Global contemporary art events and news observed from New York City. Suggestion? Email us.
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Steve McQueen Interviewed in The Guardian

January 27th, 2020

Steve McQueen gets a profile in The Guardian this week, as he prepares to open his first Tate Modern retrospective, and reflects on the arc of his career and work. “What I do as an artist is, I think, to do with my own life experience,” he says. “I came of age in a school which was a microcosm of the world around me. One day, you’re together as a group, the next, you are split up by people who think certain people are better than you. It was kind of interesting to observe that.”
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Zineb Sedira to Represent France at 2021 Venice Biennale

January 27th, 2020

Zineb Sedira will represent France at the 2021 Venice Biennale, the Art Newspaper reports. “Sedira’s multiple identities as a French-born Algerian living in England inform her serene, often haunting photographs and video installations, which consider questions of memory, displacement, and the transmission of history,” reads a statement on the Guggenheim website.
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Experts Point to Surging Market in Fake Art Prints

January 27th, 2020

Experts are warning of a surging market in fake prints, as photo reproduction technology gets increasingly powerful.    “In the last few years we have confiscated hundreds of fakes that forgers and dealers said were by Lichtenstein, Georg Baselitz, Picasso, and others, that came from Italy, Spain, and Portugal,” says Elena Spahic, an officer with the Bavarian Police in Munich.
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Gallerists Request Concessions from Art Basel Hong Kong in Wake of Political Crisis in Country

January 27th, 2020

A group of galleries have written to Art Basel Hong Kong expressing concerns about the current political situation in Hong Kong, and pushing for concessions from the fair on booth fees and other costs.  “VIP registration numbers are consistent overall with previous years—and especially strong from the Asian region, where we have actually seen an increase in VIP registration from mainland China.” reads a reply from global director Marc Spiegler and Adeline Ooi, the fair’s Asia director. “We fully acknowledge that this year is not business as usual, and we are thus doing everything we can to support all the galleries coming to Hong Kong.”
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BBC Reviews Russian Culture Minister’s Disparaging Position Towards the Arts

January 27th, 2020

A piece on Russia’s new culture minister, Olga Lyubimova in the BBC notes her past statements about a sense of disdain for the arts. “I’ve been to the British Museum, National Gallery and a few dozen more European and Russian museums and reckon I wasted my time there,” reads a blog post she wrote years ago.
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Thomas Campbell Talks Future at Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

January 27th, 2020

Thomas Campbell gets a profile in Art Newspaper this week, as he sizes up his new position at Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and looks forward to the coming years.  “We’re hitting the 125th anniversary of the de Young in April and the 100th anniversary of the Legion in 2024, so it’s a good time to examine where we’ve come from, who we are, and what our priorities are,” he says. “I’m prioritising being an institution of thought leadership, audience engagement and connoisseurship, for example.”
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D.C. Officials Push for More Diverse Selection of Monuments in City

January 24th, 2020

Officials in Washington, D.C. are looking to incorporate more diverse historical monuments into the city’s fabric, Art News reports, with legislation proposing new monuments to historically resonant women and people of color.  “This legislation aims to properly recognize and honor remarkable persons who left indelible marks on society: men, women, and migrants,” says Kenyan McDuffie, the councilmember. “These bills aim to channel an important dialogue carrying around our country to reconcile symbols and monuments that have often complicated, and in some cases blatantly racist, history behind them.”
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The Shed Voluntarily Recognizes Employee Unionization

January 24th, 2020

The Shed will recognize its employees’ union voluntarily, Artforum reports.  “The Shed fully supports our talented and hard-working visitor experience staff in their decision to organize,” says Maryann Jordan, the institution’s chief operating officer. “We welcome UAW Local 2110 and anticipate forging a constructive relationship with their representatives as we have done with the several other unions already in place at The Shed.”
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Florida Court Blocks Yayoi Kusama ‘Infinity Room’ from Leaving Miami-Dade County

January 24th, 2020

A Florida court has put a temporary block on a Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room at the center of the controversy around dealer Inigo Philbrick, preventing the work from leaving Miami-Dade County.  “Without an injunction, FAP [Fine Art Partners] will lose the ability to be made whole because it will lose a unique, one-of-a-kind work,” says Valerie R. Manno, a judge in Miami-Dade County’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court, wrote in the temporary injunction issued on Wednesday. “An injunction will allow FAP to litigate its case without fear that the Kusama will disappear into the night.”
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NYC Partners with Nonprofits to Create New Socially-Driven Initiatives

January 24th, 2020

New York ’s Department of Cultural Affairs is overseeing partnerships between ten nonprofit arts organizations and city agencies to create programming on a range of civic and social issues including homelessness, workers’ rights, and climate change. “We are thrilled that DREAMing Out Loud has been renewed for a second year and will continue to help young writers find their voices, readers and careers in publishing,” says NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment commissioner Anne del Castillo. “New York is the ultimate city of immigrants, and we’re fighting every day to make the creative economy accessible to all.”
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

New York – Karen Kilimnik at 303 Gallery Through December 20th, 2019

November 22nd, 2019

Karen Kilimnik (Installation View), via 303
Karen Kilimnik (Installation View), via 303

Comprising her 12th solo show with 303 Gallery, artist Karen Kilimnik returns to New York with a new body of works, snaking through a range of materials and techniques that touch on painting, photography, collage, sculpture and video, all displayed in the Petersburger exhibition style.

Karen Kilimnik, the sports car rally + and the treasure hunt, england, Steed, Emma Peel, assorted villains + the butler - bentley (2007), via 303
Karen Kilimnik, the sports car rally + and the treasure hunt, england, Steed, Emma Peel, assorted villains + the butler – bentley (2007), via 303

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New York – Matthew Barney: “Embrasure” at Gladstone Gallery Through December 21st, 2019

November 20th, 2019

Matthew Barney, Embrasure (Installation View), via Gladstone Gallery
Matthew Barney, Embrasure (Installation View), via Gladstone Gallery

Artist Matthew Barney’s victory lap continues after the 2018 release of his latest film Redoubt, a wolf hunt in Idaho’s rugged Sawtooth Mountains that continues the artist’s ongoing preoccupation with landscape as both setting and subject. For his current show in New York, on view at Gladstone Gallery, the artist presents a set of new drawings, etchings, and sculpture that draw from the film, and expand on its allegorical and cosmological themes. Read More »

New York – Douglas Gordon at Eva Presenhuber Through December 15th, 2019

November 19th, 2019

Douglas Gordon, Happy Birthday to Me (2008-ongoing), via Eva Presenhuber
Douglas Gordon, Happy Birthday to Me (2008-ongoing), via Eva Presenhuber

Presenting a range of works continuing his interest in cinema and the collective memory, the construction of images on the screen and in our heads, artist Douglas Gordon returns to Eva Presenhuber in New York City with a selection of works centered around his ongoing installation Happy Birthday To Me…, accompanied by a new 24-part burned print work titled Self Portrait of You + Me (Neighborly Love), a film installation titled Video Diptych, and more, compiling the artist’s respective works into both a portrait of his own practice, and that of the concepts described above. Read More »

NEW YORK – “CONVERSATION PIECE: DESIGN IS DEAD” AT 109 THOMPSON THROUGH NOVEMBER 16TH, 2019

November 16th, 2019

Charlap Hyman & Herrero, Shell Lamp I, Moulded plastic, and Astrologia Zodiac Black Natural Abaca Round Rug, Hemp, 2018; Chiarastella Cattana, Dune, Jacquard woven textile, 2019; Yali, Vignole Table, Glass top, iron base, 2019. © Annie Schlecter.
Charlap Hyman & Herrero, Shell Lamp I, Moulded plastic, and Astrologia Zodiac Black Natural Abaca Round Rug, Hemp, 2018; Chiarastella Cattana, Dune, Jacquard woven textile, 2019; Yali, Vignole Table, Glass top, iron base, 2019. © Annie Schlecter.

Currently on view for the week at 109 Thompson Street is the pop-up exhibition ‘Conversation Piece: Design is Dead’, a shoebox of a gallery space that designer Adam Charlap Hyman has dramatically transformed into an underwater grotto. The eponymous title of the show is the frequent tagline of Enzo Mari, a maverick Italian designer highly critical of modern design with a host of catechisms to prove it. He attributes the solipsism of design—namely, its death—as ‘the overlaying of icons without any reference to history… In most cases the essence becomes a confusing mess, created without logic.’ Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sales, November 13th – 14th, 2019

November 14th, 2019

Ed Ruscha, Hurting the Word Radio #2 (1964), via Christie's
Ed Ruscha, Hurting the Word Radio #2 (1964), final price: $52,485,000, via Christie’s

With the closing of sales last night in New York, the major auction houses have drawn the curtain on a busy year on the secondary market, capping a trio of strong outings for Post-War and Contemporary Art that have once again underscored the state of the art market currently.  A number  of guaranteed sales and high estimate prices seem to have eradicated much of the surprise at the higher end of the market, but its value-setting functions remain intact, as a number of records fell over the course of the past two evenings, and a group of artists made the jump from heritage prizes to certified blue-chip bets. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – New York: Impressionist and Modern Evening Sales, November 12th and 13th, 2019

November 13th, 2019

Claude Monet, Charing Cross Bridge (1903), via Sotheby's
Claude Monet, Charing Cross Bridge (1903), final price: $27,600,000  via Sotheby’s

Marking their entries of the week’s packed calendar of Impressionist and Modern Evening Sales, the Impressionist and Modern Sales have concluded in New York, rounding out the first half of a bustling week of sales that also caps off the second half of the year’s major secondary market sales. Read More »

AO Auction Preview – New York Auction Week, November 11th – 14th, 2019

November 8th, 2019

Willem de Kooning, Untitled XXII (1977), via Sotheby's
Willem de Kooning, Untitled XXII (1977), via Sotheby’s

Capping off the events of the fall art market before one last blowout in Miami, New York City will play home to a last series of major art auctions, offering a last look for the year on just how the contemporary market is faring. Considering relatively unpredictable sales in London this past month, and and more uncertainty on the global horizon, it should make for an intriguing picture of how U.S. dealers are preparing for the months to come. Read More »

Berlin – Mai-Thu Perret: “Agua Viva” at Galerie Barbara Weiss Through November 9th, 2019

November 1st, 2019

Mai-Thu Perret, Agua Viva (Installation View), via Galerie Barbara Weiss
Mai-Thu Perret, Agua Viva (Installation View), via Galerie Barbara Weiss

Currently on at Galerie Barbara Weiss in Berlin, artist Mai-Thu Perret has opened an exhibition of new works drawing on a range of conceptual vectors to explore modernity in conversation with a range of disparate timelines and frames of reference. Drawing its title from writer Clarice Lispector’s book of the same name, the work seems to explore a similar exploration of time as atomic, as suspended along a series of varied singularities that converge and break apart, each moment a collision of varied possibilities and probabilities. Read More »

Paris – Mona Hatoum at Chantal Crousel Through November 23rd, 2019

October 31st, 2019

Mona Hatoum, Hot Spot (Stand) (2018), via Chantal Crousel
Mona Hatoum, Hot Spot (stand) (2018), via Chantal Crousel

Currently on at Chantal Crousel in Paris, artist Mona Hatoum continues her incisive, challenging work reflecting on world conflicts, migrations, and surveillance, using materials as varied as steel, brick, concrete, and human hair to create spaces of tension, paradox, and ambiguity. Using these materials as a way to explore and elaboration on political systems of oppression and destruction, the artist’s work is a poetic and often startling challenge to power. Read More »

Paris – Urs Fischer: “Leo” at Gagosian Gallery Through December 20th, 2019

October 30th, 2019

Urs Fischer, Leo (George & Irmelin) (2019), via Gagosian
Urs Fischer, Leo (George & Irmelin) (2019), via Gagosian

With the opening of FIAC this past month, Gagosian Gallery filled its ground-floor space in Paris with new work by Urs Fischer, including an impressive new candle work by the artist depicting actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio. Continuing the artist’s enigmatic engagement with the aura of fame and fortune, his new candle sculpture marks a return to his interest in collectors and art world influencers, turning their visages into slowly melting piles of wax. Read More »