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Failure to Buy Pontormo Prompts Calls to Reform UK Art Export Rules

February 18th, 2017

Jacopo Pontormo, via The GuardianThe failure to purchase a £30 million painting for the National Gallery and prevent it from leaving the UK has resulted in calls to reform the country’s art export rules, the Guardian reports.  “Today’s news that Tom Hill, the American buyer of Pontormo’s Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap, has refused the National Gallery’s matching offer of over £30m marks a great cultural loss to the nation,” says the Art Fund’s Stephen Deuchar.  “We believe the UK’s art export control system should serve our public collections more effectively than at present.”
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Guardian Explores State of Public Art in UK

February 18th, 2017

Sarah Lucas, via The GuardianThe Guardian reports on the current state of public art in the UK, often supported by private estates and new building projects rather than the public organizations of previous eras, and looks at recent efforts by artists to use public art to engage these problems.  “We questioned the capitalist logic of the proposed development,” says artist Jessie Brennan of a recent work on public land in Peterborough, “and offered alternative evidence for the current social use and value of the land.”
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Anish Kapoor Bringing Water-Work ‘Descension’ to Brooklyn Bridge Park

February 18th, 2017

Anish Kapoor, Descension, via Art NewsAnish Kapoor’s swirling, watery void Descension is set to go on view at Brooklyn Bridge this summer, courtesy the Public Art Fund.  “Anish Kapoor reminds us of the contingency of appearances: our senses inevitably deceive us,” says Public Art Fund Director and Chief Curator Nicholas Baume says.  “With Descension, he creates an active object that resonates with changes in our understanding and experience of the world.”
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

Paris— Jean-Luc Moulène at The Centre Pompidou Through February 20th, 2017

February 18th, 2017

Jean-Luc Moulène, (Installation View), via Art Observed
Jean-Luc Moulène (Installation View), via Art Observed

To walk through Jean-Luc Moulène’s retrospective at The Centre Pompidou is to traverse through a wasteland of fossils and discarded matter, a history of repurposed and spliced objects placed into an ever-evolving series of dialogues and interactions.  Giving off subtle senses of a dystopian, simulated future, the artist’s sculptures play on a suspended sense of reality, often challenging its role as constructed object or sourced material that plays on a rupture between past, present and future, disrupting easy legibility while staging a site where these divergent sensations are allowed to co-exist. Read More »

New York – Adrian Ghenie: “Recent Paintings” at Pace Gallery Through February 18th, 2017

February 16th, 2017

Adrian Ghenie, Rest During the Flight into Egypt (2016), via Art Observed
Adrian Ghenie, Rest During the Flight into Egypt (2016), via Art Observed

Drawing on a wide range of works from the artist’s recent practice, Pace Gallery is presenting a series of new paintings by Adrian Ghenie, drawing on the artist’s unique approach to both the construction of his canvases, and the position his work takes in its relation to broader timeline of European painting and political history.

Adrian Ghenie, Degenerate Art (2016), via Art Observed
Adrian Ghenie, Degenerate Art (2016), via Art Observed

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New York — Louise Bourgeois: “Holograms” at Cheim & Read Through February 11th, 2017

February 14th, 2017

Louise Bourgeois UNTITLED (detail) (1998-2014), Suite of 8 Holograms © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, NY.
Louise Bourgeois UNTITLED (detail) (1998-2014), Suite of 8 Holograms © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, NY.

Throughout the course of her fifty-year career, artist Louise Bourgeois has experimented with a broad span of media, while remaining primarily focused around her foundational sculptural works and works on paper.  That broad range of work is offered a new wrinkle in Holograms, a recently concluded exhibition at Cheim & Read that brings together a body of work never been shown in its entirety in the Chelsea exhibition space’s intimate rear gallery.  Offering a profound elaboration on the artist’s less-known approaches to her work, the show documents Bourgeois’s dialogue with the New York-based fine arts holographic studio C-Projects, resulting in eight holographic photographs blanketed with an alluring red tone, which granted the artist the potential to orchestrate her contemplative, often surreal techniques in this unexpected, yet fertile, medium.

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New York – “Inventing Downtown” Curated by Melissa Rachleff at NYU’s Grey Gallery Through April 1st, 2017

February 13th, 2017

Boris Lurie, Adieu Amerique, Grey Gallery
Boris Lurie, Adieu Amerique (1959-1960), part of the show’s “Inventing Downtown,” section all images via Shannon Viola for Art Observed

Nestled within the heart of Greenwich Village, New York University’s Grey Gallery is showcasing works from a selection of artist-run galleries in the surrounding neighborhoods over the early post-war years of 1952 to 1965.  The exhibition, which encompasses two floors of gallery space, illuminates the period in the New York art scene in which Pop Art and Minimalism were gradually overtaking the influence and impact of Abstract Expressionism. Pieces from eclipsed artists, such as women and artists of color, come to the forefront in particular here, exploring both the experimental approaches and the outcomes of a cooperatively-run sphere of downtown art, and the often overshadowed artists that were a cornerstone of New York’s cultural ascendancy during the era. Read More »

AO On-Site – Mexico City: Material Art Fair at Expo Reforma, February 9th – 12th, 2017

February 13th, 2017

Koak at AlterSpace, via Art Observed
Koak at AlterSpace, via Art Observed

Taking over the spacious halls of the Expo Reforma once again (the first time in the same location as a previous edition), the Material Art Fair opened its doors this Thursday to strong attendance and interest from collectors and attendees.  Embracing an expanded floor plan for the fair without increasing its gallery count, this year’s edition of Material was distinctly walkable, as larger booths meant more space for ambitious pieces and multi-artist selections, a choice that only strengthened the show’s appeal.

Sangree at Yautepec, via Art Observed
Sangree at Yautepec, via Art Observed

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New York – Willem de Kooning | Zao Wou-Ki at Lévy Gorvy Gallery Through March 11th, 2017

February 12th, 2017

Willem de Kooning, Door to the River (1960), via Art Observed
Willem de Kooning, Door to the River (1960), via Art Observed

Embarking on their first exhibition under their shared gallery name, Dominique Lévy and Brett Gorvy’s new Gorvy Lévy Gallery has opened 2017 with a bang, bringing together a landmark body of paintings by two masters of the medium, Zao Wou-Ki and Willem de Kooning.  Drawing from each artist’s unique gestural abilities and continually inventive bodies of work over the course of their evolution, the show is a major achievement for the gallery, including several major museum loans that underscores Gorvy’s impact on the gallery’s already strong programming.

Zao Wou-Ki, Untitled (1949), via Art Observed
Zao Wou-Ki, Untitled (1949), via Art Observed

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AO On-Site – Mexico City: Zona Maco Art Fair, February 8th – 12th, 2017

February 10th, 2017

Zona Maco Wolfgang Tillmans Regen Projects Eleanor Lutz
Wolfgang Tillmans, Eleanor / Lutz, portrait, (2016), Regen Projects. All photos via Art Observed.

As the doors of the Centro Citibanamex opened today in Mexico City, Zona Maco rolled into its 14th edition, bringing a surge in exhibitions, films, and programs to the proceedings of the yearly art fair event in the Mexican capital.  Welcoming galleries from around the globe, the fair’s early-year scheduling offered something of a kick-off to the year’s market events, while offering an indication of current market strength, as well as a spotlight on the Latin American art circuit.

Pedro Reyes at Lisson, via Art Observed
Pedro Reyes at Lisson, via Art Observed

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New York – Katharina Grosse at Gagosian Gallery through March 11th, 2017

February 9th, 2017

Katharina Grosse, Untitled (2016), via Art Observed
Katharina Grosse, Untitled (2016), via Art Observed

Opening her first exhibition with Gagosian since announcing her representation by the gallery last year, Katharina Grosse has brought a swirling, nuanced body of new works to the gallery’s 24th Street location in Chelsea this month, documenting her enigmatic approach to the painted canvas through a variety of approaches and forms.  Allowing varied layers and lines to intersect, overlap and combine, the artist’s gestural techniques, in conversation with her use of various technologies in the rendering of the canvas, create densely packed spaces of visual information.

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London – Anselm Kiefer: “Walhalla” at White Cube Gallery Through February 12th, 2017

February 8th, 2017

Anselm Kiefer, Walhalla (1992 - 2016), via White Cube
Anselm Kiefer, Walhalla (1992 – 2016), via White Cube

Walhalla, Anselm Kiefer’s latest exhibition at White Cube Gallery in Bermondsey, is a dark, thrilling, and sinister rendering of war and destruction. The show’s title, drawn from Norse mythology, and referring to the final resting place of slain heroes as they were received by King Odin, is scribbled in charcoal above the entrance. “Walhalla” or “final place of rest” is also the title of a neoclassical hall commissioned by Bavaria’s King Ludwig I in 1842, built to honor men of great repute.  Kiefer, for his part, honors not just historical figures, but found objects in tandem, marrying unreality with the show’s surreal juxtapositions: a bed sinks under the weight of a winged boulder; a lightening bolt strikes a bullet-hold wheelchair; a spiral staircase, adorned with rusted dresses, leads to an ambiguous destination.  Notions of mythology and reality are interwoven to provide an intriguing, albeit challenging, spectacle to behold. Read More »

London — Richard Serra: “NJ-2; Rounds: Equal Weight, Unequal Measure; Rotate” at Gagosian Britannia Street Through March 10th, 2017

February 7th, 2017

Richard Serra, NJ-2, (2016), via Art Observed
Richard Serra, NJ-2 (2016), via Art Observed

Richard Serra’s works are nothing if not an experience; curving, twisting forms that wind the viewer through space, while taking an active hand on shaping the space itself.   Throughout the artist’s career, he has continued to create works that challenge conventional understanding of form, and re-conceptualize notions of gravity in play with his objects.  Working within this familiar domain, Serra is currently presenting three unique, large-scale steel sculptures at Gagosian Britannia Street, London. On view through March 10th, 2017 his new works highlight his mastery of material, and his unique ability to continually pursue a sense of creative vitality.  In some sense, his works here: NJ-2 (previously on view in New York), Rounds: Equal Weight, Unequal Measure, and Rotate, exist as portals of some sort, gateways into a repositioned experience of space, and the act of viewing work within a given series of physical constraints. Read More »

AO Preview – Mexico City: Visual Art Week; Zona Maco and others, February 8th – 12th, 2017

February 6th, 2017

Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attesa (1964-1965), via Cardi Gallery
Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attesa (1964-1965), via Cardi Gallery

The return of Mexico City’s increasingly vital art week this February signals the first wave of 2017’s major fair events, as much of the world’s contemporary art world converges on the sprawling Mexican capital.  Centered around the large-scale Zona Maco fair and its smaller, younger sister fair Material at the Expo Reforma, the week offers a wide range of events and openings accompanying the market-focused proceedings. Read More »

New York – Mark Leckey: “Containers and Their Drivers” at MoMA PS1 Through March 5th, 2017

February 6th, 2017

Mark Leckey, The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things (2013), via Art Observed
Mark Leckey, The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things (2013), via Art Observed

British artist Mark Leckey has brought a dense, timely exhibition to bear on the second and third floors of MoMA PS1 this month, as the artist’s first comprehensive U.S. survey brings a range of perspectives on the pace and content of a digitized life.  Questioning and playfully subverting the varied symbolic systems and technological structures that facilitate the landscape of modern life, Leckey’s exhibition is a fitting opening note of 2017, challenging hierarchies of power and image-making in a time when the consistency and reliability of information has become an increasingly troubled subject.

Mark Leckey, GreenScreenRefrigerator (2008-2016), via Art Observed
Mark Leckey, GreenScreenRefrigerator (2008-2016), via Art Observed

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Zurich – Henry Moore: “Myths and Poetry” at Hauser & Wirth Through March 11th, 2017

February 5th, 2017

Henry Moore, Warrior with Shield (1953—1954)
Henry Moore, Warrior with Shield (1953—1954), all images courtesy Hauser & Wirth

Taking a historically nuanced approach towards the vastly influential career of British sculptor Henry Moore, Hauser & Wirth is currently presenting an exhibition of early works on paper by the artist.  Exploring the artist’s graphic practice in the years directly following the end of WWII, the exhibition traces Moore’s ongoing engagement with the world of literature, and his engagement with the broader artistic spheres as he continued to hone and develop his practice.  Organized by the Henry Moore Foundation and curated by the artist’s daughter, Mary, the exhibition traces Moore’s impressive creative spirit, and the ever-shifting craft of an artist continuing to work through wartime. Read More »

New York – Miguel Ángel Cárdenas at Andrea Rosen Through February 4th, 2017

February 4th, 2017

Miguel Ángel Cárdenas, Green Couple (1966), via Kelly Lee for Art Observed
Miguel Ángel Cárdenas, Green Couple (1966), via Kelly Lee for Art Observed

Spanning a wide range of pieces, including paintings, video, drawing and assemblages by the Colombian-Dutch artist Miguel Ángel Cárdenas, Andrea Rosen’s current exhibition offers a concise examination of the artist’s formal evolution and shifting compositional interests.  Born and raised in Colombia, the artist moved to Amsterdam during the early 1960’s, offering his own interpretation of the threads of pop and conceptual practice dominating the conversations of European practice during the era.   Read More »

New York – Miles Coolidge: “Coal Seam Redux” at Peter Blum Through February 4th, 2017

February 3rd, 2017

Miles Coolidge, Coal Seam, Bergwerk Prosper-Haniel #3, (2013), via Peter Blum
Miles Coolidge, Coal Seam, Bergwerk Prosper-Haniel #3 (2013), via Peter Blum

A pairing of large photo works of coal mine walls with smaller photochemical pieces, Peter Blum’s exhibition of works by Miles Coolidge reinvigorates a dialogue around 20th century inquiries into chemistry, art production, and process imagery, presenting shared sensations of something physically visceral, all realized via inkjet pigment or liquid chemicals, realized in a manner evoking the sublime. Read More »

New York – Jane Freilicher, Mira Dancy, and Daniel Heidkamp at Derek Eller Gallery Through February 5th, 2017

February 2nd, 2017

Jane Freilicher, Window (2011), via Art Observed
Jane Freilicher, Window (2011), via Art Observed

The city of New York has always served as a grand subject for artists, its towering skyline spreading its shadow over the Hudson and the minds of its resident artists.  At Derek Eller Gallery this month, three of these artists are the subject of an exhibition examining this same impact on their respective practices, framed in particular by the meditative oil paintings of Jane Freilicher.  The artist is joined by Daniel Heidkamp and Mira Dancy, both of whom offer their own interpretations of modern life, both in the city, and beyond.   Read More »

New York – Hannah van Bart: “The Smudge Waves Back” at Marianne Boesky Through February 4th, 2017

February 1st, 2017

Hannah van Bart, Untitled (2016), via Art Observed
Hannah van Bart, Untitled (2016), via Art Observed

Hannah van Bart’s works serve as particularly intricate visual experiences, often twisting interior and exterior architectural forms around the human body (frequently female), presenting the human figure in a manner that subverts the canvas’s illusions of depth, and the human brain’s understanding of flat surfaces.  Her paintings, presented at Marianne Boesky this month, present themselves as something of a variation on theme as a result, allowing the viewer to trace the artist’s varied explorations of her subjects, and their varied relationships to the world around them.

Hannah van Bart, Untitled (2016), via Art Observed
Hannah van Bart, Untitled (2016), via Art Observed

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New York – Matt Johnson: “Wood Sculpture” at 303 Gallery Through February 25th, 2017

January 31st, 2017

Matt Johnson, Drywall #2 (Grape Hyacinth M560-3) (2016), via 303 Gallery
Matt Johnson, Drywall #2 (Grape Hyacinth M560-3) (2016), via 303 Gallery

Spread out across the floor of 303‘s exhibition on West 21st Street, a wide, often enigmatic series of seemingly cast-off objects sit atop small plinths.  Ranging from crumbled pizza and avocado boxes to stacked bags of concrete to immense towers of interlocking slabs, the sculptures are part of a new series by Los Angeles-based artist Matt Johnson, using the flexible and expressive capacities of wood to create works that vary in their notes of the hyperreal, pathetic and ephemeral in relation to the world around them.  Taking this intersection of historical and cultural reference points as a rich space for operation, the artist’s work conjures a wide range of interpretations and readings through minimal effort.

Matt Johnson, Untitled (4 Stacked Tape Rolls) (2016), via 303 Gallery
Matt Johnson, Untitled (4 Stacked Tape Rolls) (2016), via 303 Gallery Read More »

Paris – Jean-Luc Moulène: “Ce fut une belle journée” at Chantal Crousel Through February 11st, 2017

January 31st, 2017

Jean-Luc Moulène, Ce fut une belle journée (Installation View)
Jean-Luc Moulène, Ce fut une belle journée (Installation View), all images via Chantal Crousel

New work by Jean-Luc Moulène is on view at Galerie Chantal Crousel this month, as the French artist explores a unique body of new works created between 2012 and 2016, the last time the artist exhibited his work publicly.    His fifth exhibition with the gallery, Moulène’s work sees the artist continuing his studied approach to the sculptural form, and history of the field in conjunction with various objects and contexts.

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New York – Cory Arcangel and Olia Lialina: “Asymmetrical Response” at The Kitchen Through February 18th, 2017

January 30th, 2017

Cory Arcangel and Olia Lialina, Asymmetrical Response (Installation View), via Art Observed
Cory Arcangel and Olia Lialina, Asymmetrical Response (Installation View), via Art Observed

Since 2003, artists Cory Arcangel and Olia Lialina have held an ongoing dialogue on contemporary practice, politics and the web, exploring their shared experiences in the early years of broadly accessible internet culture, and the often obscured histories that the era’s technologies and sites (GeoCities, early Javascript, etc.) held.  Working together for the first time, the artist’s have embarked on Asymmetrical Response, an exhibition at The Kitchen that feels like equally like historical research and contemporary study, engaging with a distinct era of internet culture while serving as an elaboration and examination on the conditions that have ultimately played out on the stage of American politics this year. Read More »

New York – Dan Walsh at Paula Cooper Through February 4th, 2017

January 29th, 2017

Dan Walsh, Fin (2016), via Art Observed
Dan Walsh, Fin (2016), via Art Observed

Artist Dan Walsh’s work draws on process as a mode of transcendence, working through canvases through a series of evolving forms and rule-based approaches to the canvas space.  The artist, currently presenting a body of new works at Paula Cooper’s upstairs exhibition space on 21st Street, draws on repetitive, undulating bars of color and expanding forms to create shifting perceptions of space within the closed bounds of the work, or applies similar rules to the deconstruction of the image into a series of lines and dots. Read More »

Berlin – Kaspar Müller: “JMSERADZFGHDSJKFHBYCMXCFNBKLADSHJ” at Société through January 31st, 2017

January 28th, 2017

Müller
Kaspar Müller, JMSERADZFGHDSJKFHBYCMXCFNBKLADSHJ (Installation View), all images via Société

Artist Kaspar Müller’s JMSERADZFGHDSJKFHBYCMXCFNBKLADSHJ is now on view at Société through January 31st, 2017, marking the artist’s third solo show at the gallery with a series of multimedia works exploring varied approaches to painting, printmaking and assemblage, all in an aim to represent a full year of the artist’s life.  Gathering together the impressions and experiences of the turbulent months of 2016, the show emphasizes reflection on the incompleteness or incoherence that immediate historical reckonings and complex geo-political situations often imply, particularly when considered from the vantage point of a lone Swiss artists.   Read More »

New York – Mike Kelley: “Kandors” at Venus Over Manhattan Through January 28th, 2017

January 27th, 2017

Mike Kelley, Kandors (Installation View), via Venus Over Manhattan
Mike Kelley, Kandors (Installation View), via Venus Over Manhattan

Venus Over Manhattan is currently presenting a curated review of Mike Kelley’s work in the Kandor series this month, exploring the artist’s work and research into the comic book mythology of Superman, the implications of his origin story, and the broader cultural and psychological frameworks that this story works within and through.  Selecting four of the artist’s works in the series, the show takes a meditative, focused perspective on Kelley’s expansive body of work. Read More »

New York – Liz Glynn at Paula Cooper Through February 11th, 2017

January 26th, 2017

Liz Glynn, Untitled (after Balzac, with Burgher) (2014), via Art Observed
Liz Glynn, Untitled (after Balzac, with Burgher) (2014), via Art Observed

Spread across two rooms at Paula Cooper’s 21st Street exhibition space, artist Liz Glynn has installed an enigmatic series of sculptures, ranging in form and scale while playing on distinct threads of classical art history, and on the mechanical processes underlying these works.  Continuing a thread of the artist’s practice drawing on critical examinations of the art object, its historical contexts, and the aura conferred on it as a result, the exhibition is a striking, and occasionally comical, examination of function and form in both modern and historical practice. Read More »