A 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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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.
New York – Joan Jonas: “What is Found in the Windowless House is True” at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise Through June 11th, 2017June 10th, 2017
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.
Venice – Damien Hirst: Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable at the Palazzo Grassi and Punta Della Dogana Through December 3rd, 2017June 6th, 2017
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.
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 »
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Exhibition Page [Capitain Petzel]
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 »
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 »
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, 2017May 23rd, 2017
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, 2017May 19th, 2017
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 »