Following a wild few weeks between New York and Venice, the pace of the art world has slowed somewhat, and the big apple has had a moment to catch its breath, opening the doors on this year’s edition of the Whitney Biennial. Often described as a snapshot of art in the United States, the Biennial brings together work by a range of artists across the spectrum of American contemporary practice and in a broad array of mediums. Over the past year and a half, curators Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley crossed the country visiting artists and surveying a broad selection of perspectives and concepts to complete their show.
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Following the early days of the marathon week of auctions in New York, it wasn’t hard to anticipate a strong outing for the Contemporary Auctions soon to take place, yet the impressive sales at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips this week outpaced expectations, charting a path of major auction records and bested tallies that marked a strong outlook for the secondary market. Of particular note was the setting of a new auction record for a living artist with Jeff Koons’s Rabbit selling for a new record price of $91,075,000. (more…)
It’s been a wild week so far the world’s financial elite, especially in New York, where the stock market has plummeted over fears of an ongoing trade war with China and the attendant tariffs that implies. Yet that didn’t seem to deter the city’s auction houses from swinging for the fences and connected, as Christie’s and Sotheby’s capped a pair of wildly impressive sales that saw both auction houses notch some strong figures, and some major auction records, including a new world record for Claude Monet at Sotheby’s last night. (more…)
Continuing its string of landmark exhibitions running concurrently with the spectacle of the Venice Biennale, François Pinault’s Palazzo Grassi has opened the doors on a major exhibition dedicated to the works of Belgian painter Luc Tuymans. Considered among the most influential painters of his generation, Tuymans has been dedicating himself to figurative painting since the mid-1980’s, and has regularly reinvented both himself, and the potentials for the medium, over the course of his work. Drawing from a range of sources and iconographies, his pieces at the Palazzo Grassi offer a welcome respite from the throngs outside, and the bustle of the early days of the Biennale. (more…)
AO Auction Preview – New York: Impressionist/Modern and Post-War/Contemporary Evening Sales, May 13th -16th, 2019Sunday, May 12th, 2019
The show previews, VIP openings and special presentations of the 58th Venice Biennale are now in the bag, and the art world has returned to business as usual this week, returning to New York for a string of auction sales that will offer a grounding take on the market, and a look at how the following weeks may have affected both single artists and the overall health of art world economics at the top of the market.
Amedeo Modigliani, Tete (1911-1912), via Christie’s (more…)
AO On-Site – Venice – Adrian Ghenie: “The Battle Between Carnival and Feast” at the Palazzo Cini Through November 18th, 2019Sunday, May 12th, 2019
Marking the 2019 seasonal opening of the Palazzo Mini gallery in Venice, artist Adrian Ghenie and Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery have brought a selection of new paintings to show in the space. Marking a new step in the artist’s continued exploration of the nuances of power, masculinity and politics in both the contemporary era and the annals of history, the new show stages a set of works notable for their portrayal of modern political crises, clashes of personality, and the framing of power.
The awards for the 58th Venice Biennale have been announced, with the Lithuanian Pavilion’s operatic beach installation taking home the Golden Lion for best exhibition, Arthur Jafa winning the Golden Lion for best artist in the main exhibition, and Jimmie Durham winning the Lifetime Achievement award. A full list of awards is included below: (more…)
Walking up the pathway to artist Martin Puryear’s installation at the US Pavilion of the Venice Biennale, one is greeted with a dazzling, and perhaps equally foreboding work. The piece, Swallowed Sun (Monstrance and Volute), stages an immense grate before the doors of the pavilion, a beautiful, carefully arranged grid that references sun streaming down, until one passes behind the work to see a black, serpentine form apparent “swallowing” the sun whole. (more…)
AO On-Site – Venice: Cathy Wilkes at the British Pavilion of the Venice Biennale Through November 24th, 2019Friday, May 10th, 2019
Within the grand architecture of the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, artist Cathy Wilkes, born in Northern Ireland, has orchestrated a somber, quiet affair, moving the viewer through an occasionally disquieting, frequently challenging arrangement of narrative fragments and installation pieces that draw on the long echo chamber of history. Presenting an arrangement driven by both tension and reflection, the artist’s work is a particularly striking entry in what has been a consistently strong series of outings in recent years for the British Pavilion. (more…)
As the crowds wound their way over from the crowded halls of the Arsenal, the Giardini, the second section of the Venice Biennale was underway in La Serenissima this morning. Flocks of visitors to the winding paths and green hills of the park, where the long-held exhibition spaces bearing the names of their countries are spread across . The environment gives a well-separated browsing experience, where each artist is provided carte blanche to realize their vision inside the space, often responding to architectural elements or working in direct opposition to the spaces themselves. (more…)
AO On-Site – Venice: “May You Live in Interesting Times,” the 58th Venice Biennale, May 10th – 24th, 2019Friday, May 10th, 2019
The wait is over, the previews are drawing to a close, and the Venice Biennale is preparing to open to the public this weekend, capping off a long few days of exhibitions and openings across the city. The main show, May You Live in Interesting Times, curated by Hayward Director Ralph Rugoff, is a sprawling, ambitious show that follows in the tradition of the exhibition’s expansive take on the state of the world, the state of art, and the language of modernity. Rugoff has taken this challenge up in impressive fashion, combining social awareness, technologically-progressive works and challenging thematics with great style and flair.
AO Preview – Venice: “May You Live in Interesting Times,” The 58th Venice Biennale, May 11th – November 24th, 2019Monday, May 6th, 2019
With the summer months looming and the cities of Europe emerging from the gloom of the continent’s winter season, the month of May marks the opening of the the 58th edition of the Venice Biennale, the crown jewel of the art world’s circuit of international art exhibitions and curated projects. Having run for over one hundred years, the annual exhibition stands among the most important and iconic of shows, filling the Most Serene Republic and its winding streets and alleys with countless shows and projects alongside the main exhibitions at the Arsenale and Giardini. In just a week’s time, the fair will open its doors, and announce the prizes for its best pieces and artists, setting the stage for new artworld stars to blossom under the eye of its jury.
For the last few years, NADA has been instrumental in pushing new strategies and concepts for the exhibition and presentation of work in a fair context, exploring alternatives and options to the large-scale fair model in a market environment that has proved increasingly challenging for smaller art spaces. Enter NADA House, an opportunity for NADA members to stage a group show in an intimate and unusual setting on Governors Island. The organization’s second off-site exhibition on Governors Island, the show features 45 artists from NADA Member galleries and non-profits in a new, expanded format across 34 rooms in three historic, turn-of-the-century Colonial Revival houses. With only one or two artists on display in each room, NADA House reflects the camaraderie intrinsic to NADA’s mission, and exemplifies the organization’s adaptive approach to finding new models to present work from its community. (more…)
With the bustling, distributed selection of fairs and exhibition programs spread around New York City over the course of the week, it’s hard to imagine another iteration of the art fair model making a mark on Frieze Week in New York. Yet that’s just what the Object & Thing Fair aims to do, taking over the raw industrial halls of 99 Scott on the borders of Bushwick, East Williamsburg and Ridgewood aims to do. The fair, founded by former Frieze Artistic Director Abby Bangser, is an intriguing reimagining of the art fair, a sort of junior TEFAF that unites art objects, design pieces, furniture and other work under an open-format exhibition plan. Rather than providing the galleries participating with booths, the objects offered are arranged about the space, the result being an imminently browsable, engaging experience. What’s more, the fair is based around a commission model, experimenting with ways to make fairs more affordable and flexible.
Marking its newest iteration on Randall’s Island, Frieze New York opened its doors on its VIP Preview today, welcoming a string of collectors, gallerists and artists winding their way over bridges or up the East River by Ferry this morning. The fair opened its doors on the early hours of its first preview day Wednesday, offering an opportunity for collectors and dealers to take a first stroll through the fair without the bustling crowds of the later fair days. Celebrating its eighth year on Randall’s Island, the fair’s early previews saw a first look at a fair that has come into its own as an anchor of New York’s already packed art scene, and which has become a much-anticipated first hint of the summer months in the city. (more…)
With the increasingly packed schedule of the spring art season in New York, attention and anticipation once again turns to the opening of this year’s edition of Frieze New York, set to open its doors in just a few days at its annual haunt at Randall’s Island. This year, as the fair reaches its eighth edition, some adjustments and tweaks to the schedule will look to expand the fair’s offerings and appeal in an increasingly crowded circuit. (more…)
For pure opulence, it’s hard to match the canvases of artist Raqib Shaw. Pulling together disparate traditions in Indian and Western portraiture and epic painting, the artist’s work mines each historical mode in pursuit of a lush, swirling iconography that simultaneously entrances the viewer and overwhelms them with visual excess, a negotiation of forms that encourages a lingering consideration of each work. (more…)
New York – Alec Soth: “I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating” at Sean Kelly Through April 27th, 2019Wednesday, April 24th, 2019
Currently on view at Sean Kelly’s spacious Chelsea exhibition space, photographer Alec Soth is presenting a body of new works. Comprised of recent large-scale color portraits and images of interiors, the exhibition, “I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating,” focuses on Soth’s depiction of the individual, posing questions about what these images reveal about both the sitter and photographer. (more…)
Working with concepts of nature, science, philosophy and perception, artist Alicja Kwade’s work draws on complex fusions of phenomena, space and architecture, using these formats to question and explore the natural world alongside humanity’s participation in it. Drawing on reflective elements, spatial inversions and peculiar material juxtapositions, the artist has become renowned for her ability to challenge our most basic logical assumptions. (more…)
New York – Lutz Bacher, Nayland Blake and Vincent Fecteau: “Magic Ben Big Boy” at Matthew Marks Gallery Through April 20th, 2019Wednesday, April 17th, 2019
Currently on view at Matthew Marks’s spacious West 22nd Street location, a trio of artists, Lutz Bacher, Nayland Blake and Vincent Fecteau (who also takes on curator duties here) have collaborated on a striking and unique investigation of time and history. Meant to serve in part as a re-creation of Fecteau’s first solo exhibition, the show twists a series of diverse narratives and conceptual ties among the artists into a unique interpretation of the past. (more…)
Sheer Presence: Monumental Paintings By Robert Motherwell (Installation View), via Kasmin Gallery
There are many moments during Sheer Presence: Monumental Paintings by Robert Motherwell, a show of large-scale works by the American master, where one feels inundated with color and line. The artist’s works, either towering over the viewer or stretch across the walls of Kasmin Gallery’s flagship space, are unified under a fitting show title: their magnificent presence often captivates the viewer and pulls them deeper into the space of the canvas, even in the show’s most minimalist approaches to surface. (more…)
AO On-Site – Los Angeles: Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair at The Geffen Contemporary, April 12th – 14th, 2019Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
This past weekend, Los Angeles residents and visitors from far afield flocked to the City of Angels for the annual opening of Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair (LAABF) the West Coast companion fair to the NY Art Book Fair. Marking a unique and wide-ranging look at the current status of art publishing and printed material. Free and open to the public, the fair has built a reputation as a leading international gathering for the distribution of artists’ books, celebrating the full breadth of the art publishing community.
Entering the Paris location of Galerie Perrotin, the viewer is greeted with a series of dazzling sculptures, jagged agglomerations of shining blocks that appear to glow with a colorful energy, spreading across the floor of one room, while in another, dotting the walls, each appearing to emit a gentle, flame-like glow. The works, new pieces by the artist Jean-Michel Othoniel, are a striking elaboration of the artist’s work, continuing his exploration of space and light as innately tied to their generating materials. (more…)