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

Tate Declares “Climate Emergency,” Vows to Cut Emissions

July 17th, 2019

Directors at the Tate in London have declared a “climate emergency,” and will immediately set to work reducing the museum’s carbon footprint by 10 percent within the coming four years. “We will interrogate our systems, our values and our programs, and look for ways to become more adaptive and responsible,” the directors said in the announcement. “As an organization that works with living artists, we should respond to and amplify their concerns. And, as our audiences and communities across the world confront climate extinction, so we must shine a spotlight on this critical issue through art.”
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Long March Space Pivots Away from Art Fairs

July 17th, 2019

Beijing’s Long March Space will stop participating in art fairs. The gallery plans to “innovate business models and enter a new stage of art market work,” according to an announcement. 
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NYT Charts Story on Near Collapse of Notre Dame

July 17th, 2019

A piece in the NYT this week charts the damage caused by the fire at Notre Dame, and just how close the cathedral came to collapsing. “There was a feeling that there was something bigger than life at stake,” says Ariel Weil, mayor of the city’s Fourth Arrondissement, “and that Notre-Dame could be lost.”
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Hollywood Producer Returns Basquiat Purchased Through 1MDB Fund

July 17th, 2019

“Wolf of Wall Street” producer Joey McFarland has agreed to give up items he says he received as gifts from Low Taek Jho, the man behind the theft of billions of dollars from the Malaysian 1MDB fund, including a work by Jean-Michel Basquiat.


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Louvre Removes Sackler Name from Galleries

July 17th, 2019

The Louvre has removed the Sackler name from all of its galleries following protests this month, claiming that the statue of limitations on the donor name rights had expired.  “We protest against this attempt to rewrite history and call on [Director] Jean-Luc Martinez to rectify his statements as soon as possible in order to make official the removal of the Sackler name from the Louvre,” the P.A.I.N. activist group said of the news.
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Warhol Foundation Awards $3.81 million to 41 Arts Orgs

July 17th, 2019

The Andy Warhol Foundation has given $3.81 million to 41 arts organizations in the United States and Canada for its spring 2019 grant cycle, which will go to support exhibitions, publications, and institutional programming.  Awards include a Barbara Kruger show at the Art Institute of Chicago and shows at the The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill.
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NYT Names “25 Works of Art That Define the Contemporary Age”

July 16th, 2019

The NYT has a piece this week on 25 art works that defined the contemporary era, from Hans Haacke’s MoMA Poll to Kara Walker’s A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby.  The piece features interviews and comments on the work from a range of artists and critics.
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Public Art Fund Makes Two Promotions Within Ranks

July 16th, 2019

The Public Art Fund has promoted  Kellie Honeycutt as its deputy director and Daniel S. Palmer as curator. “A key aspect of Public Art Fund culture is to nurture creative talent, and that includes our own extraordinary team. Both Kellie and Daniel are outstanding professionals, leaders in our field, and wonderful colleagues,” says Chief Curator and Director Nicholas Baume. “As we continue to embrace new opportunities to fulfill our mission, I’m excited to further our collaboration in their new roles.”
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Perez Art Museum Receives $1 Million Grant for Caribbean Cultural Institution Venture

July 16th, 2019

The Pérez Art Museum Miami has received $1 million the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation towards the institution’s new Caribbean Cultural Institute. “It’s something that is in our DNA, and we’ve been talking about this for a long time,” says Franklin Sirmans, PAMM’s director. “Now we’re really going to be able to move the dial.” 
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Rothko Chapel Gets $2 million for Renovation

July 16th, 2019

The Rothko Chapel has received $2 million from the Houston Endowment, which will help fund the chapel’s renovation plan. “Houston Endowment envisions Houston as a vibrant community where all people have the opportunity to thrive, and a vibrant community needs a strong arts ecosystem,” says Long Chu, the program officer of the Houston Endowment. “Fulfillment of the master plan will elevate Rothko Chapel’s role as one of Houston’s significant cultural institutions and expand its ability to contribute to Houston’s vibrancy.”
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

Berlin – Adam Pendleton: ‘Who We Are’ at Galerie Max Hetzler Through June 29th, 2019

June 24th, 2019

Adam Pendleton, Ishmael in the Garden A Portrait of Ishmael Houston-Jones (2018), via Max Hetzler
Adam Pendleton, Ishmael in the Garden: A Portrait of Ishmael Houston-Jones (still) (2018), via Max Hetzler

On view at Berlin’s Galerie Max Hetzler, artist Adam Pendleton is presenting a body of new works under the title Who We Are, spread between both locations in the German capital: Bleibtreustraße 45 and Goethestraße 2/3, and marking Pendleton’s first show with the gallery.  The show, drawing on a range of cultural and aesthetic touchstones, presents itself as a sort multi-layered cultural history, intersecting music and film, dance and personal narrative through a series of video and wall-mounted works. Read More »

New York – Yuji Agematsu: ‘1995 & 2003′ at Miguel Abreu Through June 21st, 2019

June 21st, 2019

Yuji Agematsu, Zip 10.01.03 ... 10.31.03 (2003), via Miguel Abreu
Yuji Agematsu, zip: 10.01.03 … 10.31.03 (2003), via Miguel Abreu

Currently on view at Miguel Abreu, Japanese-born, Brooklyn-based artist Yuji Agematsu has brought forth a diverse and expressive body of works to the galleries’ 88 Eldridge space, a selection of works delving into notions of urban space and the dense material fusions that it is capable of producing. Connecting the various processes and movements of the New York City streets into a productive engine of its own, the Agematsu’s work chains together disparate spaces and perceptions of reality. Read More »

RIP – Artist Robert Therrien Has Passed Away at 71

June 19th, 2019

Robert Therrien (Installation View), via Art Observed
Robert Therrien (Installation View), via Art Observed

Robert Therrien, an artist whose impressively-scaled sculptures of banal objects and everyday scenes was capable of twisting a viewer’s sense of time and space, has passed away at the age of 71 .  The news was broken by Gagosian, which represents him.   Read More »

AO Auction Recap – London: Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, June 19th, 2019

June 19th, 2019

Amedeo Modigliani, Jeune homme assis, les mains croisées sur les geno (1918), via Sotheby's
Amedeo Modigliani, Jeune homme assis, les mains croisées sur les geno (1918), Final Price: £18,422,000 via Sotheby’s

The first batch of Summer auctions are in the books in London tonight, as Sotheby’s capped off its Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale with results that seemed to emphasize a steadied ship following the announcement of the auction house’s sale to Patrick Drahi earlier this week.  The auction house, capitalizing on a strong offering of works, moved methodically through the evening, selling 23 of the 25 works on offer for a final tally of £98,875,924. Read More »

New York – Tarek Atoui: “Organ Within” at kurimanzutto Through June 25th, 2019

June 19th, 2019

Tarek Atoui, Organ Within (Installation View), via kurimanzutto
Tarek Atoui, Organ Within (Installation View), via kurimanzutto

Walking into Kurimanzutto’s cabinet space on New York’s Upper East Side, one is greeted with a slow, droning sonic atmosphere, a series of prickly overtones and delicate aural structures that emanate from a series of plastic tubes, fabric resonators and other materials spread across the floor in a seemingly haphazard fashion. This is artist Tarek Atoui’s ‘Organ Within,’ an installation of the artist’s “open sound laboratory” project. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – London: Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, June 18th, 2019

June 18th, 2019

Pablo Picasso, Homme et femme nus (1968), via Christie's
Pablo Picasso, Homme et femme nus (1968), final price: £12,464,250, via Christie’s

With several strong auctions behind them in the past months, the last Impressionist/Modern Evening Sale of the first half of 2019 looked to be a victory lap for Christie’s, a last shot at European collectors after a bustling spring season capped off by Basel and the Biennale. But a last burst of buyer interest wasn’t in the cards this evening, as the London auction house struggled royally over the course of a 34 lot sale that saw 10 of the works go unsold, including several major trophies that drove the sale to an anemic final of £36,413,750. Read More »

AO Auction Preview – London Auction Week: June 18th – 27th, 2019

June 17th, 2019

Fernand Léger, Femme dans un fauteuil (1913), via Christie's
Fernand Léger, Femme dans un fauteuil (1913), via Christie’s

With the hottest months of the year settling in across the US and Europe, the secondary market will get one last chance to catch some heat of its own. Over the course of the next two weeks, the major auction houses will present a final look at the strength of the secondary market before the summer recess, capping off what has been something of a rebound after a few sluggish years of growth from 2017 to late last year. With two weeks of sales lined up in London this month, interested parties should get a look at just how the auction houses will look to keep that momentum going. Read More »

New York – David Shrigley: ‘FLUFF WAR’ at Anton Kern Through June 15th, 2019

June 15th, 2019

David Shrigley, FLUFF WAR (2019), via Anton Kern
David Shrigley, FLUFF WAR (2019), via Anton Kern

In his seventh solo exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery, entitled FLUFF WAR, British artist David Shrigley continues his particular style of wry, surrealist humor through a selection of works, including a large-scale kinetic sculpture, two neon sculptures, and 100 new drawings. Read More »

Basel: Continuing Abstraction, June 10th – 16th at the Soon to Open Gagosian Basel, Rheinsprung 1

June 14th, 2019

Jackson Pollock, Moon Vibrations (1953-55), via Art Observed
Jackson Pollock, Moon Vibrations (1953-55), all images via Andrea Nguyen for Art Observed

Continuing Abstraction is a fitting title for the exhibition just opened at Rheinsprung 1, another pop-up fair exhibition by the mighty Gagosian Gallery that simultaneously serves as the inauguration for its 17th permanent exhibition space worldwide. Marking both an exploration and elaboration on the language of abstraction, both in the past and through today, the show seems to look back at Gagosian’s impact on contemporary art, intertwined with the languages of abstraction that have changed and evolved over the past century. Read More »

RIP – Painter Joyce Pensato Has Passed Away at the Age of 78

June 13th, 2019

Joyce Pensato, Liza at Berlin (2009), via Petzel
Joyce Pensato, Liza at Berlin (2009), via Petzel

American painter Joyce Pensato, whose recurring cast of American pop icons and slurred, often disturbing renditions of familiar cartoon characters made her a standout of the late 20th Century New York downtown scene, has passed away at the age of 78. Read More »