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

Trump Budget Pushes for Cuts to NEA

March 19th, 2019

For the third time, President Trump’s proposed annual budget has pushed to cut funding to the NEA. “The Administration believes audiences and aficionados are better than the Government at deciding what art is good or important,” the budget states.
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City of Venice to Launch Official Arts District During Biennale

March 19th, 2019

At this year’s Venice Biennale, the island of Giudecca will launch an official Art District, including 11 art galleries and three national pavilions— Estonia, Iceland, and Nigeria. “The island of Giudecca has an incredible legacy as a platform for nurturing contemporary art and we are thrilled to placing all of its current galleries and future projects under one umbrella of Giudecca Art District,” says director Pierpaolo Scelsi. “We want to give Venice back to Venetians and art lovers around the world by creating one united art quarter that is a go-to destination for anyone visiting the city.”
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Met Admission Fees Help Fund $2.8 Million for Local Arts Orgs

March 19th, 2019

Thanks in part to The Met’s new admissions fees, New York’s Department of Cultural Affairs has been able to earmark $2.8 million to 175 arts organizations throughout the city.  “This agreement has allowed the Met to thrive while giving us a unique opportunity to increase cultural investment in our underserved communities—allowing us to support the diversity that makes our city great at no additional cost to taxpayers,” Mayor Bill de Blasio says.
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Sackler Trust Abandons $1.32 Million Donation to National Portrait Gallery

March 19th, 2019

Fearing protest, the Sackler Trust has abandoned a donation of $1.32 million to London’s National Portrait Gallery.  “It has become evident that recent reporting of allegations made against Sackler family members may cause this new donation to deflect the National Portrait Gallery from its important work,” a spokesperson says. “The allegations against family members are vigorously denied, but to avoid being a distraction for the NPG, we have decided not to proceed at this time with the donation. We continue to believe strongly in the gallery and the wonderful work it does.”
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LACMA Combines Departments for European and American Art

March 18th, 2019

LACMA has collapsed two major departments into one this year, combining its American and European holdings into a single department as part of director Michael Govan’s plan to gradually arrive at a more fluid museum structure, LA Times reports. 
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Lehmann Maupin to Open London Space

March 18th, 2019

Lehmann Maupin will open a new office and viewing room in London, with Isabella Kairis Icoz taking on the position of senior director. “Isabella is a longtime collaborator and important international perspective for the gallery,” says Rachel Lehmann. “She was key in identifying a London space which would suit our present needs, and where we will have the ability to showcase our program and explore a new phase of the business.”
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TEFAF Sees Sale of $12 Million Renoir

March 18th, 2019

A $12.5 million Renoir sold at TEFAF this week, marking one of the fair’s major sales during a strong week.  The fair’s first VIP preview drew 5,000 visitors, with many more expected in the nine days to come.
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Sotheby’s to Offer Monet Haystacks at May 14th Auction in NYC

March 15th, 2019

Sotheby’s will offer Claude Monet’s Meules from 1890 at its May 14th auction in New York, an impressive work carrying a $55 million estimate.  “It is a privilege to present one of Claude Monet’s defining Impressionist paintings in our Evening Sale this May,” says August Uribe, Sotheby’s head of Impressionist & Modern Art. “Monet’s Haystacks series has long served as an inspiration to countless artists since its creation in the early 1890s, and continues to inspire anyone who has viewed one of these canvases first hand.”
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LA Times Charts Klaus Biesenbach’s Love of MOCA Grand’s Architecture

March 15th, 2019

The LA Times has a piece on Klaus Biesenbach’s love affair with the architecture of the MOCA. “Everyone said, ‘Do you like the building?’ ” he says of his first notes on the beauty of the building. “I said, ‘This is such an important piece of architecture, we need to let it shine.’ ”
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Okwui Enwezor Dead at 55

March 15th, 2019

Curator Okwui Enwezor, the critically-precise, adventurous curator who up until recently served as the head of the Haus der Kunst in Germany, has passed away at the age of 55 after a long battle with cancer. “He was one of the leaders of, let’s call it, the free curatorial world—one of the people who believed in intelligence and scholarly research and passion and the power of the curatorial,” says Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the director of the Castello di Rivoli in Turin, Italy, and curator of Documenta 13 in 2012. 
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

New York – “God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin” at David Zwirner

February 17th, 2019


Marlene Dumas, James Baldwin (2014), all images via Art Observed

Delving into the life and work of the monumental American writer James Baldwin, Hilton Als has taken another turn as a curator at David Zwirner Gallery, mounting an exhibition that both explores and critiques the artist’s career, and his complicated relationship to the political landscape and social conflicts of the United States. The show, following up on Als’s exploration of the work of Alice Neel, is a nuanced review of Baldwin’s connections between Paris and New York and its diverse art scenes, in conjunction with his own aesthetic longings beyond that of his writing. Read More »

AO On-Site – Los Angeles: Felix Art Fair, February 14th – 17th, 2019

February 17th, 2019


Felix Art Fair, all images via Art Observed

For a city that has embraced its emergence onto the global arts stage in recent years, its still an impressive feat that Los Angeles’s first major market week would open with four well-curated and diverse events, perhaps even more impressive that each would manage to express such a unique vision and concept in relation to the broader fabric of the week.  From Frieze’s dynamic use of the Paramount Studios lots to SPRING/BREAK’s utilization of fruit stands downtown, the mixture of familiar forms in intriguing locales has helped define this whirlwind week in California.


Calvin Marcus at Clearing Read More »

AO On-Site – Los Angeles: SPRING/BREAK LA at The Stalls at Skylight ROW DTLA, February 15th – 17th, 2019

February 17th, 2019


Theo Triantafyllidis, Seamless (2017) at Transfer Gallery, all images via Art Observed

Opening up its own intriguing take on the landscape of Los Angeles and its ample supply of artists and galleries, SPRING/BREAK has brought its production to the City of Angels for the first time, launching a supplementary event that feels particularly resonant amid the hustle and bustle of Frieze week. Read More »

Junya Ishigami Wins 2019 Serpentine Pavilion Design Competition

February 15th, 2019

Junya Ishigami’s Pavilion Design

The design for the 2019 edition of the Serpentine Pavilion has been announced, with Japanese designer Junya Ishigami tapped to execute a light, illusory design appearing as if it was quite hefty and overpowering. “Possessing the weighty presence of slate roofs seen around the world, and simultaneously appearing so light it could blow away in the breeze, the cluster of scattered rock levitates, like a billowing piece of fabric,” his firm said in a statement. Read More »

AO On-Site – Los Angeles: Frieze Los Angeles at Paramount Studios, February 15th – 17th, 2019

February 15th, 2019


John Baldessari at Marian Goodman, all images via Art Observed

As Thursday draws to a close, and the sun sets over the Pacific, the Frieze Los Angeles Art Fair has wrapped its first day of operation, closing on a a particularly strong and visually striking event that lived up to the anticipation many had afforded it. Installed around the enigmatic environs of the Paramount aquatic tank, the fair’s installation structure and emphasis on its normal uses lent the event a flair that likely will rarely be matched among the highest levels of the contemporary fair circuit.  Its strange inclusion of a massive painted skyline against the rows of booths made for a captivating comment on the land of make-believe so many afford the city as a characteristic.


Frieze Los Angeles


Ken Price, L.A Bowl (1991) at Mathew Marks Read More »

AO On-Site – Los Angeles: Art Los Angeles Contemporary at Santa Monica Airport, February 13th – 17th, 2019

February 14th, 2019


Rachel Eulena Williams, Ceysson & Bénètière

Opening the week of art fairs in Los Angeles, the VIP preview for Art Los Angeles Contemporary has gotten underway at the Santa Monica Airport this evening.  The tenth edition of the fair continues its place as a site for established and emerging galleries from around the world, with a strong focus on the city’s own arts communities.  Outdating the Frieze art fair by a full decade, ALAC has long been a centerpiece in the landscape of Los Angeles’s contemporary arts scene.  Now, the fair seems to have taken on a more boutique stature among the increasingly fragmented landscape of the city’s fair offerings. Read More »

AO Preview – Los Angeles: Frieze Art Fair and LA Art Week, February 13th – 17th, 2019

February 11th, 2019


Wolfgang Tillmans, via Regen Projects

Taking a new spin on Art Week in the Californian metropolis, this week sees the inaugural edition of Frieze Los Angeles, a new fair opening under the sunny skies of the Golden State.  Setting up shop at Paramount Studios, this week will serve as something of a victory lap for a city whose contemporary arts offerings have exploded in past years, and which has taken on the role of a cultural capital for both artists and the galleries representing them.  

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New York – Charles Long: “Paradigm Lost” at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery Through February 9, 2019

February 9th, 2019

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Installation view. All images via Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.

New work by Charles Long, Paradigm Lost, is currently on view at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York through February 9. This exhibition brings together work that the artist has created over the past year,  continuing the artist’s “investigation of the forms scattered on the shore of modernism’s receding wave.”  For Long’s thirteenth solo exhibition with the gallery, the artist continues his long-standing exploration of the legacy and trajectory of modernism, pointing to the need to renegotiate and transcend its shortcomings. With reference to various figureheads of the 20th century, Paradigm Lost illustrates the casualties and excesses staged by the present moment’s patriarchal forbearers with nuance and play.
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Installation view. All images via Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.

As a resident of Mt. Baldy, California for over a decade, Long’s current work has been inspired by the deteriorating landscape, detritus and tree trunks, that he has encountered during his daily walks through this landscape. As trees die and other effects of climate change take hold, the village has become overrun with stumps and stacks of massive logs. For Long, the symbolic weight of this material resonates with the social and political consequences of the inheritance of patriarchy. In light of this, paradigm lost approaches Long’s role in these circumstances, taking into account his identity as a socially gendered being.

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Installation view. All images via Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.

In one work, Long replaced the concentric rings of a tree stump with a cross-section of the human penis. From this, a third association appeared. As the artist explains “The anatomical cross section oddly resembled a face or ancient mask that looked back at me with an expression of confusion or sorrow…The new works then spilled out from this tear in the fabric of my being in myriad images and forms of this open body, creating a mythological world, all of it bound of the sole motif derived from the anatomical cross section of the human male anatomy.”

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Installation view. All images via Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.

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Installation view. All images via Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.

Accordingly, Paradigm Lost seeks to offer a place to contemplate the “aftermath of a patriarchal apocalypse.” Though this collapse of the patriarchy is largely imagined in the space of the exhibition, the work therein seeks to create space to contemplate the effects and conditions that led to this hypothetical extinction. Long’s immersive exhibition creates space for mourning the planet, as well as the collapsing social and political systems that have failed, while remaining open to nuance and sardonic critique. Ultimately, the exhibition is a meditation on the future, hoping to set the stage for an unscripted performance that will usher in the new paradigm.

— A. Corrigan

Related Links:
Exhibition page [Tanya Bonakdar Gallery]

AO On-Site: Material Art Fair at Expo Reforma Through February 10th, 2019

February 7th, 2019


JPW3 at Marc LeBlanc

Offering a counter point to the big budget proceedings at Zona Maco across town, Material Art Fair has once again returned to the spacious halls of the Expo Reforma once again (the first time in the same location as a previous edition), opening its doors this Thursday to strong attendance and interest from collectors and attendees. Read More »

AO On-Site – Mexico City: Zona Maco Art Fair at Centro Banamex Through February 10th, 2019

February 6th, 2019


Simon Vega, Tropical Space Hostel (2019), via MAIA Contemporary

Zona Maco has opened for its 16th year, celebrating the milestone event today with the first day of its VIP preview, and a look at the stature of the fair in relation to the burgeoning artistic community in Mexico City.  Once again taking over the expanses of the Centro Banamex, Zona Maco opened on a sunny, warm Tuesday, a much-needed relief from the brittle cold that has swept over much of the northern US and parts of Europe in the past few weeks.

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