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

Dean Valentine Profiled in NYT

February 21st, 2019

Collector and Felix co-founder Dean Valentine is profiled in the NYT this week, reflecting on his successful fair and his own collecting habits. “I learned a lot of what I know about art from hanging out with dealers in the mid-90s and asking them, ‘Why is this any good?’” the former president of Walt Disney Television and CEO of UPN said.
Read More »

UBS Fined €3.7 billion Over Tax Evasion Allegations

February 21st, 2019

Swiss bank UBS has been fined €3.7 billion over alleged assistance in tax evasion for wealthy clients. The bank has been a partner with Art Basel since 1994. “Art Basel has a long-term partnership with UBS and continues working with UBS as its global lead partner,” a spokesperson said.
Read More »

NADA Adds 17 New Member Galleries

February 21st, 2019

The New Art Dealers Alliance has added seventeen new galleries to its ranks, among them Mitchell Algus Gallery and 321 Gallery.  “Each of our new members exemplify NADA’s mission, and are great additions to our growing community,” says director Heather Hubbs.
Read More »


New York – “God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin” at David Zwirner

February 17th, 2019

Marlene Dumas, James Baldwin (2014), all images via Art Observed

Delving into the life and work of the monumental American writer James Baldwin, Hilton Als has taken another turn as a curator at David Zwirner Gallery, mounting an exhibition that both explores and critiques the artist’s career, and his complicated relationship to the political landscape and social conflicts of the United States. The show, following up on Als’s exploration of the work of Alice Neel, is a nuanced review of Baldwin’s connections between Paris and New York and its diverse art scenes, in conjunction with his own aesthetic longings beyond that of his writing. Read More »

AO On-Site – Los Angeles: Felix Art Fair, February 14th – 17th, 2019

February 17th, 2019

Felix Art Fair, all images via Art Observed

For a city that has embraced its emergence onto the global arts stage in recent years, its still an impressive feat that Los Angeles’s first major market week would open with four well-curated and diverse events, perhaps even more impressive that each would manage to express such a unique vision and concept in relation to the broader fabric of the week.  From Frieze’s dynamic use of the Paramount Studios lots to SPRING/BREAK’s utilization of fruit stands downtown, the mixture of familiar forms in intriguing locales has helped define this whirlwind week in California.

Calvin Marcus at Clearing Read More »

AO On-Site – Los Angeles: SPRING/BREAK LA at The Stalls at Skylight ROW DTLA, February 15th – 17th, 2019

February 17th, 2019

Theo Triantafyllidis, Seamless (2017) at Transfer Gallery, all images via Art Observed

Opening up its own intriguing take on the landscape of Los Angeles and its ample supply of artists and galleries, SPRING/BREAK has brought its production to the City of Angels for the first time, launching a supplementary event that feels particularly resonant amid the hustle and bustle of Frieze week. Read More »

Junya Ishigami Wins 2019 Serpentine Pavilion Design Competition

February 15th, 2019

Junya Ishigami’s Pavilion Design

The design for the 2019 edition of the Serpentine Pavilion has been announced, with Japanese designer Junya Ishigami tapped to execute a light, illusory design appearing as if it was quite hefty and overpowering. “Possessing the weighty presence of slate roofs seen around the world, and simultaneously appearing so light it could blow away in the breeze, the cluster of scattered rock levitates, like a billowing piece of fabric,” his firm said in a statement. Read More »

AO On-Site – Los Angeles: Frieze Los Angeles at Paramount Studios, February 15th – 17th, 2019

February 15th, 2019

John Baldessari at Marian Goodman, all images via Art Observed

As Thursday draws to a close, and the sun sets over the Pacific, the Frieze Los Angeles Art Fair has wrapped its first day of operation, closing on a a particularly strong and visually striking event that lived up to the anticipation many had afforded it. Installed around the enigmatic environs of the Paramount aquatic tank, the fair’s installation structure and emphasis on its normal uses lent the event a flair that likely will rarely be matched among the highest levels of the contemporary fair circuit.  Its strange inclusion of a massive painted skyline against the rows of booths made for a captivating comment on the land of make-believe so many afford the city as a characteristic.

Frieze Los Angeles

Ken Price, L.A Bowl (1991) at Mathew Marks Read More »

AO On-Site – Los Angeles: Art Los Angeles Contemporary at Santa Monica Airport, February 13th – 17th, 2019

February 14th, 2019

Rachel Eulena Williams, Ceysson & Bénètière

Opening the week of art fairs in Los Angeles, the VIP preview for Art Los Angeles Contemporary has gotten underway at the Santa Monica Airport this evening.  The tenth edition of the fair continues its place as a site for established and emerging galleries from around the world, with a strong focus on the city’s own arts communities.  Outdating the Frieze art fair by a full decade, ALAC has long been a centerpiece in the landscape of Los Angeles’s contemporary arts scene.  Now, the fair seems to have taken on a more boutique stature among the increasingly fragmented landscape of the city’s fair offerings. Read More »

AO Preview – Los Angeles: Frieze Art Fair and LA Art Week, February 13th – 17th, 2019

February 11th, 2019

Wolfgang Tillmans, via Regen Projects

Taking a new spin on Art Week in the Californian metropolis, this week sees the inaugural edition of Frieze Los Angeles, a new fair opening under the sunny skies of the Golden State.  Setting up shop at Paramount Studios, this week will serve as something of a victory lap for a city whose contemporary arts offerings have exploded in past years, and which has taken on the role of a cultural capital for both artists and the galleries representing them.  

Read More »

New York – Charles Long: “Paradigm Lost” at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery Through February 9, 2019

February 9th, 2019

Installation view. All images via Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.

New work by Charles Long, Paradigm Lost, is currently on view at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York through February 9. This exhibition brings together work that the artist has created over the past year,  continuing the artist’s “investigation of the forms scattered on the shore of modernism’s receding wave.”  For Long’s thirteenth solo exhibition with the gallery, the artist continues his long-standing exploration of the legacy and trajectory of modernism, pointing to the need to renegotiate and transcend its shortcomings. With reference to various figureheads of the 20th century, Paradigm Lost illustrates the casualties and excesses staged by the present moment’s patriarchal forbearers with nuance and play.
Installation view. All images via Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.

As a resident of Mt. Baldy, California for over a decade, Long’s current work has been inspired by the deteriorating landscape, detritus and tree trunks, that he has encountered during his daily walks through this landscape. As trees die and other effects of climate change take hold, the village has become overrun with stumps and stacks of massive logs. For Long, the symbolic weight of this material resonates with the social and political consequences of the inheritance of patriarchy. In light of this, paradigm lost approaches Long’s role in these circumstances, taking into account his identity as a socially gendered being.

Installation view. All images via Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.

In one work, Long replaced the concentric rings of a tree stump with a cross-section of the human penis. From this, a third association appeared. As the artist explains “The anatomical cross section oddly resembled a face or ancient mask that looked back at me with an expression of confusion or sorrow…The new works then spilled out from this tear in the fabric of my being in myriad images and forms of this open body, creating a mythological world, all of it bound of the sole motif derived from the anatomical cross section of the human male anatomy.”

Installation view. All images via Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.

Installation view. All images via Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.

Accordingly, Paradigm Lost seeks to offer a place to contemplate the “aftermath of a patriarchal apocalypse.” Though this collapse of the patriarchy is largely imagined in the space of the exhibition, the work therein seeks to create space to contemplate the effects and conditions that led to this hypothetical extinction. Long’s immersive exhibition creates space for mourning the planet, as well as the collapsing social and political systems that have failed, while remaining open to nuance and sardonic critique. Ultimately, the exhibition is a meditation on the future, hoping to set the stage for an unscripted performance that will usher in the new paradigm.

— A. Corrigan

Related Links:
Exhibition page [Tanya Bonakdar Gallery]

AO On-Site: Material Art Fair at Expo Reforma Through February 10th, 2019

February 7th, 2019

JPW3 at Marc LeBlanc

Offering a counter point to the big budget proceedings at Zona Maco across town, Material Art Fair has once again returned to the spacious halls of the Expo Reforma once again (the first time in the same location as a previous edition), opening its doors this Thursday to strong attendance and interest from collectors and attendees. Read More »

AO On-Site – Mexico City: Zona Maco Art Fair at Centro Banamex Through February 10th, 2019

February 6th, 2019

Simon Vega, Tropical Space Hostel (2019), via MAIA Contemporary

Zona Maco has opened for its 16th year, celebrating the milestone event today with the first day of its VIP preview, and a look at the stature of the fair in relation to the burgeoning artistic community in Mexico City.  Once again taking over the expanses of the Centro Banamex, Zona Maco opened on a sunny, warm Tuesday, a much-needed relief from the brittle cold that has swept over much of the northern US and parts of Europe in the past few weeks.

Read More »

AO Preview – Mexico City Art Week, February 6th – 10th, 2019

February 4th, 2019

Abraham Cruzvillegas, Blind Self Portrait... (2018), via Kurimanzutto
Abraham Cruzvillegas, Blind self portrait listening to the version of ‘Canción mixteca’ (‘Qué lejos estoy’) by Enrique “Chato” Rodríguez, while tasting an unexpected spirulina ice cream at a Thai restaurant in Austin, after finishing a book about a guy selling snow balls in Manhattan, thinking on how specific needs generate diverse shapes in space… (2018), via Kurimanzutto

As the winter season winds slowly towards spring, the art world will look for its first taste of warmer climes for 2019, with the first major art fair of the year set to open in the sunny capital of Mexico.  Running through the week, the Zona Maco and Material Art Fairs offer the first look at the market landscape for the global fair scene, and the increasingly strong influence of Latin America on the broader art market. Read More »

New York – Richard Artschwager: “Primary Source” at Gagosian Through February 23rd, 2019

February 1st, 2019

Richard Artschwager, Excursion (2001), via Art Observed
Richard Artschwager, Excursion (2001), via Art Observed

Currently at Gagosian Gallery’s 980 Madison Space, the mega-dealer has launched a show of works by the late artist Richard Artschwager. Titled Primary Sources, the show compiles a series of key paintings and drawings alongside materials from his personal archive, research documents, sketches and other elements that underscore Artschwager’s meticulous and impressive approach to working. Read More »

New York – Jasper Spicero: “Centinel” at Swiss Institute Through April 7th. 2019

January 31st, 2019

Jasper Spicero, Centinel (Installation View), via Art Observed
Jasper Spicero, Centinel (Installation View), via Art Observed

Just opened at Swiss Institute, artist Jasper Spicero marks his first institutional solo exhibition with a selection of new sculptures and video that continues the artist’s investigation of sculptural modes, states and perceptions of time, and the attendant moments of subverted memory and time caused by digital timelines and narratives. Read More »

New York – “The Rest” at Lisson Gallery Through February 16th, 2019

January 30th, 2019

Jill Muilleady, Touch Me not (2018), via Art Observed
Jill Muilleady, Touch Me Not (2018), via Art Observed

A group of young artists takes center stage at Lisson Gallery this month, with an exhibition titled The Rest exploring their respective interests in figurative painting as well as concomitantly capricious and complex approaches to image making.  Featuring the work of Van Hanos, Allison Katz, Jill Mulleady, Jeanette Mundt, Nolan Simon and Issy Wood, the show is a striking inquiry into a range of ideas and concepts in modern image production, and the state of the painted image in the 21st Century.
Read More »

New York – Wang Guangle: “Duo Color” at Pace Gallery Through February 9th, 2019

January 29th, 2019

Wang Guangle, Duo Color (Installation View), via Pace
Wang Guangle, Duo Color (Installation View), via Pace

Currently on view at Pace Gallery’s New York location, Chinese artist Wang Guangle has installed a body of new paintings marking a continuation of the artist’s nuanced approach towards painterly minimalism and gestural abstraction.  Titled Duo Color, the show invites a reconsideration of Wang’s work in the investigation of time and space, bound by the movement of the brush and the application of paint to canvas.   Read More »

London – Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato at David Zwirner Through February 9th, 2019

January 27th, 2019

Lorenzato sem 2

Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato, Sem título (1993). All images via David Zwirner.

Now through February 9, David Zwirner is presenting work by the Brazilian-born painter Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato, making the the first time Lorenzato’s work is being shown in the United Kingdom, and the first solo show by the artist outside of Brazil. One of the foremost painters of his generation, Lorenzato developed a body of work that centers on subjects he encountered in his hometown of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where the Brazilian Concrete Art movement emerged in the 1950s. These include land- and townscapes, favelas, and individuals he met in his daily travels. Read More »

New York – Dana Schutz: “Imagine Me and You” at Petzel Gallery Through February 23rd, 2019

January 24th, 2019

Dana Schutz, The Visible World (2018), via Petzel Gallery
Dana Schutz, The Visible World (2018), via Petzel Gallery

Marking her third solo exhibition with Petzel Gallery, artist Dana Schutz returns to New York this month with “Imagine Me and You,” a solo show of new paintings and sculptures. Diving deeper into her kinetic, often bizarre juxtapositions and alterations of physical space, Schutz’s work in the show marks a continuation and elaboration of her aesthetic practice. Read More »

New York – Claudia Comte: “The Morphing Scallops” at Gladstone Gallery Through February 16th, 2019

January 23rd, 2019

Claudia Comte, The Morphing Scallops (Installation View), via Gladstone
Claudia Comte, The Morphing Scallops (Installation View), via Gladstone

Marking the first exhibition dedicated solely to the painting practice of Claudia Comte, Gladstone Gallery’s current show of wall paintings arrives at a particularly ironic moment in American politics.  As the US government goes unfunded over a restrictive physical structure on its Southern border, the Swiss artist presents her works as coy investigations of physical limits, and the internal worlds that they make possible to express and elaborate. Read More »

New York – Erik Parker: “New Soul” at Mary Boone Gallery Through March 2nd, 2019

January 21st, 2019

Erik Parker, New Soul, 72 Ø (2018), via Art Observed
Erik Parker, New Soul, 72 Ø (2018), via Art Observed

It’s hard to boil down the vivid, swirling compositions of painter Erik Parker into any one point, or even a series of entry points. His canvases combine pop cultural signifiers, swirling cartoonish caricatures, and a bright, day-glo sentiment as if his paintings were in the midst of some high-contrast meltdown. This approach gets a series of conceptual and figurative workouts in the artist’s show of works this month at Mary Boone Gallery, which compiles a range of pieces mixing both figurative and abstract techniques into an almost inextricable mass. Read More »

New York – “Borders” at James Cohan Gallery Through February 23rd, 2019

January 19th, 2019

Dread Scott, Imagine a World Without America (2007), via James Cohan
Dread Scott, Imagine a World Without America (2007), via James Cohan

Taking over the gallery’s two exhibition spaces in New York, James Cohan Gallery is currently presenting a group exhibition to kick off a year charged by harsh political rhetoric and an ongoing government shutdown over the future of the United States’s Southern Border.  The show, fittingly titled ‘Borders,’ offers a meditation on the political, ideological and formal concepts of border lines, walls, national identities and its attendant concepts of state power, sovereignty and national identity.
Read More »

New York – Lena Henke: “Germanic Artifacts” at Bortolami Gallery Through February 16th, 2019

January 17th, 2019

Lena Henke, Germanic Artifacts (Installation View), via Art Observed
Lena Henke, Germanic Artifacts (Installation View), via Art Observed

Currently on view at Bortolami Gallery this winter, artist Lena Henke has opened her first solo exhibition with the space, delving back into her ongoing exploration of diverse historical convergences, cultural forms and the history of sculpture as both aesthetic field and technical necessity. Read More »

New York – Rodney Graham at 303 Gallery Through February 23rd, 2019

January 16th, 2019

Rodney Graham, Tattooed Man on Balcony (2018), via 303 Gallery

Artist Rodney Graham returns to 303 Gallery this month, bringing with him a new series of works that blend together his ongoing investigations of the iconography of various social spheres with a body of works that simultaneously seem to blend his constructed worlds with the space of the viewer.  The show, which opened this past week, includes both lightbox works and paintings, each informing a shared space that Graham allows to float in a certain degree of indeterminacy.

Read More »

New York – Josef Albers: Sonic Albers at David Zwirner Through February 16th, 2019

January 13th, 2019

Josef Albers, Study for Homage to the Square (1964), via David Zwirner
Josef Albers, Study for Homage to the Square (1964), via David Zwirner

Delving into the varied psychological and ephemeral aspects of Josef Albers’s practice, and his strong affinity for music, David Zwirner’s current exhibition at its 20th Street location, Sonic Albers, is a flowing, fluid affair.  Taking a far-reaching look at often overlooked prominence of music in both the artist’s sites of personal inspiration, and on the material aspects of his practice, Sonic Albers features a selection of paintings, glassworks, drawings, and ephemera from throughout Albers’s career, including a number of the album covers he designed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Read More »

New York – James Welling: “Transform” at David Zwirner Through February 16th, 2018

January 11th, 2019

James Welling, Chemical (2018), via David Zwirner
James Welling, Chemical (2018), via David Zwirner

Over the course of the last decade, photographer James Welling has branched out into a series of more experimental modes of image production, often welcoming degrees of abstraction and indeterminacy into the creation of his photographic images.  Using unorthodox photographic procedures in conjunction with varied processes that see his works moving between abstraction and representation, his recent series of work are emblematic of the breadth of his ongoing experimentation with the conventions and materials of photography. Read More »