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


St. Petersburg – Manifesta 10 at The State Hermitage Museum Through October 31st, 2014

August 26th, 2014

Manifesto 10, Installation View
Manifesto 10, Installation View, all photos courtesy of Manifesto 10

Despite a steady stream of critiques, criticism and outright protest over the current political climate in Russia, Manifesta 10, one of Europe’s leading contemporary art biennials, has pressed on.  The exhibition, which opened late last month, has made much of its presence in Russia, presenting an exhibition that addresses its own political background while using it as a spring board to broader issues. Read More »

New York Times Posts Stop-Motion Video of Cindy Sherman Wigs

August 25th, 2014

A Cindy Sherman wig, shot by Leanne ShaptonThe New york Times has published an interesting video piece this week, a 24-second stop-motion piece showcasing 156 wigs used by Cindy Sherman in her photographic work.  The wigs were shot in Sherman’s New York studio by Leanne Shapton.  Read More »

Hauser and Wirth Somerset Bodes Well for Somerset Town

August 25th, 2014

A Subodh Gupta sculpture at Hauser and Wirth Somerset, via Financial TimesThe Financial Times reports on the newly opened Hauser and Wirth location in the Somerset town of Bruton, and the anticipated boon the space may offer for the area’s arts community and real estate.  “Somerset is a large county but there are not many galleries exhibiting contemporary art,” says director Alice Workman. “So as well as the space being for the local community, we’re confident we’ll attract a national and international art-loving audience who will probably bring new custom to Bruton and have a positive impact on the local economy.” Read More »

New York Times Takes a Hard Look at Art Market Valuations

August 25th, 2014

Sotheby's New York, via NYTThe New York Times continues its thorough investigations into the contemporary art and auction markets, noting struggling stock prices for Sotheby’s and mammoth Chinese auction house Poly Culture Group Corporation, and the statistical dissonances in the claims of auction houses trumpeting a new golden age for the market.  “There’s a feeling among financial analysts that the valuations of art-related companies are peaking,” says Fabian Bocart of Tutela Capital. “These valuations are based on expected volumes at auction. Very expensive items have almost no impact.” Read More »

Zuoz, Switzerland – Zhang Huan at Pace Chesa Büsin Through August 31st, 2014

August 25th, 2014

Zhang Huan, Shanxi Door No 49 (2206), via Pace
Zhang Huan, Shanxi Door No. 49 (2206), all images courtesy Pace Chesa Büsin

Pace Gallery has taken up space at Chesa Büsin in the Swiss town of Suoz this summer for a retrospective of works by Chinese artist Zhang Huan. Known for his especially visceral brand of performance art and his equally meticulous and exacting documentations, this exhibition primarily focuses on some of Zhang’s lesser known paintings, photography and works on paper. Read More »

New York – “Multiplicity” at Mixed Greens, NURTUREart and Invisible Exports through August 29th, 2014

August 24th, 2014

Erik Benson at NURTUREart, via Art Observed

Marking an ambitious exchange between three New York galleries this summer, the exhibition Multiplicity is currently spread across the city’s varied arts communities for a three part show exploring the intersections of meanings, behaviors and interpretations of urban life around the globe.  Taking up space at NURTUREart in Bushwick, the LES’s Invisible Exports and Mixed Greens in Chelsea, the exhibition culls work from artists in Tirana, Belfast, New Dehli, Tel Aviv, New York, and Hong Kong.   Read More »

London – Giulio Paolini: “To Be or Not To Be” at Whitechapel Gallery Through September 14th, 2014

August 24th, 2014

Giulio Paolini, Young Man Looking at Lorenzo Lotto (1967)
Giulio Paolini, Young Man Looking at Lorenzo Lotto (1967)

Arte Povera, meaning ‘poor art’ in Italian, contained a profound criticism towards commodification and consumeristic production. Among its key figures stands Giulio Paolini, who was invited to Arte Povera’s first exhibition by art historian Germano Celant.  But Paolini also occupies a separate position in terms of focusing on a noticeably historical examination of the artistic state in turn. Related to his critical approach towards production dynamics in art, Paolini on the other hand has been investigating the duality between the seer and the seen, questioning the exchange not only between the artwork and the viewer but also between the subject matter and the artist. Read More »

New York – “The Intuitionists” at The Drawing Center Through August 24th, 2014

August 23rd, 2014

Thomas Slaughter, Boy Scout Jack Knife (2014), all images courtesy of The Drawing Center
Thomas Slaughter, Boy Scout Jack Knife (2014), all images courtesy of The Drawing Center

On view at The Drawing Center in New York is a comprehensive group show including work by over 65 artists, curated by Lisa Sigal and organized by Heather Hart, Steffani Jemison, and Jina Valentine. Entitled The Intuitionists, the show explores themes and aesthetics of the database, and how collections of information “in flux” are organized.

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New York-”Hy-Fi” by The Living for the Young Architects Program at MoMA PS1 Through September 6th, 2014

August 23rd, 2014

Hy-Fi-by-The-Living-at-MoMA-PS1
The Living, Hy-Fi (2014), all photos by Kelly Lee for Art Observed

The 15th annual The Young Architects Program (YAP) has taken rise at MoMA and MoMA PS1, continuing the program’s reputation for innovative ideas that challenge the presentation and purpose of architectural structures for future environments, while embracing and promoting sustainable construction practices. The 2014 YAP winner is Hy-Fi, a unique, 100% organically biodegradable structure created by New York firm The Living.  The structure emerged as the final winner among five finalists in The Young Architects Program competition, starting from 25 candidates. Read More »

London – “Where Were You?” at Lisson Gallery Through August 23rd, 2014

August 22nd, 2014

Julia Rommel, Comedy Club (2014)
Julia Rommel, Comedy Club (2014), all images courtesy Lisson Gallery

Currently on view at Lisson Gallery in London is a group exhibition including paintings, prints, relief objects, and works on canvas from nine different artists, grouped together around a theme of seemingly minimal artistic intervention. Contrasting with the minimal nature of these works, the pieces often required a complex, long and contemplative processes that preceded the works’ final production.  Participating artists include: Allora & Calzadilla, Cory Arcangel, N. Dash, Robert Janitz, Paulo Monteiro, David Ostrowski, Michael Rey, Julia Rommel, and Dan Shaw-Town.

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Gwangju Biennial President Stepping Down After Censorship Criticisms

August 22nd, 2014

Lee Yong-woo, via Biennial FoundationLee Yong-woo, President of Korea’s Gwangju Biennial and one of the exhibition’s founders, has resigned from his post after a painting by arist Hong Seong-dam, depicting Korean president Park Geun-hye attacked by victims of the MV Sewol disaster, was removed from an exhibition at the Gwangju Museum, causing a major uproar and the withdrawal of several artists from the show.  “I am taking full responsibility for what happened,” Yong-woo said. Read More »

Marlene Dumas Interviewed in New York Times

August 22nd, 2014

Marlene Dumas in her studio, via New York TimesMarlene Dumas is profiled in the New York Times this week as she prepares for a major career retrospective at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and reviews her ongoing investigations of history, painting and her take on her success as a female artist.  “It’s not that I don’t want to be known,” she says, but “I want the other women artists to do well, and then I’ll be pleased to do well.” Read More »

Rome Art Museum Plans Extension for Gagosian Gallery Loans

August 22nd, 2014

Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Roma Capitale, via Art NewspaperGalleria d’Arte Moderna di Roma Capitale, Rome’s contemporary and modern art museum, is planning a new extension of the institution, which will feature works exclusively on loan from its next door neighbor, the Gagosian Gallery.  The museum is also planning an outdoor exhibition space that will feature sculptures by artists like Jeff Koons and Franz West. Read More »

Berlin – Fischli/Weiss: “Eine Ansammlung Von Gegenständen” at Sprüth Magers Berlin Through August 30th, 2014

August 22nd, 2014

Fischli-Weiss, Installation View at Sprueth Magers, via Art Observed
Fischli/Weiss, Installation view of “Eine Ansammlung Von Gegenständen”, all photos via Emma Hazen forArt Observed

The ongoing collaboration of Swiss duo Peter Fischli and David Weiss has yielded countless material explorations: chain reactions and careful reproductions of various objects and spaces that introduce a momentary reflection on construction, industry and use.  But rarely have the artists’ objects taken on the state of historical document in the manner that they do in their most recent show at Sprüth Magers, turning back from their respective intentions to become historical documents of their own. Read More »

Hammer Museum Announces Biennial Prizes

August 21st, 2014

Hammer Museum, via Hammer MuseumThe Hammer Museum has announced the price winners for its “Made in LA” Biennial, which is running through Sept. 7, with the $100,000 Mohn Award going to Alice Könitz for her mobile exhibition platform The Los Angeles Museum of Art.  Other prizes were awarded to Michael Frimkess and Magdalena Suarez Frimkess (a lifetime achievement prize), and to Jennifer Moon, whose work was selected by popular vote. Read More »

German Artists Come to Terms with Consequences of Flag Installation at Brooklyn Bridge

August 21st, 2014

Matthias Wermke and Mischa Leinkauf above the Brooklyn Bridge, via The GuardianThe Guardian reports on the legal fallout surrounding the installation of two white flags on the Brooklyn Bridge by a pair of German artists.  Matthias Wermke and Mischa Leinkauf installed the flags a month ago, gaining considerable attention by both the NYPD and the national media before slipping out of the country several days later.  “We knew that the piece in all probability would prevent us from ever returning to the States,” Wermke and Leinkauf said in an email interview with the Guardian. “However, it always was clear that we would claim responsibility. From a legal standpoint it might not seem logical, but for us this is the very purpose of the piece. I must admit that it was a very hard decision to make.” Read More »

303 Gallery Readies First Solo Show for Kim Gordon

August 21st, 2014

Kim Gordon, via Art Info303 Gallery has announced plans for an exhibition of the work of former Sonic Youth frontwoman and longtime fine artist Kim Gordon, running into the summer of 2015.  Gordon was added to the gallery’s roster earlier this year, but installed work there in 2012 in collaboration with Karen Kilimnik. Read More »

MassMOCA to Undergo Massive Expansion Project

August 21st, 2014

MassMOCA, via NYTThe Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is preparing to undergo a major expansion project, doubling its North Adams, MA exhibition space to 260,000 square feet. “The expansion is unquestionably good for the region and the community; the challenge is to pull it off,” said Stephen C. Sheppard, director of nearby Williams College’s Center for Creative Community Development. “They will need to connect with people who share their vision and who’ll support it.” Read More »

Artist Istvan Kantor Arrested for Vandalism at Whitney

August 21st, 2014

Istvan Kantor after his vandalism at The Whitney, via ArtnetPerformance artist Istvan Kantor was arrested yesterday at the Whitney Museum‘s Jeff Koons exhibition, after he splashed his own blood on the wall of the space, and signed the name “Monty Cantsin” on the wall, a nom de plume for artists involved in the Canadian “Neoist” movement.  Kantor has a history of vandalizing major exhibitions, and was actually awarded a Governor General’s Award by the Canadian government for his work. Read More »

Monaco – Mickalene Thomas: “Femme au divan II” at École Supérieure d’Arts Plastiques Pavillon Bosio Through August 31st, 2014

August 21st, 2014

Mickalene Thomas, Portrait of Qusuquzah (2008) all images courtesy Galerie Nathalie Obadia and The Monaco Project for the Arts
Mickalene Thomas, Portrait of Qusuquzah (2008) all images courtesy Galerie Nathalie Obadia and The Monaco Project for the Arts

At the Pavillon Bosio at the École Supérieure d’Arts Plastiques in Monaco is a collection of paintings, a series of photographs, and a new video by American artist Mickalene Thomas. Entitled Femme au divan II, the exhibition will remain on view through August 31st, and includes a series of photographs and paintings incorporating Thomas’s fascination with various time periods and perspectives on female African-American identity.

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Paris – Lucio Fontana: Retrospective at Museum D’Art Moderne Through August 24th, 2014

August 20th, 2014

Lucio Fontana, Scultura astratta (1934), all images courtesy Museum d'Art Moderne
Lucio Fontana, Scultura astratta (1934), all images courtesy Museum d’Art Moderne

On view at Museum D’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris is an retrospective exhibition of Italian painter Lucio Fontana, who was known as one of the the primary founders of Spatialism, and was long known for his association with the Arte Povera movement. The exhibition will continue through August 24th. Read More »

Cologne – Robert Irwin at Galerie Thomas Zander Through August 23rd, 2014

August 19th, 2014

Robert Irwin, #3 x 6’D Four Fold (2013-14)
Robert Irwin, #3 x 6’D Four Fold (2013-14)

Galerie Thomas Zander in Cologne is currently presenting seven new works by California Light and Space pioneer Robert Irwin, which use direct and generated light as the source medium to deliver a subtle yet striking aura inside the gallery space.  As is common in Irwin’s practice, the artist specially designed the pieces on view to work in tandem with the architecture of the gallery, making the harmony of their glowing light with the space surrounding them all the more vivid and charged.  Each work contains vertical fluorescent tubes in varying colors, effectively deconstructing the borders of art making and its dimensions in terms of suggesting unconventional layers in the frame of an artwork. Read More »

Ronald Perelman Files Subpoena Against Larry Gagosian in Ongoing Lawsuit

August 19th, 2014

Ron PerelmanThe lawsuit between Ronald Perelman and Larry Gagosian is still underway, with Perelman launching a subpoena demanding information on Gagosian’s previous deals with Columbian collector José Mugrabi.  Perelman maintains that the work in question, a Cy Twombly allegedly sold to Mugrabi before Perelman bought it for $10.5 million, was part of a scheme to manipulate the price, while Gagosian is also charging that he lost money on the deal. Read More »

Whitney Museum to Open Mondays in September for Koons Retrospective

August 19th, 2014

Play-Doh-by-Jeff-Koons-at-The-WhitneyThe Whitney Museum will keep its doors open on Mondays next month, providing visitors an extra day to visit the vast Jeff Koons retrospective before the institution closes its uptown space for its move to the Meatpacking District.  The new hours are in effect until the exhibition closes on October 19th. Read More »