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

Steve McQueen Interviewed in The Guardian

January 27th, 2020

Steve McQueen gets a profile in The Guardian this week, as he prepares to open his first Tate Modern retrospective, and reflects on the arc of his career and work. “What I do as an artist is, I think, to do with my own life experience,” he says. “I came of age in a school which was a microcosm of the world around me. One day, you’re together as a group, the next, you are split up by people who think certain people are better than you. It was kind of interesting to observe that.”
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Zineb Sedira to Represent France at 2021 Venice Biennale

January 27th, 2020

Zineb Sedira will represent France at the 2021 Venice Biennale, the Art Newspaper reports. “Sedira’s multiple identities as a French-born Algerian living in England inform her serene, often haunting photographs and video installations, which consider questions of memory, displacement, and the transmission of history,” reads a statement on the Guggenheim website.
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Experts Point to Surging Market in Fake Art Prints

January 27th, 2020

Experts are warning of a surging market in fake prints, as photo reproduction technology gets increasingly powerful.    “In the last few years we have confiscated hundreds of fakes that forgers and dealers said were by Lichtenstein, Georg Baselitz, Picasso, and others, that came from Italy, Spain, and Portugal,” says Elena Spahic, an officer with the Bavarian Police in Munich.
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Gallerists Request Concessions from Art Basel Hong Kong in Wake of Political Crisis in Country

January 27th, 2020

A group of galleries have written to Art Basel Hong Kong expressing concerns about the current political situation in Hong Kong, and pushing for concessions from the fair on booth fees and other costs.  “VIP registration numbers are consistent overall with previous years—and especially strong from the Asian region, where we have actually seen an increase in VIP registration from mainland China.” reads a reply from global director Marc Spiegler and Adeline Ooi, the fair’s Asia director. “We fully acknowledge that this year is not business as usual, and we are thus doing everything we can to support all the galleries coming to Hong Kong.”
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BBC Reviews Russian Culture Minister’s Disparaging Position Towards the Arts

January 27th, 2020

A piece on Russia’s new culture minister, Olga Lyubimova in the BBC notes her past statements about a sense of disdain for the arts. “I’ve been to the British Museum, National Gallery and a few dozen more European and Russian museums and reckon I wasted my time there,” reads a blog post she wrote years ago.
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Thomas Campbell Talks Future at Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

January 27th, 2020

Thomas Campbell gets a profile in Art Newspaper this week, as he sizes up his new position at Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and looks forward to the coming years.  “We’re hitting the 125th anniversary of the de Young in April and the 100th anniversary of the Legion in 2024, so it’s a good time to examine where we’ve come from, who we are, and what our priorities are,” he says. “I’m prioritising being an institution of thought leadership, audience engagement and connoisseurship, for example.”
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D.C. Officials Push for More Diverse Selection of Monuments in City

January 24th, 2020

Officials in Washington, D.C. are looking to incorporate more diverse historical monuments into the city’s fabric, Art News reports, with legislation proposing new monuments to historically resonant women and people of color.  “This legislation aims to properly recognize and honor remarkable persons who left indelible marks on society: men, women, and migrants,” says Kenyan McDuffie, the councilmember. “These bills aim to channel an important dialogue carrying around our country to reconcile symbols and monuments that have often complicated, and in some cases blatantly racist, history behind them.”
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The Shed Voluntarily Recognizes Employee Unionization

January 24th, 2020

The Shed will recognize its employees’ union voluntarily, Artforum reports.  “The Shed fully supports our talented and hard-working visitor experience staff in their decision to organize,” says Maryann Jordan, the institution’s chief operating officer. “We welcome UAW Local 2110 and anticipate forging a constructive relationship with their representatives as we have done with the several other unions already in place at The Shed.”
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Florida Court Blocks Yayoi Kusama ‘Infinity Room’ from Leaving Miami-Dade County

January 24th, 2020

A Florida court has put a temporary block on a Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room at the center of the controversy around dealer Inigo Philbrick, preventing the work from leaving Miami-Dade County.  “Without an injunction, FAP [Fine Art Partners] will lose the ability to be made whole because it will lose a unique, one-of-a-kind work,” says Valerie R. Manno, a judge in Miami-Dade County’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court, wrote in the temporary injunction issued on Wednesday. “An injunction will allow FAP to litigate its case without fear that the Kusama will disappear into the night.”
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NYC Partners with Nonprofits to Create New Socially-Driven Initiatives

January 24th, 2020

New York ’s Department of Cultural Affairs is overseeing partnerships between ten nonprofit arts organizations and city agencies to create programming on a range of civic and social issues including homelessness, workers’ rights, and climate change. “We are thrilled that DREAMing Out Loud has been renewed for a second year and will continue to help young writers find their voices, readers and careers in publishing,” says NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment commissioner Anne del Castillo. “New York is the ultimate city of immigrants, and we’re fighting every day to make the creative economy accessible to all.”
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

Los Angeles – Calvin Marcus: ‘GO HANG A SALAMI IM A LASAGNA HOG’ at David Kordansky Through January 11th, 2020

January 3rd, 2020

Calvin Marcus, City Pig/Wild Boar (2019), via David Kordansky
Calvin Marcus, City Pig/Wild Boar (2019), via David Kordansky

Opening his second exhibition at David Kordansky in Los Angeles this winter, painter Calvin Marcus returns to his enigmatic, always challenging body of work, turning his approach towards painterly composition towards increasingly complex, and increasingly nuanced compositions. Titled GO HANG A SALAMI IM A LASAGNA HOG, the show features four bodies of work—including paintings, sculpture, and photography across its three exhibition spaces. Read More »

New York – Roger Brown at Venus Over Manhattan Through January 11th, 2020

January 2nd, 2020

Roger Brown, Runaway, (1968), via Venus Over Manhattan
Roger Brown, Runaway (1968), via Venus Over Manhattan

Counted among the ranks of the Chicago Imagists, Roger Brown possessed a unique sense of figuration and composition. Celebrated for their use of imagery, figuration, narrative, and patterning, this group of artists pulled from idiosyncratic sources to produce deeply personal and visually diverse work, shirking the cool, stylistic orthodoxies that dominated on the coasts in favor of a fluid, colorful style that mixed together disparate styles and techniques. Read More »

New York – Francesco Clemente: “India” at Vito Schnabel Projects

December 30th, 2019

Francesco Clemente, India I (2019), via Vito Schnabel Projects
Francesco Clemente, India I (2019), via Vito Schnabel Projects

Artist Francesco Clemente opens a show of work at Vito Schnabel’s New York exhibition space, highlighting the artist’s famed nomadism and his embrace of varied geographies spread over the full expanse of the globe. Moving between Italy, the United States, India and elsewhere, Clemente has long embraced the practice of moving across sites, and allowing his aesthetic interests it follows. Clemente’s work traverses time and recorded history to probe the mysteries, ecstasies, incongruities, and, ultimately, the gravitas of the human condition, working through the metaphysics of spirituality, mysticism, identity, and the self, too render a body of work in a variety of mediums that is often charged with eroticism and intimacy, rich in references, and expansive in its openness to interpretation. Read More »

New York – Matthew Wong: “Blue” at Karma Through January 5th, 2020

December 27th, 2019

Matthew Wong, Starry Night (2019), via Karma
Matthew Wong, Starry Night (2019), via Karma

Passing away at the untimely age of 35, artist Matthew Wong left behind an impressive body of painted canvases, pieces that moved through a dynamic and compelling emotional range exploring light and shadow, space and bodies as shifting value systems rarely lingering in easy relief for any prolonged period. Opening just a few weeks after the artist’s passing, his current exhibition at Karma, Blue, continues this practice.

Matthew Wong, Blue (Installation View), via Karma
Matthew Wong, Blue (Installation View), via Karma

Wong casts the landscapes and interiors of his exhibition under the glowing spaces between light and shadow, the transitional states where light passes to dark, and day might fade slowly into the early hours of night. The works here, dusky and nocturnal, were intended as the coda, or sundown, to a previous series of day-lit oil and gouache paintings, exploring a watery, fluid treatment of both space and the light that bounds it. Delving in particular into the color blue, Wong was primarily fascinated with the idea of the color as a fluid ground upon which light and space could play out.

Matthew Wong, Solitude (2018), via Karma
Matthew Wong, Solitude (2018), via Karma

Matthew Wong, Blue (Installation View), via Karma
Matthew Wong, Blue (Installation View), via Karma

Wong concerned himself with the “blueness of blue”: its fluidity, its affect, and its uncanny ability to “activate nostalgia, both personal and collective,” according to the show’s press release, and his interest in subject matter that drifts into the personal sphere is underscored by the scenes themselves. Meditative and bucolic, they move between improvisation and memory, taking on characteristics where space and time are just as hazy as the light that floats into the picture plane. The images here were witnessed in Sicily, often on walks while traveling with his mother, the result being a time frame in which the artist both looks back on his past, and seems to delve into it more deeply to seek out elements and ideas either initially hidden, or emergent with the inclusion of new sensations. Wong’s rendering of light is dappled, corpuscular: a contrast to the smooth gradations of his interiors, and occasionally feature spotlights, cascading from a door or window left ajar. These moments and symbols, often implying a space just out of site, contributes to the allure and mystery of these works, and the sense of sadness that seeps forth when considering a talent gone too early.

The show closes January 5th.

Matthew Wong, Autumn Nocturne (2018), via Karma
Matthew Wong, Autumn Nocturne (2018), via Karma

— D. Creahan

Read more:
Matthew Wong: “Blue” at Karma [Exhibition Site]

London – Mark Bradford: “Cerberus” at Hauser and Wirth Through December 21st, 2019

December 19th, 2019

Mark Bradford, Sapphire Blue(2019), via Hauser & Wirth
Mark Bradford, Sapphire Blue (2019), via Hauser & Wirth

Cerberus, Mark Bradford’s first exhibition at Hauser & Wirth in London extends across the gallery’s spaces in the city, compiling a range of works including film, new paintings and sculptural work, often moving between each format, the show sees Bradford returning to ancient mythology, a consistent source of inspiration for the artist. Engaging in particular with the many headed dog guarding the entryway to Hades, Cerberus, Bradford’s show marks an engaged and intriguing investigation of conflict and healing, trauma and time through works that negotiate states in the same way that the multi-headed creature stands between hell and the mortal realm.

Mark Bradford, Dancing in the Street (2019), via Hauser & Wirth
Mark Bradford, Dancing in the Street (2019), via Hauser & Wirth

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New York – Brice Marden: “It reminds me of something, and I don’t know what it is” at Gagosian Through December 21st, 2019

December 17th, 2019

Brice Marden, Elevation (2018-2019), via Gagosian
Brice Marden, Elevation (2018-2019), via Gagosian

On view at Gagosian’s uptown exhibition space, artist Brice Marden has compiled a selection of pieces that continue his investigations of the languages of modernity, and the histories of abstraction that have informed his work over the past few decades. Marking in particular a continuation of his “Letter” series, the works on view incorporate networks of calligraphic lines and strokes, woven through fields of color and tone. Read More »

New York – Peter Halley: “Heterotopia II” at Green Naftali Through December 20th, 2019

December 16th, 2019

Peter Halley, Helicon (2019), via Greene Naftali
Peter Halley, Helicon (2019), via Greene Naftali

Working across a range of media over the course of his career, including painting, architectural installation, digital prints, and critical writing, artist Peter Halley has strived to illuminate the structures of social space and communication that shape our experience of contemporary life. Opening his second solo exhibition with Greene Naftali this fall, Halley is presenting Heterotopia II, an ambitious large-scale installation that explores relationships between painting and architectural space. Read More »

New York – Nairy Baghramian & Janette Laverrière: “Work Desk for an Ambassador’s Wife” at Marian Goodman Through December 20th, 2019

December 15th, 2019

Janette Laverrière and Nairy Baghramian, Seating Platform Eyebrow (2009), via Marian Goodman
Janette Laverrière and Nairy Baghramian, Seating Platform Eyebrow (2009), via Marian Goodman

In some ways a celebration of the life and work of Janette Laverrière, Marian Goodman is currently hosting an exhibition of works at its New York gallery space that combines the designer’s ideas with that of Nairy Baghramian’s, centering the show on a collaborative project that the two worked on before Laverrièr’s death in 2011. Presenting sketches, drawings and maquettes of Baghramian’s works from 1999 to the present that were never intended to be realized, the show is an intriguing portrait of collaboration and friendship. Read More »

Los Angeles – Kiko Kostadinov: “OTTO 95.8″ at Morán Morán Through December 21st, 2019

December 12th, 2019

Kiko Kostadinov, OTTO 95.8 (Installation View), via Art Observed
Kiko Kostadinov, OTTO 95.8 (Installation View), via Moran Moran

Currently on view at Los Angeles’s Morán Morán, London-based, Bulgarian designer Kiko Kostadinov presents a series of works unified under the title OTTO 95.8. Kostadinov’s practice, inspired by everyday uniforms and utilitarian work wear, includes objects that he creates to run parallel to his design work. Incorporating readymade and functional items, the compound constructions in this exhibition illustrate Kostadinov’s attraction to alien rather than familiar elements, a recurring theme informing every aspect of his practice.  Read More »

AO On-Site – Miami: NADA Miami at Ice Palace Studios, December 5th – 8th, 2019

December 7th, 2019

Raque Ford at Martos Gallery, via Art Observed
Raque Ford at Martos Gallery, via Art Observed

Art Week Miami is underway, and the city itself seems to have slowly built its own counterpoint to the sprawling complex of fairs across Biscayne Bay at the Miami Beach Convention Center.  While Miami Beach continues to draw massive crowds of both buyers and visitors, its luxe appointments have long found a compelling counterpoint at NADA Miami, set up inside the Ice Palace Film Studios, where the focus is on showcasing new art and to celebrating the rising talents from around the globe. Exploring new or underexposed art that is not typical of the “art establishment,” by their words, NADA Miami is also the one of the only major American art fairs to be produced by a non-profit organization, and is recognized as a much needed alternative assembly of the world’s youngest and strongest art galleries dealing with emerging contemporary art.

Anneke Russden at Galerie Tatjana Peters, via Art Observed
Anneke Russden at Galerie Tatjana Peters, via Art Observed

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