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


London- “In Homage” at Skarstedt Gallery Through August 8th, 2014

July 30th, 2014

Francis Bacon, Study for a Pope III, (1961), Photograph: © The Estate of Francis Bacon.
Francis Bacon, Study for a Pope III, (1961), Photograph: © The Estate of Francis Bacon.

In Homage, on view at Skarstedt London through August 8th, takes as its focus six paintings that embody the elements of inheritance and inspiration that sits at the heart of all creative practice. Francis Bacon, George Condo, Martin Kippenberger, Sigmar Polke, Richard Prince, and Andy Warhol are the featured artists. Each work was chosen for the strong ties it reveals to a predecessor, reflecting the styles or borrowing as subjects the master painters Velázquez, Picasso, Baselitz, Ernst, Goya, Munch, and de Chirico. Relationship is explored both as a stylistic approach and an inevitability of the creative process. Read More »

American Art Coming to a Billboard Near You

July 29th, 2014

Art Everywhere Artist's Rendering, via Press HeraldAugust 4th will see New York City’s billboards, subways, newsstands, and more inundated with major works of art, including pieces by Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, and Chuck Close, as part of Art Everywhere U.S.. This new campaign is the product of a collaboration between the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and five American museums which will result in 58 works of American art being displayed on over 50,000 sites across the country. The campaign hopes to recreate the success of Art Everywhere U.K., a similar movement that launched last year, and spread the importance of American art and artists to a greater number of viewers.

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Metropolitan Museum of Art President Announces Plans to Step Down

July 29th, 2014

Emily K. Rafferty, via NY Press
Emily Rafferty, via NY Press

The New York Times reports that Emily Rafferty will be retiring next spring after ten years as President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and almost forty at the institution. She first joined the Met in 1976 in the development department before rising through the ranks to become the Met’s first female president in 2004. As president, Rafferty has been in charge of the museum’s administration, working on the financial, legal, and developmental issues that provide the backbone  to the museum’s extensive collection and popular shows.

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Cory Arcangel Publishes New Book “Working on My Novel”

July 29th, 2014

Cory Arcangel, Working on My NovelCory Arcangel‘s ongoing project Working on My Novel has finally been published in book form, compiled from posts by Twitter users in which they use the phrase “working on my novel. ”  ”Now that I have a great domain name I can start writing on my novel,” reads the first tweet. Read More »

Tracey Emin’s Bed Loaned to Tate Modern

July 29th, 2014

Tracey Emin, My Bed, via Christie'sTracey Emin‘s ”My Bed,” which set an auction record for the artist early this month, has given on a 10-year loan to the Tate by collector Count Christian Duerckheim, a Cologne-based industrialist.  “I always admired the honesty of Tracey, but I bought My Bed because it is a metaphor for life, where troubles begin and logics die.” Read More »

Haunch of Venison’s Former Directors To Open New Gallery

July 29th, 2014

Parafin Gallery's Future Home, via Google MapsA new contemporary art gallery is coming to Mayfair in September 2014. Ben Tufnell and Matt Watkins, the former directors of Haunch of Venison, have partnered with Nicholas Rhodes, the director of the London gallery Master Piper, in the creation of Parafin, which will feature works by contemporary artists such as Nancy Holt, Katie Paterson, and Uwe Witter. Read More »

Artwork From the Detroit Institute of Art Worth Up $8.5 Billion

July 29th, 2014

Detroit Institute of Art, via Business InsiderThe New York Times reports that a Detroit creditor has ordered an appraisal of the Detroit Institute of Art‘s collection in hopes that the Institute’s works, which includes pieces by Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, and Vincent Van Gogh, might be sold to cover the city’s debts. Although this appraisal valued the collection at up to $8.5 billion, an earlier appraisal placed the value between $2.7 billion and $4.6 billion, with the additional caution that, because of external factors like donor lawsuits and lack of demand for certain periods, actual sales will probably be around $800 million.

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Proposed City ID Card May Include Free Museum Admission

July 29th, 2014

Bill de Blasio, via New York TimesMayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed Municipal ID card plan has added benefits from the city’s art museums.  A plan currently underway with the Mayor’s office would offer free membership at The Met to card holders, and shows the city’s reliance on the impact these institutions have on the city.  “The city’s coming to us and saying, ‘Will you help solve this?’ ” said Susan Lacerte, executive director of the Queens Botanical Garden. “It recognizes that we have great constituencies, we have reach in the communities.” Read More »

Jean-Michel Othoniel to Create Permanent Installations for Versailles

July 29th, 2014

Jean-Michel Othoniel's work for Versailles, via WSJArtist Jean-Michel Othoniel is currently working on the grounds of Versaille, creating a trio of fountain sculptures for the palace that will be the first permanent art pieces installed on its grounds in over 300 years.  ”As an artist, and a French artist in particular, there is something very special about making a mark on the land that Le Nôtre and Louis XIV designed,” Othoniel says. Read More »

Louvre Abu Dhabi to Receive 300 Loaned Works from Paris Museums

July 29th, 2014

The Louvre Abu DhabiThe Louvre’s new expansion in Abu Dhabi will be announcing 300 loans from its Paris counterpart and twelve other French museum partners by the end of the year, The Art Newspaper reports.  The works on loan will rotate over the course of the next ten years, joining up with about 500 new acquisitions that will make up the new museum’s permanent collection.   Read More »

New York – Group Show: “The Husk” at Untitled Through August 2nd, 2014

July 29th, 2014

 Mark Leckey, "GreenScreenVegetables," 2011
Mark Leckey, GreenScreenVegetables (2011), all images courtesy Untitled, New York

Currently on view at Untitled, located at 30 Orchard Street in New York, is a group exhibition of work by both emerging and well-known artists surrounding themes of decontextualization and absence. The show will be on view through August 2nd, 2014.

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Lord Jacob Rothschild to Receive J. Paul Getty Award for Contributions to Art World

July 28th, 2014

Lord Jacob Rothschild, via Art NewspaperLord Jacob Rothschild has been awarded with the J. Paul Getty Award for his contributions to British arts and culture.  Rothschild has long been a supporter of the arts, and has served as a board chair at the National Gallery in London, the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.  “No one embodies the ideals of the Getty medal more than Lord Rothschild,” Cuno said in a statement, adding that “he is without question the most influential volunteer cultural leader in the English-speaking world.” Says Getty President and CEO James Cuno. Read More »

Met Museum Reports Over Six Million Visitors This Year

July 28th, 2014

The Metropolitan Museum of Art via the New York Post6.2 million domestic and international visitors made their way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art during this past fiscal year, making it the third year in a row that the museum’s attendance  has exceeded six million visitors. This number is comprised of visitors to both the Met as well as the Cloisters in Upper Manhattan, which attracted 350,00 visitors of its own, a marked 50% increase from the previous year. These high numbers are due in part to the Museum’s recent decision to open seven days a week as well as to popular exhibitions such as PUNK: Chaos to Couture and Balthus: Cats and Girls-Paintings and ProvocationsRead More »

Plans for New Goldsmiths Gallery Announced by Sir Antony Gormley

July 28th, 2014

Goldsmiths, University of London, via The GuardianA new gallery is scheduled to open in 2016 at Goldsmith College, University of London, which will showcase art created by the college’s current students and alumni, who include Damien HirstGary Hume, and Sarah Lucas. The gallery will be housed in the renovated water tanks of the early twentieth century Laurie Grove Baths, a project which will cost 1.8 million pounds. Sculptor Sir Antony Gormley, who announced the plans alongside architect Sir David Chipperfield, called the future gallery a “resource for the university and for London.”

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New Guide Details NYC’s “Other Museums”

July 28th, 2014

Museum of Biblical Art, via NYCGoThe new guide “Not the Met” seeks to introduce museum-goers to New York City’s lesser-known institutions. Written by a pair of friends from Brooklyn, the guide contains information and reviews of 80 museums, including more well-known institutions like the Frick Collection and the Morgan Library alongside smaller, more specialized museums like the Paley Center for Media and the Museum of Biblical Art. Read More »

Fall Season Precipitates New Initiatives for Auction Houses

July 28th, 2014

Christie's Sale Room, via Art ObservedAn article in the New York Times reports on a recent wave of high-profile announcements from some of the world’s most prominent auction houses in attempt to gain the upper hand in the upcoming fall sale season. Among these announcements is the news that Sotheby’s will partner with eBay while Christie’s will expand with a house in Shanghai and Phillips de Pury will unveil a impressive new space in Mayfair. While these announcements might project an attractive appearance of prosperity and growth, the article contrasts them against the inherent instability of public sales, comparing the auction market to a “Baked Alaska dessert — firm and shiny on the top, but soft in the middle and on the bottom.” Read More »

European Museums React to Growing Crowds

July 28th, 2014

Mona Lisa Crowd, via The GuardianWith the busy summer season in full swing, popular European museums are examining new methods of crowd control in an effort to curb the ever-growing hustle and bustle that could cause damage to both visitors and the art itself. Some museums such as the Louvre and the Prado in Madrid have pursued softer methods like timed tickets and extended hours. Others such as the Vatican Museums and the Uffizi in Florence have taken a harder line. Within the next year the delicate frescoes of the Sistine Chapel will be protected by a crowd-limiting climate control system while the Uffizi has already established a cap of 980 visitors at a time. Read More »

A New Way to Display Digital Art

July 28th, 2014

Electronic Display via Electric Objects

A recent article in the New York Times takes a closer look at a new movement in the physical display of digital art. The movement seeks a middle ground between digital photo frames used in homes and professional digital art displays used in galleries, creating a larger, more sophisticated screen on which art aficionados can display both personal pictures and favorite artists. These screens are capable of showing only one image at a time, however, an effort by developers to encourage a “slower, more thoughtful pace.”

Outgoing British Museum Chairman Discusses Experience

July 28th, 2014

Niall FitzGerald via BBCIn a conversation with the Financial Times, Irish businessman Niall Fitzgerald reflected on his time as chairman of the British Museum‘s trustees. The former chief executive of Unilever, Fitzgerald became chairman  in 2006 and has focused his eight years in office on reworking the museum’s funding models and providing a stronger structure to the museum’s management. Under his auspices, the British Museum has entered into a profitable deal loaning objects to Abu Dhabi’s Zayed National Museum in addition to becoming, after the Louvre, the second-most visited museum in the world in 2013 . Read More »

New York – Marcel Duchamp at Gagosian Gallery Through August 8th, 2014

July 28th, 2014

Marcel Duchamp, Bicycle Wheel, (1916/64)  © Succession Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2014. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photo by Philippe Migeat
Marcel Duchamp, Bicycle Wheel (1916/64)  © Succession Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2014. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photo by Philippe Migeat

Cunningly installed just down the street from the monumental Jeff Koons retrospective at The Whitney Museum, Gagosian Gallery is currently presenting a small but impressive exhibition of Marcel Duchamp’s body of readymades, offering a nuanced historical counterpoint to some of the artist’s most distinguished predecessors. Read More »

Researchers in Singapore Duplicate Monet Using Nanoprinting

July 27th, 2014

A nanoprinted verision of Monet's "Impression, Sunrise", via WiredResearchers at Singapore’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering have created an impressively accurate replica of Monet’s Impression, Sunrise using nano printing technology.  The new technology, which uses focused beams of electrons and microscopic aluminum rods to print at extremely detailed levels.“Each color pixel on this image was mapped to the closest color from a palette that we created using arrays of metal nanodisks, and the code spits out a series of geometries corresponding to this color,” says researcher Joel K.W. Yang. Read More »

New York – Sigmar Polke: “Alibis 1963–2010″ at MoMA Through August 3rd, 2014

July 27th, 2014

Plastik-Wannen-by-Sigmar-Polke-at-MOMA
Sigmar Polke, Plastik-Wannen (1964) via Kelly Lee for Art Observed

Sigmar Polke’s output was diverse to say the least.  Raised in the lean years following World War II in West Germany, the artist moved quickly from painting to photography to installation, film and back over his almost five decades of work, shifting his techniques and approaches with each subsequent piece.  Sharply critical and always challenging the nature of capitalist negotiation with the art world, his pieces cover a broad spectrum from overtly comical and self-aware to dark and brooding.

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London – Jenny Saville: “Oxyrhynchus” at Gagosian Gallery, through July 26th 2014

July 26th, 2014

Jenny Savile, Untitled (2014)
Jenny Savile, Untitled (2014), all images courtesy Gagosian London

On display at Gagosian Gallery in London is a series of monumental oil paintings by Jenny Saville, focusing on the materiality of the human body. The works are large in scale and extremely detailed, and some of the works have taken up to 7 years to complete. The exhibition will be on view through July 26th at Gagosian London.

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New Art Satire Program Premieres Online

July 25th, 2014

Casey Jane Ellison, via OvationA new Internet program called Touching the Art has premiered on the Ovation Youtube channel.  Hosted by Casey Jane Ellison, the show takes an irreverent tack on discussing and analyzing the mechanisms and trends of the contemporary art world, with a sense of humor much akin to Hennessy Youngman’s Art Thoughtz.  “Is art somehow better because the person who starred in Transformers made it?” Ellison asks in one segment. Read More »