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

Michigan Dealer Arrested on Forgery Charges

February 4th, 2016

Eric Spoutz and his wife, via NBCMichigan-based dealer Eric Spoutz has been arrested on federal charges for the sale of forged masterworks claimed to be by de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, and more.  Authorities allege he wove a web of lies and deceit over his collection of works and high connections in the art world.  “The only real thing in this situation seems to be the financial losses the victims have incurred for purchasing what they thought were true works of art, whether for investment purposes or personal enjoyment,” says FBI New York assistant director Diego Rodriguez.
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Christie’s Not Obligated to Pay $11.5 million in Damages Caused by Superstorm Sandy

February 4th, 2016

Storm Damage, via Art NewspaperChristie’s Brooklyn will not have to pay $11.5 million in damages caused by flooding after Superstorm Sandy in 2012, following a New York state court decision this past month.  The lawsuits were filed by several insurance companies to recoup the costs paid out to their clients.
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Tefaf Coming to New York

February 4th, 2016

Tefaf, via NYTTefaf, the massive Dutch fair of fine art, antiques and design, is expanding to New York this October, taking up most of the Park Avenue Armory for the first edition of Tefaf New York.  “On numerous occasions, our exhibitors in Maastricht have expressed the need and desire for a Tefaf platform in the U.S., as have many private and institutional collectors,” says Patrick van Maris, chief executive of Tefaf. “Among the different possibilities Tefaf has explored over the past couple of years, this partnership with Artvest in the Park Avenue Armory New York really stood out. As the world’s most buoyant art market, New York is a perfect match.”
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Takashi Murakami Writes on Collecting for New York Times

February 3rd, 2016

Takashi Murakami, via NYTTakashi Murakami has a brief comment in the New York Times this week, discussing his collecting habits and aesthetic interests. The artist is opening a show of his personal collection of art and ephemera at the Yokohama Museum of Art in Japan.  “For me, what is important is to hold works of art in my possession, to make the actual purchase,” he writes.  “This is a hands-on way for me to experiment and learn about the personal value that pieces hold to collectors, their value as works of art and the traits by which they can be evaluated.”
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Ai Weiwei Planning New Work with Life Jackets from Greek Island

February 3rd, 2016

Ai Weiwei, via DWContinuing his advocacy on Lesbos, Ai Weiwei is creating a work of art from over 14,000 life jackets, in an attempt to bring attention to the crimes committed by people smugglers in the Aegean.  “This work aims to mobilize the global community regarding the crime carried out daily in the Aegean by ruthless people smugglers,” a statement reads.
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Peter Fischli Interviewed in New York Times

February 3rd, 2016

Peter Fischli, via NYTThe New York Times has a profile on Peter Fischli, one half of duo Fischli/Weiss, on the opening their career retrospective at the Guggenheim this week.  “There’s a phrase in German — schiefe Ebene — which you kind of use to mean things going downhill,” he says at one point, gazing down the museum’s curved walkway. “And I think about this image of 30 years of art rolling down the hill. And I think, in this case, maybe it’s a good thing!”
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Christopher Rothko Testifies at Knoedler Gallery Trial

February 3rd, 2016

Christopher Rothko, via Art NewsCoverage of the lawsuit between the De Sole Family and Ann Freedman continues in Art News this week, with Mark Rothko’s son taking the chair Monday, and noting that he does not authenticate any of his father’s work.  “I believe I described it as ‘beautiful,’” Rothko said of the work. “I believe it was descriptive, but I didn’t want to go further than that.”  
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College Board Rewriting AP Art History Programming

February 3rd, 2016

Shirin Neshat, Rebellious Since, via AtlanticThe College Board is changing the structure of its AP art history program, seeking to rewrite cultural bias that has long been a contentious part of its focus.  “It’s just isn’t acceptable anymore,” says Ronda Kasl, the Met’s first curator of Colonial Latin American art . “But it takes a while to remedy.”
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Philippe Parreno Named as Next Turbine Hall Commission

February 3rd, 2016

Philippe Parreno, via ArtforumArtist Philippe Parreno has been selected by Tate Modern and Hyundai Motor as the newest commission for the museum’s Turbine Hall, set to open later this year.  This is the second commission sponsored by Hyundai, after Abraham Cruzvillegas’s installation last year.  
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Paul Chan’s Badlands Unlimited Opening Lower East Side Store

February 2nd, 2016

Y.oung P.ublisher, via Art NewsPaul Chan’s publishing house Badlands Unlimited has opened a brick and mortar location on the Lower East Side, titled Y.oung P.ublisher 99¢ & Up.  The space is run in conjunction with local business owners Mr. and Mrs. Yu, and will feature the company’s books alongside daily necessities and household items.  “Badlands publishes books that are as essential as toiletries,” says Micaela Durand, director of Badlands.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

New York: “Photo-Poetics: An Anthology” at The Guggenheim Museum Through March 23rd, 2016

January 23rd, 2016

Anne Collier, May/Jun 2009 (Cindy Sherman, Mark Seliger) (2009), all photos via Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed
Anne Collier, May/Jun 2009 (Cindy Sherman, Mark Seliger) (2009), all photos via Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed

The Guggenheim’s Photo-Poetics: An Anthology, curated by Jennifer Blessing, senior photography curator at the museum, delves into methods utilized by artists to diverge from traditional notions of photography as a chronicle of tangible reality.  Such capturing of verité leaves the stage for investigation of process, material and expression in works by ten contemporary photographers, spanning three floors at the museum’s side galleries, and guiding viewers through various sections containing selections of work by a single artist, among them Sara VanDerBeek, Erin Shirreff and Kathrin Sonntag to name a few. Read More »

New York – Mark Grotjahn: “Sign Exchange 1993-1998″ at Karma Through February 7th, 2016

January 22nd, 2016

Mark Grotjahn, Miller (Green) (Date TBC), via Rae Wang for Art Observed
Mark Grotjahn, Miller (Green) (Date TBC), via Rae Wang for Art Observed

Mark Grotjahn doesn’t stay in one place for too long.  Despite the honed abstraction techniques illustrated in his long-running series like Butterfly Paintings, his recast, painted cardboard box sculptures, and the swirling figuration of his Face works, Grotjahn has also spent countless hours on small-scale projects, conceptual exercises and intriguing asides.  There is, for one, his Instagram account, a free-wheeling aesthetic testing ground where the artist has obsessively posted album covers, sets of reflexive iPhone screenshots, and bizarre scenarios culled from both his own life and printed media. Read More »

Paris – Steve McQueen at Marian Goodman Through February 27th, 2016

January 21st, 2016

Steve McQueen, Remember Me (2016), via Marian Goodman
Steve McQueen, Remember Me (2016), via Marian Goodman

“I want to put the public in a situation where everyone becomes acutely sensitive to themselves, to their body and respiration,” Steve McQueen writes in the press release to his new exhibition at Marian Goodman in Paris.  The opening line is an ominous one, hinting at both the perceptual and empathetic threads that his work often delves into, and is a fitting context for the exhibition on view, presenting the artist’s recently completed filmic work Ashes, as well as a funereal neon installation, Remember Me, both of which deal with the juxtaposition of life and death, light and darkness. Read More »

New York – Dana Sherwood: “Crossing the Wild Line” at Denny Gallery Through February 21st, 2016

January 20th, 2016

Dana Sherwood, Crossing the Wild Line (Installation View), courtesy the artist and Denny Gallery
Dana Sherwood, Crossing the Wild Line (2016), courtesy the artist and Denny Gallery

Dana Sherwood’s conceptual focus is the Anthropocene, a contentious term which in essence describes our present and future epoch, framed by the destabilization of nature as impacted by human activity on earth. With a practice that spans drawing, video, and sculptural installations, her work intervenes to engage local wildlife and open up a realm of play between humans and animals. Just as Joseph Beuys instigated a political party for animals back in 1974, Sherwood has hosted a dinner party for animals, using her skills as a former baker to create decorative, decadent meals to entice her guests, ultimately presenting the results at Denny Gallery in New York. Read More »

Moscow – Louise Bourgeois: “Structures of Existence: The Cells” at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, through February 7th, 2016

January 18th, 2016

Louise Bourgeois, “Maman” (1999). Collection The Easton Foundation. Installation view at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2015). Photography by Olga Alekseenko.
Louise Bourgeois, Maman (1999), Collection The Easton Foundation, Courtesy Garage Museum Photography by Olga Alekseenko.

Organized by Haus der Kunst, Munich in collaboration with Moscow’s recently opened Garage Museum, Structures of Existence: The Cells is the largest presentation of the series Louise Bourgeois created in the last two decades of her life, shown alongside the early paintings and drawings which led to the development of her monumental pieces. Read More »

New York – The 10th White Columns Annual, On View Through February 20th, 2016

January 16th, 2016

Marlon Mullens, Untitled (2015), via Rae Wang for Art Observed
Marlon Mullens, Untitled (2015), via Rae Wang for Art Observed

The White Columns Annual returns to the non-profit space’s West Village grounds this week, kicking the new year off with another exhibition examining the subtle threads and networks of the art world in New York and abroad through the perspective of a single voice.  Each year, the exhibition, celebrating its landmark tenth year this month, offers the position to an art world figure, whether it be a gallerist, writer, or curator, to summarize the past year in a single exhibition, often with the end result being a show that spans a diverse group of practitioners usually separated by context, art world hierarchies or other influences. Read More »

London – Gilbert & George: “THE BANNERS” at White Cube Through January 24th, 2016

January 13th, 2016

Gilbert & George
, THE BANNERS
 (Installation View), 9x9x9, White Cube Bermondsey
 © Gilbert & George. Photo © White Cube (George Darrell)
Gilbert & George
, THE BANNERS
 (Installation View), 9x9x9, White Cube Bermondsey
 © Gilbert & George. Photo © White Cube (George Darrell)

THE BANNERS is the title of Gilbert & George’s ongoing exhibition at White Cube’s Bermondsey location, following the eminent duo’s larger scale installment Scapegoating Pictures for London in 2014. Resuming their sturdily rebellious stand against anything corporate or organizational, this current exhibition, akin to their previous one, appropriates the vocal language of political outrage and public protests that have been normalized and spread widely by the media.  As its self-explanatory title dictates, the exhibition includes thirty banners bearing ten different slogans and each repeating on three different white papers. Read More »

New York – Yoko Ono, “THE RIVERBED” at Galerie Lelong Through January 29, 2016, and at Andrea Rosen Gallery Through January 23, 2016

January 12th, 2016

Yoko Ono, THE RIVERBED (Installation View), via Rae Wang for Art Observed
Yoko Ono, THE RIVERBED (Installation View), via Rae Wang for Art Observed

Spread across two gallery spaces, Yoko Ono’s THE RIVERBED demonstrates the possibility and presence of basic human connection through the manipulation of various materials.  Together, the assemblages of stone, string, and ceramic create a process of healing through, as the artist says,”love, and creativity.”  This concept of mending is both internal and external, as string criss-crosses the space of each gallery, continued through pencil and paper on the sketchbooks provided.

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Zurich – Tetsumi Kudo at Hauser and Wirth Through February 26th, 2016

January 11th, 2016

Tetsumi Kudo, Untitled (1971), via Hauser and Wirth
Tetsumi Kudo, Untitled (1971), via Hauser and Wirth

A key figure in the development of Tokyo’s Post-War, “Anti-Art” Movement, the work of Tetsumi Kudo explodes with a distinct sense of withered vibrancy: human body parts, plants and hulking, distending forms contend for space on what appear to be plots of earth, colored in sickening tones and rarely, if ever, clustering together beyond a few lilting stems.  The artist’s work, the subject of an exhibition at Hauser and Wirth Zurich (in collaboration with Andrea Rosen, which represents his estate), is a darkly realized challenge to the aftermath of nuclear war in Japan, and the artist’s disillusionment with the modernist notions of progress and “blind humanism.” Read More »

Amsterdam – Anish Kapoor & Rembrandt van Rijn at Rijksmuseum Through March 6th, 2016

January 10th, 2016

Anish Kapoor, Internal Object in Three Parts (detail) (2013-2015) © Anish Kapoor; Courtesy the artist & Lisson Gallery
Anish Kapoor, Internal Object in Three Parts (detail) (2013-2015) © Anish Kapoor; Courtesy the artist & Lisson Gallery

Anish Kapoor & 17th century Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn are placed into a neighborly conversation at the Rijksmuseum this month, as dualisms of flesh and meat, figuration and abstraction underscore the more nuanced connections between the pair, and illustrate the ever-changing focal points, yet unified interests in the shapes and forms of the human body and its depiction. Read More »