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New Kerry James Marshall Pieces Delved Into Mystery of John James Audubon

August 4th, 2020

Kerry James Marshall unveils a body of new works in the NYT this week, inspired by the drawings of John James Audubon, and by historical assertions and evidence that the ornithologist and artist was black. “I didn’t know what to make of it, honestly,” he says. “If somebody did the research and put it in a book, then maybe it must be true. And I never forgot that assertion was made.”
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Hank Willis Thomas Interviewed in The Guardian

August 4th, 2020

Artist Hank Willis Thomas has an interview in The Guardian this week, as he exhibits a new sculpture in Atlanta’s Fourth Ward Park.  “To me, the work is a celebration and a provocation,” Thomas says. “It’s a symbol of community, strength, justice and belonging that aims to inspire action and demand social change.”
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Sotheby’s Announces $2.5 billion in Revenue for First Half of 2020

August 3rd, 2020

Sotheby’s announced earnings for the first half of 2020 at $2.5 billion with sales volume for the year down 25%, but impressive gains shown in online sales. “The art and luxury markets have proven to be incredibly resilient, and demand for quality across categories is unabated.” says CEO Charles Stewart.
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Yayoi Kusama’s Gropius Bau Retrospective Postponed Until 2021

August 3rd, 2020

Yayoi Kusama’s retrospective at the Gropius Bau in Berlin has been postponed until 2021.  “To Covid-19 that stands in our way/I say Disappear from this earth/We shall fight/We shall fight this terrible monster,” the artist said earlier this year in a statement on the current challenges caused by the virus.
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Protests Begin in Norway as Picasso Mural is Removed from Damaged Building

July 29th, 2020

Protests have begun in Norway, as the government begins tearing down a massive Picasso mural damaged in the 2011 terrorist attack in Oslo. “There is a grieving process that this is happening,”  “At the same time, the spirit that many displayed to campaign to protect the building has been very positive. People have woken up to the value of this art.”
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Final Van Gogh Work Location Discovered

July 29th, 2020

The site of Van Gogh’s last painting has been discovered as Auvers-sur-Oise, village north of Paris where the artist died.  “Having worked for hours on a painting which shows a preoccupation with the relentless struggle between life and death, Van Gogh, feeling alone and seeing no alternative, decided to find his earthly rest with the setting sun, on the outskirts of the village with a view of a freshly harvested wheatfield,” says researcher Wouter van der Veen. 
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Tate Blasted Over Cuts Alleged to Disproportionately Affect Minority Staff

July 29th, 2020

The Tate is under fire after trade unions accused the museum of disproportionately cutting black and minority ethnic staff members as it reopens.  “Many of these colleagues will be amongst the lowest-paid staff on the Tate estate, with some at risk earning little more than the national minimum wage, and in some of the most diverse teams across Tate,” the union representing employees stated.
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Pace Gallery Lays Off Staff

July 28th, 2020

Pace has informed a number of previously furloughed employees that they will not be returning to work. “The economic situation caused by the global pandemic means we cannot sustain our previous level of staffing,” says gallery spokeswoman Amelia Redgrift. “This decision was taken after every other measure to ensure we are prepared for an extended period of financial uncertainty and to protect as many jobs as possible in the long-term.”
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Gavin Brown Closes Gallery to Partner with Gladstone Gallery

July 21st, 2020

Gavin Brown is closing his solo gallery, and partnering with Barbara Gladstone, the NYT reports. “It’s been a very rapid process,” Brown says. “Barbara is someone I’ve held in esteem for three decades. I remember, vividly, seeing the Matthew Barney show on Greene Street.”
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Paintings by de Kooning, Calder, Discovered in Stony Brook Hospital Basement

July 21st, 2020

A trove of paintings, including work by Willem de Kooning and Alexander Calder, have been discovered in the basement of Stony Brook Hospital, The New York Post reports.  “It was a great find,” says art consultant Vincent Mazo “It was like opening up King Tut’s tomb.”
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

New York – Trevor Shimizu: “Landscapes” at 47 Canal Through March 22nd, 2020

March 19th, 2020

Trevor Shimizu, Landscapes (Installation View), via 47 Canal
Trevor Shimizu, Landscapes (Installation View), via 47 Canal

In 1998, the Museum of Modern Art opened an ambitious and expansive exhibition of the work of Pierre Bonnard.  Among those winding through the galleries of the show was Trevor Shimizu, who left the museum ultimately disillusioned by the possibilities of painting in the modern age, and convinced that he should abandon the format.  The artist would turn, as a result, to video and performance art as a result, exploring approaches driven in part by his disappointment in the possibility of painting.  Read More »

New York – Leidy Churchman: “Earth Bound” at Matthew Marks Through April 18th, 2020

March 18th, 2020

Leidy Churchman, Kishkindha Forest (Jodhpur) (2020), via Matthew Marks
Leidy Churchman, Kishkindha Forest (Jodhpur) (2020), via Matthew Marks

Currently on view at Matthew Marks in New York, painter Leidy Churchmann presents a wide-ranging selection of canvases exploring the artist’s ever-evolving sensibility and eye, exploring the landscape of modernity at a range of scales and points of inquiry.  Titled Earth Bound, the show is a nuanced and intriguing exploration of the world, treating its residents and phenomena as a stream of images, and exploring the effects of their simultaneous presentation within the gallery. Read More »

Paris – Jordan Wolfson: “ARTISTS FRIENDS RACISTS” at David Zwirner Through

March 17th, 2020

Jordan Wolfson, ARTISTS FRIENDS RACISTS (Installation View), via David Zwirner
Jordan Wolfson, ARTISTS FRIENDS RACISTS (Installation View), via David Zwirner

Twenty holographic videos and nostalgic photographs printed on brass comprise artist Jordan Wolfson’s latest, unsettling work entitled ARTISTS FRIENDS RACISTS, currently on view at David Zwirner in Paris. Utilizing a range of autobiographical and cultural iconographies, the artist explores the convergent power of images and language in the framing of any cultural epoch. Read More »

New York – Liam Gillick: “Redaction” at Casey Kaplan Through April 18th, 2020

March 16th, 2020

Liam Gillick, Redaction (Installation View), via Casey Kaplan
Liam Gillick, Redaction (Installation View), via Casey Kaplan

Taking over Casey Kaplan’s midtown exhibition space with a selection of works outlining his incisive and intricate exploration of labor, modes of legibility and the conscription of a body politic, artist Liam Gillick reflects on the various stages and of his career. Unifying a selection of key texts, abstract structures and installations, spanning the early 90s to the late 2000s, and will coincide with the gallery’s 25th anniversary. Read More »

Los Angeles – “New Images of Man” at Blum & Poe Through March 14th, 202

March 13th, 2020

New Images of Man (Installation View), via Blum & Poe
New Images of Man (Installation View), via Blum & Poe

In 1959, MoMA launched the exhibition New Images of Man, a show that combined a disparate and imaginative body of works that brought together a group of artists grappling with the human condition and with new modes of representation in painting and sculpture in the wake of the Second World War.  Returning to this subject matter for a new show exploring both the original exhibition and its echoes through culture in the following sixty years, Blum & Poe Los Angeles has mounted a new take, part homage, part radical revision, that spans two floors in the gallery and reconstitutes emblematic figures from the original MoMA line up of artists alongside artists from this era and beyond to re-examine its motivations and impact. Read More »

New York – Michael Williams: “Opening” at Gladstone Through April 25th, 2020

March 12th, 2020

Michael Willams, Curb Your Enthusiasm (2020), via Gladstone
Michael Willams, Curb Your Enthusiasm (2020), via Gladstone

Comprising a new body of works that continues his approach towards brightly colored and texturally rich compositions, artist Michael Williams returns to Gladstone Gallery this month.  The artist, whose work often explores narrow corners and specific emotions drawn from the experience of the world, exhibits a selection of works that continue and expand his vocabulary. Read More »

New York – Michael E. Smith at Andrew Kreps Through March 28th, 2020

March 11th, 2020

Michael E. Smith (Installation View)
Michael E. Smith (Installation View)

Currently at Andrew Kreps Gallery, a line of floor-fans run in a single file through the doorway of the main gallery space, emitting a slight whine that makes the presentation of the work all the more illusive.  Unable to tell if the fans are on or if there is some other element emitting the sound, the arrangement conjures a strange sense of animated material, a sort of life outside the human body that makes the viewer question just what they are viewing.  So goes the work of artist Michael E. Smith, whose arrangements frequently mine this sort of uncertainty from the familiar objects of the world around us. Read More »

New York – Christopher Williams: ‘Footwear (Adapted for Use)’ at David Zwirner Through April 18th, 2020

March 10th, 2020

Christopher Williams, Footwear (Adapted for Use) (Installation View), via David Zwirner
Christopher Williams, Footwear (Adapted for Use) (Installation View), via David Zwirner

This spring, Christopher Williams presents his ninth solo show with David Zwirner gallery, entitled Footwear (Adapted for Use). The new body of work reflects the artist’s continued interest in how meaning and information are structured through the processes of staging and adaptation. The exhibition references a wide array of source material like Ikea catalogues and airplane magazines, and features new photographs, hand-painted signs, sculptures and videos, all of which engage with postwar material and cultural histories.  Read More »

New York – Sinead O’Dwyer: “In Myself” at Waves and Archives Through April 3rd, 2020

March 9th, 2020

Sinead O'Dwyer, In Myself (Installation View), via Waves and Archives
Sinead O’Dwyer, In Myself (Installation View), via Waves and Archives

Currently on view at New York’s Waves and Archives, artist Sinead O’Dwyer presents a selection of new works, returning to her nuanced silicone works alongside work created for an upcoming performance at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  The exhibition, which marks the artist’s first in New York, makes for an engaging entry in her body of work, and look at her intricate incorporation of human bodies and synthetic materials. Read More »

AO On-Site – New York: Spring/BREAK Art Show, March 3rd – 9th, 2020

March 6th, 2020

Michael A. Robinson
Michael A. Robinson, all images by Elisa Etrari for Art Observed

As The Armory Show returns to the Piers on the West Side of Manhattan, so too comes the annual opening of the SPRING/BREAK Art Show, the adventurous, curator-driven program that takes up space at a pop-up location for a week of compelling and unique exhibitions and projects.  Read More »