Global contemporary art events and news observed from New York City. Suggestion? Email us.
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Jonas Mekas to Show Refugee Photographs at Documenta 14

March 23rd, 2017

A photo by Jonas Mekas, via Art NewspaperJonas Mekas will show a series of photographs at Documenta this summer cataloguing his experience as a refugee fleeing the aftermath of WWII.  “It was a dark, bleak postwar period,” he writes. “These are images out of darkness.”  
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Anselm Kiefer to Receive J. Paul Getty Medal

March 23rd, 2017

anselm-kiefer-via-nytAnselm Kiefer will be honored this year with a J. Paul Getty Medal alongside writer Mario Vargas, honoring his exceptional contributions to the arts.  “We shall honor two of the world’s great artists,” says Maria Hummer-Tuttle, chair of the board of trustees. “Anselm Kiefer and Mario Vargas Llosa are both engaged in big ideas and historic moments, and they share with the Getty a passionate commitment to global culture.”
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Art Newspaper Looks at Potential Impact of French Election on Nation’s Art Market

March 22nd, 2017

Statues of French politicians, via Art NewspaperThe Art Newspaper looks at market health in France, and the possible impacts the coming election could have on its strength in the coming months.  “Within a complicated global context, Paris is doing better than expected, and is gaining strength against other components of the international art market,”says Nicolas Orlowski of Artcurial auction house.
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Stephanie D’Alessandro Takes Over as Modern Art Curator at Met

March 22nd, 2017

Stephanie D'Alessandro, via Art NewsStephanie D’Alessandro has been named The Met’s new Leonard A. Lauder Curator of Modern Art.  D’Alessandro previously worked in a similar position at the Art Institute of Chicago.  She will take over for Rebecca Rabinow, who left for Houston’s Menil Collection.  
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Global Sales Down 11% as Art Market Continues to Shrink

March 22nd, 2017

Sotheby's Auction, via CNBCThe global art market has fallen to its lowest point since the financial crisis, with global sales dropping 11% this past year, Bloomberg reports.  “It was quite a challenging year for the art market,” economist Clare McAndrew said.
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Whitney Facing Backlash Over Inclusion of Dana Schutz Painting

March 22nd, 2017

Whitney Museum, via Art NewspaperThe Whitney Biennial is facing criticism from a group of black artists in the U.S. and abroad for the inclusion of a piece by Dana Schutz, featuring a depiction of the dead body of Emmett Till, the young boy brutally murdered after a white woman claimed he whistled at her.  “The subject matter is not Schutz’s,” artist Hannah Black writes of the work. “White free speech and white creative freedom have been founded on the constraint of others, and are not natural rights. The painting must go.” 
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Pace Gallery Set to Open Second Location in Hong Kong

March 22nd, 2017

Hong Kong venue for Pace Gallery, via ArtnetPace Gallery has announced that it will open its second gallery in Hong Kong, located at 80 Queen’s Road in the Central district.  “We hope to create more connection between the contemporary art scene in Asia and the West,” says Pace president Marc Glimcher.
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Whitney Director Adam Weinberg Issues Statement on N.E.A. Funding

March 21st, 2017

Outside the New Whitney Museum, via Art ObservedWhitney Museum Director Adam D. Weinberg has issued a statement on Donald Trump’s proposed de-funding of the NEA, calling for its preservation and a recognition of its vital role in the continuation of the country’s health.  “As an institution specifically dedicated to presenting and discussing contemporary American culture, the Whitney Museum of American Art feels a special responsibility to speak as an advocate for the continuing importance of the NEA and NEH,” he writes. “For institutions large and small, historic and contemporary, throughout the fifty states, and for the public they serve, the NEA and NEH are irreplaceable and must be preserved.”
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Fourth Plinth Commissions Announced for 2018 and 2020

March 21st, 2017

The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist. via BBCLondon’s Fourth Plinth Commission project has announced works for both 2018 and 2020, the BBC reports.  The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist by Michael Rakowitz, featuring a re-creation of a work looted from the Iraq Museum, will go on view next year, while THE END by Heather Phillipson will feature a massive heap of ice cream topped by a fly, and a hovering drone broadcasting from above the work.  “The new commissions will proudly continue the legacy of the Fourth Plinth in putting world-class contemporary sculpture at the heart of London,” says Ekow Eshun, Chair of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group.
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Centre Pompidou Planning Pop-Up in Shanghai

March 21st, 2017

West Bund, via Art NewspaperThe Centre Pompidou is planning a pop-up exhibition space in Shanghai’s West Bund cultural district, the Art Newspaper reports.  The potential opening would be part of an ongoing development project aimed at transforming a former industrial section of the city into a “cultural corridor.”
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

AO On-Site – New York: NADA NY at Skylight Clarkson North, March 2nd – 5th, 2016

March 5th, 2017

NADA, via Art Observed
NADA, via Art Observed

One could have been mistaken for assuming there wasn’t much a NADA New York fair during Armory Week could add to the already broad scope on both the city’s art scene and the international network that the week’s many fairs and openings already offered.  Yet at the same time, NADA seems to have long prided itself on its surprises, and its first edition in Tribeca (away from its usual haunt at Basketball City on the Lower East Side) made for a timely update on the fair’s already sterling reputation in the art fair circuit.

Joani Tremblay at Projet Pangee, via Art Observed
Joani Tremblay at Projet Pangee, via Art Observed

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New York – Sascha Braunig: “Shivers” at MoMA PS1 Through March 5th, 2017

March 4th, 2017

Sascha Braunig, Hide (2015), via Art Observed
Sascha Braunig, Hide (2015), via Art Observed

Currently on view on the ground floor of MoMA PS1, painter Sascha Braunig has compiled a body of work from the past five years of her practice, showcasing the range and depth of the artist’s investigations into the painted canvas, and her investigations into the act of portraiture.  Working through a wide range of visual materials, Brauning’s swirling, twisting confrontations with the history portraiture, and modes of understanding the human form itself, open an intriguing dialogue with the Mark Leckey exhibition just upstairs, and underscore Brauning’s imaginative practice.

Sascha Braunig, Warm Leatherette (2015), via Art Observed
Sascha Braunig, Warm Leatherette (2015), via Art Observed

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AO On-Site – New York: SPRING/BREAK Art Fair at 4 Times Square, February 28th – March 6th, 2017

March 4th, 2017

The Pursuit of It by Nicole Grammatico and Christina Papancolaou, via Art Observed
The Pursuit of It by Nicole Grammatico and Christina Papancolaou, via Art Observed

Marking a curator-first approach to the art fair format popping up around New York this week, the sixth installment of SPRING/BREAK Art Show opened Tuesday, February 28th at 4 Times Square, a departure from its usual space at the James A. Farley Post Office midtown.  Drawing on a similar concept from last year, where rows of offices allow small-scale exhibitions spread throughout the fair, SPRING/BREAK continued the mission of its founders Andrew Gori and Ambre Kelly, a diverse, freewheeling look at the varied aspects of the city’s young arts community. Read More »

AO On-Site – New York: ADAA’s The Art Show March 1st – 5th, 2017

March 4th, 2017

Richard Diebenkorn at Van Doren Waxter, via Art Observed
Richard Diebenkorn at Van Doren Waxter, via Art Observed

Returning to its home base at the Park Avenue Armory uptown, the ADAA’s The Art Show offers a moment to reflect amid the massive offerings of contemporary work spread out across the city.  It is one of the few fairs dedicated not only to recent practices, but equally to a longer view of Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art in relation to even broader historical analogs.  This focus, in combination with a more selective, curatorial approach to the fair itself, and the more restrained atmosphere of the location, gives the Art Show its own appeal, one that presents itself as equally withdrawn from the broader bustle of the art world outside its walls, and more richly engaged with the history of the field that has ultimately produced the work spread across New York this week.

Noam Rappaport at James Fuentes, via Art Observed
Noam Rappaport at James Fuentes, via Art Observed

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AO On-Site: Independent NY at Spring Studios, March 2nd – 5th, 2017

March 2nd, 2017

Independent NY, via Art Observed
Independent NY, via Art Observed

Marking its eighth edition and second in its new home at Spring Studios in Tribeca, Independent NY opened shop this afternoon for another year operating in conjunction with the high-end glitz of the Armory Show several neighborhoods to the north.  Offering a more nuanced, mellow browsing experience in conjunction with the fair’s invite-only exhibitor structure and immense glass windows, the fair has built a reputation as a boutique event with impressive draw, with this year only strengthening that appeal. Read More »

AO On-Site – New York: The Armory Show, March 1st – 5th, 2017

March 2nd, 2017

Armory Show, via Art Observed
Armory Show, via Art Observed

The doors are open and the 23rd edition of The Armory Show is underway in New York, kicking off the annual hustle and bustle of the March art calendar and its increasingly loaded week of fair sales, openings and events.  Spread out across the lengthy convention center spaces on Piers 92 and 94 on Manhattan’s West Side, the fair, Benjamin Genocchio’s first as director, seems to have taken advantage of the fresh start afforded by its new leader.

Yayoi Kusama's Platform Installation, via Art Observed
Yayoi Kusama’s Platform Installation, via Art Observed

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AO Auction Recap – London: Sotheby’s Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist Sale, March 1st, 2017

March 1st, 2017

Gustav Klimt, Bauerngarten (Blumengarten) (1907), via Sotheby's
Gustav Klimt, Bauerngarten (Blumengarten) (1907), via Sotheby’s

Following a strong outing by Christie’s this week in London, Sotheby’s has taken its turn at the Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist markets, capping a tightly-run sale this evening that continued a week of unexpectedly strong outings for both auction houses, ultimately tallying a final of £177,022,250 for the auction house’s Impressionist and Modern sale (with 4 lots going unsold over the course of the evening), and £17,671,250 for its Surrealist sale shortly after (which saw only 2 lots go unsold).   Read More »

AO Auction Recap – Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, February 28th, 2017

February 28th, 2017

Paul Gauguin, Te Fare (La maison) (1892), via Christie's
Paul Gauguin, Te Fare (La maison) (1892), via Christie’s

As New York City gears up for the rush and bustle of Armory Week, London has its own series of sales in swing, opening two weeks of major evening sales this evening with an impressively steady outing at Christie’s that offered some reassurance for towards alarmists and critics of the market’s current strength and consistency.  The pair of sales, kicked off by Impressionist and Modern works, and capped with a brisk sale of Surrealist pieces shortly after. Read More »

AO Preview – New York: Armory Week in New York, February 28th – March 5th, 2017

February 28th, 2017

Armory Show, via Armory Show
Armory Show, via Armory Show

Returning once again to the spacious halls of Piers 92 and 94 on Manhattan’s West Side, the Armory Show will open its doors this week in New York City, bringing the landmark art fair back for its 23rd year.  Marking its first year with former artnet head Benjamin Genocchio at the helm, the fair will continue its tradition of sales, talks, and projects spread across the piers, joined by an increasingly expansive series of events around the city at large.

Alex Katz, Vivien (2016), via Peter Blum
Alex Katz, Vivien (2016), via Peter Blum

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New York – Kader Attia: “Reason’s Oxymorons” at Lehmann Maupin Through March 4th, 2017

February 27th, 2017

Kader Attia, Reason's Oxymorons (2015), via Art Observed
Kader Attia, Reason’s Oxymorons (2015), via Art Observed

Currently on view at Lehmann Maupin’s Lower East Side exhibition space, a series of small cubicles stretch across the room, pulling the viewer through a banally labyrinthine series of pathways.  The piece, by the Algerian-French artist Kader Attia, is accompanied by a series of televisions, each playing a video of a doctor or other professional in psychological treatment, medical history or ethnography, and each discussing the range of medical and cultural frameworks currently in play in both Europe and Africa.   Read More »