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

Paddle 8 Bankruptcy Trustee Sues Former Board Member

September 28th, 2020

Following Paddle 8’s bankruptcy, the company’s bankruptcy trustee Megan Noh has filed suit against former board member John Textor, alleging “reckless disregard” for the company, and seeking $6 million in damages. “Neither I nor the companies mentioned have been involved in quite some time, though it is standard practice for a trustee to cast a wide net in filing speculative claims for recovery,” Textor claims.
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Auction Houses Record Uptick in Online Sales Amid COVID Shutdowns

September 28th, 2020

Auction houses are reporting massive upticks in online sales as galleries and auctions shutter due to Covid-19. “No longer will we have the joy and pain of crowded art fairs and gallery openings,” says Robert Head of the Hiscox agency. “Dealers will have to find new ways to create the buzz that makes us have to buy now, lest we dwell and lose yet another treasure that we can’t live without.”
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David Zwirner Gallery to Launch New York Gallery Space With All-Black Staff

September 28th, 2020

David Zwirner Gallery has appointed Ebony L. Haynes, formerly of Martos Gallery, as the head of a new gallery space in Manhattan, which will employ an all-black staff. “While you could argue that strides have been made on the artist side, the art world acts almost shamefully on the employment side,” Mr. Zwirner says. “Something has to happen.”
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Condemnations Mount Over Shelved Guston Show

September 28th, 2020

Controversy is mounting over the decision by four major museums to shelve a show of works by Philip Guston over his depiction of figures in Ku Klux Klan robes, with many in the art world, including the show’s curator, condemning the move.  “As art museums, we are expected to show difficult art and to support artists. By cancelling or delaying, we abandon this responsibility to Guston and also to the artists whose voices animate the catalogue such as Glenn Ligon [and] Tacita Dean,” says Tate Modern curator Mark Godfrey, who was set to organize the show at the museum.
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Sotheby’s Launches Financial Services Division

September 23rd, 2020

Sotheby’s is launching a new financial services division, with Alexander Klabin as Executive Chairman. A statement from Klabin emphasized his role as helping “to accelerate the future of authenticated asset-based finance.” 
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Guggenheim Acquires Maurizio Cattelan’s “Comedian”

September 22nd, 2020

The Guggenheim has received Maurizio Cattelan‘s iconic banana work Comedian, shown last year at Art Basel Miami Beach, as an anonymous gift.  “We are grateful recipients of the gift of ‘Comedian,’ a further demonstration of the artist’s deft connection to the history of modern art,” says museum director, Richard Armstrong. “Beyond which, it offers little stress to our storage.”
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Gerhard Richter Designs Stained Glass Windows for German Abbey

September 22nd, 2020

Gerhard Richter has created a series of impressive stained glass windows for Tholey Abbey in Germany. “Abstract art is not normally my thing,” says Abbot Mauritius Choriol. “But you don’t need to be an art expert to appreciate the qualities of these.”
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LACMA Unveils Gallery Plans for New Building

September 22nd, 2020

LACMA has finally unveiled the gallery plans for its new, Peter Zumthor-designed building. “I did ask for and got something that would be very different,” says director Michael Govan. “I think it’s going to be absolutely sublime, but that’s for the public to see.”
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Guggenheim Lays Off Additional 24 Employees

September 17th, 2020

As the museum plans to reopen, the Guggenheim Museum has laid off 24 employees, with an additional 8 taking separation agreements. “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Guggenheim has been devastating to our finances,” said museum’s director, Richard Armstrong in a letter to employees. “I am deeply saddened to say that the museum will not have the ability to support our previous number of staff members.”
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Brooklyn Museum Deaccession’s 12 Works from Collection

September 17th, 2020

In the midst of COVID-19-related financial pressure, the Brooklyn Museum will sell off 12 works from its collection to fund maintaining the rest of its holdings. “We expect this consignment to generate considerable interest from collectors who will not only respond to the paintings’ great quality, but will also be reassured by their distinguished provenance,” says Joshua Glazer, Specialist of Old Master Paintings at Christie’s New York.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

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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Los Angeles – Hank Willis Thomas: “An All Colored Cast” at Kayne Griffin Corcoran Through March 7th, 2020

February 26th, 2020

Hank Willis Thomas, People just like to look at me (Spectrum IX) (variation without flash) (2019), via Kayne Griffin Corcoran
Hank Willis Thomas, “People just like to look at me” (Spectrum IX) (variation without flash) (2019), via Kayne Griffin Corcoran

Currently on at LA heavyweight Kayne Griffin CorcoranHank Willis Thomas marks his first solo exhibition with the space with An All Colored Cast, an exploration of color theory, popular culture, the development of Pop Art, Color Field painting, Minimalism, and the Hollywood film industry. In this new body of work, Thomas examines the portrayals of gender, race, and identity through the lens of film, performance, and color motion pictures.

Hank Willis Thomas, "People just like to look at me" (Spectrum IX) (variation with flash) (2019), via Kayne Griffin Corcoran
Hank Willis Thomas, “People just like to look at me” (Spectrum IX) (variation with flash) (2019), via Kayne Griffin Corcoran

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AO Preview – New York: Armory Week in New York City, March 5th – 8th, 2020

February 25th, 2020

David Shrigley, Distractions (2018), via Stephen Friedman
David Shrigley, Distractions (2018), via Stephen Friedman

As the winter months drags slowly to its conclusion, and the weather shifts into more temperate conditions, New York City will once again step into its role as a central hub of the contemporary art market, and the global art fair circuit, kicking off its string of fairs across the city.  Centering around the annual Armory Show Art Fair on the West Side, the week serves as one of the more important selling weeks of the first half of 2020. Read More »

NEW YORK – AMY SILLMAN: “THE SHAPE OF SHAPE” AT MOMA THROUGH APRIL 20TH, 2020

February 24th, 2020

Amy Sillman: The Shape of Shape
Amy Sillman, The Shape of Shape (Installation View), all images via MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art announces a new installment of its Artist’s Choice series: The Shape of Shape by Amy Sillman. In this series, facilitated by the museum’s expanded gallery renovations, a contemporary artist organizes an installation drawn from the Museum’s collection. Recent participants include Peter Fischli (2018), David Hammons (2017), Trisha Donnelly (2012) and the architects Herzog & de Meuron (2006). For this new installment, the New York painter has collaborated with The Marlene Hess Curator Michelle Kuo and the Curatorial Assistant from the Department of Painting and Sculpture, Jenny Harris to present a packed install with a range of works in exchange with her own compositions.

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