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Chicago Dealer Richard Gray Passes Away at 89

May 20th, 2018

Richard Gray, via Art NewsChicago art dealer Richard Gray, long a cornerstone of the city’s arts scene, has passed away at the age of 89.  Gray cultivated and supported a range of artists over the course of his life and work, including Alex Katz, Theaster Gates, and David Hockney. “The reality is, sooner or later—but not so much later—it’s all going to be all over for me, and I accept that. I know it,” Gray said in 2007. “It doesn’t change one iota my ability to continue, every day, to be active and involved and committed, to gain from everything around me, what people are doing—artists, musicians, family.” 
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New York — Ellsworth Kelly: “Black & White Works” and “Painting/Object” at the FLAG Art Foundation Through May 19, 2018

May 18th, 2018

Installation view of Ellsworth Kelly: Black & White Works at The FLAG Art Foundation, 2018. Photography by Steven Probert.
Installation view of Ellsworth Kelly: Black & White Works at The FLAG Art Foundation, 2018. Photography by Steven Probert.

Organized by Ellsworth Kelly’s long-time life partner photographer Jack Shear, Black and White Works at the FLAG Art Foundation sheds light on the pioneer colorist’s paintings using primarily black and white, a body of work occupying one fifth of his entire repertoire. Coinciding with the Blanton Art Museum’s unveiling of Kelly’s monumental 2,715 square-foot architectural work Austin, which also introduced a new path in the late artist’s expansive career, the exhibition proposes a fresh approach Kelly’s legacy. Containing sculptural experimentation and geometric curiosity, the works on view demonstrate his unending interest in pushing the boundaries of abstract precision, architectural balance, and optic illusion within the limits of two seemingly opposite and mute colors. Contrasted with the artist’s signature exuberance and his equally precise monochromatic color palette, the works Shear brought together both evoke characteristics from Kelly’s most iconic while and challenging the viewer to expand their interpretation and appreciation of his larger oeuvre.
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MoMA Announces Major Acquisition of Works on Paper Collection

May 18th, 2018

Valentina Kulagina, via ArtforumMoMa has announced the acquisition of 324 works on paper by ninety-seven artists from the holdings of Merrill C. Berman, a Rye, New York–based investor who amassed a collection of 20,000 early twentieth-century works on paper.  “By representing crucial figures—often women and artists from lesser-known geographies—missing or underrepresented in our collection, this extraordinary body of work is especially welcome as the museum continues its commitment to diversifying modernism’s narratives with its forthcoming expansion in 2019,”says Christophe Cherix, the MoMA’s chief curator of drawings and prints.
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New York — Ellsworth Kelly: “Black & White Works” and “Painting/Object” at the FLAG Art Foundation Through May 19, 2018

May 18th, 2018

Installation view of Ellsworth Kelly: Black & White Works at The FLAG Art Foundation, 2018. Photography by Steven Probert.
Installation view of Ellsworth Kelly: Black & White Works at The FLAG Art Foundation, 2018. Photography by Steven Probert.

Organized by Ellsworth Kelly’s long-time life partner photographer Jack Shear, Black and White Works at the FLAG Art Foundation sheds light on the pioneer colorist’s paintings using primarily black and white, a body of work occupying one fifth of his entire repertoire. Coinciding with the Blanton Art Museum’s unveiling of Kelly’s monumental 2,715 square-foot architectural work Austin, which also introduced a new path in the late artist’s expansive career, the exhibition proposes a fresh approach Kelly’s legacy. Containing sculptural experimentation and geometric curiosity, the works on view demonstrate his unending interest in pushing the boundaries of abstract precision, architectural balance, and optic illusion within the limits of two seemingly opposite and mute colors. Contrasted with the artist’s signature exuberance and his equally precise monochromatic color palette, the works Shear brought together both evoke characteristics from Kelly’s most iconic while and challenging the viewer to expand their interpretation and appreciation of his larger oeuvre. Read More »

AO Auction Results – New York: Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sales, May 16th and 17th, 2018

May 18th, 2018

Kerry Marshall, Past Times (1997), via Sothebys
Kerry Marshall, Past Times (1997), Price:$21,114,500 via Sotheby’s

With two nights of auctions now concluded, a choppy look at the contemporary art market has emerged, as Sotheby’s, Phillips and Christie’s strung together a series of occasionally surprising, mixed sales over the course of last night and this evening.  The auctions, which mark the last major sales for the U.S. outposts of the international houses before summer recess, saw a number of impressive auction records, as well as a series of high profile works that failed to find a buyer, a note that left many puzzling over the immediate future of the Contemporary field.

Mark Rothko, Untitled (1969), via Sothebys

Mark Rothko, Untitled (1969), Price:$18,856,500, via Sotheby’s  Read More »

AO Auction Results – New York: Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Sale, May 15th, 2018

May 16th, 2018

Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition (1916), Price $85,812,500, via Christies
Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition (1916), Price: $85,812,500, via Christies

With another auction come and gone in New York, Christie’s has posed quite a challenge to its competitors last night, closing out a well-run sale with strong results and a set of major auction records broken.  The 37-lot sale was well-appointed, and the sale moved steadily through its paces, ultimately finishing at a final tally of $416,040,000 with only 4 lots going unsold. Read More »

New York – Jenny Saville: “Ancestors” at Gagosian Through June 16th, 2018

May 12th, 2018

Jenny Saville, Fate I (2018), via Josie Berman for Art Observed
Jenny Saville, Fate I (2018), via Josie Berman for Art Observed

Jenny Saville returns to Gagosian this month in New York, bringing her iconic painterly style and remarkably attentive perspective towards the human body with her.  The artist, whose past 25 years of practice have seen her delve into an ever-evolving interest in the nuanced erotics and endlessly narrative capacities of the human form, returns here to her frequent interest in couples and pairings of form, using intertwined bodies and interlocked figures to explore human relation and emotion.  Read More »

New York – Harold Ancart at Clearing Through June 17th, 2018

May 11th, 2018

Harold Ancart, Untitled (2018), via Clearing
Harold Ancart, Untitled (2018), via Clearing

The painterly technique of Harold Ancart draws particular strength in accumulation and mass.  Accenting his rough line-work with thick layers of paint and broad fields of paint, Ancart’s compositions have long drawn on the grey areas between addition and subtraction, as if his paintings and sculpture existing in a state where void states are always present, yet somehow, always just beyond comprehension. Past works have seen the artist negotiate between different perceptions of space with masterful skill, creating pieces where the accumulation of paint only draws additional strength from its later removal, or vice versa, ultimately creating complex interactions between time and space, depth and flatness. Read More »

New York – Harmony Hammond: “Inappropriate Longings” at Alexander Gray Through May 26th, 2018

May 10th, 2018

Harmony Hammond, Inappropriate Longings (detail) (1992), via Alexander Gray
Harmony Hammond, Inappropriate Longings (detail) (1992), via Alexander Gray

Alexander Gray’s exhibition of the work of Harmony Hammond highlights the artist’s work from the 1990’s, mixing together a divergent series of works using wallpaper, linoleum and other decaying materials plucked from a world between the constructed and cosmetic.  Her objects have seen better days, truth be told, eerily reminiscent of slowly rotting farms in the Midwest, or the nefarious forces of Capote’s dark American landscapes.  In Hammond’s hands, the two-dimensionally sculpted debris, peppered with brand names of long-gone industrial companies, invoke a yearning for something other than what we experience: the passage of time, the sense of a specific battered place, vague violence, foul weather or foul play. Read More »

New York – Henning Strassburger: “Fünf Bilder” at Robert Blumenthal Through May 10th, 2018

May 9th, 2018

Henning Strassburger, The Big Air Conditioner (2018), via Blumenthal
Henning Strassburger, The Big Air Conditioner (2018), via Blumenthal

For the past five years, collector Robert Blumenthal has been wading deeper and deeper into the world of exhibition-making, mounting shows with a flair for the adventurous and the scholarly in his gallery that has moved from the Upper East Side and the Hamptons to Chinatown. Having embraced a collecting style that pairs conceptually ambitious work with more classical approaches towards lyrical and figurative painting, Blumenthal’s shows have been a distinct analog to his own collection, which features work by Darren BaderIsa GenzkenChris Burden, and Mary Weatherford, among others.
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AO Auction Results – New York: 19th and 20th Century Works from the Collection of David and Peggy Rockefeller at Christie’s, May 8th, 2018

May 9th, 2018

Pablo Picasso, Fillette a la corbeille fleurie (1905), price 115,000,000, via Christie's
Pablo Picasso, Fillette a la corbeille fleurie (1905), price realized: $115,000,000, via Christie’s

With the final bids placed and the hammer falling on the last lot of the evening, Christie’s has closed the book on an outstanding outing, concluding the star evening sale of its spring season, the sale of the David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection.  A jewel of modern art collection, the works from the family’s holdings were wide and deep enough to fill several evening sales in Christie’s calendar this week, with this 19th and 20th Century Sale serving as the main event. It did not disappoint.

Joan Miro, Mural I, Mural II, Mural III (1933), price 20,000,000, via Christie's
Joan Miro, Mural I, Mural II, Mural III (1933), price realized: $20,000,000, via Christie’s

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AO Auction Preview – New York: Auction Week in New York City, May 8th-9th, 14 – 17th, 2018

May 8th, 2018

Amedeo Modigliani, Nu Couché (Sur le Côté Gauche) (1917), via Sotheby's
Amedeo Modigliani, Nu Couché (Sur le Côté Gauche) (1917), via Sotheby’s

With the weather gradually warming, and thoughts turning to the summer months in New York, the art world will once again look to the Big Apple for a last major auction of the spring season.  With a packed week boasting a string of sales spread over 10 days, the week’s offerings will make for a pointed cap to the preceding week at Roosevelt Island, where Frieze New York will has drawn to a close.  With a number of impressive highlights, chief among them the collection of David and Peggy Rockefeller at Christie’s, the spring sales in New York should offer a few impressive exclamation points to add to an already packed month of market offerings. Read More »

New York – 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Pioneer Works Through May 6th, 2018

May 7th, 2018

Ralph Ziman with The Casspir Project, via 1-54
Ralph Ziman with The Casspir Project, via 1-54

Walking up to the open doors of the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair a Pioneer Works in Brooklyn this weekend, visitors were promptly greeted by a massive military vehicle called a Casspir.  An icon of political repression in South Africa during the apartheid era, the truck’s presence as a colorfully-adorned place-marker, painted over with striking new patterns by artist Ralph Ziman, made for a fitting first note of the works on view inside, images from a thriving circuit of galleries and artists looking both to Africa’s past and future for inspiration. Read More »

New York – David Salle at Skarstedt through June 23rd, 2018

May 6th, 2018

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Mingus in Mexico (1990). © David Salle, VAGA, NY courtesy of Skarstedt, NY.

Now through June 23, 2018, Skarstedt Gallery presents David Salle: Paintings 1985-1995, a selection of some of the artist’s most significant bodies of work highlighting a particularly prolific and experimental period of Salle’s career. The celebrated master of postmodern composition is known especially for his use of photography and collage in his paintings to deconstruct existing imagery, integrating everything from advertisements to post-war American art into his work, earning his classification among other artists of the ‘70s and ‘80s “Pictures Generation”, whose concerns largely centered on the changing status of the image in the era of mass media. Read More »

AO On-Site – New York: TEFAF New York at the Park Ave Armory, May 4th – 8th, 2018

May 5th, 2018

TEFAF NY, via Art Observed
TEFAF NY, via Art Observed

Taking over the cavernous halls of the Park Avenue Armory, The European Fine Art Fair, better known as TEFAF, has returned to the Big Apple for another year, bringing a sense of balance and focus to the broad selection of fairs spread across the city.  The fair, which is now in its second year in the city of New York, has become one of the more noteworthy additions to an already crowded week of sales and fairs, with its focus towards high-end blue chip artworks in conjunction with classic design, artifacts and other fields, a focus that makes it both a concentration of the focus of many fair proceedings around town, and an elaboration, seeking buyers new to the field of collecting fine art, furniture, or otherwise, through a more organic mode. Read More »

AO On-Site – New York: Frieze New York at Randall’s Island, May 3rd – 6th, 2018

May 4th, 2018

Frieze, via Art Observed
Frieze, via Art Observed

As the sun beat down on the ferries making their way up the East River this morning, Frieze New York opened its doors on the early hours of its first preview day, offering an opportunity for collectors and dealers to take a first stroll through the fair without the bustling crowds of the later fair days.  Celebrating its seventh year on Randall’s Island, the fair’s early previews saw a first look at a fair that has come into its own as an anchor of New York’s already packed art scene, and which has become a much-anticipated first hint of the summer months in the city, a first opportunity to get outside and into the greenery of the slender island just north of Manhattan. Read More »

AO Preview -New York: Frieze New York at Randall’s Island, May 3rd-6th, 2018

April 29th, 2018

David Simpson, Blue to Yellow Air (1967), via Haines Gallery
David Simpson, Blue to Yellow Air (1967), via Haines Gallery

The hustle and bustle of the spring art season has fallen over New York, and the anticipation is building for this year’s edition of Frieze New York, set to open its doors in just a few days at its annual haunt at Randall’s Island.  This year, as the fair reaches its seventh edition, some adjustments and tweaks to the schedule will look to expand the fair’s offerings and appeal in an increasingly crowded circuit. Read More »

New York – Marc Camille Chaimowicz: “Your Place or Mine…” at The Jewish Museum Through August 5th, 2018

April 28th, 2018

Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Your Place or Mine… (Installation View), via Jewish Museum
Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Your Place or Mine… (Installation View), via Jewish Museum

Given Marc Camille Chaimowicz’s works are in many ways “sites” unto themselves, it can be easy to forget that the pieces themselves are also site-specific. In turn, New York’s Jewish Museum seems like the perfect space for Chaimowicz’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States, given its prior history as a family home, yet that equally omits some credit due still to Chaimowicz. The crown moldings and wood floors and banisters that make the space familiar have become part of his narrative here, yet each gallery is made distinct, and the intimate effect of his works would result even working within a white-cube gallery space.  This exchange between site and space, artistic inclination and the fluid acts of design are at the center of this show. Read More »

New York – Maria Lassnig: “New York Films 1970–1980″ at MoMA PS1 Through June 18th, 2018

April 27th, 2018

Maria Lassnig, New York Films: 1970 - 1980 (Installation View), via Art Observed
Maria Lassnig, New York Films: 1970 – 1980 (Installation View), via Art Observed

Following the passing of renowned Austrian artist Maria Lassnig, a body of new films was unearthed from the artist’s estate, pieces that marked a continuation and elaboration of her unique and exploratory approach to the human form and its movements. This body of films has traveled to New York this month, following a close collaboration between the Maria Lassnig Foundation and the Austrian Film Musuem to execute an attentive and exacting restoration, resulting in their presentation as Maria Lassnig: New York Films 1970–1980 at MoMA PS1. Read More »

London – Lorna Simpson: “Unanswerable” at Hauser & Wirth Through April 28th, 2018

April 26th, 2018

Lorna Simpson, Five Properties (2018), via Hauser & Wirth
Lorna Simpson, Five Properties (2018), via Hauser & Wirth

Marking her first exhibition with Hauser & Wirth London with a body of new works, artist Lorna Simpson’s Unanswerable features new and recent paintings, photographic collages and sculpture.  Continuing the artist’s pioneering approach to conceptual photography, which features powerful juxtapositions of text and staged images, often bringing into question the nature of representation, identity, gender, race and history, the show is a fitting reintroduction to Simpson’s work for a broader audience, and one that marks the continued impact and importance of her practice today.  Read More »

New York – Doug Aitken: “New Era” at 303 Gallery Through May 25th, 2018

April 22nd, 2018

Doug Aitken, New Era (Installation View), via Art Observed
Doug Aitken, New Era (Installation View), via Art Observed

Walking into the shadowy depths of 303 Gallery this month, viewers are confronted with an almost completely destabilizing series of visuals.  Huge explosions of color and line expand out from the center of television screens placed in the pitch-black space, swirling movements and patterns created by arrangements of various technologic peripherals and paraphernalia.  Accentuated by the hall of mirrors the artist has constructed inside the gallery space, the video creates a alienating effect, the feeling of being awash in technologic constructs we are inventing faster than we can fully comprehend their effects on communication, knowledge or expression. Read More »

New York — mark Is On View at Team Gallery Through April 21, 2018

April 21st, 2018

Mark (Installation View), via Team Gallery
Mark (Installation View), via Team Gallery

The word “mark” takes the center stage in Team Gallery’s ongoing group exhibition, featuring works by Erica Baum, Louise Fishman, Suzanne McClelland, Shannon Ebner, and Al Loving. Aptly and simply titled mark, the exhibition gathers a group of two dimensional works in print and painting that loosely investigate the impact of visual culture on personal and collective memory. Initiated through varied linguistic and social traits of the word finding to its current use and connotations in modern English, the various approaches here explore differing meanings of the “mark,” each of which serve as tactics to examine societal codings of information, ethics, and culture. Read More »

New York – Sean Raspet: “Receptor-Binding Variations” at Bridget Donahue Through April 22nd, 2018

April 19th, 2018

Sean Raspet, Receptor-Binding Variations (Installation View), via Bridget Donahue
Sean Raspet, Receptor-Binding Variations (Installation View), via Bridget Donahue

Taking over the large main room of Bridget Donahue this month, artist Sean Raspet has assembled a strangely minimalist arrangement of objects along the walls of the space.  Small white machines jut out into space, each humming quietly and dispensing a subtle scent.  These timed micro-diffusers are each emitting a scent designed by the artist, an experiment in scent reception that plays on his interests in synthetic compounds and their phenomenological capabilities. Read More »

Jeff Koons Faces Lawsuit Over Allegedly Undelivered Sculptures

April 19th, 2018

Jeff Koons Snapchat, via TechCrunchJeff Koons and Gagosian Gallery are facing a lawsuit over three allegedly undelivered sculptures by the artist, filed by collector and MoMA trustee Steven Tananbaum. “Behind the ostensible façade of Jeff Koons’ art world triumphs and record-breaking auction prices,” a filing by litigator Aaron Richard Golub charges, “lurks a well-oiled machine, more specifically an established, archaic System as old as the hills applied to the art world to exploit art collectors’ desire to own Jeff Koons sculptures.”  Read More »

New York – Sarah Crowner: “Weeds” at Casey Kaplan Through April 21st, 2018

April 18th, 2018

Sarah Crowner, Folded Greens (2018), via Casey Kaplan
Sarah Crowner, Folded Greens (2018), via Casey Kaplan

Notching her second exhibition with Casey Kaplan Gallery, artist Sarah Crowner has returned to the dealer’s Flower District space for a show of new paintings and a site-specific installation that underscores her continued interest in the language and lineage of the natural world in modern painting. Drawing on any number of figurative and abstract histories of painting the world around us, Crowner’s work is a refreshingly nuanced interpretation, one that draws similar graceful curvatures and natural forms from cut and sewn canvases.  Read More »

New York – Richard Aldrich: “Enter the Mirror” at Bortolami Gallery Through April 21st, 2018

April 17th, 2018

Richard Aldrich, Wizard (2017), via Bortolami
Richard Aldrich, Wizard (2017), via Bortolami

Diving into the language and history of painting, artist Richard Aldrich’s new exhibition at Bortolami Gallery comes up to the surface with a diverse series of finds, spanning a range of practice that underscores his unique and energetic practice.  The show, which combines both sculptural interventions and a range of canvases mixing text, drawing and oil painting, offers an impressive look at the artist’s recent work, and leaves the viewer grasping for steady ground.  Yet, as the case with many great artists, Aldrich seems to fundamentally understand the joy in a little hard work, and the conceptual twists his pieces carry make their often confounding arrangements particularly rewarding for intrepid viewers ready to crack open a puzzle.

Richard Aldrich, Enter the Mirror (Installation View), via Bortolami
Richard Aldrich, Enter the Mirror (Installation View), via Bortolami

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New York – Cosima von Bonin: “What if It Barks?” at Petzel Gallery Through April 21st, 2018

April 16th, 2018

Cosima von Bonin, WHAT IF IT BARKS 1 (WHITE BASS GUITAR VERSION) (2018), via Petzel
Cosima von Bonin, WHAT IF IT BARKS 1 (WHITE BASS GUITAR VERSION) (2018), via Petzel

Expanding a body of work already recognized for its exceptionally whimsical, imaginative fusions of form, color and context, artist Cosima von Bonin is currently showing a series of new works on view this month at Petzel in New York.  The artist’s eighth show with the gallery, What if It Barks is also perhaps her most ambitious for the space, continuing her unique formal interventions on a grand scale with AUTHORITY PURÉE, her first full scale installation at Petzel’s 18th Street location.  Read More »