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NEWS

Private Sales Drastically Down at Christie’s

July 24th, 2017

Christie's, via NYTA recent report on the year’s auction health sees auction sales slightly improving, while private sales are drastically down at Christie’s, the Financial Times reports. Christie’s CEO Guillaume Cerutti has attributed this to the “counter-cyclical relationship” between auctions and private sales.
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Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Art Holdings Valued at Over $25 Million

July 24th, 2017

Ivanka Trump and Dan Colen, via Art NewsThe most recent financial disclosure by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump has valued the couple’s art collection at over $25 million, CNN reports. This comes after months of reported foot-dragging by White House officials in the release of information on the family’s holdings. “We’re not getting the level of responsiveness from the White House counsel’s office that we’re used to, or that we need to do the job really effectively,” says Walter Shaub of the Office of Government Ethics.
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Nicole Eisenman Sculpture Defaced in Münster

July 21st, 2017

Nicole Eisenman sculpture, via ArtforumA group of vandals attacked a sculpture in Nicole Eisenman’s site-specific installation, Sketch for a Fountain, at Skulptur Projekte Münster, Artforum reports. A large figure in the sculpture has been beheaded, and will remain without its head for the remainder of the show. 
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Getty Museum Acquires Major Collection of Drawings

July 21st, 2017

Jean-Antoine Watteau’s La Surprise, via NYTThe Getty Museum has made a major purchase of 16 drawings and one painting including works by Michelangelo, Parmigianino and Watteau, among others, one of the most expensive single acquisitions in the museum’s history. “This acquisition is absolutely transformative in terms of the quality of our drawings collection,” says director Timothy Potts. “There hasn’t been an opportunity like this in 30 years of the Getty’s existence and there won’t be again.”
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Bill Funding NEA Passes House Appropriations Committee

July 21st, 2017

u-s-congress-via-art-newspaperDespite attempts by Donald Trump to defund the NEA, a bill guaranteeing future funding for the organization has won approval this week from the House appropriations committee, the New York Times reports. “It is a very solid rejection of the administration’s proposals to terminate the two agencies,” says Narric Rome, who heads up government affairs at advocacy group Americans for the Arts. “We consider the House number to be a very good starting point for the appropriations process.”
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Israeli Art Student Facing Charges Over Theft of Artifacts from Auschwitz for Exhibition

July 21st, 2017

Auschwitz, via Washington PostA young Israeli art student, Rotem Bides, is facing major criticism and potential criminal from the Polish government, after she reportedly stole artifacts from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum for a show at Beit Berl College in Kfar Saba. “The college believes that this move points to a lack of public sensitivity and a misunderstanding of its criminal significance,” Bides’s college said in a statement, after deciding to cancel her exhibition.
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New York City Launches Plan to Reorient Approach Towards Arts Funding and Support

July 20th, 2017

New York City Hall, via Art NewsNew York City embarked on an ambitious plan to refocus its orientation towards the arts in modern urban life. “We are clear: there are no cultural deserts in New York City,” Tom Finkelpearl, the commissioner of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, says. “There are arts organizations and artists in every part of the city, but there are not necessarily well-resourced artists and arts organizations in every part of the city. There are parts of the city and communities that remain underserved.”
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Francis Bacon Paintings from 2015 Heist Recovered

July 20th, 2017

Francis Bacon works, via BBCThree of five Francis Bacon pieces stolen from the Madrid home of the artist’s friend José Capelo have been recovered by Spanish police, the BBC reports. The works were recovered after a string of arrests in the past months led to the work’s discovery.
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Centre Pompidou Confirms Expansion in Shanghai

July 20th, 2017

Shanghai's West Bund, via Art NewspaperThe Centre Pompidou has confirmed an expansion to Shanghai, with plans to stage a series of exhibitions at a new pop-up space called Le Centre Pompidou Shanghai (West Bund). “This cultural partnership [with the West Bund Group] will also allow the Centre Pompidou to present Chinese contemporary art in Paris,” says a gallery statement.
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Lygia Pape’s Daughter Suing LG Over Use of Artist’s Work in Phone Packaging

July 20th, 2017

Ttetia 1, C by Lygia Pape, via BloombergThe daughter of Brazilian artist Lygia Pape is suing electronics giant LG for is reportedly unlicensed use of the artist’s sculpture Tteia 1, C in packaging materials, advertising and promotions for one of its phones. “That LG and others stole her work for their crass commercial purposes is not only against the law, it is an affront, an ugly reminder that enormous corporations such as LG believe themselves beyond the law,” Paula Pape says. “They can steal now and pay later from their profits,” she said.
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New York – Walead Beshty: “Open Source” at Petzel Gallery Through June 17th, 2017

June 11th, 2017

Walead Beshty, Office Work (Canon imageCLASS D1350 Monochrome Laser All-in-One Printer, Copier, Scanner, Fax F161402) (2017)

Walead Beshty, Office Work (Canon imageCLASS D1350 Monochrome Laser All-in-One Printer, Copier, Scanner, Fax F161402) (2017), all photos via Sarah Cohen for Art Observed

Artist Walead Beshty’s work has frequently mined the language and situations of modern labor as productive systems for rendering his works in the gallery space.  There are his postal works, for instance, which use the often rough delivery methods of varied delivery companies to create shattered, misshapen sculptures produced through the route’s inherent inefficiencies; or his works from the last show at Petzel Gallery in New York, which used the movements of gallery employees on a copper table top to create swirling patterns emphasizing the movements and gestures of modern office work.  For the artist’s most recent exhibition at Petzel, this interest in production and systems returns, running through a broad body of works that underscores his intuitive use of simple gestures and deft manipulations to create his pieces.

Walead Beshty, Open Source (Installation View), via Art Observed
Walead Beshty, Open Source (Installation View)

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New York – Joan Jonas: “What is Found in the Windowless House is True” at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise Through June 11th, 2017

June 10th, 2017

Joan Jonas, What is Found in the Windowless House is True (Installation View), via Art Observed
Joan Jonas, What is Found in the Windowless House is True (Installation View), via Art Observed

Taking over almost the full expanse of Gavin Brown’s impressive Harlem exhibition space, artist Joan Jonas returns to New York with a body of work in tow that mingles previous explorations and new meditations on man’s relationship with the natural world.  Pulling the viewer along a meandering pathway up through the gallery’s multi-floor exhibition space, Jonas’s work greets the viewer with visual twists and turns of their own, each time dwelling on the act of perception and understanding, natural phenomena and man’s modern contexts.

Joan Jonas, What is Found in the Windowless House is True (Installation View), via Art Observed
Joan Jonas, What is Found in the Windowless House is True (Installation View), via Art Observed

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Venice – Damien Hirst: Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable at the Palazzo Grassi and Punta Della Dogana Through December 3rd, 2017

June 6th, 2017

Damien Hirst, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable (Installation View), via Art Observed
Damien Hirst, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable (Installation View), via Art Observed

After much anticipation, the crowds of the Venice Biennale have finally packed through the doors of the Palazzo Grassi and Punta Della Dogana to take their turn at the visual tour de force of Damien Hirst’s Treasures of the Wreck of the Unbelievable.  The show, which opened last month at François Pinault’s pair of exhibition spaces in the city, has garnered considerable discussion over the past several months since its announcement, and with good reason.  Hirst’s exhibition is a challenging, and often confounding experience, taking on the museum as a form, and pushing it to its symbolic limits.

Damien Hirst, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable (Installation View), via Art Observed
Damien Hirst, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable (Installation View), via Art Observed

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New York – Robert Longo: “The Destroyer Cycle” at Metro Pictures Through June 17th, 2017

May 31st, 2017

Robert Longo, Untitled (Raft at Sea) (2016-17), via Art Observed
Robert Longo, Untitled (Raft at Sea) (2016-17), via Art Observed

Several years ago, a lone Robert Longo piece left quite an impression at Art Basel Miami Beach.  The subdued charcoal composition depicting several players from the St. Louis Rams posing in the iconic “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” pose that followed in the wake of the death of young Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer in nearby Ferguson, Missouri was stark and imposing, a powerful reminder of the specter of police violence preying on black citizens in the United States.  It made for a sudden rupture in the often buoyant atmosphere of the fair, and one that welcomed the turbulence of the outside world in. Read More »

Berlin – Charline von Heyl at Capitain Petzel Through June 3rd, 2017

May 31st, 2017

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Installation View. All images courtesy the artist and Capitain Petzel.

Now through June 3rd, new work by Charline von Heyl will be on view at Capitain Petzel in Berlin, her second solo exhibition with the gallery.  The German artist, who works with drawing, printmaking, and collage, has long drawn on this wealth of material in conjunction with a wide-ranging gestural vocabulary to create a densely layered body of works, shown here through a series of new canvases mixing various modes of illustration and painting.

VonHeyl_Installation-view_2

The artist’s work functions not as a series of surfaces, but interlocking visual events, layering varied approaches towards repeating images or motifs which work in conjunction with her flowing brushstrokes and blurs of color.  These colors and images shift depending on the time of day or the viewer’s perspective, their respective qualities marking a subtle environmental thread that balances against each work’s dynamic surface.  Drawing is a significant part of the artist’s process, though any impression of line or form tends to hide beneath the unstable and heavy layers of charcoal powder, copper, aluminum flakes and dirty pastels.

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Rememble (2016).

The exhibition brings together a selection of recent works, creating a continued sense of agitation and stabilization, tension and dissolution.  These works produce stark visual effects and striking contrasts rather that depict any single subject, the artist’s hand playing on the act of painting in conjunction with selected models and repeated themes running throughout her works.  This mode of action allows von Heyl to play on a sense of poetic depth and humor, a visual interrogation of painting by the act of painting itself.

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In Local Yokel from Outer Space (2014), for instance, a globular, alien-like face seems to smile from its vantage point inside the frame.  Composed of brightly colored points and dark accents, the painting is at once inviting and menacing.  Considered in different orientations, the abstract subject morphs between readings as an animal, organic object, and the otherworldly.  In Samurai Rabbit (2017), by contrast, the figure of a rabbit stalks across the frame, holding what appears to be a samurai sword.  The red-splattered canvas gives the impression of the exaggerated gore and violence encountered on-screen.  Paired with the gentle symbol of a rabbit walking through a pastoral background, this painting balances the explicit and the abstract in an interesting combination of fine art and entertainment.

VonHeyl_Installation-view_17-1024x685
Installation View.

Charline von Heyl’s stimulating work is hosted in Capitain Petzel’s open and airy gallery space, giving the viewer ample room to consider these images from afar and up-close.  The artist’s dynamic and provocative pieces come together to demonstrate the pleasure in experience what can happen to a painting under an active gaze.

Her work is on view through June 3rd.

— A. Corrigan

Read more:
Exhibition Page [Capitain Petzel]

 

New York – Rodney Graham at 303 Gallery Through June 2nd, 2017

May 27th, 2017

Rodney Graham, Media Studies 77 (2017), via Art Observed
Rodney Graham, Media Studies ’77 (2017), via Art Observed

Currently spread out across 303 Gallery’s spacious 21st Street exhibition space in Chelsea, photographer Rodney Graham has returned with a body of new works, continuing his playful and incisive understanding of cultural archetypes.  Drawing from a range of situations and signifiers, the artist’s body of new works, a series of chromogenic transparencies mounted on light-boxes, play on both Graham’s observations of his native Vancouver, and more broadly, his understanding of the conventions of the image in modern creative production. Read More »

London – Annette Messager: “Avec et sans raisons” at Marian Goodman Gallery Through May 27th, 2017

May 26th, 2017

AneMes17753MessagerInstallation4
Annette Messager, Avec et sans raisons (Installation View), all images via Marian Goodman

On now through May 27th, avec et sans raisons by Annette Messager is on view at the Marian Goodman Gallery in London, comprising Messager’s first solo show at the gallery and first exhibition in London since 2009.  The title of the exhibition reveals the 73-year-old artist’s penchant for wordplay, suggesting both a possession or lack in the faculty of reason, as well as the existence and/or deficiency of motivation. Following through with the suggestion of its title, the exhibition contains works that possess a clear rationality while simultaneously toying with concepts of the absurd. Read More »

New York: Robert Therrien at Gagosian Gallery Through May 26th, 2017

May 24th, 2017

Robert Therrien, Transparent Room (2010), via Art Observed
Robert Therrien, Transparent Room (2010), via Art Observed

Cataloguing a range of Robert Therrien’s nuanced explorations and elaborations on the physical and psychological landscapes of the everyday, Gagosian Gallery has brought a body of new and recent works to its 24th Street exhibition space in Chelsea.  Marking the artist’s first exhibition in New York in ten years, the show marks a fitting continuation of Therrien’s interests in domestic space, memory and form through a series of sculptures, large-scale environments and works on paper.   Read More »

New York – Erwin Wurm: “Ethics demonstrated in geometrical order” at Lehmann Maupin Through May 26th, 2017

May 23rd, 2017

Erwin Wurm, Modernist Pickle (2016), via Art Observed
Erwin Wurm, Modernist Pickle (2016), via Art Observed

Currently on view at Lehmann Maupin’s Chelsea exhibition space, Austrian artist Erwin Wurm is presenting a concise summary of his recent work, installing a range of sculptures in his broad practice that explore the act of both participation and subversion in the landscape of modernity.  Including both quasi-participatory work alongside a series of more static pieces, the show allows Wurm to run through an impressive range of both his practice, and his broader critical project. Read More »

Los Angeles – Jason Rhoades: “Installations, 1994 – 2006″ at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles Through May 21st, 2017

May 19th, 2017

Jason Rhoades, My Madinah. In pursuit of my ermitage... (2004), via Art Observed
Jason Rhoades, My Madinah. In pursuit of my ermitage… (2004), via Art Observed

Exploring a range of works from the career of Jason Rhoades, Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles has assembled a challenging exhibition for its spring calendar, one that feels particularly resonant in the tense geopolitical situations of 2017.  Installations, 1994-2006, drives at Rhoades’s shared language of consumption and mythology, space and commerce, as a fertile site for the investigation of the modern world, and the cultural collisions stemming from its increasing interconnectivity.   Read More »