As the museum plans to reopen, the Guggenheim Museum has laid off 24 employees, with an additional 8 taking separation agreements. “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Guggenheim has been devastating to our finances,” said museum’s director, Richard Armstrong in a letter to employees. “I am deeply saddened to say that the museum will not have the ability to support our previous number of staff members.”
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Entering Bortolami Gallery for its first show of the fall season, one is immediately greeted by a flurry of color. Bright banners hang from the ceilings, adorned with dazzling fluorescent pairings that emphasize the fragments of text that dot each piece, and which find a fitting counterpoint in a ring of framed pieces encircling the gallery walls. The pieces are the product of artist Renée Green, whose body of new works returns to an ongoing interest in the concept of color and language, text and space, perception and understanding. Spanning the artist’s three decades of working with color’s polyvalent effects, the works in Excerpts manifest her open-ended questioning of invented yet established taxonomies, in order to play with and to displace designations that may seem to be known. Read More »
Returning to Los Angeles for a second show with GAGA and her first in the gallery’s LA space, artist Cosima von Bonin has installed a body of new works, merging together her signature selections of pop cultural iconographies, material inversions and surreal interpolations of the gallery space, united under the title HETERO. Using the gallery as a framework on which to explore and elaborate her unique formal investigations, the artist explores the idea of extended, and often distended, narrative flows. Read More »
Drawing on the shifting conceptions of political geography and economy, the work of Lisa Alvarado mines a certain point of friction between western art history and other modes of visual expression, using historical frameworks and objects to populate her work with subtle but enduring critiques of capitalism and colonialism. Alvarado’s paintings operate as stage sets, artworks, and ritual objects simultaneously, often targeting a certain sense of meditative, considered reflection while looking, and using this space to incorporate new historical tropes into the work.
Currently on view at David Kordansky in Los Angeles is BORROWED SCULPTURES, an exhibition of new floor- and wall-based bronze sculptures by the Australian-born artist Ricky Swallow. Continuing the artist’s enigmatic explorations of bronze sculpture and its relationship to the materiality of the everyday, the show mounts a body of works that walk a peculiar line between manufactured sculpture and readymade. Read More »
A riddle topped with a cherry, Heather Phllipson’s new sculpture installation on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth in London has all the makings of a work fittingly in line with the surreal progression of events that have marked 2020. A massive dollop of whipped cream, topped off with a cherry, a large fly and whirling drone, the piece, titled The End, seems to invite questions of just what its title might imply: are we looking at the end of meaning, the end of the world, or perhaps just the end of a particularly large sundae? Read More »
As galleries reopen in New York and test out their new exhibition strategies, the first string of gallery highlights and highly touted shows are beginning to pop up online. Among these is Screaming into the Ether, the newest show of paintings by artist Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures. Mining the language of classic cartoon aesthetics and the often physically expressive poses its characters took, Simmons’s show turns moments of comical action into desperate, unnerving moments through his slurred, blurry hand. Read More »
Sculptures by Anton Bakker at Walker Fine Art, via Hamptons Fine Art
With the summer months in full swing and the challenges of a post-COVID art world continuing to pose new issues for the market, an increasing number of fairs and exhibitions are moving towards online sales and shows. Hamptons Virtual Art Fair, currently open online, marks a new entry in the string of fairs and online exhibitions that have run this summer, an intriguing addition that references the art world’s annual pilgrimage to the Eastern end of Long Island without the sun and sand. It’s an interesting addition to an art calendar long defined by timing and travel for the collector class, a wink towards where, in late summer, its buyers may well be logging in from.
Making its own entry in the string of fairs and digital viewing sites embaraced by the art world to mitigate some of the damage caused by COVID-19, the New Art Dealers Alliance has launched a new project, the aptly titled FAIR. Spanning several weeks of curated exhibitions from member galleries in New York and further afield, NADA’s new project will look to keep attention and focus on smaller galleries and artists amidst a time where many are suffering from the drop in physical contact and face to face encounters that make up so much of the art world’s business model. Taking place May 20–June 21, 2020, FAIR will directly support 119 NADA Gallery Members and 81 other galleries that have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, totaling nearly 200 galleries around the world. Read More »
Hong Kong – Bosco Sodi: “A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains” at Axel Vervoodt Through September 5th, 2020May 16th, 2020
As the city of Hong Kong gradually reopens, galleries are slowly returning to business as usual, with shows returning to their exhibition schedules, albeit slowly and gradually. Among these shows is a quite striking exhibition of new pieces by Mexican artist Bosco Sodi at Axel Vervoodt, incorporating a range of material investigations and variations on his already enigmatic and exploratory processes. Titled A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains, the exhibition takes the artist’s own hand and his engagement with traditional Chinese art techniques in equal stride. Read More »
Taking the challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic head-on, the Frieze Art Fair has opened its Online Viewing Room program, bringing a selection of works by its exhibitors to view on its website. Opened as a stand-in for the cancelled New York edition of its international fair program, the online show has created an expansive online show, welcoming those left working from home or sheltering in place to take a leisurely browse through the show. Read More »
Dike Blair, Untitled (2020), via Karma. The gallery is hosting a show of the artist’s work in its Online Viewing Rooms
As the weeks progress and institutions remain shuttered over COVID-19 concerns, many arts organizations are responding with online virtual education programming related to the arts, often accessible globally at no cost. Art Observed has compiled a selection of these resources, from online classes and exhibitions to panel discussions and online interviews. There has perhaps been no better time to develop and hone one’s skills, as regards both creating and appreciating art, and through these links, Art Observed hopes to enable its readers to branch out, exploring new concepts and skills from the safety of their homes, while helping to relieve some of the pressures and tedium of social distancing.
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This week, artists Dustin Yellin and Vik Muniz sat down this week on Art Observed’s Instagram Live channel to discuss art, the current state of the world, and share insights into their practice. The full interview is now up on our Instagram channel. Read More »
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:
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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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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, 2020March 10th, 2020
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 »