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

Jonas Wood Profiled in NYT

March 25th, 2019

Jonas Wood gives the New York Times a tour of his East Hollywood Studio, showing off a series of works from his own practice and his personal collection. “I’ve been all-in on painting since I was younger, and I realized that it was because of a lot of fear that it would all go away,” he says. “That’s not how I want to paint in the future. The pressure and psychology of that setup isn’t totally right. I would like to build bodies of work outside the calendar schedule of art fairs and shows for a little while. I love painting, and I think I can paint without having a giant carrot in front of me. I don’t think that I’m the best at painting, and I want to get better at it.”
Read More »

Serpentine Under Fire Over Pavilion Architect’s Controversial Use of Interns

March 25th, 2019

The Serpentine Gallery is facing criticism over reports that the architect for this year’s pavilion, Junya Ishigami + Associates, uses unpaid interns working 12-hour shifts. “I considered [the internship] for a second, but then later I just realized how ridiculous the terms are,” one student said of the internship. “I can’t afford to do that, considering that Tokyo is not at all a cheap place to live.”
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The Guardian Explores the Challenges and Risks of Shipping and Transporting Masterpieces

March 25th, 2019

The Guardian has a piece this week on the logistics and challenges of shipping masterpiece artworks.  “At the end of the day, you have to make your peace with that,” one conservator says of the stressful and threatening conditions that works being shipped occasionally face. “You have to think what art is for.”
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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 Transportation (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 »

AO Preview – New York: Armory Week in New York City, March 4th – 10th, 2019

March 3rd, 2019

Alighiero Boetti, Per Nuovi Desideri (1988), via Repetto

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 2019. Read More »

AO On-Site – New York: The ADAA Art Show at Park Ave Armory Through March 3rd, 2019

March 3rd, 2019

Seth Price at Petzel, via Art Observed

Marking the first entry in the busy weeks of March in New York, the ADAA Art Show opened its doors this week, putting a few days between its own fair and the mass of exhibitors opening their doors in the coming days.  The first week of March is always a packed one for gallerists and artists, with the usual string of exhibitions and openings coupled with the ever-growing number of art fairs taking up space across the city during Armory Art Week.  With that in mind, the ADAA’s attempts at putting some space between its event and the rest of March’s bustling pace has made it a fitting first entry, a considered, careful staging that sets the tone for the days to come. Read More »

New York – Josephine Meckseper: “PELLEA[S]” at Timothy Taylor

March 1st, 2019

Josephine Meckseper, Scene VI (Installation View), via Art Observed

Few artists have continued to explore the overlapping languages of commerce, visual art and the attendant formats of culture that lay somewhere between the two in the same manner as Josephine Meckseper.  Frequently incorporating the languages of commercial display in conjunction with references to film and painting, her works are confounding arrangements of both corporeal bodies and abstracted agents, each contending for the viewer’s attention in strange, often foreign ways. For her current show, on view at Timothy Taylor in New York, the artist brings a set from her own film, PELLEA[S]. Read More »

AO Auction Recap – London: Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, February 26th – 27th, 2019

February 27th, 2019

Paul Signac, Le Port au soleil couchant, Opus 236 (Saint-Tropez) (1892), Final Price: £19,501,250 via Christie’s

Over the course of the last two evenings in London, the major auction houses rounded out an uneven, occasionally disappointing series of sales in the British capital, casting some doubts over the prolonged strength of the Impressionist and Modernist market in the UK, EU and beyond.  Missing out on major fireworks at both houses, save for a few auction records already anticipated to fall, the evening sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s have posed some hard questions regarding the market’s current health, and just how markets are responding to an increasingly foggy Brexit picture.

Read More »

AO Auction Preview – London: The Impressionist/Modern and Post-War/Contemporary Evening Sales, February 26th – March 7th, 2019

February 25th, 2019

Claude Monet, Le Palais Ducal (1908), via Sotheby’s

With the month of February drawing to a close, the major auction houses are gearing up for their first real test of the year, with a string of auctions set to take place over the course of the following weeks in London.  Marking major sales for both the Impressionist/Modern and Post-War/Contemporary categories, the next two weeks should offer some perspective on how the secondary market is faring in relation to what seems to be an energetic but slightly smaller fair circuit. Read More »

New York – Ella Kruglyanskaya: “Fenix” at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise Through February 24th, 2019

February 22nd, 2019

Ella Kruglyanskaya, Doll on Lilac Background (2018), via Art Observed

Latvian-born painter Ella Kruglyanskaya brings her stylized depictions of female figures to New York this month, presenting a show of new paintings at Gavin Brown’s spacious Harlem gallery space. The show, dwelling on her restlessly inventive and stylistically diverse body of work, has installed the artist’s range of portraits and scenes depicting women’s bodies and social contexts through a range of varied lenses. 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 »