On view through June 17th, Jordan Wolfson’s first exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ spans both of the dealer’s London gallery spaces, with his new video work Riverboat song featured at the Kingly Street space, and a group of new sculptural and virtual reality works presented at the nearby Davies Street gallery. Creating nightmarish scenes which often contain symbols that suggest a perversion or deconstruction of the American Dream, the artist’s work blends fantasy and reality into a chilling combination.
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Marianne Boesky Gallery is currently exhibiting new work by artist Frank Stella, debuting seven large-scale sculptures created this year and underscoring the artist’s ongoing engagement with color, shape, and composition. Taking the shape of stars, ribbons, and bowties, these colorful sculptures activate and engage the surrounding space, and draw on an expanded history of Stella’s own formal language to give the works a sense of both vivid engagement with the sculptural language, and with his own creative evolution.
Returning to its home at Warteck, a former schoolhouse on the banks of the Rhine, the Liste Art Fair continues to build on its position as one of the central hubs for the week of Art Basel. The fair, which prides 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, Liste’s program marks it as one of the essential stops for both collectors and art lovers during a bustling week in the Swiss city. (more…)
The 48th edition of Art Basel opened its doors today for the first official day of its week-long run in the Swiss city, and capped its VIP preview with an impressive array of sales that underscored the fair’s lynchpin position in the summer market calendar. Attendees poured into the halls of Messe Basel early this morning, jockeying for position and a first crack at the exhibition’s premier works, and bringing down a rain of early sales that indicated a return to form for a Western market that had struggled in the past year. The hallways were packed for the opening day, with collectors Peter Brant, Don and Mera Rubell, and Uli Sigg rubbing elbows with Beatrix Ruff, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Phyllida Barlow and Wolfgang Tillmans. (more…)
As June rolls on, the art world returns to the Swiss city of Basel for the annual flagship art fair of the Art Basel fair franchise, taking over the Messe Basel for four days of high-profile sales, special projects and artist talks that sit at the center of a week of exhibitions, shows and satellite fairs. Art Basel marks the latest entry in a bustling calendar of European art events that included the opening of both the Venice Biennale and the latest edition of Documenta in both Athens and Kassel in the past weeks, and should offer one of the last indicators of the European market’s strength before autumn.
AO On-Site: Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany – Documenta 14: “Learning From Athens”, On View Through September 17th, 2017Monday, June 12th, 2017
With the early days of summer behind us, curator Adam Szymczyk’s bold and expansive Documenta 14 has opened in both Kassel and Athens, marking the high point of the summer’s crowded European exhibition schedule. Continuing the event’s long-running tradition as a two-site exhibition project, this year’s show is one of Documenta’s most fully-realized in this framework, with massive exhibition plans and equally lofty concepts split between each location.
Walead Beshty, Office Work (Canon imageCLASS D1350 Monochrome Laser All-in-One Printer, Copier, Scanner, Fax F161402) (2017), all photos via Sarah Cohen for Art Observed
Artist Walead Beshty’s work has frequently mined the language and situations of modern labor as productive systems for rendering his works in the gallery space. There are his postal works, for instance, which use the often rough delivery methods of varied delivery companies to create shattered, misshapen sculptures produced through the route’s inherent inefficiencies; or his works from the last show at Petzel Gallery in New York, which used the movements of gallery employees on a copper table top to create swirling patterns emphasizing the movements and gestures of modern office work. For the artist’s most recent exhibition at Petzel, this interest in production and systems returns, running through a broad body of works that underscores his intuitive use of simple gestures and deft manipulations to create his pieces.
New York – Joan Jonas: “What is Found in the Windowless House is True” at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise Through June 11th, 2017Saturday, June 10th, 2017
Taking over almost the full expanse of Gavin Brown’s impressive Harlem exhibition space, artist Joan Jonas returns to New York with a body of work in tow that mingles previous explorations and new meditations on man’s relationship with the natural world. Pulling the viewer along a meandering pathway up through the gallery’s multi-floor exhibition space, Jonas’s work greets the viewer with visual twists and turns of their own, each time dwelling on the act of perception and understanding, natural phenomena and man’s modern contexts.
Venice – Damien Hirst: Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable at the Palazzo Grassi and Punta Della Dogana Through December 3rd, 2017Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
After much anticipation, the crowds of the Venice Biennale have finally packed through the doors of the Palazzo Grassi and Punta Della Dogana to take their turn at the visual tour de force of Damien Hirst’s Treasures of the Wreck of the Unbelievable. The show, which opened last month at François Pinault’s pair of exhibition spaces in the city, has garnered considerable discussion over the past several months since its announcement, and with good reason. Hirst’s exhibition is a challenging, and often confounding experience, taking on the museum as a form, and pushing it to its symbolic limits.
Several years ago, a lone Robert Longo piece left quite an impression at Art Basel Miami Beach. The subdued charcoal composition depicting several players from the St. Louis Rams posing in the iconic “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” pose that followed in the wake of the death of young Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer in nearby Ferguson, Missouri was stark and imposing, a powerful reminder of the specter of police violence preying on black citizens in the United States. It made for a sudden rupture in the often buoyant atmosphere of the fair, and one that welcomed the turbulence of the outside world in. (more…)
Now through June 3rd, new work by Charline von Heyl will be on view at Capitain Petzel in Berlin, her second solo exhibition with the gallery. The German artist, who works with drawing, printmaking, and collage, has long drawn on this wealth of material in conjunction with a wide-ranging gestural vocabulary to create a densely layered body of works, shown here through a series of new canvases mixing various modes of illustration and painting.
The artist’s work functions not as a series of surfaces, but interlocking visual events, layering varied approaches towards repeating images or motifs which work in conjunction with her flowing brushstrokes and blurs of color. These colors and images shift depending on the time of day or the viewer’s perspective, their respective qualities marking a subtle environmental thread that balances against each work’s dynamic surface. Drawing is a significant part of the artist’s process, though any impression of line or form tends to hide beneath the unstable and heavy layers of charcoal powder, copper, aluminum flakes and dirty pastels.
The exhibition brings together a selection of recent works, creating a continued sense of agitation and stabilization, tension and dissolution. These works produce stark visual effects and striking contrasts rather that depict any single subject, the artist’s hand playing on the act of painting in conjunction with selected models and repeated themes running throughout her works. This mode of action allows von Heyl to play on a sense of poetic depth and humor, a visual interrogation of painting by the act of painting itself.
In Local Yokel from Outer Space (2014), for instance, a globular, alien-like face seems to smile from its vantage point inside the frame. Composed of brightly colored points and dark accents, the painting is at once inviting and menacing. Considered in different orientations, the abstract subject morphs between readings as an animal, organic object, and the otherworldly. In Samurai Rabbit (2017), by contrast, the figure of a rabbit stalks across the frame, holding what appears to be a samurai sword. The red-splattered canvas gives the impression of the exaggerated gore and violence encountered on-screen. Paired with the gentle symbol of a rabbit walking through a pastoral background, this painting balances the explicit and the abstract in an interesting combination of fine art and entertainment.
Charline von Heyl’s stimulating work is hosted in Capitain Petzel’s open and airy gallery space, giving the viewer ample room to consider these images from afar and up-close. The artist’s dynamic and provocative pieces come together to demonstrate the pleasure in experience what can happen to a painting under an active gaze.
Her work is on view through June 3rd.
— A. Corrigan
Exhibition Page [Capitain Petzel]
Currently spread out across 303 Gallery’s spacious 21st Street exhibition space in Chelsea, photographer Rodney Graham has returned with a body of new works, continuing his playful and incisive understanding of cultural archetypes. Drawing from a range of situations and signifiers, the artist’s body of new works, a series of chromogenic transparencies mounted on light-boxes, play on both Graham’s observations of his native Vancouver, and more broadly, his understanding of the conventions of the image in modern creative production. (more…)
Annette Messager, Avec et sans raisons (Installation View), all images via Marian Goodman
On now through May 27th, avec et sans raisons by Annette Messager is on view at the Marian Goodman Gallery in London, comprising Messager’s first solo show at the gallery and first exhibition in London since 2009. The title of the exhibition reveals the 73-year-old artist’s penchant for wordplay, suggesting both a possession or lack in the faculty of reason, as well as the existence and/or deficiency of motivation. Following through with the suggestion of its title, the exhibition contains works that possess a clear rationality while simultaneously toying with concepts of the absurd. (more…)
Cataloguing a range of Robert Therrien’s nuanced explorations and elaborations on the physical and psychological landscapes of the everyday, Gagosian Gallery has brought a body of new and recent works to its 24th Street exhibition space in Chelsea. Marking the artist’s first exhibition in New York in ten years, the show marks a fitting continuation of Therrien’s interests in domestic space, memory and form through a series of sculptures, large-scale environments and works on paper. (more…)
New York – Erwin Wurm: “Ethics demonstrated in geometrical order” at Lehmann Maupin Through May 26th, 2017Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017
Currently on view at Lehmann Maupin’s Chelsea exhibition space, Austrian artist Erwin Wurm is presenting a concise summary of his recent work, installing a range of sculptures in his broad practice that explore the act of both participation and subversion in the landscape of modernity. Including both quasi-participatory work alongside a series of more static pieces, the show allows Wurm to run through an impressive range of both his practice, and his broader critical project. (more…)
Los Angeles – Jason Rhoades: “Installations, 1994 – 2006″ at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles Through May 21st, 2017Friday, May 19th, 2017
Exploring a range of works from the career of Jason Rhoades, Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles has assembled a challenging exhibition for its spring calendar, one that feels particularly resonant in the tense geopolitical situations of 2017. Installations, 1994-2006, drives at Rhoades’s shared language of consumption and mythology, space and commerce, as a fertile site for the investigation of the modern world, and the cultural collisions stemming from its increasing interconnectivity. (more…)
AO Auction Recap – New York: Phillips 20th Century and Contemporary Sale at Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Sale, May 18th, 2017Friday, May 19th, 2017
A pair of auctions capped off the May Evening Sales this evening, as Phillips and Sotheby’s concluded their respective Post-War and Contemporary marquee sales. Notching a number of impressive records at both auction houses, the evening was an impressively strong final night for a week that made good on promises for the market’s slow but steady recovery. (more…)
Cy Twombly, Leda and the Swan (1962), via Christie’s
The week’s long stream of major auction sales saw another strong outing by Christie’s last night, with the auction house cruising through a 71 lot outing to reach a final tally of $448.1 million with only a handful of pieces going unsold. The sale, which saw an overwhelming push from American buyers, meets early rumblings about a recovering market, and hints at continued growth over the coming months. (more…)
The Impressionist and Modern Sale at Sotheby’s this past evening has closed out the early week’s offerings in that market, capping a $173.8 million sale that saw few major highlights or sparks in bidding, a marked contrast from the occasional fireworks of Monday’s sale at Christie’s. Despite early claims by Sotheby’s that the auction market was gradually strengthening again after several tepid sales in past months, the past evening’s outing in New York saw somewhat modest results that paled in comparison. The sale’s sell-through rate hovered at 74%, tempered by the early withdrawal of an Egon Schiele work some had anticipated would reach over $30 million. (more…)
The first auction of the week has come and gone in New York, as Christie’s notched an impressive outing for its Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, confirming expectations of a solid return of buying interest in the secondary market. Considering the past several outings for the auction houses in London and New York, where only a handful of buyers were reportedly keeping the market afloat, this week’s sales hit a different note entirely, with ample phone bids that saw one major auction record fall with Constantin Brancusi’s La Muse Endormie demolishing expectations at over $57 million, and marquee lots performing quite well over the course of the evening. (more…)
Following a bustling two weeks of sales and shows, focus returns to New York City this week for a marathon run of auction sales that will set the stage for the summer season, offering one a chance for collectors to get their hands on marquee works before Art Basel in June marks a break in market action before the fall auction season. Five sales in a stretch of only four days should offer buyers a range of options, with both Impressionist/Modern and Post-War/Contemporary categories seeing ample opportunities to buy.
Pablo Picasso, Femme assise, robe bleue (1939), via Christie’s (more…)
Spread out across the Giardini and the various storehouses and spaces inside the Arsenale, the Venice Biennale‘s annual invitations to various nations around the globe serves to offer a counterpoint to the sprawling main exhibition, Viva Arte Viva. Presented by individual curators and supported by art institutions back home, the shows offer not only a selection of singular voices from around the globe, but equally a look at the various national discourses of each country’s artistic institutions and infrastructure, a point that equally sets it as a strong conversation piece against the curatorial discipline of the main exhibition’s lone organizer, in this case Centre Pompidou’s Christine Macel.
The FLAG Art Foundation’s joint exhibition of works by Etel Adnan and Gerhard Richter promises a unique perspective towards rarely-seen works by two of the most prolific artists working today. Both celebrated for their distinct renderings of abstraction and color spectrum, Adnan and Richter have pursued disparate trajectories that mark them today as pioneers in nonfigurative art. Yet certain graphical and technical similarities between the two make for a striking exhibition, consolidating the two artists’ work through tapestry, a path for which both painters diverged from their canvas-based practices to experiment with visual extents of the traditional craft method. (more…)
The Golden Lions have been announced for this year’s edition of the Venice Biennale, with Anne Imhof and Franz Erhard Walther taking top honors for their work in the German National Pavilion and Main Exhibition, respectively. The full list of winners is included below. (more…)