Global contemporary art events and news observed from New York City. Suggestion? Email us.
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Marian Goodman Awarded Leo Award by ICI

June 30th, 2016

Marian Goodman, via ICIMarian Goodman has been awarded the 2016 Leo Award by Independent Curators International, honoring her “groundbreaking support of contemporary art.”  “Last year, ICI marked its 40th anniversary, a milestone that Marian Goodman Gallery will celebrate just a year from now,” said Renaud Proch, ICI’s Executive Director. “Today, we’re proud to honor Marian Goodman for her steadfast support of so many of the artists who move us, impact society, and help us make sense of the world in which we live.” 
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Spanish Court Rules Against Dalí Foundation Protection of Artist’s Image

June 30th, 2016

Salvador Dali, via Art NewspaperThe Spanish Civil Court has ruled that the Salvador Dalí Foundation has no legal standing to protect the artist’s image, the Art Newspaper reports.  The decision backs up previous decisions in Spanish courts, which found that the foundation did not have grounds to defend the artist’s image rights.
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Artists Pension Trust Makes First Payments Following Private Sale

June 30th, 2016

Mark Bradford, Building The Big White Whale (2012), via PhillipsThe Artist Pension Trust, a mutual fund founded on and maintained with the donations of a group of artists including Mark Bradford, Nina Beier, Daniel Arsham, and Rob Pruitt, among others, has made its first payout, following a $452,085 private sale of works from its collection.
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New Athens Cultural Center Remains Shuttered in Wake of Country’s Financial Problems

June 30th, 2016

Athens Cultural Centre, via the guardianThe Guardian takes a tour of the recently completed but still unopened Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens, which has been forced to remain shuttered during Greece’s fiscal woes.  “In difficult moments like this, you need hope,” says Renzo Piano, who designed the space. “Making a good building is an important civic gesture. It makes you believe in a better world.”
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RIP – Fluxus Pioneer Ben Patterson at the Age of 82

June 30th, 2016

Ben Patterson, via Art News
Ben Patterson, via Art News

Ben Patterson, an early Fluxus member, musician and composer, has passed away at the age of 82 at his home in Wiesbaden, Germany.  
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Thaddaeus Ropac Committed to London Space Post-Brexit

June 30th, 2016

Tony Cragg, Sculptures (Installation View), via Thaddaeus RopacThaddaeus Ropac has committed himself to a an exhibition space in the London neighborhood of Mayfair, following concerns over the loss of businesses after the Brexit.  “However bad [the Brexit situation] is, London is the quintessential centre of the art world, I am absolutely committed to it,” Ropac says.
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Philadelphia Museum of Art Receives Major Gift of Contemporary Works

June 30th, 2016

Philadelphia Museum of Art, via NewsworksThe Philadelphia Museum of Art has received a major gift of contemporary work from the collection of Keith and Katherine Sachs, currently on view at the institution.  “One day, I had one important work by Robert Gober to work with, the following day I had six,” says curator Carlos Basualdo. “This allows you to tell more interesting stories, and more stories in general.”
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22-Year Old Collector Michael Xufu Wang Profiled in W Magazine

June 29th, 2016

Michale Xufu Wang, via W MagazineW Magazine profiles 22-year old collector Michael Xufu Huang, a co-founder of Beijing’s private M Woods museum, as he finishes school and continues his work in building out his collection.  “In the beginning, you buy with your ears,” he says. “You get really excited when people sell you stuff. Now, I’m very careful.”
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New York Times Explores Intersections of Social Unrest in Lahore, Pakistan’s Art World

June 29th, 2016

Imran Quereshi, via NYTThe New York Times reports from the arts community in Lahore, Pakistan, charting the violence and unrest that has come to factor heavily in the work of those educated at the city’s National College of Arts.  “The confusion is a kind of blessing because there is no consensus,” says artist Quddus Mirza. “India has this thing about Indianness. Here, there is no identity.”  
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NYC ID Program Sees 400,000 New Museum Memberships

June 29th, 2016

Visitors at MoMA, via WSJThe WSJ reports on the success of New York City’s new ID program, which has resulted in 400,000 new yearlong memberships to major city arts institutions, a point that also sees these institutions engaging with communities they had long sought out but struggled to connect with.  “It’s not just an issue of how many people are going to buy memberships. It’s how many people are going to retain a relationship to the institution,” says the city’s  Cultural Affairs Commissioner, Tom Finkelpearl.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

New York – Martin Creed: ‘The Back Door’ at Park Avenue Armory Through August 7th, 2016

June 18th, 2016

Martin Creed, Work No. 2721: Shutters Opening and Closing (2016), via Art Observed
Martin Creed, Work No. 2721: Shutters Opening and Closing (2016), via Art Observed

The long-awaited Martin Creed retrospective at the Park Avenue Armory has opened its doors, bringing an almost exhaustive survey of the artist’s work to New York for one of the summer’s more peculiar, and ultimately, more striking exhibitions.  Pulling from the artist’s 20+ year career, the exhibition offers a fascinating and adventurous exhibition, that asks as much from the viewer as it presents, allowing free-roaming exploration and rewarding it with a range of shocks and surprises.

Martin Creed, Work No. 548 (2006), via Art Observed
Martin Creed, Work No. 548 (2006), via Art Observed

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New York- Meg Webster on view at Paula Cooper Gallery through June 24, 2016

June 17th, 2016

Meg Webster, Solar Grow Room (2016), via Paula Cooper Gallery
Meg Webster, Solar Grow Room (2016), via Paula Cooper Gallery

Currently on view at Paula Cooper’s West 21st Street space, Meg Webster is currently presenting a selection of new works, continuing her focus on sculptural works that encourage viewer participation while engaging subtly with the space around it.  In Chelsea, Webster has injected the pristine gallery with natural elements, fostering a deeper sensory examination of the spatial and relational interactions among viewers and the space they pass through, in turn revealing the always-existing power and beauty of nature through the individual’s relationship with it, and within it. Read More »

New York – Bernard Frize: “Dawn Comes Up So Young” at Galerie Perrotin Through June 18th, 2016

June 16th, 2016

Bernard Frize, Navia (2016), all photos via Art Observed
Bernard Frize, Navia (2016), all photos via Art Observed

The work of Bernard Frize is something of a painterly exercise in contradictions, playing with sensations of an endless void against dualities of hindrance and motion, creating complex dialogues over the surface of the canvas.  Lustrous veils of color plunge to the edge of the frame, highlighting its periphery in a vibrant glow. Voluminous swirls and blends of color challenge the often opaque surfaces with deeper dimensions, hints of infinite planes of white or black beneath its surface, that offer his pieces a sense of weight and depth far beyond their material capacities. Read More »

New York — Felix Gonzalez-Torres Is On View at Andrea Rosen Gallery Through June 18th, 2016

June 16th, 2016
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, "Untitled" (Portrait of Michael Jenkins) (1991), via Andrea Rosen

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, “Untitled” (Portrait of Michael Jenkins) (1991) Paint on wall Dimensions vary with installation


All photos courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation Photo: Pierre Le Hors

At Andrea Rosen Gallery, the first leg of a three-part exhibition commemorating the legacy of Felix Gonzalez-Torres concentrates on a single thread of the late artist’s expansive oeuvre.  Each one of his portraits—often times installed at their subjects’ residences—depicts a selected subject through a selection of important or trivial happenings loosely attached to the subject’s biography.  Placed on high ends of the gallery walls, right before ceilings begin, the portraits complicate hierarchies between climaxes and details in one’s lifespan, while challenging the methods of displaying art.  Curated by Julie Ault and Roni Horn, this current installment is set to continue with exhibitions at Massimo De Carlo in Milan and Hauser & Wirth in London this month, weaving an intercontinental dialogue through other prominent threads in the Cuban-born artist’s body of work. Read More »

AO On-Site – Basel: LISTE Art Fair at Kulturbeiz Through June 19th, 2016

June 15th, 2016

Sam Pulitzer, Untitled (2012), via Andrea Nguyen for Art Observed
Sam Pulitzer, Untitled (2012), via Andrea Nguyen for Art Observed

Offering a more focused counterpoint to the impressive sprawl of the Art Basel fair nearby, the LISTE Art Fair has also opened its doors for its 20th anniversary edition, bringing trademark selection of smaller galleries, curatorial projects, and a more relaxed, familiar atmosphere to the bustle of Fair Week in Basel, Switzerland.  Having opened its doors to VIPs this Monday, LISTE has already drawn impressive praise and attention for its offering this year. Read More »

Basel – AO On-Site: Art Basel Art Fair, June 16th – 19th, 2016

June 14th, 2016

Art Basel, via Andrea Nguyen for Art Observed
Art Basel, via Andrea Nguyen for Art Observed

The doors have opened on the 46th edition of the annual Art Basel fair in Switzerland, marking another flagship entry in the ever-growing fair’s yearly calendar of events.  Capping its first round of early previews today, the fair, which opens to the public on June 16th, has put forward a well-balanced event this year, mixing historical perspective with a series of eye-popping installs and strong selections.

Ai Weiwei, White House (2015), via Andrea Nguyen for Art Observed
Ai Weiwei, White House (2015), via Andrea Nguyen for Art Observed

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AO Preview – Basel: Art Basel Week Through June 19th, 2016

June 13th, 2016

Kevin Beasley, Untitled (Shrink) (2016), via Casey Kaplan
Kevin Beasley, Untitled (Shrink) (2016), via Casey Kaplan

As summer gets into full swing, the art world once again flocks to the Swiss city of Basel for the flagship entry of the Art Basel fair, which once again sets up shop at the expansive Messe Basel, near the banks of the Rhine.  This year’s edition continues the event’s reputation for capitalizing on the space and scale afforded it in the Messe’s impressive exhibition halls, bringing 280 galleries from around the globe, and showing over 4,000 artists inside its spacious confines. Read More »

New York – Jasper Johns: “Monotypes” at Matthew Marks Gallery Through June 25th, 2016

June 13th, 2016

Jasper Johns, Untitled (2014), via Art Observed
Jasper Johns, Untitled (2014), via Art Observed

Spanning the last thirty years of his career, Jasper Johns’s monotypes make up a fascinatingly diverse, unique body of works, one that forms something of a microcosm for the rest of the artist’s body of work.  Themes appearing throughout Johns’s career; jagged minimalism, number systems, and the incorporation of the art historical into various structures of subversion or reinterpretation, are presented again through a selection of etched prints across a wide variety of hues, subjects and approaches.  This body of work is the subject of the artist’s current exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery, following his continued exploration of the monotype as an expressive and diversely capable medium from 1983 to the present day.

Jasper Johns, Untitled (2015), via Art Observed
Jasper Johns, Untitled (2015), via Art Observed

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London – The Serpentine Pavilion Architectural Commission in Kensington Gardens

June 12th, 2016

Bjarke Ingels Group Serpentine Pavilion, via Serpentine Galleries
Bjarke Ingels Group Serpentine Pavilion, via Serpentine Galleries

The annual Serpentine Galleries pavilion commission is a rare architectural project predicated on immediate and widespread public use while also encouraging formal inventiveness to the furthest possible degree.  Each year’s works, laid out on the grounds of Kensington Gardens, function as a site for talks, performances and other events, while also as a showcase for some of the brightest talents in contemporary architecture. Read More »

New York — Stephen Prina: “galesburg, illinois+” at Petzel Gallery Through June 18th, 2016

June 12th, 2016

Stephen Prina, Carl Sandbug, Born: January 6, 1878, Galesburg, Illinois, Died: July 22, 1967, Flat Rock, North Carolina (2015)
Stephen Prina, Carl Sandbug, Born: January 6, 1878, Galesburg, Illinois, Died: July 22, 1967, Flat Rock, North Carolina (2015), all images via Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed

Stephen Prina’s eighth solo exhibition at Petzel Gallery pulls its audience into an ephemeral territory, where the fluidity of one’s memories engages with the tactile presence of objects.  Through a highly introspective narrative, the exhibition pays homage to Prina’s hometown of Galesburg, a small city in Illinois where the artist grew up.  Currently based in Los Angeles and Cambridge, Prina elaborates on the act of remembering his home, while seeking creative stimuli in the mundane details of the day to day, to reach broader conclusions on the human condition and artistic endeavor.  The works on view are singular, autonomous artifacts, eventually converging in focus through Prina’s grand orchestration of converging narratives that twist the past through a contemporary lens.   Read More »