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

Hauser & Wirth to Open Space in Hong Kong

September 22nd, 2017

Site of Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong, via Art NewsHauser & Wirth is opening a new exhibition space in Hong Kong, alongside offices in Shanghai and Beijing. “Our expansion into China marks the beginning of a new chapter for Hauser & Wirth,” gallery co-founder, Iwan Wirth says. “We have spent the past two years carefully researching the most appropriate ways to expand in these places, to become a fully present part of the art scene in China and engage meaningfully.”
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New York Times Looks at Basquiat’s Musical Tastes in Profile Piece

September 22nd, 2017

Jean-Michel Basquiat, via NYTAs the Barbican opens its Basquiat retrospective this month, the New York Times looks back on the artist’s enduring love for music, and the inspiration his paintings took from records by Curtis Mayfield, David Bowie, and more. “The main thing for us was having big speakers and a blasting stereo. That was the only furniture I purchased myself,” says his former girlfriend, Alexis Adler of their time living together. “Music was playing all the time.”
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John Houck Now Represented by Marianne Boesky

September 22nd, 2017

John Houck, via Art NewsArtist John Houck, whose hyper-dense photographs walk the line between photo and object, is now represented by Marianne Boesky. “John’s practice is such a beautiful combination of meticulous technique and creative play,” Marianne Boesky said in a statement. “His fluid movement between a variety of approaches and genres pushes the boundaries of understood artistic hierarchies and frameworks, and arouses a sense of boundless possibility.”
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Documenta Hailed as Major Success by Government Officials

September 22nd, 2017

Documenta, via NYTDespite budget woes and political controversies, this year’s edition of Documenta is being praised as a massive success, according to the New York Times, with officials in both Athens and Kassel expressing satisfaction with the public response to the event. “Documenta is one of the biggest strokes of cultural fortune for Hesse, Kassel and beyond,” says Hesse Culture Minister Boris Rhein. “It is our duty to ensure that it continues.”
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German Art Database Aims to Support and Record Looted Artifacts

September 22nd, 2017

Iraq, via Art NewspaperWorking to shore up defense of its Cultural Property Protection Law, Germany has created an internet database offering resources and information on recording, securing and reporting cultural artifacts. The site is part of an ongoing effort by Culture Minister Monika Grütters to ensure greater protection for artifacts moving from destabilized countries, and those circulating in Germany and the rest of Europe. 
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Henry Tang Ying-yen Appointed Board Chair of Hong Kong West Kowloon Cultural District Authority

September 21st, 2017

Henry Tang Ying-yen, via ArtforumHenry Tang Ying-yen has been appointed the board chairman of Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, putting him in charge of stewarding the ongoing expansion of the city’s cultural district. “Mr. Tang has this very unique experience of working in the government and in the private sector,” says Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive. “I have every confidence that under Henry’s leadership, the WKCDA project will be brought to new heights.”
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South Africa’s Zeitz-Mocca, the Largest Contemporary Art Museum in Africa, Opens This Friday

September 21st, 2017

Zeitz-Mocca, via The GuardianCape Town, South Africa’s Zeitz-Mocaa gallery, the largest contemporary art museum in Africa, will open its doors this Friday. “I think what is going to define all of this in the end is what is represented in the museum,” says Mark Coetzee, Zeitz-Mocaa’s executive director and chief curator. “It is going to win if the audience see themselves represented by their own artists.”
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The University of the Arts and the Philadelphia Art Alliance to Merge

September 21st, 2017

university of the arts philadelphia, via ArtforumPhiladelphia’s University of the Arts is merging with the Philadelphia Art Alliance, bringing together two major institutions supporting the city’s arts community. “We are thrilled that the Art Alliance will continue to be an active part of the future of Philadelphia’s cultural life as a result of this merger with the University of the Arts,” said Carole Shanis, chairperson and president emerita of the Art Alliance. “While, over the last 10 years, our focus has been on contemporary craft and design, we welcome the new resources and broader perspective that will come with this partnership.”
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Broad Museum Adds Thomas P. Campbell to Board of Directors

September 21st, 2017

Broad Museum, via ArtforumThe Broad Museum has added a group of new directors to its board, including former Met Director Thomas Campbell. “As the Broad celebrates its second anniversary, Edye and I are delighted to see the museum expand its board,” founder Eli Broad said in a statement. “The four new members reflect a wide variety of experience in industries including the arts, philanthropy, media, and business, and we look forward to applying their insights as the Broad looks to the future.”
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Mexico City Museums Assess Damage After Massive Earthquake

September 20th, 2017

Museo Jumex, via Art NewsMexico City’s art world is assessing the damage after a massive earthquake struck the city yesterday, leaving over 200 dead and damage across the city. A group of museums have faced varied structural damage, with some institutions remaining closed to examine their grounds.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

New York – Robert Grosvenor at Karma Through August Through August 13th, 2017

August 12th, 2017

Robert Grosvenor, Untitled (2014-2017), via Art Observed
Robert Grosvenor, Untitled (2014-2017), via Art Observed

Three cars parked side by side make up Robert Grosvenor’s Untitled (2014-17), a single work presented as the artist’s second solo exhibition at Karma’s downtown exhibition space. We can’t be certain that the term “parked” accurately describes these objects, however, as it implies movement that was halted, and a close assessment of the vehicles does not yield a consensus on their past or present mobility. Our fascination with Grosvenor’s sculptures runs parallel to our suspension in this perpetual state of uncertainty, in which the work of art becomes the site of an investigation into the identity of an object.

Robert Grosvenor, Untitled (detail) (2014-2017), via Art Observed
Robert Grosvenor, Untitled (detail) (2014-2017), via Art Observed

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New York – Jenny Sabin Studio’s ‘Lumen’ on view at MoMA PS1 Through September 4th, 2017

August 10th, 2017

Jenny Sabin, Lumen, via Art Observed
Jenny Sabin, Lumen, via Art Observed

Marking its embrace of the hot summer months in New York, MoMA PS1‘s popular Warm-Up summer concert series has returned to New York City, bringing with it the annual Young Architects Program design for an outdoor canopy structure to shade and entertain visitors and concert-goers in the museum’s open courtyard.  This year, the museum has tapped Jenny Sabin Studio, a Cornell-based design group known for its tech-first design concepts and use of woven, photo-reactive materials, spreading a photo-luminescent tent structure, and robotically-woven chairs across the space.  Read More »

New York – Tom Burr and Andrea Zittel: “Concrete Realities” at Bortolami Gallery Through August 11th, 2017

August 7th, 2017

Andrea Zittel and Tom Burr, Concrete Realities (Installation View), via Art Observed
Andrea Zittel and Tom Burr, Concrete Realities (Installation View), via Art Observed

Over the course of their respective careers, Andrea Zittel and Tom Burr have both negotiated an enigmatic and thorough interest in the built environment, addressing questions of site-specificity, subjectivity, and the body through spaces and environments that pull lived space and imagined realities into a shared domain.  This month at Bortolami, the pair’s respective visions will also share a common site, grappling with similar visual languages and interests in text, assemblage and architecture to challenge readings of space, and the strategies we employ to exist within our given environments.  Read More »

New York — Ai Weiwei, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron: “Hansel & Gretel” at The Park Armory Through August 6th, 2017

August 6th, 2017

Ai Weiwei, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, Hansel and Gretel (Installation View) at Park Avenue Armory. Photo by James Ewing
Ai Weiwei, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, Hansel and Gretel (Installation View) at Park Avenue Armory. Photo by James Ewing

Exploration of surveillance and its corresponding limits has long remained a prominent thread in Ai Weiwei’s aggressively political multimedia practice, particularly following his detainment and imprisonment by Chinese authorities in 2011 due to his vocal dissent of the country’s governmental policies on human rights. Hansel & Gretel, Weiwei’s Park Armory tour-de-force in collaboration with architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, furthers his past surveillance-themed projects such as 2012’s WeiweiCam, for which the artist had installed fifteen cameras around his Beijing residence to stream a 24-hour live footage of his home. Coinciding with the one year anniversary of his detention by the Chinese government, the comparison the artist built between actual imprisonment and systematic violation of privacy echoes with his current occupation of Park Armory’s Guild Hall, transforming the column-free exhibition space into a pitch black zone of uncertainty and peril. Read More »

New York – Leo Xu Projects and Metro Pictures Host “A New Ballardian Vision” for Condo: New York, Through August 4th, 2017

August 4th, 2017

Robert Longo, Untitled (Bodyhammer 9mm) (2008), via Art Observed
Robert Longo, Untitled (Bodyhammer: 9mm) (2008), via Art Observed

Few writers have walked such a fine line between coy observations of modernity and the possible dystopian future that lay just under the surface of daily life in the way that writer J.G. Ballard had over the course of his more than fifty years of writing.  Mixing a playful sense of imagination with dark and disturbing meditations on the state of the world, the writer’s work continues to serve as a major inspiration for artists and philosophers in the 21st century, just as some of the futuristic conditions he so often described have begun to manifest themselves in the real world. Read More »

New York – Satoshi Kojima at Bridget Donahue Through August 4th, 2017

August 2nd, 2017

Satoshi Kojima, Last Dance (2016), via Art Observed
Satoshi Kojima, Last Dance (2016), via Art Observed

Now through August 4, Bridget Donahue in New York presents an exhibition by painter Satoshi Kojima, his first ever North American show. The artist’s pastel-hued paintings offer a view into alternative histories, realities, and even other planets, executed with an updated Surrealist sensibility.  Kojima’s paintings invite the viewer into multiple different worlds of unfolding weirdness and intrigue, all through the softness of his color palette, in conjunction with the bizarre worlds he envisions. Read More »

New York – Leo Villareal at Pace Gallery Through August 11th, 2017

August 2nd, 2017

Leo Villareal, Ellipse (2017), via Art Observed
Leo Villareal, Ellipse (2017), via Art Observed

Marking his first exhibition with Pace since joining the gallery this past year, artist Leo Villareal has opened a show of new works at the gallery’s 24th Street exhibition space. Villareal, whose twinkling, shifting LED light installations are iconic parts of the urban landscape from New York to San Francisco and around the globe, has built a reputation for his nuanced understanding of public space, and the capacity for simple light arrays to transform its environment, and brings a series of new installations, light panels and video to the gallery. Read More »

Water Mill, NY – The 24th Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction, July 29th, 2017

August 1st, 2017

Painting the wall, via Art Observed
Painting the wall at Watermill Center, via Art Observed

The 24th Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction took place this past Saturday evening, returning to Robert Wilson’s expansive performing and interdisciplinary arts campus with a new selection of performances and installations laid out across the grounds. Honoring performer Laurie Anderson and actress Isabelle Huppert this year, the event also served as a tribute to the late artist and musician Lou Reed, while also serving to benefit the Watermill Center’s continued residency and research projects. Anderson and Reed previously performed a work together, The Wildebeests, at the event in 1997, reprised this year as a culmination of the evening’s proceedings.

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Water Mill, NY — John Graham: “Maverick Modernist” at The Parrish Art Museum Through July 30, 2017

July 30th, 2017

John Graham, Mascara (1950), via Art Observed
John Graham, Mascara (1950), via Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed

Divided into two opposite galleries inside the Parrish Art Museum’s sleek architecture, John Graham: Maverick Modernist, a comprehensive survey of the 20th century Ukrainian-American painter, offers a breakdown of the artist’s ever-evolving four-decade long career from 1920s and onward.  Curated by Alicia G. Longwell, the show recaps Graham’s defiant approach to Modernism, considering his sharp divergence from his dedication to modern art for the sake of figurative portraiture of female sitters in the 1940’s. Even then, at the height of his career, referring to Graham as a maverick would not be misguided: his models’ cross-eyed expressions, excessive make-ups, and mathematical details on their faces clash with easy readings as representational, and offer an intriguing historical context for much later practice in contemporary painting. Read More »

East Hampton — Taryn Simon: “The Innocents” at Guild Hall Through July 30th, 2017

July 29th, 2017

Taryn Simon, Charles Irvin Fain, Innocents (2002), via Guild Hall
Taryn Simon, Charles Irvin Fain, Scene of the crime, the Snake River, Melba, Idaho, Served 18 years of a Death sentence for Murder, Rape and Kidnapping; The Innocents (2002), courtesy Taryn Simon Studio and Guild Hall

Since Taryn Simon first delivered her seminal The Innocents series in 2002, the New York-based artist’s work has continued to revisit and re-examine the concepts of power, identity and their interrelated social effects, examining how varied political conditions render real human effects on the body, and on space.  This summer, East Hampton’s historic art and culture center, The Guild Hall re-contextualizes Simon’s compelling photography series about misconceptions of guilt and impossibility of rewinding time on its 15th anniversary, serving as a backdrop for ongoing discussions around prejudice, injustice, and empathy. Organized by Guild Hall Chief Curator Christina Mossaides Strassfield, the exhibition reiterates a selection of photographs and video from the overall series that had its debut at MoMA PS1 in 2003. Read More »