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

CNN Looks at Business and Legality of Removing and Selling Street Art Pieces

January 21st, 2020

CNN has a piece this week on the business behind removing and selling street art murals, and the legality that drives who can remove and sell a piece. “Generally, when you purchase a building, you own the fixtures within the building, whether they’re ceiling fans or [a] fine art mural painting on a wall,” says Paul Cossu, a partner at legal firm Pryor Cashman and part of the firm’s art law group. “Of course, what an owner can do with a fine art mural after acquiring the building will depend, in part, on whether the mural is protected by the Visual Artists Rights Act.”
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Art Thieves Confess to Stealing Gustav Klimt Work and Returning It

January 21st, 2020

Two men have confessed to stealing the Gustav Klimt recently discovered in the wall of a Piacenza gallery, as well as to returning the work. “They said they returned the painting four years ago,” says Guido Gulieri, the pair’s lawyer. “But we don’t yet know the details of how it came to be [in the recess] and what exactly happened to the painting in the intervening years. They had confessed before but were not believed.”
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Desert X AlUla Annnounces Artist List

January 21st, 2020

The inaugural edition of Desert X AlUla in Saudi Arabia has announced its artist list, including work by Lita Albuquerque, Wael Shawky, Superflex, and more. This edition of the event has earned strong condemnation for its part in the country’s push to rebrand itself as open and free after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  “Unless artists are willing to make their host’s state control of expression an explicit subject of their work, those who participate cannot escape compromise from the polluted context,” says critic Christopher Knight.
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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]