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

Swiss Farmer Wins Contest to Show Picasso on His Barn

April 18th, 2019

A Swiss farmer, Hanspeter Benz has won a competition by the Fondation Beyeler to hang a Picasso in his barn for 24 hours. The work was shown in Benz’s barn on April 16th.
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Chicago Artists Coalition Releases List of Micro-Grant Recipients

April 18th, 2019

The Chicago Artists Coalition has unveiled its list of 15 Chicago-based artists who will receive its first-ever round of micro-grants, which come with unrestricted purses of $2,000 each.  “We have truly visionary artists living and working in every neighborhood across the city. We hope that this new line of support will help bring some of their visions to life, for their individual benefit and that of their broader communities,” says Tracie D. Hall, director of the Joyce Foundation’s culture program.
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Anne Pasternak Gives Tour of Her BK Museum Office

April 18th, 2019

Brooklyn Museum head Anne Pasternak gives NY Magazine a tour of her office, showcasing her art collection, which includes work by Kiki Smith and Kara Walker, and shares a story about a graffiti artist showing up to paint part of her wall.  “So one day he shows up in a clown outfit, complete clown outfit, doesn’t say a word, has a bucket with spray paint in it, puts down a tarp, paints for twenty minutes and leaves, never said a word,” she says.
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New York – Alicja Kwade: “ParaParticular” at 303 Gallery Through May 18th, 2019

April 18th, 2019

Alicja Kwade, MatterMotion (2019), via 303 Gallery
Alicja Kwade, MatterMotion (2019), via 303 Gallery

Working with concepts of nature, science, philosophy and perception, artist Alicja Kwade’s work draws on complex fusions of phenomena, space and architecture, using these formats to question and explore the natural world alongside humanity’s participation in it. Drawing on reflective elements, spatial inversions and peculiar material juxtapositions, the artist has become renowned for her ability to challenge our most basic logical assumptions. Read More »

New York – Lutz Bacher, Nayland Blake and Vincent Fecteau: “Magic Ben Big Boy” at Matthew Marks Gallery Through April 20th, 2019

April 17th, 2019

Vincent Fecteau, Chorus #1 (1994), via Matthew Marks
Vincent Fecteau, Chorus #1 (1994), via Matthew Marks

Currently on view at Matthew Marks’s spacious West 22nd Street location, a trio of artists, Lutz Bacher, Nayland Blake and Vincent Fecteau (who also takes on curator duties here) have collaborated on a striking and unique investigation of time and history. Meant to serve in part as a re-creation of Fecteau’s first solo exhibition, the show twists a series of diverse narratives and conceptual ties among the artists into a unique interpretation of the past. Read More »

New York – Robert Motherwell: “Sheer Presence: Monumental Paintings” at Kasmin Gallery throug

April 16th, 2019

Sheer Presence Monumental Paintings By Robert Motherwell (Installation View), via Kasmin Gallery

Sheer Presence: Monumental Paintings By Robert Motherwell (Installation View), via Kasmin Gallery

There are many moments during Sheer Presence: Monumental Paintings by Robert Motherwell, a show of large-scale works by the American master, where one feels inundated with color and line. The artist’s works, either towering over the viewer or stretch across the walls of Kasmin Gallery’s flagship space, are unified under a fitting show title: their magnificent presence often captivates the viewer and pulls them deeper into the space of the canvas, even in the show’s most minimalist approaches to surface. Read More »

AO On-Site – Los Angeles: Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair at The Geffen Contemporary, April 12th – 14th, 2019

April 16th, 2019

LAABF, via Printed Matter
LAABF, via Printed Matter

This past weekend, Los Angeles residents and visitors from far afield flocked to the City of Angels for the annual opening of Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair (LAABF) the West Coast companion fair to the NY Art Book Fair.  Marking a unique and wide-ranging look at the current status of art publishing and printed material.  Free and open to the public, the fair has built a reputation as a leading international gathering for the distribution of artists’ books, celebrating the full breadth of the art publishing community.

Jeffrey Cheung, via Art Oberved
Jeffrey Cheung, via Art Observed

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Paris – Jean-Michel Othoniel at Galerie Perrotin Through June 8th, 2019

April 15th, 2019

Jean-Michel Othoniel, Oracles (Installation View)
Jean-Michel Othoniel, Oracles (Installation View), Photo: Claire Dorn © Jean-Michel Othoniel / ADAGP, Paris, 2019 Courtesy of the artist & Perrotin.

Entering the Paris location of Galerie Perrotin, the viewer is greeted with a series of dazzling sculptures, jagged agglomerations of shining blocks that appear to glow with a colorful energy, spreading across the floor of one room, while in another, dotting the walls, each appearing to emit a gentle, flame-like glow. The works, new pieces by the artist Jean-Michel Othoniel, are a striking elaboration of the artist’s work, continuing his exploration of space and light as innately tied to their generating materials. Read More »

New York – Austin Lee: “Feels Good” at Jeffrey Deitch Through May 18th, 2019

April 12th, 2019

Austin Lee, Feels Good (Installation View), via Art Observed
Austin Lee, Feels Good (Installation View), via Art Observed

Part of a young crop of digital natives exploring convergences between physical and digital art practices, artist Austin Lee’s work feels particularly vivid and important. While earlier generations of artists began their careers sketching on paper, Lee began by using Photoshop and other digital tools to sketch on his computer. His work combines the latest image making technologies with traditional artistic processes. He uses the airbrush and the paintbrush to create luminous paintings that evoke both the light of a computer screen and the bold coloration of color field painting. Read More »

New York – Jessi Reaves: “II” at Bridget Donahue Through May 12th, 2019

April 10th, 2019

Jessi Reaves, Red eyelashes (2019), via Art Observed
Jessi Reaves, Red eyelashes (2019), via Art Observed

On view currently at New York space Bridget Donahue, artist Jessi Reaves has returned to her uniquely inventive turn on sculpture. The show, which draws on the shared languages of design, interior space, domestic languages and the possibilities of these elements to work in tandem, presents a series of floor sculptures and hanging works, investigating and reposing questions of varied histories of making, and how they ultimately converge, twist, and reform. Read More »

New York – Arakawa: “Diagrams for the Imagination at Gagosian Through April 13th, 2019

April 9th, 2019

Arakawa, Diagrams of the Imagination (Installation View), via Art Observed
Arakawa, Diagrams of the Imagination (Installation View), via Art Observed

A founding member of the Japanese avant-garde collective Neo Dadaism Organizers, the artist Arakawa long described himself as an “eternal outsider” and an “abstractionist of the distant future.”  Pulling together a range of elements in contemporary practice, the artist mixed rigorous geometric arrangements with abstract painting and elements of collage, always focused around explorations of the workings of human consciousness, diagrammatic representation, and epistemology.  The artist’s work is currently the subject of a show at Gagosian’s Madison Avenue complex, examining the period in which Arakawa explored a varied body of work in two dimensions, using paint, ink, graphite, and assemblage on canvas and paper, always pursuing multi-layered systems of meaning and understanding that drove at the heart of the human condition.

Arakawa, Diagrams of the Imagination (Installation View), via Art Observed
Arakawa, Diagrams of the Imagination (Installation View), via Art Observed

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New York – Friedrich Kunath: “All Your Fears Trapped Inside” at JTT Through

April 8th, 2019

Friedrich Kunath, All Your Fears Trapped Inside (2019), via JTT
Friedrich Kunath, All Your Fears Trapped Inside (2019), via JTT

Presented at its New York exhibition space, JTT Gallery has tapped Los Angeles-based artist Friedrich Kunath for All Your Fears Trapped Inside, a solo show documenting the artist’s ongoing experimentation with modes of understanding and collective memory, articulated through collections of material and his own works. Kunath, known for frequently mixing modes and working between a wide range of materials and approaches, has here settled on large-scale installation as the framework around which to explore the materiality and meaning within his own life. Read More »

New York – Elad Lassry at 303 Gallery Through April 6th, 2019

April 5th, 2019

Elad Lassry, Untitled (Boots, Caps) (2018), via 303 Gallery
Elad Lassry, Untitled (Boots, Caps) (2018), via 303 Gallery

Currently on view at 303 Gallery in New York, artist Elad Lassry brings a selection of new photographs and sculptures that continue his aesthetic project exploring the construction, distribution and consumption of images, often through the willful subversion or deconstruction of the image’s functions, contexts and framings. The show, on view through the weekend, compiles a broad range of recent projects and ideas from the artist, each delving into different modes of exploring and re-creating the space of the image. Read More »

New York – Matias Faldebakken at Paula Cooper Through April 6th, 2019

April 4th, 2019

Matias Faldbakken, Untitled (2016), via Paula Cooper
Matias Faldbakken, Untitled (2016), via Paula Cooper

Taking over Paula Cooper Gallery’s second floor exhibition space on W 21st Street, artist Matias Faldbakken is presenting a selection of new works, including a selection of sculptures from his Screen Overlaps series (2016) and FUEL SCULPTURES (2017), as well as an install of his piece THE INTERNET in the gallery’s vitrine space downstairs. On view through the end of the week, the show emphasizes Faldbakken’s unique engagement with history and politics through surreal arrangements of material. Read More »

New York – Philippe Parreno at Gladstone Through April 13th, 2019

April 3rd, 2019

Philippe Parreno (Installation View), via Gladstone
Philippe Parreno (Installation View), via Gladstone

Taking over the exhibition spaces at Gladstone Gallery’s 24th Street locations, artist Philippe Parreno once again transforms the space into a roving systemic experiment, setting up varied inputs and explorations to contribute to a shifting sensory experience. Dwelling on notions of interrelated systems and interactions of various elements, Parreno’s work centers around his film Anywhen In a Time Colored Space (2019) and the systems set up to facilitate its exhibition. Read More »

New York – Lucio Fontana: “On the Threshold” at Met Breuer Through April 14th, 2019

March 31st, 2019

Lucio Fontana, On the Threshold (Installation View), via Art Observed

Marking the first major U.S. survey of artist Lucio Fontana in more than forty years, The Met Breuer has assembled a landmark show of works from across the artist’s career, unpacking and reassembling disparate threads and conceptual projects from across the expanse of his work to arrive at a roving, exploratory picture of the artist, his career, and his work.  Widely known for his Cuts series, slashed paintings that became symbols of the postwar era, Fontana’s work moves in and out of easily framed conceptual projects, and here, his works are allowed to breathe and exchange their ideas, allowing the artist’s work to explore and underscore the depth of his intellectual explorations.

Lucio Fontana, On the Threshold (Installation View), via Art Observed Read More »

AO Recap – Hong Kong: Art Basel Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Convention Center, March 29th – 31st, 2019

March 29th, 2019

Zhang Yu at Pifo, via Art Basel

Opening its doors this past Wednesday at the Hong Kong Convention Center, the Art Basel fair franchise has once again left its mark on the Chinese metropolis, concluding the seventh edition with impressive results and a strong selection of works.  As is usually the case for the fair, impressive sales figures and strong attendance was the norm, signaling the fair’s continued impact on the Asian art circuit, and the broader landscape of the contemporary art market. Read More »

AO Preview – Art Basel Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Convention Center, March 27th – 31st, 2019

March 26th, 2019

XU ZHEN®, The Glorious (Installation View), via Perrotin Hong Kong

Art Basel Hong Kong is squarely in the center of Asia’s international art scene, a major recurring event that has left its mark as an important touchpoint for artists, collectors and galleries in Asia and the broader Pacific Rim, connecting this already thriving scene with the galleries and artists of the Americas, Europe and Africa.  Tying together a broad range of locales outside the U.S./Europe market orbit, ABHK is an annual look to the East for much of the art world, tracing the region’s influence and contributions to the contemporary art landscape today. The Hong Kong show, held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre as an outcropping of the Art Basel fair franchise, features premier galleries from Asia and beyond, with half of the participating galleries based in Asia and Asia-Pacific. The show provides an in-depth overview of the region’s diversity through both historical material and cutting-edge works by established and emerging artists. Read More »

Los Angeles – Zoe Leonard: “Survey” at MOCA Through March 25th, 2019

March 25th, 2019

Zoe Leonard, Survey (Installation View), via Art Observed

It’s difficult to place the work of artist Zoe Leonard in any one box. Not only is she a roving polymath in her creative practices, her pieces frequently move between and through various disciplines and practices simultaneously. She’s known as a photographer and sculptor, yet in other modes her work relies on text and long-form writing, other times twisting these disciplines through the practice of photography. Yet these disciplines rarely remain isolated. Her sculptures present as moments frozen in time, built up elements and objects (including, ironically, large stacks of books), often described as cerebral and subdued, yet always carrying a distinct sense of power and duty that challenges the viewer to move beyond a moment of calm repose or frozen, distilled energy. Read More »

New York – Jan-Ole Schiemann: “A Different Pose” at Kasmin Through May 4th, 2019

March 21st, 2019

Jan-Ole Schiemann, Kavex 8 (2019), via Kasmin

Now on view at New York space Kasmin Gallery, artist Cologne-based artist Jan-Ole Schiemann is mounting a debut solo exhibition, bringing with him a collection of new paintings that see the artist continuing to revel in both gestural abstraction and the history of 20th-century animation, aspects that combine to imbue his work with a rare sense of kinetic energy. Half-formed, simultaneously disappearing and reappearing shapes suggest that somewhere amidst the lines, there are figures tumbling, colliding, or fighting obscured by clouds of smoke. As a result of Schiemann’s meticulous, layered application of charcoal, oilstick, ink and acrylic. Read More »

New York – William Kentridge: “Let Us Try for Once” at Marian Goodman Through April 20th, 2019

March 21st, 2019

William Kentridge, Lexicon Medium Bronze (Cape Silver) (2018), via Marian Goodman

Currently on in New York City Marian Goodman Gallery has tapped artist William Kentridge to present a series of new works in film, drawing and sculpture, uniting materials from three major performance projects that have been in the works over the past two years. The show, Let Us Try for Once, brings together materials from The Head & the Load, a theatrical tour de force co-composed by Philip Miller and Thuthuka Sibisi and recently shown at the New York Armory in December 2018, as well as a celebrated production of Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck, which Kentridge directed for the Salzburg opera festival in 2017 (and coming to The Metropolitan Opera in 2019-2020), as well as Ursonate, a performance of Kurt Schwitters’ 1932 sound poem of the same title, presented at Performa Biennial New York. Read More »

New York – Angel Otero: “Milagros” at Lehmann Maupin Through April 20th, 2019

March 19th, 2019

Angel Otero, Splintered (2019), via Lehmann Maupin

Currently on view at Lehmann Maupin, artist Angel Otero’s Milagros, marks a new trajectory for the artist, a series of recent, large-scale tapestry-like oil paintings that hang entirely free from a stretcher bar and which twist and pull the notion of the composed canvas through a series of rigorous conceptual and formal exercises. Working with the history of painterly abstraction and the fusions of sculptural and painterly form that have wound through this history, the artist’s works draw on a mixture of collage and composition. Read More »

Los Angeles – “Parergon: JAPANESE ART OF THE 1980s AND 1990s” at Blum & Poe Through March 23rd, 2019

March 18th, 2019

Yukinori Yanagi, Ground Transposition (1987/2019), via Blum & Poe

Currently on view at the Blum & Poe flagship in Los Angeles, the gallery has taken on a particularly compelling and eye-opening investigation of the landscape of Japanese Contemporary Art during the 1980’s and 90’s.  Curated by Mika Yoshitake, Parergon is a striking look at the history and culture of the nation as it experienced a turbulent period of economic boom and bust, and sought to work through the cultural, political and historical traumas of the decades before.   Read More »

New York – Ian Cheng: “BOB” at Gladstone Gallery Through March 23rd, 2019

March 13th, 2019

Ian Cheng, BOB (Detail), via Gladstone

Currently on view at Gladstone Gallery’s New York City gallery, artist Ian Cheng is giving the world premiere of his new work BOB (Bag of Beliefs), the first of a series of artificial lifeforms created by the artist.  BOB is presented as an evolving, chimeric serpent, twisting and moving on-screen in a manner that sees him both learning from, and failing in, his new digital environment.  Long a devotee of simulations and learning environments, BOB advances Cheng’s use of these modes to focus on one’s capacity to deal with surprise: the subjective difference between expectations and perception. Read More »

AO On-Site – New York: Independent New York at Spring Studios, March 7th – 10th, 2019

March 9th, 2019

Alexis Smith at Garth Greenan, via Art Observed

Marking its 10th anniversary this year, the Independent NY Art Fair has proven itself as something of a special case in the presentation of an art fair.  Smaller in scale and more focused in terms of its gallery selections, the fair’s presentation feels more like a presentation of a series of small gallery shows run side-by-side.  Offering a more nuanced, mellow browsing experience in conjunction with the fair’s invite-only exhibitor structure and immense glass windows, the fair has built a reputation as a boutique event with impressive draw, with this 10th year only driving that appeal home. Read More »

AO On-Site – New York: The Armory Show at Piers 90, 92 and 94 Through March 10th, 2019

March 6th, 2019

Pascale Marthine Tayou, via Art Observed

Considered among New York’s premier art fairs, and a leading cultural destination for discovering and collecting the world’s most important 20th- and 21st-century art, The Armory Show has long figured at the forefront of the city’s annual spring offerings for art exhibitions and shows.  This year, the fair has once again touched down in New York, bringing with it its annual  presentations by leading international galleries, innovative artist commissions and dynamic public programs. Read More »

New York – Jim Shaw: “The Family Romance” at Metro Pictures Through April 13th, 2019

March 4th, 2019

Jim Shaw, The Potato Family (2018), via Metro Pictures

Currently on view at Metro Pictures, artist Jim Shaw returns to New York with a series of five new paintings, united under the name The Family Romance.  Continuing the artist’s penchant for blending personal, political, and surreal narratives, the show traces Shaw’s interests in behavioral psychology and themes surrounding the family unit. Read More »