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

The Met to Pay Staff Through May

March 31st, 2020

The Met will pay all employees through May, as coronavirus closures continue, the New York Times reports. “Our highest priority remains to support our staff as best we can in helping to keep everyone safe and as financially secure as possible,” says president and CEO Daniel Weiss. “We realize that this announcement of a four-week extension of full salary support does not provide enduring comfort, but at the moment it is the best we can do in a rapidly evolving situation.”
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Hans Ulrich Obrist Calls for WPA-Style Arts Program to Help Economy

March 30th, 2020

Hans Ulrich Obrist has called for a massive public arts program to help jumpstart the arts economy again after the impact of coronavirus, likening the idea to the Great Depression’s WPA.  “With the WPA, they went out into the community: artists got salaries and were able to research and create work during the New Deal era. It gave many people their first real jobs and commissions,” he says.
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David Zwirner Invites Smaller Galleries to Show in Digital Exhibition Rooms

March 30th, 2020

David Zwirner is welcoming a group of 12 small galleries to exhibit in his gallery’s digital viewing rooms, NYT reports. “We are grateful for any and all acts of solidarity in these incredibly difficulty times,” says Oliver Newton of 47 Canal, one of the galleries invited.
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A Message of Support from Art Observed

March 30th, 2020

Art Observed would like to send out a message of support and encouragement to all affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Art Observed will be changing in reaction to a world that is itself in a state of change.

Restricted ability to physically engage with art work does not prevent us from the experience of viewing and thinking about art as well as connecting with each other in the process.

Art Observed will continue to transmit information on shows and the news surrounding them, but in new ways.

Art Observed will look to continue to support those in the art world whom we covered before, as well new participants whom we can connect with meaningfully through a digital format.

We also hope to continue to develop a passionate following of those interested in new phases and frontiers for art.

We invite all to collaborate with Art Observed as we look to adapt, restructure and continue our role to promote and support the art world.

While we look forward to returning to providing our readers and supporters live and timely coverage of art exhibitions, fairs and projects in the near future, we also look forward to taking this new step with you in the time in between.

If you are interested in exploring new strategies and ideas with Art Observed, please feel free to contact us at the handles below:

Instagram DM: @ArtObserved

New York – Gerhard Richter “Painting After All” at the Met Breuer Through July 5th, 2020

March 29th, 2020

Gerhard Richter, Painting After All (Installation View), via Art Observed
Gerhard Richter, Painting After All (Installation View), via Art Observed

Editors Note: Art Observed was on site for the opening of the exhibition and photographed this show before the closings related to COVID-19.   

The Met Breuer is closing its doors this summer, following a fittingly ambitious final exhibition, a sprawling review of the work of Gerhard Richter, marking the first major exhibition in the United States on the work of the German artist in nearly twenty years.   Read More »

RIP – Paul Kasmin, New York Gallerist, at the Age of 60

March 23rd, 2020

Paul Kasmin, via Kasmin Gallery

Dealer Paul Kasmin, who was a formative voice in the development of the Chelsea gallery scene over the last 20 years has passed away at the age of 60.  Read More »

New York – Trevor Shimizu: “Landscapes” at 47 Canal Through March 22nd, 2020

March 19th, 2020

Trevor Shimizu, Landscapes (Installation View), via 47 Canal
Trevor Shimizu, Landscapes (Installation View), via 47 Canal

In 1998, the Museum of Modern Art opened an ambitious and expansive exhibition of the work of Pierre Bonnard.  Among those winding through the galleries of the show was Trevor Shimizu, who left the museum ultimately disillusioned by the possibilities of painting in the modern age, and convinced that he should abandon the format.  The artist would turn, as a result, to video and performance art as a result, exploring approaches driven in part by his disappointment in the possibility of painting.  Read More »

New York – Leidy Churchman: “Earth Bound” at Matthew Marks Through April 18th, 2020

March 18th, 2020

Leidy Churchman, Kishkindha Forest (Jodhpur) (2020), via Matthew Marks
Leidy Churchman, Kishkindha Forest (Jodhpur) (2020), via Matthew Marks

Currently on view at Matthew Marks in New York, painter Leidy Churchmann presents a wide-ranging selection of canvases exploring the artist’s ever-evolving sensibility and eye, exploring the landscape of modernity at a range of scales and points of inquiry.  Titled Earth Bound, the show is a nuanced and intriguing exploration of the world, treating its residents and phenomena as a stream of images, and exploring the effects of their simultaneous presentation within the gallery. Read More »

Paris – Jordan Wolfson: “ARTISTS FRIENDS RACISTS” at David Zwirner Through

March 17th, 2020

Jordan Wolfson, ARTISTS FRIENDS RACISTS (Installation View), via David Zwirner
Jordan Wolfson, ARTISTS FRIENDS RACISTS (Installation View), via David Zwirner

Twenty holographic videos and nostalgic photographs printed on brass comprise artist Jordan Wolfson’s latest, unsettling work entitled ARTISTS FRIENDS RACISTS, currently on view at David Zwirner in Paris. Utilizing a range of autobiographical and cultural iconographies, the artist explores the convergent power of images and language in the framing of any cultural epoch. Read More »

New York – Liam Gillick: “Redaction” at Casey Kaplan Through April 18th, 2020

March 16th, 2020

Liam Gillick, Redaction (Installation View), via Casey Kaplan
Liam Gillick, Redaction (Installation View), via Casey Kaplan

Taking over Casey Kaplan’s midtown exhibition space with a selection of works outlining his incisive and intricate exploration of labor, modes of legibility and the conscription of a body politic, artist Liam Gillick reflects on the various stages and of his career. Unifying a selection of key texts, abstract structures and installations, spanning the early 90s to the late 2000s, and will coincide with the gallery’s 25th anniversary. Read More »

Los Angeles – “New Images of Man” at Blum & Poe Through March 14th, 202

March 13th, 2020

New Images of Man (Installation View), via Blum & Poe
New Images of Man (Installation View), via Blum & Poe

In 1959, MoMA launched the exhibition New Images of Man, a show that combined a disparate and imaginative body of works that brought together a group of artists grappling with the human condition and with new modes of representation in painting and sculpture in the wake of the Second World War.  Returning to this subject matter for a new show exploring both the original exhibition and its echoes through culture in the following sixty years, Blum & Poe Los Angeles has mounted a new take, part homage, part radical revision, that spans two floors in the gallery and reconstitutes emblematic figures from the original MoMA line up of artists alongside artists from this era and beyond to re-examine its motivations and impact. Read More »

New York – Michael Williams: “Opening” at Gladstone Through April 25th, 2020

March 12th, 2020

Michael Willams, Curb Your Enthusiasm (2020), via Gladstone
Michael Willams, Curb Your Enthusiasm (2020), via Gladstone

Comprising a new body of works that continues his approach towards brightly colored and texturally rich compositions, artist Michael Williams returns to Gladstone Gallery this month.  The artist, whose work often explores narrow corners and specific emotions drawn from the experience of the world, exhibits a selection of works that continue and expand his vocabulary. Read More »

New York – Michael E. Smith at Andrew Kreps Through March 28th, 2020

March 11th, 2020

Michael E. Smith (Installation View)
Michael E. Smith (Installation View)

Currently at Andrew Kreps Gallery, a line of floor-fans run in a single file through the doorway of the main gallery space, emitting a slight whine that makes the presentation of the work all the more illusive.  Unable to tell if the fans are on or if there is some other element emitting the sound, the arrangement conjures a strange sense of animated material, a sort of life outside the human body that makes the viewer question just what they are viewing.  So goes the work of artist Michael E. Smith, whose arrangements frequently mine this sort of uncertainty from the familiar objects of the world around us. Read More »

New York – Christopher Williams: ‘Footwear (Adapted for Use)’ at David Zwirner Through April 18th, 2020

March 10th, 2020

Christopher Williams, Footwear (Adapted for Use) (Installation View), via David Zwirner
Christopher Williams, Footwear (Adapted for Use) (Installation View), via David Zwirner

This spring, Christopher Williams presents his ninth solo show with David Zwirner gallery, entitled Footwear (Adapted for Use). The new body of work reflects the artist’s continued interest in how meaning and information are structured through the processes of staging and adaptation. The exhibition references a wide array of source material like Ikea catalogues and airplane magazines, and features new photographs, hand-painted signs, sculptures and videos, all of which engage with postwar material and cultural histories.  Read More »

New York – Sinead O’Dwyer: “In Myself” at Waves and Archives Through April 3rd, 2020

March 9th, 2020

Sinead O'Dwyer, In Myself (Installation View), via Waves and Archives
Sinead O’Dwyer, In Myself (Installation View), via Waves and Archives

Currently on view at New York’s Waves and Archives, artist Sinead O’Dwyer presents a selection of new works, returning to her nuanced silicone works alongside work created for an upcoming performance at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  The exhibition, which marks the artist’s first in New York, makes for an engaging entry in her body of work, and look at her intricate incorporation of human bodies and synthetic materials. Read More »

AO On-Site – New York: Spring/BREAK Art Show, March 3rd – 9th, 2020

March 6th, 2020

Michael A. Robinson
Michael A. Robinson, all images by Elisa Etrari for Art Observed

As The Armory Show returns to the Piers on the West Side of Manhattan, so too comes the annual opening of the SPRING/BREAK Art Show, the adventurous, curator-driven program that takes up space at a pop-up location for a week of compelling and unique exhibitions and projects.  Read More »

New York: Independent NY at Spring Studios, March 6th – 8th, 2020

March 5th, 2020

Bianca Beck at Rachel Uffner, all images via Art Observed
Bianca Beck at Rachel Uffner, all images via Art Observed

Kicking off the 11th year of operation, Independent NY has once again touched down at Spring Studios in Tribeca, once again opening the doors on its take on 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, with ample space and a mellow browsing experience that draws strength from the fair’s invite-only exhibitor structure and immense glass windows, underscoring its reputation as a boutique event with impressive draw.

Clementine Keith-Roach at P•P•O•W
Clementine Keith-Roach at P•P•O•W

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Ao On-site – New York: The Armory Show At Piers 90, 92 And 94, March 5th-8th, 2020

March 4th, 2020

Austin Lee at Jeffrey Deitch, via Art Observed
Austin Lee at Jeffrey Deitch, all images 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.  With its first day of sales in the bag, the fair is once again showing why its impact and stature cannot be ignored. Read More »

AO On-Site – New York: ADAA’s The Art Show at Park Ave Armory, February 27th – March 1st, 2020

February 28th, 2020

Carla Accardi at Andrew Kreps and Bortolami, via Art Observed
Carla Accardi at Andrew Kreps and Bortolami, via Art Observed

The first entry in what’s sure to be a bustling week spanning the end of February and start of March in New York, the ADAA Art Show has opened its doors at the Park Ave armory again this week, offering an early start on the mass of exhibitors opening across the city in the days to come.  With its usual focus on tightly-curated programming and laser-focused booth concepts, the show once again offering an impressive opening note on the week, with packed hallways and excited buyers buzzing about the aisles.

Paul Fagerskiold at Peter Blum, via art Obsered
Paul Fagerskiold at Peter Blum, via art Obsered

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Los Angeles – Hank Willis Thomas: “An All Colored Cast” at Kayne Griffin Corcoran Through March 7th, 2020

February 26th, 2020

Hank Willis Thomas, People just like to look at me (Spectrum IX) (variation without flash) (2019), via Kayne Griffin Corcoran
Hank Willis Thomas, “People just like to look at me” (Spectrum IX) (variation without flash) (2019), via Kayne Griffin Corcoran

Currently on at LA heavyweight Kayne Griffin CorcoranHank Willis Thomas marks his first solo exhibition with the space with An All Colored Cast, an exploration of color theory, popular culture, the development of Pop Art, Color Field painting, Minimalism, and the Hollywood film industry. In this new body of work, Thomas examines the portrayals of gender, race, and identity through the lens of film, performance, and color motion pictures.

Hank Willis Thomas, "People just like to look at me" (Spectrum IX) (variation with flash) (2019), via Kayne Griffin Corcoran
Hank Willis Thomas, “People just like to look at me” (Spectrum IX) (variation with flash) (2019), via Kayne Griffin Corcoran

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AO Preview – New York: Armory Week in New York City, March 5th – 8th, 2020

February 25th, 2020

David Shrigley, Distractions (2018), via Stephen Friedman
David Shrigley, Distractions (2018), via Stephen Friedman

As the winter months drags slowly to its conclusion, and the weather shifts into more temperate conditions, New York City will once again step into its role as a central hub of the contemporary art market, and the global art fair circuit, kicking off its string of fairs across the city.  Centering around the annual Armory Show Art Fair on the West Side, the week serves as one of the more important selling weeks of the first half of 2020. Read More »


February 24th, 2020

Amy Sillman: The Shape of Shape
Amy Sillman, The Shape of Shape (Installation View), all images via MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art announces a new installment of its Artist’s Choice series: The Shape of Shape by Amy Sillman. In this series, facilitated by the museum’s expanded gallery renovations, a contemporary artist organizes an installation drawn from the Museum’s collection. Recent participants include Peter Fischli (2018), David Hammons (2017), Trisha Donnelly (2012) and the architects Herzog & de Meuron (2006). For this new installment, the New York painter has collaborated with The Marlene Hess Curator Michelle Kuo and the Curatorial Assistant from the Department of Painting and Sculpture, Jenny Harris to present a packed install with a range of works in exchange with her own compositions.

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February 24th, 2020

JR - Chronicles of New York - Brooklyn Museum
JR, The Chronicles of New York City (2019) all images via Brooklyn Museum

Currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum, artist JR inaugurates his first solo museum exhibition and first major North American exhibition, taking over the Main Hall of the museum with a show that traces the French artist’s artistic evolution, which began in the Parisian banlieue. His early photographic projects, such as Expo 2 Rue (2001-2004) and Portrait of a Generation (2004-2006), marked his start as a storyteller of his community, picturing graffiti artists and young people from the housing projects in the French capital. Giving voice to the marginalized, JR projects have always been collaborative ventures, involving the participants by allowing them to choose how they would like to be represented, both as individuals and as a group presented to the rest of the world. His works, often ephemeral art installation in public places, channel social change and inequalities and make him a true guerrilla street artist.

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New York – Madeline Hollander: “Heads/Tails” at Bortolami Through February 21st, 2020

February 21st, 2020

Madeline Hollander, Heads/Tails: Walker & Broadway 1, (2020)
Madeline Hollander, Heads/Tails: Walker & Broadway 1 (2020), all images via Bortolami

Marking her first exhibition with Bortolami Gallery in New York, artist Madeline Hollander presents an ambitious and enigmatic new installation at the gallery’s small-scale space at 55 Walker in Tribeca, titled Heads/Tails. Primarily known for her work in choreography, performance and dance, Hollander’s work here is her first major solo exhibition without human actors. The installation consists of hundreds of used automobile headlights and taillights, drawing on local contexts and systemic interventions to turn Hollander’s interest in both human agency and technological networks, and the feedback systems that dictate and reshape the behavior of both. Read More »

New York – Andrea Bowers: “Think of Our Future” at Andrew Kreps Through February 22nd, 2020

February 20th, 2020

Andrea Bowers, Ecofeminist Sycamore Branches Women Have Always Thought Like Mountains (2019)
Andrea Bowers, Ecofeminist Sycamore Branches: Women Have Always Thought Like Mountains (2019), all images via Andrew Kreps

Currently on view at Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York, artist Andrea Bowers presents Think of Our Future, a show of new sculpture and wall-mounted works that continue her engagement with online movements, the cultural zeitgeist, and possible expressions of new social modes and possible futures.  Bowers, whose work of late has mined the cultural upheaval and power of the #MeToo movement, here turns in particular to the protests around the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the confrontations between the company building the line and the Standing Rock Sioux tribe that has fought to prevent its construction on tribal lands.

Andrea Bowers, Think of Our Future (Installation View), via Andrew Kreps
Andrea Bowers, Think of Our Future (Installation View)

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Los Angeles – Nicolas Party: “Sottobosco” at Hauser & Wirth Through April 12th, 2020

February 18th, 2020

Nicolas Party, Portrait with Snakes (2019)
Nicolas Party, Portrait with Snakes (2019)

Currently on view at Hauser & Wirth’s Los Angeles exhibition space, the Swiss artist Nicolas Party has inaugurated his representation with the gallery, opening up an impressively arranged exhibition of new works just in time for the bustle of Frieze Week in the Californian metropolis. Born in Lausanne, Party’s figurative technique has earned him critical admiration for his familiar yet unsettling landscapes, portraits, and still lifes, celebrating and challenging conventions of representational painting, taste, and form. Read More »

AO On-Site – Los Angeles: Spring/Break LA at Skylight ROW DTLA, February 14th – 16th, 2020

February 16th, 2020

Jonathan Paul, all images via Art Observed
Jonathan Paul

Continuing its own intriguing and honed perspective on booth its surroundings in Los Angeles and on the model of the art fair, SPRING/BREAK has once again touched down in the City of Angels, launching a supplementary event that offers an ample supply of artists and galleries presenting in a concept that stands as a stark contrast to the traditional fair model.   Read More »