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Vik Muniz’s Rio Art School Profiled in WSJ

May 30th, 2016

Vik Muniz, via WSJThe WSJ takes an inside look at the experimental art school founded by Vik Muniz in one of Rio’s favelas, which has been chosen for inclusion in this year’s Architecture Biennale.  “To design and build in a favela is a huge challenge because of the topography and because it’s so dense,” says curator Washington Fajardo. “What’s interesting about Escola Vidigal is that it creates a dialogue with the pre-existing built environment while improving the quality of the space.”
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Taco Dibbits to Take Helm at Rijksmuseum

May 30th, 2016

Taco Dibbits, via NYTThe Rijksmuseum has named Taco Dibbits, the museum’s current director of collections, as its new director, following the departure of Wim Pijbes.  “It’s one of the most beautiful museums in the world, and it’s a dream come true for me,” Dibbits told the New York Times. “I’ve already got a fantastic team of people, and we hope that we can make as many people as possible enjoy and be inspired, and be touched by, the great works of art that the museum houses.”
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Arrests Made in Spain OVer Francis Bacon Theft

May 30th, 2016

The stolen Francis Bacon paintings, via The GuardianSeven people have been arrested in Spain, in connection with the theft of five Francis Bacon paintings valued at €25m.  Police found the works after receiving photographs from British investigators, and tracing the camera equipment used to photograph the works.  “It is not at all easy to sell a Francis Bacon, large or small, without that getting to the ears of those who pore over such a rarified sector,” one expert said of the theft.
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Clifton Benevento to Close

May 30th, 2016

Michael Clifton and Michael Benevento, via ArtforumNew York Gallery Clifton Benevento has made the decision to close its doors, Artforum reports. The gallery’s last day open to the public will be tomorrow, May 31st.
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Georgia O’Keefe Museum Acquires Rare Work by Artist

May 28th, 2016

The Barns, Lake George, via NPRThe Georgia O’Keefe museum has acquired a rare 1926 work by the artist, an abstracted landscape that showcases her expressive craft outside of her more traditional subject matter, and captures the country home of her and her husband Alfred Stieglitz.  “Of the subjects O’Keeffe pursued at Lake George in the 1920s—her most prolific decade—the various barns on the Stieglitz property most directly connect her to the interests of various members of the Stieglitz circle and other American modernists to identify distinctly national subjects,” the museum said in a statement.
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David Shrigley Planning Massive Gravestone Installation in Central Park

May 28th, 2016

David Shrigley's Memorial, via NYTDavid Shrigley will install a version of his work Memorial at Central Park this summer, a towering gravestone with a grocery list engraved across its surface.  “He’s best known for a unique drawing style that makes satirical comments on everyday interactions,” says associate curator Emma Enderby of the Public Art Fund, which commissioned the piece. “It’s absurd, it’s funny but it’s also sad and poignant.”
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Katharina Grosse to Install Massive Paint Work in Rockaways

May 28th, 2016

Katharina Grosse's rendering for Fort Tilden, via NYTArtist Katharina Grosse will create one of her signature paint spatter installations on the aquatics building at Fort Tilden Beach this summer, part of MoMA PS1’s Rockaway! event. The work will coat the decaying building in flashes of bright colors, while emphasizing its architectural style.
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Claire Danes to Host PBS’s Art21 TV Program

May 28th, 2016

Claire Danes, via New York PostClaire Danes has signed on to host a new iteration of PBS’s Art21’s TV series, “Art in the Twenty-First Century.”  “Artists today influence how we see the world, how we express ourselves and how art can transform society,” Danes says.
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Terence Koh Interviewed in NYT

May 28th, 2016

Terence Koh, via NYTTerence Koh is featured in the New York Times this week, as the artist discusses his recent work and the inspiration behind the Bee Chapel, an installation that seeks to find spiritual resonance with an active group of honey bees.  “We create the sense that everything in the show is living in a vibration,” Koh says.
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Paddle8 Sees Significant Lay-offs, Departures After Auctionata Merger

May 25th, 2016

Paddle 8, via Art NewsFollowing its merger with Auctionata, Paddle8 has seen a series of high-profile departures and lay-offs, Art News reports.  Editorial Director Sarah Hanson in particular was one of the lay-offs, which sources indicate means that the company will do away with or drastically scale back its editorial arm.  “A merger is an inevitable inflection point, and in the past month Paddle8 has seen the departure of some of our colleagues in the lead up to and following our merger with Auctionata,” co-founder Osman Khan said.  “Some left to pursue other passions and opportunities, and others as a result of corporate restructuring. In all cases, we are grateful for their contributions to Paddle8.”
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

New York – David Hammons: “Five Decades” at Mnuchin Gallery Through May 27th, 2016

May 15th, 2016

David Hammons, Untitled (2014), via Art Observed
David Hammons, Untitled (2014), via Art Observed

When it was announced that Mnuchin Gallery would host an exhibition of artist David Hammons’s work this year, anticipation was understandably high.  The reclusive artist’s work is rarely given this expansive stage for historical examination and the contextual impact of his work.  Spread out across the gallery’s two-floor townhouse exhibition space, Five Decades examines just that, Hammons’s expansive and formally elusive career working at a unique juncture of the avant-garde. Read More »

New York – Jessi Reaves at Bridget Donahue Through June 5th, 2016

May 14th, 2016

Jessi Reaves, Muscle Chair (Laying down to talk) (2016), via Art Observed
Jessi Reaves, Muscle Chair (Laying down to talk) (2016), via Art Observed

Artist Jessi Reaves takes Bridget Donahue Gallery into the summer months with her show of new work, transposing the styles and forms of high design into the framework of fine art, and examining the interplay of languages that results.  Having opened in early April, the exhibition, comprised of vividly executed furniture, shelving and cabinets, “suitable for use,” as the press release states, sees Reaves pushing her chosen forms towards new territories, substituting hard angles and flat planes for loping, curving lines, or inverting the often concealed material elements of each form. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, May 12th, 2016

May 13th, 2016

The Modigliani Sells, via Art ObservedThe Modigliani Sells, via Art Observed

After a long week of sales that has seen both ups and downs for the two main auction houses, Christie’s has concluded its week with a consistently solid Impressionist and Modern sale, with 7 of the 54 lots at auction going unsold for a final tally of $141,532,000.   The auction house saw its momentary stumbles over the course of the sale, with several pieces falling well below estimate, and a few high-profile lots going unsold.  Even so, Christie’s managed to keep the bids moving, and keep works selling, a point that surely is not lost on those watching Sotheby’s occasionally disheartening sale earlier this week. Read More »

New York – “Fade In: Int. Art Gallery-Day” at Swiss Institute Through May 19th, 2016

May 13th, 2016

Mike Cooter, MacGuffin: some archetypes towards a definition (2016)
Mike Cooter, MacGuffin: some archetypes towards a definition (2016)

Swiss Institute’s Fade In: Int. Art Gallery-Day is a group exhibition featuring an ambitious array of contemporary artists, including Cindy Sherman, Allan McCollumChristian MarclayDora Budor and Jamian Juliano-Villani, interpreting the ubiquitous relationship of moving images to the field of visual art. Comprised mostly of commissioned works, the exhibition transforms the gallery’s spacious interior into a vigorous stage, expanding outwards from the gallery entrance towards a deep corner of the storage room on the lower level. Read More »

RIP – François Morellet, Pioneer of Optical and Kinetic Art, at the Age of 90

May 12th, 2016

Francois Morellet, via Art Newspaper
Francois Morellet, via Art Newspaper

François Morellet, the pioneering French artist who explored interrelations of optical phenomena, light, space and performance, has passed away at the age of 90.   Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Sotheby’s Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale, May 11th, 2016

May 11th, 2016

A new world record set for Sam Francis tonight, via Art Observed
A new world record set for Sam Francis tonight, via Art Observed

Another night of sales has come and gone at Sotheby’s, with an unexpectedly robust outing from the auction house that moved quickly through the 44-lot sale to a final total of $242,194,000.  The sale was a short but impressive affair, as the auction house’s early lots consistently beat out estimates in the early lots, and ultimately saw only a small handful of lots go unsold.  The sale makes for an impressive response to market alarmists and critics of the auction house, showing there seems to still be strong enthusiasm in the contemporary market. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale, May 10th, 2016

May 11th, 2016

Jussi Pylkkanen and Bretty Gorvy in front of the Record-setting Basquait, via Art Observed
Jussi Pylkkanen and Brett Gorvy in front of the Record-setting Basquait, via Art Observed

Christie’s has wrapped its Post-War and Contemporary auction last night in New York, continuing a strong performance that contrasted sharply with the lackluster sales last night at Sotheby’s, including an impressive new record for Jean-Michel Basquiat.  All told, the sale saw 9 unsold lots out of a total 61 (counting a single withdrawn lot), and a final total of $318,388,000. Read More »

AO Auction Results – New York: Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Sale, May 9th, 2016

May 10th, 2016

Paul Signac, Maisons du Port, Saint-Tropez (1892), via Sotheby's
Paul Signac, Maisons du Port, Saint-Tropez (1892), via Sotheby’s

Having just announced a loss of over $25 million for the first quarter of 2016, Sotheby’s needed a strong performance this evening to alleviate concerns over its recent shakeups and acquisitions, but there were few reassurances in sight for the house’s New York Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale tonight, as it concluded a 62 lot outing with almost a third of the works going unsold, bringing a final sales tally of $144,434,000. Read More »

New York – Mike Kelley: “Shaped Paintings” at Skarstedt Gallery Through June 25th, 2016

May 10th, 2016

Mike kelley, The Thirteen Seasons (Heavy on the Winter) #13 Art (1994), via Art Observed
Mike kelley, The Thirteen Seasons (Heavy on the Winter) #13: Art (1994), via Art Observed

This week, Skarstedt Gallery opened a show of Mike Kelley’s shaped paintings at its Chelsea exhibition space, the first time that the artist’s work in this series of egg-shaped, abstracted canvases has been compiled at one time.  Taking the artist’s interests in psychoanalytic techniques, trauma, and their intersections with the structures of mainstream American culture, the exhibition offers a close look at Kelley’s interests, juxtaposed through a series of pictorial relationships, or contrasted from work to work in a single room. Read More »

New York — Omer Fast at James Cohan Through May 7th, 2016

May 9th, 2016

Omer Fast, 5,000 Feet is the Best (film still) (2011)
Omer Fast, 5,000 Feet is the Best (film still) (2011)

Offering a cinematic experience comprised of particularly constructed viewing rooms, Omer Fast’s inaugural exhibition at James Cohan saw the premier of the artist’s three most recent films for a New York audience. On view through this past weekend, the exhibition, which challenged the typical context of the theater, complicates notions of script and reality as well as of documentary and fiction.   Read More »