Global contemporary art events and news observed from New York City. Suggestion? Email us.
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Antony Gormley Sculptures Vandalized in Sefton

June 24th, 2017

Antony Gormley, via The GuardianA series of Antony Gormley sculptures on Crosby Beach outside Liverpool have been vandalized with brightly colored graffiti, The Guardian reports. “We want everyone to enjoy and interact with the impressive Antony Gormley statues on Crosby beach, which are synonymous with Sefton,” a spokesman says. “However, following this incident, we have been contacted directly by Mr Gormley with a view of removing these permanent decorations which we will now look into.”
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Documenta 14 Organizers Opening Second Satellite Show in Angola

June 24th, 2017

Ibrahim Mahama, Check Point Sekondi Loco, via Art NewsThe organizers of this year’s Documenta 14 are expanding the exhibition to a satellite exhibition in Luanda, Angola, where they will show a series of works by artists of African descent. “The last decade or so has seen the increased prominence of artists from Africa exhibiting across the contemporary artistic platform in the West,” says Congolese collector Sindika Dokolo, who is helping to fund the project. “I am delighted to help in initiating this opportunity of showing the African artists being exhibited in Documenta 14 for the first time on the continent.”
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Nicholas Serota’s Impact on Tate Profiled in The Guardian

June 23rd, 2017

Nicholas Serota, via The GuardianThe Guardian charts Nicholas Serota’s impact on the Tate during his tenure as its leader, and the challenges the institution faces in the years ahead as it seeks to continue the momentum he created.  “Beginning to get the momentum going, to turn the battleship – that was the most difficult thing,” he says of his efforts.
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Venice – Anne Imhof: ‘Faust’ at the German Pavilion, Winner of the Golden Lion for Best Pavilion at the Venice Biennale Through November 26th, 2017

June 26th, 2017

Anne Imhof, Faust (2017), via Art Observed
Anne Imhof, Faust (2017), via Art Observed

Images capture. They calcify. Within space and time, images appear to sustain a frozen existence with a kind of false grace that suppresses the perpetual change and motion that could be posed as all that which, for lack of a more concise term, is not the image itself.  The dialectic between motion and image, fluidity and representation, is the central conflict of Faust, Anne Imhof’s Golden Lion-winning performance for the German Pavillion at the 57th Venice Biennale. Read More »

New York – Daniel Buren: “To Align: works in situ 2017″ at Bortolami Gallery Through June 24th, 2017

June 24th, 2017

Daniel Buren, To Align: works in situ 2017 (Installation View), via Bortolami Gallery
Daniel Buren, To Align: works in situ 2017 (Installation View), via Bortolami Gallery

On view through the end of the week, Bortolami Gallery is currently presenting its fourth exhibition of work by Daniel Buren, taking place in the gallery’s new Tribeca location.  Buren’s rich and varied career has been the subject of major museum exhibitions worldwide, and here, in the gallery’s spacious location at 39 Walker Street, turns towards the architectural character of the newly inaugurated space.  His works here draw on space, position and perspective to transform the space with his bright colors and filtered light. Read More »

AO Auction Results – London: Sotheby’s Actual Size Curated Sale and Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale, June 21st, 2017

June 23rd, 2017

Wassily Kandinsky, Bild mit weissen Linien (1913), via Sotheby's
Wassily Kandinsky, Bild mit weissen Linien (1913), via Sotheby’s

Holding court with a short but well-appointed pair of sales in London, Sotheby’s kicked off a week of auctions in the British capital, closing its Impressionist and Modern Evening sale with a string of impressive figures and a new auction record for Wassily Kandinsky at £33 million, ultimately bringing a final sales figure of £127,945,750.  The night also saw a short curated sale, “Actual Size” precede the evening’s main event, which saw mixed results and a £20,931,250 final tally for its offering.

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New York – Ellsworth Kelly: “Last Paintings” and “Plant Drawings” at Matthew Marks Through June 24th, 2017

June 22nd, 2017

Ellsworth Kelly, Diptych Green Blue (2015), via Art Observed
Ellsworth Kelly, Diptych: Green Blue (2015), via Art Observed

Since the passing of Ellsworth Kelly in December of 2015, the exhibition of the artists’s final works has made for a sort of bittersweet anticipation. The show could be seen as a grand farewell to an artist who changed the landscape of American painting several times over during the course of his career, each time delving deeper into his clean, almost rhythmic approach to the shaped canvas that filled its confines with rich bounties of color.  Presented this month at Matthew Marks, the artist’s last body of work does not disappoint, and the series of pieces, culled from past sketches and concepts or completely new ideas, feels like a fitting look at the furthest points of the artist’s exploration before he laid down his brush for the last time.  Read More »

Paris – Georg Baselitz: “Descente” at Galerie Thaddeus Ropac Through July 1st, 2017

June 21st, 2017

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Georg Baselitz, Descente (Exhibition view). All images courtesy the artist and Galerie Thaddeus Ropac

On now through the first of July, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is presenting a body of new works by German artist Georg Baselitz in its spacious Paris Pantin exhibition galleries.  The show, titled Descente, brings together a set of new paintings and works on paper that concern the concept of aging and that of the “late work” in the career and life of an artist. Read More »

New York – Felix Gonzalez-Torres at David Zwirner Through June 24th, 2017

June 20th, 2017

Felix Gonzalez-Torres (Installation View), via Art Observed
Felix Gonzalez-Torres (Installation View), via Art Observed

Reflecting on the landmark career and tragically short life of artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, David Zwirner has opened its first exhibition dedicated to his work.  Zwirner has partnered with Andrea Rosen to jointly represent the artist’s estate worldwide, a move that promises increasingly broad exposure and support for his vision and canon. Read More »

AO On-Site – Basel, Switzerland: Art Basel Art Fair, June 15th – 18th, 2017

June 19th, 2017

Subodh Gupta, Cooking the World (2017), via Art Observed
Subodh Gupta, Cooking the World (2017), via Art Observed

As Sunday drew to a close in Basel, the flagship Art Basel fair brought its program to its finale at the Messe Basel, capping an unexpectedly vigorous few days of sales and other programs that once again underscored the fair’s exceptional attraction for collectors across Europe, North America, and the rest of the globe.  Capping its five day run on Sunday evening, the week concluded on a high note, with ample sales that focused primarily around the blue-chip highlights of the fair’s lower floor, while sending a strong message on the market’s health more broadly.

Albert Oehlen, Geigenbau (2003), via Art Observed
Albert Oehlen, Geigenbau (2003), via Art Observed

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London— Jordan Wolfson at Sadie Coles HQ Through June 17th, 2017

June 17th, 2017

Jordan Wolfson, (Installation View), all images courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ
Jordan Wolfson, (Installation View), all images courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ

On view through June 17th, Jordan Wolfson’s first exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ spans both of the dealer’s London gallery spaces, with his new video work Riverboat song featured at the Kingly Street space, and a group of new sculptural and virtual reality works presented at the nearby Davies Street gallery.  Creating nightmarish scenes which often contain symbols that suggest a perversion or deconstruction of the American Dream, the artist’s work blends fantasy and reality into a chilling combination.

Jordan Wolfson, image from Riverboat Song (2017)
Jordan Wolfson, Still from Riverboat Song (2017)

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New York-Frank Stella at Marianne Boesky Gallery through June 17, 2017

June 16th, 2017

Frank Stella, Alu Tuss Star (2016), via Art Observed
Frank Stella, Alu Tuss Star (2016), via Art Observed

Marianne Boesky Gallery is currently exhibiting new work by artist Frank Stella, debuting seven large-scale sculptures created this year and underscoring the artist’s ongoing engagement with color, shape, and composition. Taking the shape of stars, ribbons, and bowties, these colorful sculptures activate and engage the surrounding space, and draw on an expanded history of Stella’s own formal language to give the works a sense of both vivid engagement with the sculptural language, and with his own creative evolution.

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AO On-Site – Basel: Liste Art Fair at Warteck, June 13th – 18th, 2017

June 15th, 2017

Rodrigo Hernandez at Galeria Madragoa, via Art Observed
Rodrigo Hernandez at Galeria Madragoa, via Art Observed

Returning to its home at Warteck, a former schoolhouse on the banks of the Rhine, the Liste Art Fair continues to build on its position as one of the central hubs for the week of Art Basel.  The fair, which prides itself on a careful curation of young galleries, dynamic, forward-thinking works, and a roster of performances that remains one of the week’s main draws, Liste’s program marks it as one of the essential stops for both collectors and art lovers during a bustling week in the Swiss city. Read More »

AO On-Site – Basel: Art Basel at Messe Basel Through June 18th, 2017

June 13th, 2017

Art Basel, via Art Observed
Art Basel, via Art Observed

The 48th edition of Art Basel opened its doors today for the first official day of its week-long run in the Swiss city, and capped its VIP preview with an impressive array of sales that underscored the fair’s lynchpin position in the summer market calendar.  Attendees poured into the halls of Messe Basel early this morning, jockeying for position and a first crack at the exhibition’s premier works, and bringing down a rain of early sales that indicated a return to form for a Western market that had struggled in the past year.  The hallways were packed for the opening day, with collectors Peter Brant, Don and Mera Rubell, and Uli Sigg rubbing elbows with Beatrix RuffHans Ulrich Obrist, Phyllida Barlow and Wolfgang Tillmans. Read More »

AO Preview – Basel, Switzerland: Art Basel Art Fair, June 15th – 18th, 2017

June 13th, 2017

Michaël Borremans, Black Mould The Badgers Song II (2015), via David Zwirner
Michaël Borremans, Black Mould/The Badgers Song II (2015), via David Zwirner

As June rolls on, the art world returns to the Swiss city of Basel for the annual flagship art fair of the Art Basel fair franchise, taking over the Messe Basel for four days of high-profile sales, special projects and artist talks that sit at the center of a week of exhibitions, shows and satellite fairs.  Art Basel marks the latest entry in a bustling calendar of European art events that included the opening of both the Venice Biennale and the latest edition of Documenta in both Athens and Kassel in the past weeks, and should offer one of the last indicators of the European market’s strength before autumn.

Ashley Bickteron, Small Yellow Catalog Cigarettes, Purple Pigment, Cheese Doodles, Broken Glass (1991), via Lehmann Maupin
Ashley Bickteron, Small Yellow Catalog: Cigarettes, Purple Pigment, Cheese Doodles, Broken Glass (1991), via Lehmann Maupin

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AO On-Site: Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany – Documenta 14: “Learning From Athens”, On View Through September 17th, 2017

June 12th, 2017

Marta Minujin, The Parthenon of Books, via Art Observed
Marta Minujin, The Parthenon of Books, via Art Observed

With the early days of summer behind us, curator Adam Szymczyk’s bold and expansive Documenta 14 has opened in both Kassel and Athens, marking the high point of the summer’s crowded European exhibition schedule.  Continuing the event’s long-running tradition as a two-site exhibition project, this year’s show is one of Documenta’s most fully-realized in this framework, with massive exhibition plans and equally lofty concepts split between each location.

Miriam Cahn, via Art Observed
Miriam Cahn, via Art Observed

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New York – Walead Beshty: “Open Source” at Petzel Gallery Through June 17th, 2017

June 11th, 2017

Walead Beshty, Office Work (Canon imageCLASS D1350 Monochrome Laser All-in-One Printer, Copier, Scanner, Fax F161402) (2017)

Walead Beshty, Office Work (Canon imageCLASS D1350 Monochrome Laser All-in-One Printer, Copier, Scanner, Fax F161402) (2017), all photos via Sarah Cohen for Art Observed

Artist Walead Beshty’s work has frequently mined the language and situations of modern labor as productive systems for rendering his works in the gallery space.  There are his postal works, for instance, which use the often rough delivery methods of varied delivery companies to create shattered, misshapen sculptures produced through the route’s inherent inefficiencies; or his works from the last show at Petzel Gallery in New York, which used the movements of gallery employees on a copper table top to create swirling patterns emphasizing the movements and gestures of modern office work.  For the artist’s most recent exhibition at Petzel, this interest in production and systems returns, running through a broad body of works that underscores his intuitive use of simple gestures and deft manipulations to create his pieces.

Walead Beshty, Open Source (Installation View), via Art Observed
Walead Beshty, Open Source (Installation View)

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New York – Joan Jonas: “What is Found in the Windowless House is True” at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise Through June 11th, 2017

June 10th, 2017

Joan Jonas, What is Found in the Windowless House is True (Installation View), via Art Observed
Joan Jonas, What is Found in the Windowless House is True (Installation View), via Art Observed

Taking over almost the full expanse of Gavin Brown’s impressive Harlem exhibition space, artist Joan Jonas returns to New York with a body of work in tow that mingles previous explorations and new meditations on man’s relationship with the natural world.  Pulling the viewer along a meandering pathway up through the gallery’s multi-floor exhibition space, Jonas’s work greets the viewer with visual twists and turns of their own, each time dwelling on the act of perception and understanding, natural phenomena and man’s modern contexts.

Joan Jonas, What is Found in the Windowless House is True (Installation View), via Art Observed
Joan Jonas, What is Found in the Windowless House is True (Installation View), via Art Observed

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Venice – Damien Hirst: Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable at the Palazzo Grassi and Punta Della Dogana Through December 3rd, 2017

June 6th, 2017

Damien Hirst, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable (Installation View), via Art Observed
Damien Hirst, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable (Installation View), via Art Observed

After much anticipation, the crowds of the Venice Biennale have finally packed through the doors of the Palazzo Grassi and Punta Della Dogana to take their turn at the visual tour de force of Damien Hirst’s Treasures of the Wreck of the Unbelievable.  The show, which opened last month at François Pinault’s pair of exhibition spaces in the city, has garnered considerable discussion over the past several months since its announcement, and with good reason.  Hirst’s exhibition is a challenging, and often confounding experience, taking on the museum as a form, and pushing it to its symbolic limits.

Damien Hirst, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable (Installation View), via Art Observed
Damien Hirst, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable (Installation View), via Art Observed

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New York – Robert Longo: “The Destroyer Cycle” at Metro Pictures Through June 17th, 2017

May 31st, 2017

Robert Longo, Untitled (Raft at Sea) (2016-17), via Art Observed
Robert Longo, Untitled (Raft at Sea) (2016-17), via Art Observed

Several years ago, a lone Robert Longo piece left quite an impression at Art Basel Miami Beach.  The subdued charcoal composition depicting several players from the St. Louis Rams posing in the iconic “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” pose that followed in the wake of the death of young Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer in nearby Ferguson, Missouri was stark and imposing, a powerful reminder of the specter of police violence preying on black citizens in the United States.  It made for a sudden rupture in the often buoyant atmosphere of the fair, and one that welcomed the turbulence of the outside world in. Read More »

Berlin – Charline von Heyl at Capitain Petzel Through June 3rd, 2017

May 31st, 2017

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Installation View. All images courtesy the artist and Capitain Petzel.

Now through June 3rd, new work by Charline von Heyl will be on view at Capitain Petzel in Berlin, her second solo exhibition with the gallery.  The German artist, who works with drawing, printmaking, and collage, has long drawn on this wealth of material in conjunction with a wide-ranging gestural vocabulary to create a densely layered body of works, shown here through a series of new canvases mixing various modes of illustration and painting.

VonHeyl_Installation-view_2

The artist’s work functions not as a series of surfaces, but interlocking visual events, layering varied approaches towards repeating images or motifs which work in conjunction with her flowing brushstrokes and blurs of color.  These colors and images shift depending on the time of day or the viewer’s perspective, their respective qualities marking a subtle environmental thread that balances against each work’s dynamic surface.  Drawing is a significant part of the artist’s process, though any impression of line or form tends to hide beneath the unstable and heavy layers of charcoal powder, copper, aluminum flakes and dirty pastels.

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Rememble (2016).

The exhibition brings together a selection of recent works, creating a continued sense of agitation and stabilization, tension and dissolution.  These works produce stark visual effects and striking contrasts rather that depict any single subject, the artist’s hand playing on the act of painting in conjunction with selected models and repeated themes running throughout her works.  This mode of action allows von Heyl to play on a sense of poetic depth and humor, a visual interrogation of painting by the act of painting itself.

VonHeyl_Installation-view_13-1024x698

In Local Yokel from Outer Space (2014), for instance, a globular, alien-like face seems to smile from its vantage point inside the frame.  Composed of brightly colored points and dark accents, the painting is at once inviting and menacing.  Considered in different orientations, the abstract subject morphs between readings as an animal, organic object, and the otherworldly.  In Samurai Rabbit (2017), by contrast, the figure of a rabbit stalks across the frame, holding what appears to be a samurai sword.  The red-splattered canvas gives the impression of the exaggerated gore and violence encountered on-screen.  Paired with the gentle symbol of a rabbit walking through a pastoral background, this painting balances the explicit and the abstract in an interesting combination of fine art and entertainment.

VonHeyl_Installation-view_17-1024x685
Installation View.

Charline von Heyl’s stimulating work is hosted in Capitain Petzel’s open and airy gallery space, giving the viewer ample room to consider these images from afar and up-close.  The artist’s dynamic and provocative pieces come together to demonstrate the pleasure in experience what can happen to a painting under an active gaze.

Her work is on view through June 3rd.

— A. Corrigan

Read more:
Exhibition Page [Capitain Petzel]

 

New York – Rodney Graham at 303 Gallery Through June 2nd, 2017

May 27th, 2017

Rodney Graham, Media Studies 77 (2017), via Art Observed
Rodney Graham, Media Studies ’77 (2017), via Art Observed

Currently spread out across 303 Gallery’s spacious 21st Street exhibition space in Chelsea, photographer Rodney Graham has returned with a body of new works, continuing his playful and incisive understanding of cultural archetypes.  Drawing from a range of situations and signifiers, the artist’s body of new works, a series of chromogenic transparencies mounted on light-boxes, play on both Graham’s observations of his native Vancouver, and more broadly, his understanding of the conventions of the image in modern creative production. Read More »

London – Annette Messager: “Avec et sans raisons” at Marian Goodman Gallery Through May 27th, 2017

May 26th, 2017

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Annette Messager, Avec et sans raisons (Installation View), all images via Marian Goodman

On now through May 27th, avec et sans raisons by Annette Messager is on view at the Marian Goodman Gallery in London, comprising Messager’s first solo show at the gallery and first exhibition in London since 2009.  The title of the exhibition reveals the 73-year-old artist’s penchant for wordplay, suggesting both a possession or lack in the faculty of reason, as well as the existence and/or deficiency of motivation. Following through with the suggestion of its title, the exhibition contains works that possess a clear rationality while simultaneously toying with concepts of the absurd. Read More »

New York: Robert Therrien at Gagosian Gallery Through May 26th, 2017

May 24th, 2017

Robert Therrien, Transparent Room (2010), via Art Observed
Robert Therrien, Transparent Room (2010), via Art Observed

Cataloguing a range of Robert Therrien’s nuanced explorations and elaborations on the physical and psychological landscapes of the everyday, Gagosian Gallery has brought a body of new and recent works to its 24th Street exhibition space in Chelsea.  Marking the artist’s first exhibition in New York in ten years, the show marks a fitting continuation of Therrien’s interests in domestic space, memory and form through a series of sculptures, large-scale environments and works on paper.   Read More »

New York – Erwin Wurm: “Ethics demonstrated in geometrical order” at Lehmann Maupin Through May 26th, 2017

May 23rd, 2017

Erwin Wurm, Modernist Pickle (2016), via Art Observed
Erwin Wurm, Modernist Pickle (2016), via Art Observed

Currently on view at Lehmann Maupin’s Chelsea exhibition space, Austrian artist Erwin Wurm is presenting a concise summary of his recent work, installing a range of sculptures in his broad practice that explore the act of both participation and subversion in the landscape of modernity.  Including both quasi-participatory work alongside a series of more static pieces, the show allows Wurm to run through an impressive range of both his practice, and his broader critical project. Read More »

Los Angeles – Jason Rhoades: “Installations, 1994 – 2006″ at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles Through May 21st, 2017

May 19th, 2017

Jason Rhoades, My Madinah. In pursuit of my ermitage... (2004), via Art Observed
Jason Rhoades, My Madinah. In pursuit of my ermitage… (2004), via Art Observed

Exploring a range of works from the career of Jason Rhoades, Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles has assembled a challenging exhibition for its spring calendar, one that feels particularly resonant in the tense geopolitical situations of 2017.  Installations, 1994-2006, drives at Rhoades’s shared language of consumption and mythology, space and commerce, as a fertile site for the investigation of the modern world, and the cultural collisions stemming from its increasing interconnectivity.   Read More »

AO Auction Preview – New York: New York Auction Week, May 15th – 18th, 2017

May 15th, 2017

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (1982), via Sothebys
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (1982), via Sothebys

Following a bustling two weeks of sales and shows, focus returns to New York City this week for a marathon run of auction sales that will set the stage for the summer season, offering one a chance for collectors to get their hands on marquee works before Art Basel in June marks a break in market action before the fall auction season.  Five sales in a stretch of only four days should offer buyers a range of options, with both Impressionist/Modern and Post-War/Contemporary categories seeing ample opportunities to buy.

Pablo Picasso, Femme assise, robe bleue (1939), via Christies
Pablo Picasso, Femme assise, robe bleue (1939), via Christie’s Read More »