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Museum Directors Outline Reopening Strategies in Art Newspaper

May 29th, 2020

A group of museum directors speak to Art Newspaper this week about their plans to reopen, and how they plan to respond to COVID-19 concerns.  The directors detail a range of strategies, from timed entry to controlling flow in and out of galleries.
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Ai Weiwei Creates Face Masks to Benefit COVID-19 Charities

May 29th, 2020

Ai Weiwei has created a set of surgical masks to aid coronavirus charities. “It is such a waste. There is so much argument around the mask,” he says of the face mask as a cultural artifact of the era. “A face mask weighs only three grams but it carries so much state argument about global safety and who has it and who doesn’t have it.”
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Adam Lindemann Sues to Break Lease on Venus Over Manhattan Space in NY

May 28th, 2020

Collector and dealer Adam Lindemann is suing real estate mogul Aby Rosen to break his lease on the Venus Over Manhattan space at 980 Madison Avenue in New York, asserting he can no longer due business there due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Is it only the tenant’s responsibility when the tenant can’t use the space as intended or may never be able to?” says Errol Margolin, the gallery’s lawyer. “When you have a gallery opening, you have 500 people. If you have social distancing, how can you have 500 people in the future?”
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Philadelphia Museum of Art Employees Seek Union

May 28th, 2020

Workers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art are seeking to unionize, Art Newspaper reports.  “The PMA serves the people of Philadelphia, and it must emerge from the Covid-19 crisis as a safe, accessible and equitable place where all can engage with the arts,” the group of organizers said. “For this to be possible, working people must have a seat at the table in museum decision-making.”
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2020 Turner Prize Cancelled, Replaced with Artist Support Fund

May 28th, 2020

The Tate has cancelled the 2020 edition of the Turner Prize, replacing it with a little £100k fund to help support struggling artists during the pandemic.”The practicalities of organizing a Turner Prize exhibition are impossible in the current circumstances, so we have decided to help support even more artists during this exceptionally difficult time,” says Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson.  “I think JMW Turner, who once planned to leave his fortune to support artists in their hour of need, would approve of our decision.”
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Museum of Fine Arts Houston Reopens

May 28th, 2020

Museums are beginning to open again in the U.S., with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston leading the way. “It’s good to be out of the house,” says one visitor. “I’ve been looking for something uplifting, something beautiful.”
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UK Appoints Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal

May 21st, 2020

The UK has appointed Neil Mendoza as Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal, overseeing the country’s response to the coronavirus’s impact on the arts. Mendoza previously led a review of England’s museums three years ago, offering recommendations on how to further bolster the arts institutions in the country.
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Austrian Culture Minister Resigns

May 20th, 2020

Austrian culture minister Ulrike Lunacek has stepped down after fierce criticism of the government’s arts-sector pandemic response.  “This is not worthy of one of the richest countries in the world,” she said of the current state of the country’s artists.
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Damien Hirst Speaks on His Working During Lockdown in The Guardian

May 20th, 2020

Damien Hirst has an interview in The Guardian this week, as he charts his experience during lockdown, and how it has affected his work. “I used to listen to music a lot when there was more activity and people,” he says of his experience working alone. “The paintings are going more successfully, which is really strange. Maybe it’s my focus, maybe that’s why I’m not playing the music. I’m kind of getting lost in the paintings.”
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LA City Council Redirects Developer Fees to Emergency Arts Grants

May 19th, 2020

Los Angeles City Council has approved a measure to redirect developer fees to into emergency arts grants, the LA Times reports.  “This includes tiered grants of between $500 and $2,000 for individual artists, with the highest amounts reserved for artists who are full-time freelancers, and therefore “more vulnerable in an economic downturn,” The COVID-19 Emergency Response Program text reads.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

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 »

New York: Independent NY at Spring Studios, March 6th – 8th, 2020

March 5th, 2020

Bianca Beck at Rachel Uffner, all images via Art Observed
Bianca Beck at Rachel Uffner, all images via Art Observed

Kicking off the 11th year of operation, Independent NY has once again touched down at Spring Studios in Tribeca, once again opening the doors on its take on the presentation of an art fair.  Smaller in scale and more focused in terms of its gallery selections, the fair’s presentation feels more like a presentation of a series of small gallery shows run side-by-side, with ample space and a mellow browsing experience that draws strength from the fair’s invite-only exhibitor structure and immense glass windows, underscoring its reputation as a boutique event with impressive draw.

Clementine Keith-Roach at P•P•O•W
Clementine Keith-Roach at P•P•O•W

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Ao On-site – New York: The Armory Show At Piers 90, 92 And 94, March 5th-8th, 2020

March 4th, 2020

Austin Lee at Jeffrey Deitch, via Art Observed
Austin Lee at Jeffrey Deitch, all images via Art Observed

Considered among New York’s premier art fairs, and a leading cultural destination for discovering and collecting the world’s most important 20th- and 21st-century art, The Armory Show has long figured at the forefront of the city’s annual spring offerings for art exhibitions and shows.  With its first day of sales in the bag, the fair is once again showing why its impact and stature cannot be ignored. Read More »

RIP – Performance Artist Ulay Has Passed Away Aged 76

March 2nd, 2020

Ulay
Ulay

Performance artist Ulay has passed away after a battle with lymphatic cancer this week in Ljubljana, Slovenia, aged 76. Read More »

AO On-Site – New York: ADAA’s The Art Show at Park Ave Armory, February 27th – March 1st, 2020

February 28th, 2020

Carla Accardi at Andrew Kreps and Bortolami, via Art Observed
Carla Accardi at Andrew Kreps and Bortolami, via Art Observed

The first entry in what’s sure to be a bustling week spanning the end of February and start of March in New York, the ADAA Art Show has opened its doors at the Park Ave armory again this week, offering an early start on the mass of exhibitors opening across the city in the days to come.  With its usual focus on tightly-curated programming and laser-focused booth concepts, the show once again offering an impressive opening note on the week, with packed hallways and excited buyers buzzing about the aisles.

Paul Fagerskiold at Peter Blum, via art Obsered
Paul Fagerskiold at Peter Blum, via art Obsered

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