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New York — “Words Without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go” at Almine Rech Gallery Through December 16th, 2017

December 14th, 2017

Words Without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go (Installation View)
Words Without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go (Installation View)

Almine Rech Gallery, one of Paris’s foremost galleries, opened its first New York location more than a year ago on the Upper East Side, bringing with it a unique program that mixes a strong artist roster with a consistently adventurous curatorial project.  For its most recent venture, the gallery has brought together key figures from the canon of 20th century Western art for Words Without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go. Adapting its title from a line in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the exhibition investigates ways artists use text as an allegorical element. Serving as a chronological and thematic starting point to the exhibition is Être ou ne pas être, Picasso’s 1912 painting considered as one of the foremost examples of appropriation of text in modern painting. Declaring “to be or not be” in French with gouache on paper, Picasso not only pays homage to one of the most emblematic texts ever written, but he also questions the mimetic essence of a painting. Can a painting of words serve to depict an image?
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Clearing Gallery Opens Shop Uptown

December 14th, 2017

Clearing Gallery's uptown space, via Art NewsClearing Gallery has opened a new space in New York City, setting up a second location at 43 East 78th Street. “We have private dealers, galleries, and museums around, so it’s a super location,” says gallery owner Olivier Babin. “As much as Bushwick is off the beaten path, this is in the center of everything. I mean, we’re across the street from the Carlyle!”
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American Collectors Rarely Sell Prized Works Once Purchased

December 13th, 2017

Christie's, via NY postA new study finds that few American art collectors sell their works once they have purchased them, the New York Post reports. “Collectors don’t apply the same principles to buying art that they would to a typical investment portfolio of stocks and bonds,” says John Mathews, head of private wealth management and ultra-high net worth at UBS Americas. “It is important, however, to institute management structures to ensure their legacy remains protected, correctly valued and insured.”
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New York — “Words Without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go” at Almine Rech Gallery Through December 16th, 2017

December 14th, 2017

Words Without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go (Installation View)
Words Without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go (Installation View)

Almine Rech Gallery, one of Paris’s foremost galleries, opened its first New York location more than a year ago on the Upper East Side, bringing with it a unique program that mixes a strong artist roster with a consistently adventurous curatorial project.  For its most recent venture, the gallery has brought together key figures from the canon of 20th century Western art for Words Without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go. Adapting its title from a line in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the exhibition investigates ways artists use text as an allegorical element. Serving as a chronological and thematic starting point to the exhibition is Être ou ne pas être, Picasso’s 1912 painting considered as one of the foremost examples of appropriation of text in modern painting. Declaring “to be or not be” in French with gouache on paper, Picasso not only pays homage to one of the most emblematic texts ever written, but he also questions the mimetic essence of a painting. Can a painting of words serve to depict an image? Read More »

London – Haim Steinbach: ‘jaws’ at White Cube Through January 20, 2018

December 14th, 2017

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Haim Steinbach, Untitled (fins, dolphin, seahorse) (2017). All images via White Cube Gallery.

Now through January 20th, 2018, White Cube is presenting jaws, a series of new works by Haim Steinbach at Mason’s Yard, featuring a new series of shelf works and the major installation Design #15Design for a Yogurt Bar, first conceived in 1981 and reconfigured for the gallery space. Centered around ideas of leisure and health, Steinbach’s works in the show draw on cultural models from the 1970s and 1980s to reveal novel and unexpected meanings through juxtaposition.

Haim Steinbach, starbucksroast (2017)
Haim Steinbach, starbucksroast (2017)

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New York – Jim Shaw at Metro Pictures Through December 22nd, 2017

December 13th, 2017

Shaw-Installation-View-via-Metro-Pictures-1
Jim Shaw (Installation View), all images via Metro Pictures

In his current show at Metro Pictures, artist Jim Shaw presents a group of new paintings, sculptures, and drawings—all from 2017. The show is the first in the city since his survey The End is Here was presented at the New Museum in 2015. Shaw’s work often mixes American cultural references with comic books, art history, religion, Greek mythology and his own subconscious. Suffice it to say that in the time that has passed since his New Museum. exhibition the political and social climate in America has undergone an upheaval. For this new show Shaw combines his usual brand of dark humor with themes of materialism, war and corruption in works that speak to the current state of affairs in America, post-presidential election.
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New York — Ashley Bickerton at The FLAG Art Foundation Through December 16th, 2017

December 13th, 2017

Ashley Bickerton. Catalog Terra Firma Nineteen Hundred Eight Nine #2 (1989). Mixed Media, Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.
Ashley Bickerton, Catalog Terra Firma Nineteen Hundred Eight Nine #2 (1989), Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

Bali-based artist Ashley Bickerton’s first U.S. survey dedicated to his multimedia work serves as a compact retrospective of his four-decade long career, shaped by various geographical and ideological milestones that show a continued response to the artist’s ongoing quest for meaning and space for contemplation in modern age. The exhibition, on view now at The FLAG Art Foundation proceeds a larger survey, Ornamental Hysteria, which opened in the spring of 2017 at the Damien Hirst-owned Newport Street Gallery in South London, including a total of 51 familiar and new works by the artist. The artist offers a range of work from both his current time in Bali and his long residency in New York, where Bickerton emerged in the 1980’s alongside Jeff Koons and Peter Halley. The show offers selections from various periods of his career, mostly including sculpture and painting, two mediums that have always remained intertwined since his early days. Read More »

New York – “Contingencies: Arte Povera and After” at Luxembourg & Dayan Through December 16th, 2017

December 12th, 2017

Jannis Kounellis at Luxembourg and Dayan, via Art Observed
Jannis Kounellis at Luxembourg and Dayan, via Art Observed

A contingency is a future event or circumstance that is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty, one that may rely on distinct conditions or concessions made in the present. This conditional framework serves as the namesake of the most recent exhibition of work on view at Luxembourg and Dayan this month, one that poses its exploration of the Italian post-war as contingent on a viewer’s willingness to freely-associate between various modes of practice in contemporary art. Read More »

AO On-Site – Miami Beach: Untitled Art Fair, December 6th – 10th, 2017

December 9th, 2017

Lucy and Jorge Orta at Jane Lombard, via Art Observed
Lucy and Jorge Orta at Jane Lombard, via Art Observed

Turning the corner onto the iconic drag of Ocean Drive, one’s attention is immediately drawn to the slender white tent laid out along the ocean skyline, a gleaming structure that houses the Untitled Art Fair underneath its minimalist structure.  Its annual home, placed squarely in the midst of boozey beachgoers, restaurant soundsystems, and the annual flood of Art Basel Miami Beach visitors, the fair has one of the more unique positions in a week full of unique offerings, one that balances some of the most familiar sights of the city with the impressive work on view inside.  Compounded by the floor to ceiling windows in the fair tent, the fair is an annual must-attend for those looking to get their dose of dynamic contemporary art and Florida sun in one go. Read More »

AO On-Site – Miami: NADA Miami at Ice Palace Studios, December 7th – 10th, 2017

December 9th, 2017

Lin May Saeed, via Art Observed
Lin May Saeed at Jacky Strenz, via Art Observed

As far as fairs go each year in Miami, few can compare with the unique flair and spirit of the New Art Dealers Association’s annual production in Miami, taking over hotel lobbies and ballrooms with a collection of works from young artists, smaller galleries and inventive projects that always make for an engaging, freewheeling time matched only by the fair’s impressive eye for vintage Miami charm.  So when the brutal storms that ravaged the southern tip of Florida this year made for some complications in planning at the fair’s annual haunt up-beach at The Deauville, it seemed as if some of the wind had been kept from its sails. Taking over Ice Palace Studios in an area close to downtown Miami, NADA’s most recent iteration manages to make the best of an unfortunate situation, adding the familiar atmosphere and communal spirit of the fair to an intriguing new locale on the other side of Biscayne Bay.

Molly Zuckerman Hartung at Rachel Uffner, via Art Observed
Molly Zuckerman Hartung at Rachel Uffner, via Art Observed

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AO On-Site – Miami Beach: Art Basel Miami Beach at the Miami Beach Convention Center, December 7th – 10th, 2017

December 8th, 2017

Allan McCollum at Thomas Schulter, via Art Observed
Allan McCollum at Thomas Schulte, via Art Observed

The doors have opened on the latest edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, bringing a stream of collectors and dealers into the Miami Beach Convention Center for another year of the fair’s high-profile sales, and an annual look back at the year for the art world.  Commanding a roster of over 200 galleries from around the world, the marquee event of the fall market season in the U.S., and one of the biggest social events of the art world calendar has gotten underway, with thousands flocking to the sun and sand of the Florida metropolis.

Kevin Beasley at Casey Kaplan, via Art Observed
Kevin Beasley at Casey Kaplan, via Art Observed

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AO Preview – Miami Art Week in Miami Beach, December 5th – 10th, 2017

December 4th, 2017

Nate Lowman, Maria (2017), via Maccarone
Nate Lowman, Maria (2017), via Maccarone

As another year in the art world draws to a close, global attention turns to the southern tip of the U.S. for another year of Art Week Miami, the sprawling multi-fair spectacle that each year flood both Miami Beach and Miami proper with waves of art lovers, artists, collectors and revelers for a range of installations and exhibitions, not to mention the infamous schedule of parties and events surrounding the week. Read More »

New York – Geta Bratescu: “The Leaps of Aesop” at Hauser and Wirth Through December 23rd, 2017

December 4th, 2017

Geta Bratescu, The Leaps of Aesop (Installation View), via Art Observed.
Geta Bratescu, The Leaps of Aesop (Installation View), via Art Observed.

This spring, the Romanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale opened its exhibition for this year’s iteration of the institution’s ongoing exhibition. The show, a string of drawings and paintings creeping up the walls of the gallery, and running across each of the rooms formed dense networks of gestures and panels that made each of their respective movements and concepts all the more powerful.  The show was a review of the career of Geta Bratescu, the 91-year old artist whose career has investigated the range of 20th Century practice as her own relationship to it grew and evolved over the course of her life. In the months running up to the opening of the exhibition, Bratescu joined on with Hauser & Wirth, and now brings a range of her works to bear on the gallery’s Chelsea exhibition space.   Read More »

New York – Shirazeh Houshiary: “Nothing is deeper than the skin” at Lisson Gallery Through December 22nd, 2017

November 29th, 2017

Shirazeh Houshiary, Exuviae (2016-2017), via Ondine Charlesworth for Art Observed
Shirazeh Houshiary, Exuviae (2016-2017), via Ondine Charlesworth for Art Observed

Iranian-born, London-based artist Shirazeh Houshiary returns to Lisson Gallery this month for a show of new works at the gallery’s New York location on 24th Street in Chelsea, continuing her nuanced exploration of architectural and gestural interactions.  Reflecting on physical and immaterial qualities that shape art and human life, the artist’s work in her new show draws on dualities of structure and chance, friction and fluidity, and the nuances of space that both bound and interact with the work itself.

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New York – Thomas Hirschhorn: “DE-PIXELATION” at Gladstone Gallery Through December 22nd, 2017

November 28th, 2017

Thomas Hirschhorn, DE-PIXELATION (detail) (Installation View), via Art Observed
Thomas Hirschhorn, DE-PIXELATION (detail) (Installation View), via Art Observed

Complementing his large-scale sculptural practice and near-constant interrogation of the state of mass media, political power and imagery, Gladstone Gallery is currently presenting a body of works by Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn.  Marking a continued investigation of the act of depiction, the strategies of control and dissemination in modern media, and the utility  of horror that often underwrites modern image creation, the artist has created a body of pixelated collages, culling together scenes of modern sectarian violence with a sense of constant instability and unease.  Read More »

New York – Gilbert & George: “The Beard Pictures” at Lehmann Maupin Through December 22nd, 2017

November 21st, 2017

Gilbert & George, Beardfence (2016). via Art Observed
Gilbert & George, Beardfence (2016). via Art Observed

Marking the 35th Anniversary of their collaborative practice, the famed British duo Gilbert & George have opened a show of new works at Lehmann Maupin in New York City, continuing their recent, enigmatic exploration of more violent, grotesque themes through their familiar blend of pop iconography and deep personal engagement with their work.  Long-billed as a “living sculpture,” this new selection of works by the pair explore their own visages, embellished with surreal beards in each image. Read More »

Paris – Camille Henrot: “Days Are Dogs” at Palais de Tokyo Through January 7th, 2017

November 20th, 2017

Camillle Henrot, Days Are Dogs (Installation View), via Art Observed.
Camillle Henrot, Days Are Dogs (Installation View), via Art Observed

Camille Henrot works better on a grand scale.  The Golden Lion-winning French artist, whose enigmatic and playful sculptures, paintings and installations dwell on the phenomenology of life, and an often overwhelming range of lived experience, seems to draw additional strength from working with as much space as possible, perhaps best seen in her last show at Metro Pictures in New York, where a range of concepts and ideas allowed the viewer to move effortlessly through experiences of neurosis, guilt, pain and anger through to more primal emotions, and on through to a coy fusion of the two in the language of modernity.   Read More »

New York – LA Invitational at Gagosian Gallery Through December 16th, 2017

November 19th, 2017

Chris Burden, via Art Observed
Chris Burden, via Art Observed

For its newest exhibition on view at its 24th Street exhibition space in New York, Gagosian Gallery takes a look to the west, embracing the recent potency of Los Angeles’s fine arts community with a show of works that both spotlight the gallery’s representation of artists currently working in the Californian metropolis, while simultaneously exploring the cultural landscape and iconographies of a city that has shaped their work as much as they have shaped its perception in the art world.  Drawing on work from Alex Israel, Mary WeatherfordJonas Wood and others, the show is a striking introduction to the Californian artists currently working with Gagosian, and the shared lineage of Californian art that the gallery has long participated in supporting. Read More »

AO Auction Results – New York: Phillips 20th Century and Contemporary Evening Sale, November 16th, 2017

November 16th, 2017

Peter Doig, Red House (1995-1996), final price $21,127,500, via Phillips
Peter Doig, Red House (1995-1996), final price $21,127,500, via Phillips

Throwing its hat into the ring on a bustling week of sales in New York, Phillips concluded its offering in the 20th Century and Contemporary Auctions , bringing a final tally of $113.9 million for its 44-lot sale.  The Phillips event was a quick affair, running mechanically through its offerings to achieve its result, with only a small handful of works going unsold. Read More »

AO Auction Results – New York: Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Sale, November 16th, 2017

November 16th, 2017

Roy Lichtenstein, Female Head (1977) final price $24,501,500, via Sothebys
Roy Lichtenstein, Female Head (1977) final price: $24,501,500, via Sotheby’s

The final hammer has fallen and the doors have closed on the final major art sales of 2017, as Sotheby’s concluded its Contemporary Evening Sale tonight at its York Ave location in New York.  Capping a 74-lot offering with a steady, well-run sale, the auction house achieved a final tally of $310,229,350, bringing the week’s marathon auctions to a close

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AO Auction Results – New York: Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale, November 15th, 2017

November 15th, 2017

Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi (circa 1500) final price $450,312,500, via Christie's
Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi (circa 1500) final price: $450,312,500, via Christie’s

Capping its second major sale of the week, and likely one of the more momentous sales of work in recent history, Christie’s capped an astronomical sale this evening in New York, complementing its Contemporary offerings with the much trumpeted Leonardo Da Vinci work Salvator Mundi to reach a record sale total of $785,942,250.

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AO Auction Results – New York: Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, November 14th, 2017

November 15th, 2017

Claude Monet, Les Glaçons, Bennecourt (1893), via Sotheby's
Claude Monet, Les Glaçons, Bennecourt (1893), via Sotheby’s

Following a landmark sale last evening at Christie’s, Sotheby’s took its turn this past evening in the Impressionist and Modern category, pursuing the exceptional results its rival notched over the course of the evening.  Tonight was no different, as the auction house led a wild sprint through its 67-lot sale to reach a final tally of $269,718,600. Read More »

AO Auction Results – New York: Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, November 13th, 2017

November 14th, 2017

Fernand Léger, Contraste de formes (1913), via Christie's
Fernand Léger, Contraste de formes (1913), final price: $70,062,500, via Christie’s

The first of the fall’s New York auctions kicked off this evening, as Christie’s capped the first of the week’s Impressionist and Modern Evening sales, surging out of the gate with a strong series of sales that set an impressive tempo for the week, and laid down an impressive challenge to the other auction houses.  Notching a final sales total of $480,414,000, Christie’s sent a strong message of stability in a year marked by uneven, unpredictable auction sales. Read More »

London – Marcel Broodthaers: Un Jardin D’Hiver at Hauser & Wirth Through November 18th, 2017

November 13th, 2017

Marcel Broodthaers, Un Jardin d'Hiver (1974), via Art Observed
Marcel Broodthaers, Un Jardin d’Hiver (1974), via Art Observed

Few artists’ work have left such subtle, yet enduring legacy on the landscape of modern installation, institutional critique and socially-engaged work as Belgian artist and poet Marcel Broodthaers’s work has.  Branching out into uniquely self-aware, narrative spatial arrangements and installations the artist referred to as Décors, Broodthaers’s late work mined the language of the gallery and the museum to turn its perspective both outwards and inwards at the same time, often launching stark engagements with the political and social underpinnings of the art world that ultimately supported and carried his work. Read More »

AO Auction Preview – Fall Auction Week in New York City, November 13th to 16th, 2017

November 13th, 2017

Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi (circa 1500), via Christie's
Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi (circa 1500), via Christie’s

As the weather grows increasingly chilly, the art world turns its blue-chip market attention towards New York City once again, where a final series of major Impressionist/Modern and Post-War/Contemporary Evening Sales will open at the major auction houses, once again offering a test of the market’s current strength.  With a last flourish on a year that has packed ample surprises into its market proceedings, this final sale will feature a series of landmark works, chief among them the offering of an extremely rare Leonardo Da Vinci canvas, a work that has already created a storm of chatter among art world insiders. Read More »

Berlin – Barbara Kruger: ‘FOREVER’ at Sprüth Magers Through December 22nd, 2017

November 10th, 2017

IMG_5603
Barbara Kruger, FOREVER (Installation View). All images via Anna Corrigan for Art Observed.

Now through December 22, Sprüth Magers Berlin is presenting FOREVER, a new site-specific work by Barbara Kruger. For this exhibition, the artist has created an immersive room-wrap and several new vinyl works, which together take over all four walls and the floor of the gallery’s main exhibition room. The language around which this exhibition centers reflects Kruger’s bold and distinctive voice, one which has come to define her work over the course of her 40-year career. Read More »

New York – Oldenburg/van Bruggen: “Shelf Life” at Pace Gallery Through November 11th, 2017

November 7th, 2017

Oldenburg/van Bruggen, Shelf Life (Installation View, via Art Observed
Oldenburg/van Bruggen, Shelf Life (Installation View), via Art Observed

After 12 years, pop master Claes Oldenburg returns to Pace Gallery for a show of new works this month, united under the title Shelf Life.  Incorporating a a range of sculptural techniques and objects into a swirling series of “still life” arrangements, the artist’s work re-contextualizes his own range and output as a sculptor into the broader landscape of his own life.  Shown under the name “Oldenburg/van Bruggen” the exhibition feels like something of a tribute to the artist’s late wife Coosje van Bruggen, with whom he built a range of sculptures and projects appearing in smaller scales throughout the exhibition. Read More »