “I thought I had a lot of control.” 
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Mitchell-Innes & Nash to Represent Kiki Kogelnik Foundation

June 12th, 2018

Kiki Kogelnick, via Art NewsMitchell-Innes & Nash now represents the Kiki Kogelnik Foundation, Art News reports. “Kogelnik’s work bridges American Pop art and European figurative painting and sculpture of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, and her interest in Pop imagery, media, and feminism makes her a natural fit for our program,” the gallery says.
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Tanya Bonakdar Opening Los Angeles Gallery

June 12th, 2018

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery’s new location at 1010 N. Highland Avenue, via Art NewsTanya Bonakdar is opening a gallery space in Los Angeles, Art News reports.  “It’s a natural evolution,” Bonakdar says. “We really are artist-driven at the gallery. So many of our artists have expressed interest in having a presence on the West Coast. This is not a decision I have taken lightly. I have been looking and mulling the idea for four or five years. I found the perfect space, and the perfect team, and it all came together.”
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

Naples – Thomas Dane – Glenn Ligon: “In Poetry, A Solution to Everything” at Thomas Dane Through July 28th, 2018

June 25th, 2018

Glenn Ligon, In Poetry, A Solution to Everything (Installation View), via Thomas Dane
Glenn Ligon, In Poetry, A Solution to Everything (Installation View), via Thomas Dane

Glenn Ligon’s first solo show in Italy, on view now at Thomas Dane, translates the poetical image into pictorial figuration, taking form around a poem by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ma Era L’Italia, L’Italia Nuda e Formicolante, in which the poet recalls Italy in the years after the war, the cries of his generation and of ancient children, obliged to face history, a mission not based on power but on civilization. At this time, the artist cannot only be who tries to revolt the repressive system of forces. The poet lives, more than others, the agony of modernity and art. His poetry is not born from a crisis; it is the crisis itself. Read More »

New York – Marlene Dumas: “Myths and Mortals” at David Zwirner Through June 30th, 2018

June 24th, 2018

Marlene Dumas, Awkward (2018), via Art Observed
Marlene Dumas, Awkward (2018), via Art Observed

Painter Marlene Dumas’ show, Myths and Mortals, a return to David Zwirner‘s New York gallery space, comprises 22 paintings and 33 works on paper divided into three parts, showcasing the artist’s sense of narrative and interconnected meaning. The first series of works includes large scale and smaller scale oil on canvas paintings that explore the dynamics of love. The second part includes ink washes on paper depicting Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis story, as translated by the Dutch Hafid Bouazza, and is constructed in a highly narrative style with the story moving chronologically with explicit references. The third returns to canvas and oil paintings and begins to explore the themes of Venus and Adonis although with the more general factors of romance, lust and true love. Read More »

New York – Mernet Larsen: “Situation Rooms” at James Cohan Through June 23, 2018

June 23rd, 2018

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AO Auction Recap – London: Impressionist and Modern Evening Sales, June 19th and 20th, 2018

June 22nd, 2018

Pablo Picasso, Buste de femme de profil (Femme écrivant) (1932), via Sotheby's
Pablo Picasso, Buste de femme de profil (Femme écrivant) (1932), via Sotheby’s

The month’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sales are now in the books, after the London headquarters for both Christie’s and Sotheby’s capped their sales in the British capital.  Seizing on the recent and continued expansion of the market for works from this era in past months, the week’s sales were an often complex, confusing set of outings, as results fluctuated considerably and market health was perhaps painted as a bit unpredictable.

Joan Miro, Peinture (1933), via Sotheby's
Joan Miro, Peinture (1933), via Sotheby’s

At Sotheby’s, nearly a third of the sale’s 36 lots went unsold (10), with the final tally capped at £87,496,600.  Chief among the abortive works was a premier lot, Peinture, by Joan Miró, which stagnated on the auction block and missed its £8 to £12 million auction price, and ultimately contributed to the auction house missing out on its low estimate.  The much-trumpeted Pablo Picasso portrait of Marie-Therese, however, performed admirably, making up nearly a full third of the auction’s value with its £27,319,000 final price.  Also saving the sale was Alberto Giacometti’s Le Chat, which brought a strong price at £12,642,000.

Alberto Giacometti, Le Chat (1955), via Sotheby's
Alberto Giacometti, Le Chat (1955), via Sotheby’s

Franz Marc, Drei Pferde (1916), via Christie's
Franz Marc, Drei Pferde (1916), via Christie’s

A similar situation marked the sale at Christie’s the following evening, where a 45-lot sale achieved a final of £128,081,750.  The sale was also marked by eight unsold lots over the course of the evening, but pushed through its offering on the strength of several strong works, chief among them Claude Monet’s La Gare Saint-Lazare, which reached a price of £24,983,750, as well as Picasso’s Femme dans un fauteuil, the Dora Maar portrait that performed to expectations at a final of £19,358,750.  Another achievement came with the setting of a new auction record for Franz Marc, whose Drei Pferde easily hit £15,421,250, resetting his record.

With results like this, the market picture has grown notably cloudy, or perhaps the market is trending towards saturation, the frequent sales and frequency of blue-chip trophies changing hands making for a less appealing environment for collectors.  No matter why, the major auction houses have only a few days to reflect, as the proceedings continue next week with the Contemporary and Post-War Sales.

Claude Monet, La Gare Saint-Lazare, vue extérieure (1877), via Christie's
Claude Monet, La Gare Saint-Lazare, vue extérieure (1877), via Christie’s

Pablo Picasso, Femme dans un fauteuil (Dora Maar) (1942), via Christie's
Pablo Picasso, Femme dans un fauteuil (Dora Maar) (1942), via Christie’s

— D. Creahan

Read more:
Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale [Sotheby’s]
Sotheby’s Fails to Reach Low Estimate at Modern Art Auction [Bloomberg]
Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale [Christie’s]

 

AO Auction Preview – London: Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, June 19th – 20th, 2018

June 19th, 2018

Pablo Picasso, Buste de femme de profil (Femme écrivant) (1932), via Sotheby's
Pablo Picasso, Buste de femme de profil (Femme écrivant) (1932), via Sotheby’s

With the bustling week of sales and exhibitions in Basel now capped, the final major auctions of the spring are set to take place in London, as two weeks of auctions will look to test the waters of a market seemingly on the rebound after a strong outing earlier this season in New York.  Beginning this week with a pair of Impressionist and Modern Sales, the week’s proceedings should make for an intriguing wrap up of the first half of 2018.   Read More »

New York – “BURNT, curated by Leo Fitzpatrick” at Marlborough Contemporary Through June 16th, 2018

June 16th, 2018

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Wendy White, American Bleach Effect (Budweiser) (2018), via Marlborough Contemporary

It’s hard to estimate Leo Fitzpatrick’s impact on the course of Marlborough Contemporary’s programming.  The director, who joined the gallery in 2015, has dipped his toes into any number of puddles over the course of his time with the gallery, yet always bringing an equally studied and adventurous approach to curation across the gallery’s two story exhibition space. The shows have twisted in and out of the gallery’s broader curatorial vision, pulling both from the deeper reaches of contemporary art history and from the gallery’s list of frequent collaborators.  For his most recent exhibition project, BURNT, Fitzpatrick continues this trend, inviting a broad swath of artists to a show that manages to both unite diverse voices and focus them towards the modern American cultural landscape.  Read More »

New York — Liu Wei: “180 Faces” at Sean Kelly Through June 16th, 2018

June 15th, 2018

Liu Wei, 180 Faces, 2017-2018 10 (detail of a work  in  10  parts)  All images © Liu Wei Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York and AYE Gallery, Beijing
Liu Wei, 180 Faces (detail) (2017-2018)All images © Liu Wei Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York and AYE Gallery, Beijing

Sean Kelly’s exhibition of 180 small scale portraits by Chinese artist Liu Wei offers an intimate and thought-provoking survey into the psychological layers of portraiture, a genre almost as archaic as art history itself.  Entitled 180 Faces, the exhibition of modest scale portraits of anonymous individuals are hung akin to the style of the salon, with a twist on the traditional display fashion as the frames’ sleek surfaces blend into the gallery’s contemporary white-cube interior. Read More »

AO On-Site – Basel: Liste Art Fair at Warteck Through June 17th, 2018

June 13th, 2018

Megan Marrin at David Lewis, via Art Observed
Megan Marrin at David Lewis, via Art Observed

Offering a fitting counterpoint to the expanses of the Messe Basel, Liste Art Fair has returned to Warteck, a former schoolhouse on the banks of the Rhine now serving as an exhibition and performance space, for another year of exhibitions showcasing adventurous and exploratory proects from a range of galleries around the globe.  Liste continues to build on its position as one of the central hubs for the week of Art Basel, priding itself on a careful curation of young galleries, dynamic, forward-thinking works, and a roster of performances that remains one of the week’s main draws.

Edouard Montassut, via Edouard Montassut
Edouard Montassut, via Edouard Montassut

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AO On-Site – Basel: Art Basel Art Fair, June 14th – 17th, 2018

June 13th, 2018

Robert Longo, Death Star, all photos via Ben Krieglstein for Art Observed
Robert Longo, Death Star, all photos via Ben Krieglstein for Art Observed

Art Basel has opened its doors, kicking off a marathon week of sales and shows in the Swiss city that marks another year for the landmark giant of contemporary and modern art selling.  Marking the terminus for the first half of the year’s major primary market activity, the fair once again showed why its impressive scale and appointments makes it such a draw for collectors, artists and dealers.

Carol Bove at Unlimited
Carol Bove at Unlimited Read More »

NEW YORK – NICK CAVE: “THE LET GO” AT PARK AVENUE ARMORY THROUGH  JULY 1ST, 2018

June 11th, 2018

Nick Cave, The Let Go (2018), via Greem Jellyfish for Art Observed
Nick Cave, The Let Go (2018), all images via Greem Jellyfish for Art Observed

“Back in the day the club was my safe place-and losing myself on the dance floor has always kept me centered.”

The Let Go is artist Nick Cave’s new work at Park Avenue Armory, a multi-sensory performance using visual works, sounds, and movement to transform the Armory into a dance-based town hall aimed at bringing together visitors, performers, DJs, dancers and community members to participate in a collective act of catharsis. The audience is asked to let go of frustration and negativity, and to uplift one another as they participate in this powerful socially-engaged piece.  Stringing together a series of interrelated works, The Let Go is bounded by the installation Chase, and where a performance titled The Up Right, featuring one of Cave’s signature Sound Suits, is activated by a jazz keyboardist, choir and opera singer. Concluding the performance,  the “town hall” becomes a dance hall, complete with DJ. Read More »