Ron Nagle’s miniature sculptures function in part as narrative fragments, scenes and situations held in time and added a certain sense of life and energy by their imaginative, curving forms or remarkably evocative relations of space. Some conjure the effect of domestic scenes, others a moment of geological rupture, while others present themselves as somewhere between the two, always emphasizing the artist’s patient craft and attention to detail that has made his connections with fellow West Coast artists like Ken Price all the more apparent. Nagle returns to Los Angeles this spring for a show with Matthew Marks Gallery, bringing a new body of sculptures and drawings created over the course of 2016, once again illustrating these elements in play with his ever-growing body of work. (more…)
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New York — Bjarne Melgaard: “The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment” at Red Bull Arts New York Through April 9th, 2017Thursday, March 23rd, 2017
For its inaugural exhibition as Red Bull Arts, the multi-purpose art venue in Chelsea has opened its doors for Bjarne Melgaard’s immersive reenactment of a clothing store, titled The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment, and furthering the artist’s already well-documented engagements with pop culture, fashion and personal subjectivities over the course of his body of multimedia works. The Norwegian artist, who has enjoyed tremendous recognition in the U.S. in recent years, especially his psychedelic installation at the 2014 Whitney Biennial, has brought his own fashion line, which had its European debut at the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo last November, to New York. (more…)
AO On-Site – Hong Kong: Art Basel Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Convention Center, March 23 – 25th, 2017Thursday, March 23rd, 2017
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center opened its doors this morning on the first hours of Art Basel Hong Kong, signaling the launch of Hong Kong Art Week in the city, and bringing crowds of collectors, dealers and other art world professionals to bear on the lengthy hallways and aisles of the event. Marking a distinct focus on the Asian market, the fair boasted an impressive look at the continent’s contemporary arts circuit, with a burst of early sales that hinted at an ongoing willingness to spend at major events. True to form, the event managed to bring out an impressive list of international VIP’s. Hans Ulrich Obrist, Melissa Chiu, and Uli Sigg could all be seen wandering the aisles of the fair, as well as Ryan Gander, Rashid Johnson, and Christo, who was presenting a survey of his work at Galerie Gmurzynska.
Since his step onto the world stage at the 2015 Venice Biennale, artist Ibrahim Mahama has garnered impressive critical attention for his use of reclaimed jute sacks and other cast-off materials. Drawing on the intersections of capitalist exchange, material decay, and commercial detritus, Mahama’s work uses structure and use as indicators of failed and fluctuating economic systems. This practice takes on new elements and variations in the artist’s current exhibition at White Cube in London, his first solo exhibition in the UK, and a powerful introduction to the artist’s attentive, challenging body of work.
AO Preview – Hong Kong: Art Basel Hong Kong at Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center, March 23rd – 25th, 2017Monday, March 20th, 2017
Continuing the globe-hopping market events of March this year, collectors, galleries and artists will touch down in Hong Kong for the fifth edition of Art Basel’s fair event in the city, bringing 242 galleries from 34 countries around the globe to the annual sales event. Marking a strong focus on Asian galleries and artists this year (at least half of the exhibiting galleries are based on the continent), the fair may trace a shift away from globalized networks and towards strengthening national and regional markets.
Vanderlei Lopes, EEDDM II, via Athena Contemporanea (more…)
It’s been a long time coming for this year’s Whitney Biennial, an exhibition that has sat on pause for several years as the institution prepared for its move downtown, and got comfortable in its new space in the Meatpacking District. Opening its first Biennial since 2014, the stage has been set for a particularly timely moment of reflection on both America and its art communities at a time when the national identity has rarely been so fiercely contested and examined.
Gabriel Orozco’s new solo presentation takes place in Galeria Kurimanzutto, in San Miguel Chapultepec, Mexico DF. The show, which opened last month in conjunction with Zona Maco 2017, sees Orozco exploring a unique two-part exhibition that draws attention to Mexico’s core contemporary culture embedded in the everyday: its Oxxo tiendas, with their cheap consumer goods massively distributed across the country. These retail stores satisfy the daily needs of millions of Mexicans with sodas, snacks, cigarettes, toilet paper, shampoo, condoms, etc… Over the past 40 years, the Oxxo chain, subsidiary of the multinational multi-billion dollar company Femsa, has expanded to over 14,000 locations.
Gabriel Orozco, installation view, Kurimanzutto, 2017, via Art Observed
New York – Francis Picabia: “Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction” at MoMA Through March 19th, 2017Wednesday, March 15th, 2017
Taking on the endlessly inventive and ever-shifting formal abilities of artist Francis Picabia, MoMA’s current survey dedicated to the painter (and the first of its kind in the United States) has earned almost ceaseless praise, diving deep into the fluid and challenging series paintings, poems, published works, performances and films of one of French surrealisms landmark voices. Spread across the gallery’s sixth floor exhibition space, Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction (which closes at the end of the week), serves as both a striking introduction and an impressively deep elaboration on the artist’s body of work. (more…)
Over the past 50 years, few artists have produced a body of work as expansive, multivalent, and formally diverse as Raymond Pettibon, the longtime illustrator whose early work for the Los Angeles punk band Black Flag set the stage for his later career delving into the often elusive, twisting histories of American culture. Ranging from literary rumination on baseball, surfing and poetry through to comical interpretations of the dark history of the American counterculture, Pettibon’s endlessly evolving body of work, often executed in pen and ink, twists and turns varied histories into an endlessly flowing stream of images, one that often functions as an alternative to the prolific mass media systems of modern American culture. This restless approach to his craft is on view this spring at the New Museum, where his first major retrospective, A Pen of All Work, has brought hundreds of the artist’s works to bear on the walls of the institution. (more…)
Taking over both of Marianne Boesky’s exhibition spaces on West 24th Street in Chelsea, Italian artist Pier Paolo Calzolari is currently showing a wide range of works exploring his specific interpretation of the Arte Povera movement, and his engagement with a broad range of materials that lend each of his works a notable sense of diffusive agency, allowing his chosen materials to function as both subject and object.
Opening in conjunction with the broad range of events and projects around the Zona Maco art fair this past week in Mexico City, the Cuauhtemoc-based gallery Lulu has welcomed New York-based artist B. Wurtz to present a body of new works, continuing the artist’s enigmatic engagement with the materiality of the everyday. The exhibition will remain on view through the middle of April.
Los Angeles – Terence Koh: “sleeping in a beam of sunlight” at Moran Bondaroff Through March 11th, 2017Friday, March 10th, 2017
When Terence Koh announced his sudden return from Upstate New York for a show in Manhattan last year, few could anticipate the artist’s intricate clusters of collaged material, soundscapes, and of course, his Bee Chapel, an immense hive installed inside a wax structure viewers could sit inside and listen to the insects buzzing drones. So when the artist announced a second show in Los Angeles, and took up residency inside the rooms of Moran Bondaroff, one expected something of a second shock inside the sun-filled gallery space.
The marathon weeks of March art sales have completed their run in London this evening, following a Sotheby’s outing this evening that concludes a trio of Contemporary and Post-War sales in the British capital. Challenging easy assumptions about a slumping art market, Sotheby’s indicated an early push for market share with this sale, carrying a daring 40% of its offerings this evening with guaranteed bids that seemed to pay off with consistently strong results. The auction house’s 64-lot outing managed to manage a number of impressive sales on top of a consistently comeptitive pool of bidders, resulting in a final sales figure of £118,015,150 with only a handful of unsold lots (4 total). (more…)
Taking its turn after a consistent offering yesterday at Christie’s, Phillips held its spring 20th Century Sale at its 30 Berkeley Square this evening, a 30-lot affair that saw a less measured evening by comparison, underscoring the auction house’s continued efforts to compete alongside the auction house giants, and the challenges it still faces in competing against these marquee sales . Scaling its offering back in comparison with full 60-lot offerings at the other sales, the house managed to move its premier works, while occasional struggles in placing lots overshadowed some of its larger successes. The sale saw 5 lots go unsold over the course of the evening, not counting two withdrawn lots, bringing a final tally of £14,660,000. (more…)
Following a few days pause for collectors to recover from the busy rush of Armory Week in New York, Christie’s has kicked off another week of major sales in London this evening, concluding its Post-War and Contemporary Evening offering with an unexpectedly energetic outing.
Critics and insiders watching the sale had said little on the auction house’s offerings this week, other than its focus in recent sales on Asian bidders, instead focusing primarily on the high percentage of guaranteed lots in Sotheby’s competing offering tomorrow night. Even so, Christie’s carried its own trove of guarantees, with at least 5 works promising third-party guarantees before the sale. The strategy seemed to pay off, as the evening’s lots moved swiftly and without issue, with only 3 lots failing to find a buyer, and ultimately bringing the sale to a final tally of £96.3 million.
Njideka Akunyili Crosby, The Beautyful Ones (2012), via Christie’s (more…)
With the proceedings of the Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale concluded this past week, attention turns to London’s Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sales, as a trio of auctions will look to test the waters in the early months of 2017. Boasting an impressively strong focus in particular on German art, the auction houses will seek strong results in a market that has seen noticeably turbulent, unpredictable results in the past months. Yet a recent bump in the London art market, driven by the weak pound, may see some unexpected results for the week’s offerings. Either way, the week should see each auction house battling it out for market share through aggressive guarantees. (more…)
One could have been mistaken for assuming there wasn’t much a NADA New York fair during Armory Week could add to the already broad scope on both the city’s art scene and the international network that the week’s many fairs and openings already offered. Yet at the same time, NADA seems to have long prided itself on its surprises, and its first edition in Tribeca (away from its usual haunt at Basketball City on the Lower East Side) made for a timely update on the fair’s already sterling reputation in the art fair circuit.
Currently on view on the ground floor of MoMA PS1, painter Sascha Braunig has compiled a body of work from the past five years of her practice, showcasing the range and depth of the artist’s investigations into the painted canvas, and her investigations into the act of portraiture. Working through a wide range of visual materials, Brauning’s swirling, twisting confrontations with the history portraiture, and modes of understanding the human form itself, open an intriguing dialogue with the Mark Leckey exhibition just upstairs, and underscore Brauning’s imaginative practice.
Marking a curator-first approach to the art fair format popping up around New York this week, the sixth installment of SPRING/BREAK Art Show opened Tuesday, February 28th at 4 Times Square, a departure from its usual space at the James A. Farley Post Office midtown. Drawing on a similar concept from last year, where rows of offices allow small-scale exhibitions spread throughout the fair, SPRING/BREAK continued the mission of its founders Andrew Gori and Ambre Kelly, a diverse, freewheeling look at the varied aspects of the city’s young arts community. (more…)
Returning to its home base at the Park Avenue Armory uptown, the ADAA’s The Art Show offers a moment to reflect amid the massive offerings of contemporary work spread out across the city. It is one of the few fairs dedicated not only to recent practices, but equally to a longer view of Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art in relation to even broader historical analogs. This focus, in combination with a more selective, curatorial approach to the fair itself, and the more restrained atmosphere of the location, gives the Art Show its own appeal, one that presents itself as equally withdrawn from the broader bustle of the art world outside its walls, and more richly engaged with the history of the field that has ultimately produced the work spread across New York this week.
Marking its eighth edition and second in its new home at Spring Studios in Tribeca, Independent NY opened shop this afternoon for another year operating in conjunction with the high-end glitz of the Armory Show several neighborhoods to the north. Offering a more nuanced, mellow browsing experience in conjunction with the fair’s invite-only exhibitor structure and immense glass windows, the fair has built a reputation as a boutique event with impressive draw, with this year only strengthening that appeal. (more…)
The doors are open and the 23rd edition of The Armory Show is underway in New York, kicking off the annual hustle and bustle of the March art calendar and its increasingly loaded week of fair sales, openings and events. Spread out across the lengthy convention center spaces on Piers 92 and 94 on Manhattan’s West Side, the fair, Benjamin Genocchio’s first as director, seems to have taken advantage of the fresh start afforded by its new leader.
Following a strong outing by Christie’s this week in London, Sotheby’s has taken its turn at the Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist markets, capping a tightly-run sale this evening that continued a week of unexpectedly strong outings for both auction houses, ultimately tallying a final of £177,022,250 for the auction house’s Impressionist and Modern sale (with 4 lots going unsold over the course of the evening), and £17,671,250 for its Surrealist sale shortly after (which saw only 2 lots go unsold). (more…)
Paul Gauguin, Te Fare (La maison) (1892), via Christie’s
As New York City gears up for the rush and bustle of Armory Week, London has its own series of sales in swing, opening two weeks of major evening sales this evening with an impressively steady outing at Christie’s that offered some reassurance for towards alarmists and critics of the market’s current strength and consistency. The pair of sales, kicked off by Impressionist and Modern works, and capped with a brisk sale of Surrealist pieces shortly after. (more…)