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


FIAC Los Angeles Pushed to 2016

November 18th, 2014

LA Convention CenterThe inaugural Los Angeles edition of Paris’s FIAC art fair has been pushed back to 2016 in an effort to give galleries more time to prepare for the event.  “FIAC has listened to the recommendations of its participants to modify the launch of its Los Angeles endeavor to provide both organizers and galleries sufficient time for optimal preparation,” the organization said in a statement. Read More »

Mass MOCA Announces Ambitious Exhibition Plan for Renovated Space

November 18th, 2014

MassMOCA, via NYTMass MOCA has announced a series of important collaborations with James Turrell, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Laurie Anderson and Jenny Holzer, among others, each of which will be included in the museum’s newly constructed exhibition spaces, which will be completed in 2017.  “We’re teaming up with people who have great bodies of artworks that we are hosting,” says Director Joseph C. Thompson. Read More »

Christian Jankowski to Curate Manifesta 11

November 18th, 2014

Christian Jankowski, via ManifestaManifesta 11, held in Zurich in 2016, has announced Christian Jankowski its lead curator, the first time an artist has been invited to fill the role.  “Jankowski will investigate the whole array of art’s authorship, its production and its reflection on Zurich’s professional landscape,” says Director Hedwig Fijen. “In doing so, Manifesta 11’s Chief Curator approaches the complex identities of the city in an unexpected way, reaching out to audiences beyond the inner circle of contemporary art biennials.” Read More »

Los Angeles – Sam Durant: “Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington D.C.” at Los Angeles County Museum of Art Through November 30th, 2014

November 18th, 2014

Sam Durant, Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington D.C, (2005), via LACMA
Sam Durant, Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington D.C. (2005), via LACMA

After its entry to LACMA’s permanent collection in 2013, Sam Durant’s Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington D.C. is on view for the first time at its permanent home.  Durant has always been strongly tied to the historical and social dynamics in America, and the artist’s ongoing work with the flux of history and spatial politics perhaps reached an apex with this installation. Read More »

New York: “Puddle, Pothole, Portal” Curated by Ruba Katrib and Camille Henrot at SculptureCenter Through January 5th, 2015

November 17th, 2014

Mick Peter
Mick Peter, all photos via Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

The newly re-opened SculptureCenter in Long Island City has earned a reputation for forward-thinking exhibitions and thematic concerns, opening new dialogues between the constructed, three-dimensional object and its related artistic formats.  It’s perhaps highly fitting then, that the exhibition space’s newest show, and its first since its impressive renovation, would focus specifically on these links of space and form. Read More »

London: Richard Serra “Drawing” at Gagosian Gallery Davies Street Through November 22nd, 2014 and “Backdoor Pipeline, Ramble, Dead Load, London Cross” at Gagosian Britannia Street Through February 28th, 2015

November 16th, 2014

Richard Serra, Dead Load (2014), via Art Observed
Richard Serra, Dead Load (2014), via Art Observed

Richard Serra has had a strong showing in the past months.  The 74-year old artist closed out a pair of wildly praised exhibitions at Gagosian New York late last year, and followed it up with a lifetime achievement award this year from Americans for the Arts.  The New York-based artist is bringing a series of new works to Gagosian’s London locations on Davies Street and Britannia Street, offering a concise look at the artist’s current aesthetic interests. Read More »

Resolution in MoCa NoMi Split Sees Permanent Collection Divided

November 15th, 2014

Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, via MOCA North MiamiThe ongoing dispute between the city of North Miami and MOCANoMi has finally been resolved, with the museum giving a small percentage of its permanent collection to the departed board members, who have since founded a new museum called the Institute of Contemporary Art.  “Our focus is that MOCA shall remain an internationally recognized force in contemporary art while continuing to have a profound impact in our community,” says Mayor Philippe Bien-Aime. Read More »

New York – El Anatsui: “Trains of Thought” at Jack Shainman Gallery Through November 15th, 2014

November 15th, 2014

El Anatsui, Yet Another Place (2014)
El Anatsui, Yet Another Place (2014)

Building himself a uniquely personal technique in which he reforms cast-away materials such as bottle caps and copper wire, El Anatsui has been orchestrating works that go against the definitions of any singular medium and dimension.  Standing between a vague figuration and an expressive abstraction of bright colors, the artist’s constructions from discarded materials resist to classification in any one form as sculpture, installation or painting. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Phillips Contemporary Evening Sale, November 13th, 2014

November 14th, 2014

Frank Stella, Concentric Square (1966), via Phillips
Frank Stella, Concentric Square (1966), via Phillips

The Phillips Contemporary Evening Sale concluded Thursday evening, capping off the fall auction season with a staid, relatively stable performance.  While the sale lacked some of the flair and fireworks of the proceeding evening at Christie’s, a number of notable sales defined the evening, as the auction house achieved a final tally of $52 million, with 8 of the 47 lots on offer failing to sell. Read More »

Mickalene Thomas Streams Short Video on Nowness

November 14th, 2014

Mickalene Thomas's Mother, via NownessMickalene Thomas is on Nowness this week, talking about her recent film profiling the life of her late moth, Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman.   “It allowed me to look at her not only as a subject—as my muse—but as a person. I really tried to understand her world, her own sexuality and femininity and beauty,” Thomas says. Read More »

New Museum Announces Artists for 2015 Triennial

November 14th, 2014

New Museum, via The New MuseumThe New Museum has announced the list of artists for its 2015 Triennial, Surround Audience, which will be curated by Lauren Cornell and artist Ryan Trecartin.  The exhibition will include work by DIS, Casey Jane Ellison (who will be filming her web series Touching the Art at the museum), and Ed Atkins, among others.  According to the press release, Surround Audience “explores how artists are currently depicting subjectivity, unpacking complex systems of power, and claiming sites of artistic agency.” Read More »

Contemporary and Modern Auctions Totaled $1.78 Billion Over Two Week Span

November 14th, 2014

Christie's, via ForbesAn article in Forbes traces the conclusion of the modern and contemporary art auctions over the past two weeks, and places the overall sales during the two series of sales at an unprecedented $1.78 billion.  “We’ve seen a trend over the last few years where clients are going into hard assets, from real estate to art, which is a neutral currency,” says Citi Bank head of art advisory and finance, Suzanne Gyorgy.  “We continue to see U.S. collectors discretely buying at a high level.” Read More »

London – Tracey Emin: “The Last Great Adventure is You” at White Cube Bermondsey, through November 16th 2014

November 13th, 2014


Tracey Emin, Good Body (2014), all images courtesy White Cube Bermondsey
Tracey Emin, Good Body (2014), all images courtesy White Cube Bermondsey

On view at White Cube Bermondsey, London is a new exhibition by English artist (and YBA member) Tracey Emin. Entitled The Last Great Adventure is You, the show will be her first at White Cube in five years, and will remain on view through November 16th.

Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: “Christie’s Contemporary Evening Sale, November 12th, 2014

November 13th, 2014

Andy Warhol, Triple Elvis [Ferus Type] (1963), via Christie's
Andy Warhol, Triple Elvis [Ferus Type] (1963), via Christie’s

The market has a new world auction record after Christie’s monumental sale last night in New York, an $852.9 million benchmark that saw 92% of the works find buyers, and 69 of the 75 works on sale exceed $1 million in its final sales total.  Capitalizing on a remarkably strong selection of works and an eager buying pool, the auction saw a number of impressive figures reached, as well as several artist records fall. Read More »

Young Dealer Operating Gallery Out of Chinatown Button Shop

November 12th, 2014

Amy Li at her Father's Button Shop Art Gallery, via WSJThe Wall Street Journal writes on the Chinatown gallery operated by young curator and art dealer Amy Li out of her father’s He Zhen Snap Button Co. Shop  “There are so many assumptions attached to the word ‘gallery,’” Li says. “This is just a space where I work as a curator and art dealer.  I didn’t know anyone who could introduce me to a job opening.  That’s why I continue to do this.” Read More »

Frick Expansion Challenged Over Potential Destruction of Landmark Garden

November 12th, 2014

The Frick Collection Garden, via NYTThe Frick Museum’s proposed expansion plan has met with a new challenge by opposing forces, this time from a group called Unite to Save the Frick which is citing a 1973 agreement by the museum not to alter a garden designed by celebrated landscape architect Russell Page.  This same garden would be demolished in the new expansion, giving the protesting party a stronger case.  “It would have to be taken very, very seriously, because there is no qualitative need for this expansion,” said Roberta Brandes Gratz, a former panel member with the Landmarks Preservation Commission. “This is not really necessary for exhibition purposes. Given that, the permanence issue will be more important.” Read More »

Los Angeles – Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin at Regen Projects Through November 16th, 2014

November 11th, 2014

Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, Still from untitled work in progress  (2014), via Regen Projects
Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, Still from untitled work in progress  (2014), via Regen Projects

Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch have enjoyed one of the more distinctive artistic collaborations in recent history, creating bizarre viewing platforms, caves, stadium seating and other eerily familiar arrangements in the service of immersive film-viewing environments, some of which is currently on view at the duo’s first exhibition at Regen Projects in Los Angeles.  Combining a set of Trecartin and Fitch’s bizarrely evocative sculptures with films and installations, the show welcomes a deep investigation into the pair’s practice, both as solo artists and in collaboration. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Sotheby’s Contemporary and Post-War Evening Sale, November 11th,2014

November 11th, 2014

Mark Rothko, No 21 (Red, Brown, Black and Orange) (1951), via Sotheby's
Mark Rothko, No. 21 (Red, Brown, Black and Orange) (1951), via Sotheby’s

Following a strong sale of works from the Mellon Collection last night, many were expecting Sotheby’s to continue with an exceptional start to the auction week, and given the strong offering the auction house had on view this past week at its York Avenue exhibition space, it was conceivable that it would bring forth a competitive sale.  However, a number of major passes and underwhelming bids during the sale left the auction house with what could best be classified as a moderate success with $343 million tally, as a number of records were set, while other works failed to live up to initial estimates. Read More »

Victoria and Albert Museum Prepare to Unveil Restored Cast of Michelangelo’s ‘David’

November 11th, 2014

MICHELANGELO'S DAVID UNVEILINGThe Victoria and Albert Museum is preparing to unveil a cast of Michelangelo’s David, which was given to Queen Victoria in 1857, after a lengthy restoration.  The 16-foot statue will go on view November 29th inside the the newly renovated Weston Cast Court.  Read More »

Steven A. Cohen Reportedly Buyer of $100 Million Giacometti

November 11th, 2014

Alberto Giacometti, Chariot (1951-52), via Art ObservedThe New York Times reports that hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen is the collector who purchased Alberto Giacometti’s Chariot last week at Sotheby’s for over $100 million.  “Steve is a very serious, very astute collector,’’ says dealer William Acquavella said. “He also has just the right instincts, ones that can’t be learned from reading art history books.’’ Read More »

Center548 Sold to Real Estate Firm, Galleries Asked to Leave

November 11th, 2014

Center548, via IndependentCenter548, the current home of Zach Feuer Gallery and the Independent Art Fair, as well as the former location for the Dia Foundation, has been purchased by Property Markets Group, a real-estate development group.  The galleries are seeking new exhibition space outside the building. Read More »

Wall Street Journal Profiles Xin Li, Christie’s Deputy Chair for Asia

November 11th, 2014

Xin Li, via WSJThe Wall Street Journal profiles the work of Xin Li, the former professional basketball player and model who has become Christie’s top resource in courting billionaire Asian collectors as its Deputy Chairman for the continent.  “I used to get up at 5 a.m. to go to play basketball in minus-30-degree weather,” Ms. Xin says during the interview. “I learned how to focus.” Read More »

AO Auction Preview – New York: Contemporary and Post-War Evening Sales November 11th-13th, 2014

November 11th, 2014

Andy Warhol, Triple Elvis [Ferus Type] (1963), via Christie's
Andy Warhol, Triple Elvis [Ferus Type] (1963), via Christie’s

The second week of fall auctions in New York is set to kick off this week, as a series of three sales at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips that will look to test the ongoing strength of the Contemporary and Post-War Markets.  With major works on sale at all three auction houses, the initial estimates are impressive.

Mark Rothko, No 21 (Red, Brown, Black and Orange) (1951), via Sotheby's
Mark Rothko, No. 21 (Red, Brown, Black and Orange) (1951), via Sotheby’s Read More »

Sotheby’s Expenses During Board Battle Total $20 Million

November 11th, 2014

Dan Loeb. via CNBCAn article on CNBC this week notes that the battle for control of Sotheby’s auction house against investor Dan Loeb cost the company upwards of $20 million in fees for legal defense and a $10 million reimbursement to Loeb for his own fees.  The full total in expenses makes up nearly half of the company’s net income during the time period. Read More »