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

Nicholas Serota’s Impact on Tate Profiled in The Guardian

June 23rd, 2017

Nicholas Serota, via The GuardianThe Guardian charts Nicholas Serota’s impact on the Tate during his tenure as its leader, and the challenges the institution faces in the years ahead as it seeks to continue the momentum he created.  “Beginning to get the momentum going, to turn the battleship – that was the most difficult thing,” he says of his efforts.
Read More »

Albright-Knox Museum Embarks on Ambitious Expansion Plans

June 23rd, 2017

Albright Knox Expansion, via WIVBThe Albright-Knox in Buffalo has unveiled its major expansion plans, funded by a $42.5 million donation by billionaire Jeffrey Gundlach, which will see the museum expanding underground and out over its current sculpture garden. “At the present time we are able to show about 2.5 percent of our collection. We have hundreds of masterpieces literally in storage at all times, we are not able to share them with the public. A key question we have been challenging ourselves and our architects with is where should we build,” Janne Siren, director of the museum, said.
Read More »

Boulder Museum of Art Faces Major Staff Departure in Protest Over Working Conditions

June 23rd, 2017

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, via NYTThe Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art is scrambling after nearly its entire staff resigned this week in protest over working conditions, the New York Times reports.  “How many organizations expect employees to work for 10- to 12-hour shifts without even a single 15-minute break,” says Nora Lupi, the former visitor services and membership manager. “How many institutions expect someone who makes less than $14/hr to be on call 24/7 for operational, managerial and executive assistant demands?”
Read More »

UK Prepares to Digitize Publicly-Owned Sculpture

June 23rd, 2017

Manchester United, via Art NewspaperThe UK is preparing an online catalogue of its entire collection of publicly owned sculpture, the Art Newspaper reports.  The project will be headed up by Art UK, which led a similar effort in digitizing the nation’s collection of paintings in recent years.  The project is expected to be completed by 2020. 
Read More »

Investigator Arthur Brand Claims Some Isabella Stewart Gardner Heist Works May Be in Hands of Former IRA Members

June 22nd, 2017

Vermeer, via Daily MailArthur Brand, the Dutch private investigator working on locating works from the the Isabella Stewart Gardner heist has stated that he believes some works are in the hands of former IRA members, the Daily Mail reports, and is confident he can bring at least some of the works home. “Former IRA sources have told me or people that I know that there has been talk about these paintings for years within the IRA,” he says.  
Read More »

Report Notes Arts Funding Generates $166.3 billion in Revenue for US Businesses

June 22nd, 2017

Americans for the ArtsA report by non-profit group Americans for the Arts has figures claiming that the revenue generated nationwide by arts funding sits at $166.3 billion.  “Arts and cultural organizations are valued members of the business community. They employ people locally, purchase goods and services from within the community, are members of their Chambers of Commerce, and promote their regions,” the report reads.  
Read More »

New York Times Notes Issues in Installation of Jeff Koons’s Paris Bouquet

June 21st, 2017

jeff-koons-via-the-guardianThe New York Times writes on Jeff Koons’s bouquet of flowers sculpture for Paris, intended as a gift to the city in the wake of terrorist attacks, and on the strings attached to the gift that have complicated its installation process. “They presented this bouquet as a symbolic present to Paris, but then we realized it wasn’t exactly a present, since France had to pay to install it,” says art critic Isabel Pasquier. “Whether you appreciate his art or not, Jeff Koons is a businessman, and we quickly understood that he was offering Paris to himself as a present.”
Read More »

UK Lottery Sales Down £55 Million, Carrying Challenges for Arts Funding

June 21st, 2017

National Lottery, via Arts ProfessionalReports on a drop in UK lottery sales bodes poorly for arts funding in the country, as the total sales for the past year drop by £55 million.  “Given the current climate of economic uncertainty and increasing competition from the gambling sector, we expect 2017/18 to be equally, if not more, challenging for the National Lottery,” says Camelot (the UK Lottery operator) Chairman Jo Taylor.
Read More »

Kassel Planning Permanent Documenta Institute in Kassel

June 21st, 2017

Documenta, via Art NewspaperDocumenta is planning a permanent “Documenta Institute” in the city of Kassel, which will serve as a research center and events site.  The site is planned as a way to “keep alive the concept and experience of Documenta in the years between exhibitions,” according to a statement by the city. 
Read More »

Modigliani Catalogue Raisonné Expansion Planned

June 21st, 2017

Amedeo Modigliani, via Art NewspaperUS scholar Kenneth Wayne is preparing an addition to the Amedeo Modigliani catalogue raisonné.  The work will complement Ambrogio Ceroni’s catalogue raisonné, first published in 1958.  “We plan to publish a supplement to Ceroni by 2020 with around 50 works,” Wayne says.

Read More »


Berlin – Charline von Heyl at Capitain Petzel Through June 3rd, 2017

May 31st, 2017

Installation View. All images courtesy the artist and Capitain Petzel.

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.

Rememble (2016).

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.

Installation View.

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

Read more:
Exhibition Page [Capitain Petzel]


New York – Rodney Graham at 303 Gallery Through June 2nd, 2017

May 27th, 2017

Rodney Graham, Media Studies 77 (2017), via Art Observed
Rodney Graham, Media Studies ’77 (2017), via Art Observed

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. Read More »

London – Annette Messager: “Avec et sans raisons” at Marian Goodman Gallery Through May 27th, 2017

May 26th, 2017

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. Read More »

New York: Robert Therrien at Gagosian Gallery Through May 26th, 2017

May 24th, 2017

Robert Therrien, Transparent Room (2010), via Art Observed
Robert Therrien, Transparent Room (2010), via Art Observed

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.   Read More »

New York – Erwin Wurm: “Ethics demonstrated in geometrical order” at Lehmann Maupin Through May 26th, 2017

May 23rd, 2017

Erwin Wurm, Modernist Pickle (2016), via Art Observed
Erwin Wurm, Modernist Pickle (2016), via Art Observed

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. Read More »

Los Angeles – Jason Rhoades: “Installations, 1994 – 2006″ at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles Through May 21st, 2017

May 19th, 2017

Jason Rhoades, My Madinah. In pursuit of my ermitage... (2004), via Art Observed
Jason Rhoades, My Madinah. In pursuit of my ermitage… (2004), via Art Observed

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.   Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Phillips 20th Century and Contemporary Sale at Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Sale, May 18th, 2017

May 19th, 2017

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (1982), via Sotheby's
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (1982), via Sotheby’s

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. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Christie’s Post-War and Modern Evening Sale, May 17th, 2017

May 18th, 2017

Cy Twombly, Leda and the Swan (1962), via Christie's

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. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, May 16th, 2017

May 17th, 2017

Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition with Plane in Projection (1915), via Sotheby's
Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition with Plane in Projection (1915), via Sotheby’s

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. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, May 15th, 2017

May 16th, 2017

Contantin Brancusi, La Muse Endormie (1913), via Christie's
Contantin Brancusi, La Muse Endormie (1913), via Christie’s

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.  Read More »