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

Swiss Farmer Wins Contest to Show Picasso on His Barn

April 18th, 2019

A Swiss farmer, Hanspeter Benz has won a competition by the Fondation Beyeler to hang a Picasso in his barn for 24 hours. The work was shown in Benz’s barn on April 16th.
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Chicago Artists Coalition Releases List of Micro-Grant Recipients

April 18th, 2019

The Chicago Artists Coalition has unveiled its list of 15 Chicago-based artists who will receive its first-ever round of micro-grants, which come with unrestricted purses of $2,000 each.  “We have truly visionary artists living and working in every neighborhood across the city. We hope that this new line of support will help bring some of their visions to life, for their individual benefit and that of their broader communities,” says Tracie D. Hall, director of the Joyce Foundation’s culture program.
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Anne Pasternak Gives Tour of Her BK Museum Office

April 18th, 2019

Brooklyn Museum head Anne Pasternak gives NY Magazine a tour of her office, showcasing her art collection, which includes work by Kiki Smith and Kara Walker, and shares a story about a graffiti artist showing up to paint part of her wall.  “So one day he shows up in a clown outfit, complete clown outfit, doesn’t say a word, has a bucket with spray paint in it, puts down a tarp, paints for twenty minutes and leaves, never said a word,” she says.
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Phillips To Sell Mark Bradford’s Helter Skelter II in May Sales

April 18th, 2019

Following Phillips’s $12m success with the sale of Mark Bradford’s Helter Skelter I in London last Winter, the auction house will sell the second part of the work this spring, carrying an $8m low estimate and a third party guarantee. “We are thrilled to offer Mark Bradford’s masterpiece, Helter Skelter II, in our May Evening Sale after realizing a world-record price for its companion work last year,” says Jean-Paul Engelen, Worldwide Co-Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art.
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Pollock-Krasner Foundation Announces Latest Round of Grants Totalling $3 Million

April 17th, 2019

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation has announced 111 grants to artists and 13 to nonprofit organizations, with $3.17 million distributed in total. “At the core of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation’s mission is fostering the work and development of artists, and our 2018–19 grant and award recipients highlight the impact we can have due to Lee Krasner’s legacy,” says Ronald D. Spencer, the foundation’s chairman and CEO.
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NYT Spotlights Artworks Removed from Notre Dame Days Before Fire

April 17th, 2019

A piece in the NYT spotlights the works removed from Notre Dame just days before its massive fire.  “Reconstruction and renovation of Notre-Dame could take between 10 and 20 years, probably for a cost of several hundred million euros,” says Patrick Palem, a veteran restoration expert with SOCRA.
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Gagosian to Stage Fundraiser for Notre Dame

April 17th, 2019

Gagosian Gallery will stage an exhibition this June in Paris, from which all proceeds from sales will go to initiatives to rebuild the cathedral after its massive fire this week. Full details for the show have yet to be announced. “Notre-Dame is one of the most widely recognized symbols of the city of Paris and the French nation,” Larry Gagosian, the gallery’s founder, said in a statement. “I wish to contribute to the reconstruction of this iconic cathedral after watching, with devastation, as it was engulfed in flames.”
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UK Arts Mark Higher Contributions to UK Economy Than Agriculture

April 17th, 2019

Arts and culture now have a higher contribution to the UK economy than agriculture, The Guardian notes  “It tells you about their commitment and determination in spite of the cuts. It also tells you if they had a bit more money they would do something rather wonderful with it,” says Sir Nicholas Serota.
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Prix International d’Art Contemporain Shortlist Announced

April 17th, 2019

The Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco has announced the shortlist of works for the 47th edition of its Prix International d’Art Contemporain (PIAC), featuring work by Yto Barrada, Arthur Jafa, and Rayyane Tabet. “As an organization, we are determined to continuously broaden our perspective and are deeply committed to offer a platform to a plurality of diverse voices in the field of contemporary art and visual culture,” says PIAC’s artistic director, Lorenzo Fusi.
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Noguchi Museum to Allow Visitors Into Artist’s Studio

April 17th, 2019

The Noguchi Museum will allow the public to visit the artist’s studio for the first time after restoration is complete.  “What I really admire about Noguchi was that he was one of the great 20th-century polymaths,” says director Brett Littman. “He worked across so many disciplines.”
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

AO Auction Recap – London: Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, February 26th – 27th, 2019

February 27th, 2019


Paul Signac, Le Port au soleil couchant, Opus 236 (Saint-Tropez) (1892), Final Price: £19,501,250 via Christie’s

Over the course of the last two evenings in London, the major auction houses rounded out an uneven, occasionally disappointing series of sales in the British capital, casting some doubts over the prolonged strength of the Impressionist and Modernist market in the UK, EU and beyond.  Missing out on major fireworks at both houses, save for a few auction records already anticipated to fall, the evening sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s have posed some hard questions regarding the market’s current health, and just how markets are responding to an increasingly foggy Brexit picture.

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AO Auction Preview – London: The Impressionist/Modern and Post-War/Contemporary Evening Sales, February 26th – March 7th, 2019

February 25th, 2019


Claude Monet, Le Palais Ducal (1908), via Sotheby’s

With the month of February drawing to a close, the major auction houses are gearing up for their first real test of the year, with a string of auctions set to take place over the course of the following weeks in London.  Marking major sales for both the Impressionist/Modern and Post-War/Contemporary categories, the next two weeks should offer some perspective on how the secondary market is faring in relation to what seems to be an energetic but slightly smaller fair circuit. Read More »

New York – Ella Kruglyanskaya: “Fenix” at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise Through February 24th, 2019

February 22nd, 2019


Ella Kruglyanskaya, Doll on Lilac Background (2018), via Art Observed

Latvian-born painter Ella Kruglyanskaya brings her stylized depictions of female figures to New York this month, presenting a show of new paintings at Gavin Brown’s spacious Harlem gallery space. The show, dwelling on her restlessly inventive and stylistically diverse body of work, has installed the artist’s range of portraits and scenes depicting women’s bodies and social contexts through a range of varied lenses. Read More »

New York – “God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin” at David Zwirner

February 17th, 2019


Marlene Dumas, James Baldwin (2014), all images via Art Observed

Delving into the life and work of the monumental American writer James Baldwin, Hilton Als has taken another turn as a curator at David Zwirner Gallery, mounting an exhibition that both explores and critiques the artist’s career, and his complicated relationship to the political landscape and social conflicts of the United States. The show, following up on Als’s exploration of the work of Alice Neel, is a nuanced review of Baldwin’s connections between Paris and New York and its diverse art scenes, in conjunction with his own aesthetic longings beyond that of his writing. Read More »

AO On-Site – Los Angeles: Felix Art Fair, February 14th – 17th, 2019

February 17th, 2019


Felix Art Fair, all images via Art Observed

For a city that has embraced its emergence onto the global arts stage in recent years, its still an impressive feat that Los Angeles’s first major market week would open with four well-curated and diverse events, perhaps even more impressive that each would manage to express such a unique vision and concept in relation to the broader fabric of the week.  From Frieze’s dynamic use of the Paramount Studios lots to SPRING/BREAK’s utilization of fruit stands downtown, the mixture of familiar forms in intriguing locales has helped define this whirlwind week in California.


Calvin Marcus at Clearing Read More »

AO On-Site – Los Angeles: SPRING/BREAK LA at The Stalls at Skylight ROW DTLA, February 15th – 17th, 2019

February 17th, 2019


Theo Triantafyllidis, Seamless (2017) at Transfer Gallery, all images via Art Observed

Opening up its own intriguing take on the landscape of Los Angeles and its ample supply of artists and galleries, SPRING/BREAK has brought its production to the City of Angels for the first time, launching a supplementary event that feels particularly resonant amid the hustle and bustle of Frieze week. Read More »

Junya Ishigami Wins 2019 Serpentine Pavilion Design Competition

February 15th, 2019

Junya Ishigami’s Pavilion Design

The design for the 2019 edition of the Serpentine Pavilion has been announced, with Japanese designer Junya Ishigami tapped to execute a light, illusory design appearing as if it was quite hefty and overpowering. “Possessing the weighty presence of slate roofs seen around the world, and simultaneously appearing so light it could blow away in the breeze, the cluster of scattered rock levitates, like a billowing piece of fabric,” his firm said in a statement. Read More »

AO On-Site – Los Angeles: Frieze Los Angeles at Paramount Studios, February 15th – 17th, 2019

February 15th, 2019


John Baldessari at Marian Goodman, all images via Art Observed

As Thursday draws to a close, and the sun sets over the Pacific, the Frieze Los Angeles Art Fair has wrapped its first day of operation, closing on a a particularly strong and visually striking event that lived up to the anticipation many had afforded it. Installed around the enigmatic environs of the Paramount aquatic tank, the fair’s installation structure and emphasis on its normal uses lent the event a flair that likely will rarely be matched among the highest levels of the contemporary fair circuit.  Its strange inclusion of a massive painted skyline against the rows of booths made for a captivating comment on the land of make-believe so many afford the city as a characteristic.


Frieze Los Angeles


Ken Price, L.A Bowl (1991) at Mathew Marks Read More »

AO On-Site – Los Angeles: Art Los Angeles Contemporary at Santa Monica Airport, February 13th – 17th, 2019

February 14th, 2019


Rachel Eulena Williams, Ceysson & Bénètière

Opening the week of art fairs in Los Angeles, the VIP preview for Art Los Angeles Contemporary has gotten underway at the Santa Monica Airport this evening.  The tenth edition of the fair continues its place as a site for established and emerging galleries from around the world, with a strong focus on the city’s own arts communities.  Outdating the Frieze art fair by a full decade, ALAC has long been a centerpiece in the landscape of Los Angeles’s contemporary arts scene.  Now, the fair seems to have taken on a more boutique stature among the increasingly fragmented landscape of the city’s fair offerings. Read More »

AO Preview – Los Angeles: Frieze Art Fair and LA Art Week, February 13th – 17th, 2019

February 11th, 2019


Wolfgang Tillmans, via Regen Projects

Taking a new spin on Art Week in the Californian metropolis, this week sees the inaugural edition of Frieze Los Angeles, a new fair opening under the sunny skies of the Golden State.  Setting up shop at Paramount Studios, this week will serve as something of a victory lap for a city whose contemporary arts offerings have exploded in past years, and which has taken on the role of a cultural capital for both artists and the galleries representing them.  

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