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Chicago Dealer Richard Gray Passes Away at 89

May 20th, 2018

Richard Gray, via Art NewsChicago art dealer Richard Gray, long a cornerstone of the city’s arts scene, has passed away at the age of 89.  Gray cultivated and supported a range of artists over the course of his life and work, including Alex Katz, Theaster Gates, and David Hockney. “The reality is, sooner or later—but not so much later—it’s all going to be all over for me, and I accept that. I know it,” Gray said in 2007. “It doesn’t change one iota my ability to continue, every day, to be active and involved and committed, to gain from everything around me, what people are doing—artists, musicians, family.” 
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New York — Ellsworth Kelly: “Black & White Works” and “Painting/Object” at the FLAG Art Foundation Through May 19, 2018

May 18th, 2018

Installation view of Ellsworth Kelly: Black & White Works at The FLAG Art Foundation, 2018. Photography by Steven Probert.
Installation view of Ellsworth Kelly: Black & White Works at The FLAG Art Foundation, 2018. Photography by Steven Probert.

Organized by Ellsworth Kelly’s long-time life partner photographer Jack Shear, Black and White Works at the FLAG Art Foundation sheds light on the pioneer colorist’s paintings using primarily black and white, a body of work occupying one fifth of his entire repertoire. Coinciding with the Blanton Art Museum’s unveiling of Kelly’s monumental 2,715 square-foot architectural work Austin, which also introduced a new path in the late artist’s expansive career, the exhibition proposes a fresh approach Kelly’s legacy. Containing sculptural experimentation and geometric curiosity, the works on view demonstrate his unending interest in pushing the boundaries of abstract precision, architectural balance, and optic illusion within the limits of two seemingly opposite and mute colors. Contrasted with the artist’s signature exuberance and his equally precise monochromatic color palette, the works Shear brought together both evoke characteristics from Kelly’s most iconic while and challenging the viewer to expand their interpretation and appreciation of his larger oeuvre.
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MoMA Announces Major Acquisition of Works on Paper Collection

May 18th, 2018

Valentina Kulagina, via ArtforumMoMa has announced the acquisition of 324 works on paper by ninety-seven artists from the holdings of Merrill C. Berman, a Rye, New York–based investor who amassed a collection of 20,000 early twentieth-century works on paper.  “By representing crucial figures—often women and artists from lesser-known geographies—missing or underrepresented in our collection, this extraordinary body of work is especially welcome as the museum continues its commitment to diversifying modernism’s narratives with its forthcoming expansion in 2019,”says Christophe Cherix, the MoMA’s chief curator of drawings and prints.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

Richard Serra

b. 1939
Lives and works in:

New York state and Nova Scotia

Represented by:

Gagosian Gallery, New York

Education includes:

University of California BA, Santa Barbara
Yale BFA, New Haven, CT
Yale CFA, New Haven, CT

Serra is a sculptor most well known for his gargantuan, site-specific steel sculptures that completely envelope their viewers. These sculptures are comprised of carefully arranged walls gently curving on two axes with space in between for people to walk within the looming rusted passageways. He is often cited as a minimalist, as his work emphasizes materiality and engagement between viewer, site and the work. Serra is known for his avid devotion and development of the notion of process art. All of these intentions, place him in the category of the neo- avant- garde, as defined by Burger.

Serra’s career was jump-started by his Splash series (1968-1970). He dripped and splashed molten lead on the juncture between the wall and the floor. This work was a crucial moment in art history for the site specific artwork, while simultaneously drawing on Jackson Pollock’s emphasis on process and the use of industrial materials in 20th century Russian avant garde works.

Serra’s work became embroiled in controversy, when a commissioned large scale, site specific sculpture Tilted Arc (1981) was removed from the Federal Plaza due to public dismay after eight years of battle. Workers in the area complained that the gently curving 3.5 meter tall piece of steel interfered with pedestrian traffic in the square. The city suggested that the piece be moved. Consistent to the tenets of site-specificity, Serra famously retorted, “To remove the work is to destroy it.” The piece was taken down and turned into scrap metal in 1989.

Serra continues to construct the huge steel installations he is now famous for. His first solo show was in the Leo Castelli ware house, Serra continues to show with Castelli as well as Gagosian Gallery. He has exhibited extensively around the world, including at the MOMA, the Guggenheim Bilbao, Kunsthalle Tubingen, and the Musee National d’Art Moderne.

Serra at MOMA June 3- September 10, 2008 [Art Observed]