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

Whitney to Open January 20th on “Pay-What-You-Wish” Basis

January 17th, 2017

Outside the New Whitney Museum, via Art ObservedThe Whitney has announced today that it will open on January 20th on a “pay-what-you-wish” basis, turning the space into a site for dialogues on the current state of America and American politics through a speak-out organized by arts collective Occupy Museums, and open discussions.  
Read More »

Maria Balshaw’s Tate Directorship Approved by Prime Minister

January 17th, 2017

maria-balshaw-via-the-guardianMaria Balshaw’s appointment as Tate Director has been confirmed by the Prime Minister, putting her in a leadership position for the British art world.  “I am honored to be asked by the trustees of Tate to become the new director,” Balshaw said.  “Under Nicholas Serota’s leadership, Tate has changed forever how we all think about art and artists and has made visual art a central part of a vibrant cultural life in the UK. I am tremendously excited to be leading Tate in the next chapter of its life. I look forward to developing Tate’s reputation as the most artistically adventurous and culturally inclusive gallery in the world.”
Read More »

Artist Pyotr Pavlensky Flees Russian After Sexual Assault Allegations

January 17th, 2017

Pyotr Pavlensky, via Art NewspaperRussian protest artist Pyotr Pavlensky has fled Russia following accusations of sexual assault that the artist deemed a “denunciation,” pointing to his recent works, including setting the doors of the FSB security service headquarters on fire, as cause for the accusations.  “A system of informing and reporting on others is re-emerging in Russia, showing that totalitarianism is setting in again,” he said.
Read More »

REFERENCE LIBRARY

New York – Michelle Grabner at James Cohan Through January 28th, 2017

January 17th, 2017

Michelle Grabner, Untitled (2016), via Art Observed
Michelle Grabner, Untitled (2016), via Art Observed

Artist Michelle Grabner has work on view at James Cohan Gallery in Chelsea this month, continuing the artist’s explorations of intersections between physical and social contexts for her chosen materials, and the resulting conversations between the contexts of fine art and the artist’s own life and practice. Read More »

London – John Currin at Sadie Coles HQ Through January 21st, 2017

January 16th, 2017

John Currin, Newspaper Couple (2016), via Sadie Coles
John Currin, Newspaper Couple (2016), via Sadie Coles

Artist John Currin returns to the traditional forms of the marriage portrait for a new exhibition this month at Sadie Coles’s Davies Street exhibition space, bringing his uniquely vivd painterly techniques and often wry sense of humor to bear on a series of five new canvases.  Drawing on Currin’s long study of historical forms and context, the show continues the artist’s simultaneous study and subversion of the act of portraiture. Read More »

New York – Wade Guyton: “The New York Times Paintings: November – December 2015″ at Petzel Gallery Through January 14th, 2017

January 15th, 2017

Wade Guyton, Untitled (2015), via Petzel
Wade Guyton, Untitled (2015), via Petzel

Marking an expansion and elaboration of his ongoing engagement with the materiality and phenomenology of digital media formats, Wade Guyton is presenting a series of inkjet printer-based works from late last year at Petzel Gallery this month.  Comprised of scanned and reprinted pages from the New York Times, Guyton’s body of new works reflects on both the commodity value and disposability of both images and their technologies in the modern landscape.   Read More »

New York — “Warhol, Wool, Guyton” at Nahmad Contemporary Through January 14th, 2017

January 12th, 2017

Andy Warhol, Knives (1981-82)
Andy Warhol, Knives (1981-82), All images are by Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed

Nahmad Contemporary is currently presenting an impressive three-person exhibition at its Madison Ave exhibition space, contextualizing the work of both Christopher Wool and Wade Guyton through the artistic lens of Andy Warhol, making the latter artist’s impact all the more apparent in the work of the former two.  Combining the appropriation of existing imagery and the borrowed aesthetics of mainstream commercial imagery with a certain sense of spare visual arrangement, the show is a striking visual tour de force, connecting diverse focal points and concepts over a shared sense of composition and technique, especially in the sense of the gallery space as a transformational context. Read More »

Berlin – Robert Morris: “Refractions” at Sprüth Magers Through January 14th, 2017

January 11th, 2017

img_3715
Robert Morris, Untitled (Williams Mirrors) (1976-77), all photos via Anna Corrigan for Art Observed

Now through January 14, Sprüth Magers in Berlin is hosting a historical exhibition of works by Robert Morris, exploring a series of six works developed over the course of the artist’s career, and often drawing on the use of mirrors and reflective surfaces to expand the viewer’s perception of space.  Pulling from some of the earliest works in Morris’s conceptual practice up to a work completed in 2014, Refractions traces Morris’s engagement with movement, space and the body, often in relation to the gallery space itself.

Read More »

Paris – Gordon Matta-Clark at Marian Goodman Gallery Through January 19th, 2017

January 9th, 2017

Gordon Matta-Clark, Conical Intersect (1975), via Marian Goodman
Gordon Matta-Clark, Conical Intersect (1975), via Marian Goodman

Reflecting on the far-reaching impact of artist Gordon Matta-Clark’s career, Marian Goodman Gallery has opened an exhibition of works by the American artist, combining collages, drawings, video and other works that trace the artist’s enigmatic explorations of space and use, and the artist’s place as a negotiator between these states of stillness and movement.

Gordon Matta-Clark, Cut Drawing (1974), via Marian Goodman
Gordon Matta-Clark, Cut Drawing (1974), via Marian Goodman

Read More »

New York – Andrew Kuo: “No to Self” at Marlborough Chelsea Through January 14th, 2017

January 8th, 2017

Andrew Kuo, 100% (9:25:2016) (2016), via Art Observed
Andrew Kuo, 100% (9/25/2016) (2016), via Art Observed

Andrew Kuo’s work functions at an intersection of the cognitive and formal.  His paintings, jagged and winding swirls of color executed in meticulously arranged grids, draw on histories of formally precise, minimalist painting from across the 20th century.  Yet at the same time, his work twists these forms through a framework of subjectivity, using corresponding texts at the bottom of his paintings to turn them into charts and datasets of sorts.  The amount of time dwelling on various subjects, personal details or grand metaphysical questions are implied through his works, often tinged with a wry sense of humor.

Andrew Kuo, TRIP (7/15/2016) (2016), via Art Observed
Andrew Kuo, TRIP (7/15/2016) (2016), via Art Observed

Read More »

New York — Julian Rosefeldt: “Manifesto” at Park Avenue Armory Through January 8th, 2017

January 6th, 2017

Julian Rosefeldt, Manifesto (2015) © Julian Rosefeldt and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Julian Rosefeldt, Manifesto (2015) © Julian Rosefeldt and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Following its Australian and German debuts throughout 2016, Manifesto, German artist Julian Rosefeldt’s highly anticipated multi-channel video installation starring Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett, comes to Park Avenue Armory’s cavernous Drill Hall.  Projected on soaring screens dispersed around the empty space, Rosefeldt’s tour-de-force recites a range of influential manifestos from the history of art and philosophy through an impressively diverse range brought to life by Blanchett’s virtuosic and versatile acting ability.

Manifesto at Park Avenue Armory Photo by James Ewing
Manifesto at Park Avenue Armory Photo by James Ewing Read More »

New York – Rita Ackermann: “Kline Rape” at Hauser & Wirth Through January 14th, 2017

January 4th, 2017

rita-ackermann-kline-nurses-2015-via-art-observed
Rita Ackermann, Kline Nurses (2015), via Art Observed

Taking over Hauser & Wirth’s temporary exhibition space at 548 West 22nd Street, Rita Ackermann is currently presenting a broad range of new works drawing on her ongoing investigations into the modes and structures of mainstream painting.  A relentless experimenter with the conception, construction, and presentation of the painted canvas, Ackermann’s work here spans a range of varied approaches that further her dual interrogations of the material bounds of the painting, and the gestural or technical conceits used in its realization.

Rita Ackermann, Kline Rape III (2016), via Art Observed
Rita Ackermann, Kline Rape III (2016), via Art Observed

Read More »

London — Pat Steir at Dominique Lévy Through January 28th, 2017

January 1st, 2017

Pat Steir, Elephant Waterfall (1990), via Art Observed
Pat Steir, domini (1990), via Art Observed

Stepping into Dominique Lévy gallery space, one is immediately greeted by the towering columns of paint that make up artist Pat Steir’s waterfall paintings.  Opening her first exhibition in London in twenty-eight years, the artist’s exhibition features fourteen works made over the corresponding decades, from 1990-2011.  Tracing consistent evolutions in her style and hand in conjunction with stylistic divergences and experiments, the survey engages in an ongoing dialogue over her interests in both control and abstraction. Read More »

London – William Kentridge: “Thick Time” at Whitechapel Gallery Through January 15th, 2017

December 31st, 2016

William Kentridge, The Refusal of Time (2012), via Whitechapel Gallery
William Kentridge, The Refusal of Time (2012), all images courtesy the artist via White Chapel Gallery.

Now through January 15th, Whitechapel Gallery in London is presenting a new exhibition of work by William Kentridge, one of South Africa’s pre-eminent artists. William Kentridge: Thick Time features six large-scale works created between 2003 and 2016, spanning a range of mediums and thematics that reflect Kentridge’s intense engagement with theories of time and relativity, the history of colonialism, and revolutionary politics. Read More »

New York – Mark Van Yetter: “The Terrifying Abyss of Skepticism” at Bridget Donahue Through January 8th, 2017

December 30th, 2016

Mark Van Yetter, A Lack of Imagination Seems to be the Problem (2016), via Art Observed
Mark Van Yetter, A Lack of Imagination Seems to be the Problem (2016), via Art Observed

On view at the Bridget Donahue Gallery, the works of Mark Van Yetter demonstrate the power and playfulness of association. The Terrifying Abyss of Skepticism, composed of a series of paintings on paper, allows for multiple readings, drawing on the artist’s wide scope of influences, including ancient artifacts and art objects, old masters, graphic illustrations, and folk art.  In the expansive range of graphic possibilities and interpretive frameworks provided by these references, Van Yetter’s work calls upon the viewer to locate links between each of his works, and the historical contexts they draw on.

Read More »

New York – Joel Shapiro at Dominique Lévy Through January 7th, 2017

December 29th, 2016

1_shapiro_untitled_19801
Joel Shapiro, Untitled (1980), All images via Dominique Lévy.

Now through January 7th, Dominique Lévy is hosting the major first survey of early wood reliefs by American sculptor Joel Shapiro, an exhibition that seeks to demonstrate the trajectory and development of Shapiro’s career, while foregrounding his work with pieces from the late 1970’s and ultimately culminating in a recent body of room-sized sculptural assemblages.  The wood reliefs, presented alongside a new site-specific installation, trace a practice constantly in pursuit of uses of color and mass to shape perceptions of space while exploring individual material interactions.  This marks the first time the series of wood reliefs will be comprehensively surveyed.  Read More »

New York – Paul McCarthy: “Raw Spinoffs Continuations” at Hauser & Wirth Through February 4th, 2016

December 28th, 2016

Paul McCarthy, White Snow Dwarf, Dopey (Affected Original) (2016), via Art Observed
Paul McCarthy, White Snow Dwarf, Dopey (Affected Original) (2016), via Art Observed

Returning to his ongoing fascination with the iconography and commodification of the legend of Snow White, in conjunction with reprisals of varied other series from the past 15 years of his practice, Paul McCarthy’s newest exhibition at Hauser & Wirth is a flurry of both subject matter and materials.  Massive, flaking and chipping sculptures are spread throughout the gallery’s cavernous exhibition space, each one drawing on threads of both the historical and cultural in the American psyche.  Pulling from a wide range of works that define the artist’s sculptural practice (in conversation with his video and film productions), the show offers an expansive exploration of both his sense of humor, and his keen eye for commentary.

Paul McCarthy, Puppet (2005-2008), via Art Observed
Paul McCarthy, Puppet (2005-2008), via Art Observed

Read More »

New York – Kai Althoff: “and then leave me to the common swifts (und dann überlasst mich den Mauerseglern)” at MoMA Through January 22nd, 2017

December 27th, 2016

Kai Althoff, Untitled (2015), Courtesy the Cranford Collection, London © Kai Althoff
Kai Althoff, Untitled (2015), Courtesy the Cranford Collection, London © Kai Althoff

Situated atop the Museum of Modern Art, Kai Althoff’s current survey exhibition, and then leave me to the common swifts (und dann überlasst mich den Mauerseglern), first presents itself as an elaborate visual pun, turning the sixth floor of the museum into a veritable attic space for the artist’s body of watercolors, drawings and sculpture, each shown alongside other objects in an approach to the work that opens new, and often disturbing, narratives in the progression and aesthetic explorations in the artist’s career.

Kai Althoff, and then leave me to the common swifts (Installation View), Courtesy MoMA, Photograph © Kai Althoff
Kai Althoff, and then leave me to the common swifts (Installation View), Courtesy MoMA, Photograph © Kai Althoff

Read More »

New York – Ai Weiwei’s Return to New York, at Jeffrey Deitch, Mary Boone and Lisson Gallery Through December 23rd, 2016

December 23rd, 2016

Ai Weiwei, Roots and Branches at Lisson (Installation View), via Art Observed
Ai Weiwei, Roots and Branches at Lisson (Installation View), via Art Observed

Ai Weiwei has returned to New York City for the first time since the return of his passport from the Chinese government, opening a quartet of exhibitions across its urban expanses that offer a strikingly deep and varied series of perspectives into the artist’s practice over the past few years.  Spread out across both locations of the Mary Boone Gallery, in addition to a show at Lisson, and one at Jeffrey Deitch Projects, the artist’s selection of works presents a nuanced look at his ongoing investment in the defense and articulation of universal human rights, moving from China, to Syria, and beyond.

Ai Weiwei, Roots and Branches at Mary Boone (Installation View), via Art Observed
Ai Weiwei, Roots and Branches at Mary Boone (Installation View), via Art Observed

Read More »

New York — Mike Kelley: “Memory Ware” at Hauser & Wirth Through December 23rd, 2016

December 23rd, 2016

Mike Kelley, Balanced by Mass and Personification (2001), all photos via Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed
Mike Kelley, Balanced by Mass and Personification (2001), all photos via Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed

One of the most influential American artists of the past 30 years, Mike Kelley‘s considerable body of work runs a long thread of intricately connected and often curiously diverse modes of working and creating, often creating internal exchanges and conversations that further the artist’s exploration of memory, time, and personal histories.  The late artist’s Memory Ware series has long stood as one of the less explored and understood series from his catalog, even though Kelley continued to make these works until close to his untimely passing in 2012.  Consisting of hundreds of different objects, the series manifests some of Kelley’s most fundamental thematic concerns through a reliance on bizarre fusions of kitsch, often drawing collective and personal memories, American folk art, consumerist tendencies, and pop culture into close proximity. Read More »

New York – Ragnar Kjartansson at Luhring Augustine Through December 22nd, 2016

December 22nd, 2016

Scenes from Western Culture (2015), via Art Observed
Ragnar Kjartansson, Scenes from Western Culture (2015), via Art Observed

Like much of his previous work, artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s latest exhibition at Luhring Augustine explores a variety of idyllic, everyday moments through a variety of mediums, and spread between the gallery’s two exhibition spaces.   The artist’s work on view in Chelsea draws his series Scenes from Western Culture and Architecture and Morality, while the artist’s work in Bushwick presents a new video piece World Light – The Life and Death of an Artist (2015).  Through an examination of broad themes and varied conceptual focuses, the exhibition draws on the artist’s ongoing interest in literature and pop culture, and their abilities to explore sensations of tranquility, joy and loss.

Ragnar Kjartansson, Architecture and Morality (2016), via Art Observed
Ragnar Kjartansson, Architecture and Morality (2016), via Art Observed

Read More »

New York – John Baldessari: “Pollock/Benton” at Marian Goodman Through December 23rd, 2016

December 21st, 2016

John Baldessari, Pollock/Benton: Same (2016), via Art Observed
John Baldessari, Pollock/Benton: Same (2016), via Art Observed

For the past several years, artist John Baldessari has continued to mine a particular mode of textual and graphic interrelations.  Combining disparate systems of images, texts and manipulations on the surface of the work (all of which have become hallmarks of his approach respectively), his images in recent years have taken on a sense of theme and variation, exploring the varied interpretive contexts that seem to emerge out of his simple juxtapositions of form and language.  This almost procedural approach to the image continues in his most recent body of works, currently on view at Marian Goodman in New York.

Read More »

New York – “Salvatore Scarpitta: 1956 – 1964″ at Luxembourg and Dayan Through December 23rd, 2016

December 19th, 2016

Salvatore Scarpitta, Untitled (1958), via Art Observed
Salvatore Scarpitta, Untitled (1958), via Art Observed

The life and work of Salvatore Scarpitta is defined by the artist’s meandering relationships with his dual homelands.  Originally born in the United States, the artist would gain his education in Italy before fleeing the country’s fascist uprising during World War II, later returning after serving in the U.S. Navy’s “monuments men” project, which labored to capture and return looted art and artifacts to their rightful owners.  Remaining in Italy for several years after the war, he would pioneer his own brand of abstraction and conceptually-charged minimalism before returning to the States in 1958.   Read More »

New York — Marta Riniker-Radich: “Every Home A Fortress Every Hearth A Blossom” at Swiss Institute Through December 18th, 2016

December 18th, 2016

Marta Riniker-Radich, The Cartridge Box (2016), all photos via Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed
Marta Riniker-Radich, The Cartridge Box (2016), all photos via Osman Can Yerebakan for Art Observed

Marta Riniker-Radich’s U.S. solo debut at Swiss Institute opened a few days prior to presidential elections, a note that gives the show an increasingly ominous note in the wake of Donald Trump’s ascendancy on the back of a conservative, militaristic worldview.  Drawing on this culture of perceived oppression and the systems of resistance that stem from their, her works dismantle the safety and innocence of the American home, while problematizing notions of escapism, and the notions of artificiality attached to middle-class domesticity.  Featuring notes from American militia members documenting their testimonials about emergency supply goods, and combining these with a series of artifacts and objects playing on dual uses and pluralities of violence and utilitarianism, Every Home A Fortress Every Heart A Blossom brings the political separatism of these American subcultures to the fore.  “When I opened the box I was like a kid on Christmas morning. I looked over each and every piece checking for defects,” says an anonymous member about a uniform they received.  “I found none.” Read More »

Berlin – Gina Malek: “Underlinings” at Magic Beans Through December 22nd, 2016

December 18th, 2016

Gina Malek, Underlinings (Installation View), via Magic Beans
Gina Malek, Transfer (2016), via Magic Beans

Painter Gina Malek’s new show, Underlinings, on view at Magic Beans Gallery in Berlin, is an exercise in essentialism.  The artist’s works, which draw on the fading mechanics of the human body, memory and movement, here take on a range of scenes and figures, each time drawing on juxtapositions of the body and space, and the points of conversation, transition or intermingling that stem from her approach to the canvas.

Gina Malek, Underlinings (Installation View), via Magic Beans
Gina Malek, Underlinings (Installation View), via Magic Beans    Read More »

New York – Josef Albers: “Grey Steps, Grey Scales, Grey Ladders” at David Zwirner Through December 17th, 2016

December 17th, 2016

Josef Albers, Grey Steps, Grey Scales, Grey Ladders (Exhibition View), via Art Observed
Josef Albers, Grey Steps, Grey Scales, Grey Ladders (Exhibition View), via Art Observed

On view at the David Zwirner Gallery, Grey Steps, Grey Scales, Grey Ladders delves into Josef Albers’s life-long exploration of color, form and space, focusing in particular on his works in white, grey and black, and featuring a range of his most acclaimed square paintings, as well as other abstract works from the course of his career.  A highly influential artist in the abstract movements of the early 20th Century, his works, shown in an open conversation, demonstrate the process of creating through rhythm and gradation. Read More »

New York – Thomas Schütte: “Frauen” at Skarstedt Through December 17th, 2016

December 16th, 2016

Thomas Schütte, Bronzefrau I (2000), via Art Observed
Thomas Schütte, Bronzefrau I (2000), via Art Observed

Profiling an enigmatic and often irreverent approach to both the human body and sculpture as a medium, Skarstedt has brought a series of works by Thomas Schütte to its Chelsea location.  A continuation of his Frauen series, the show combines a thorough selection of etchings with a small series of sculptures, exploring his craft as both a skilled draughtsman and studied artist in both the exploration and critique of the practice of sculpture, joining together works from the past two decades to draw new historical comparisons and conceptual linkages in the artist’s practice.

Thomas Schütte, Stahlfrau Nr. 4, (1999), via Art Observed
Thomas Schütte, Stahlfrau Nr. 4, (1999), via Art Observed

Read More »