This portrait of a man by Jean-Baptiste Greuze fetched 620,000 Euro at auction this week - what an incredible price for a work by this French romantic painter of the 18th century. The auction house Rieunier & Associes in Paris put an estimate of 120,000 - 150,000 Euro.
The Polish artist Pawel Althamer’s celebrated work at last year’s Venice Biennale made its US debut at the New Museum this past week. Althamer’s cast of Venetian citizens; bankers, shopkeepers, immigrant workers, whom he met on the city’s streets, were turned into haunting zombie-like figures and 90 of them all!
We are used to seeing Jean-Michel Basquiat's name associated with auction records and top prices, but an exhibition that just opened in New York offers a great opportunity to see the artist in a more private intimate setting.
The Suzanne Geiss Company put on display a selection of rare black&white nude photographs taken of the artist by his then girlfriend Paige Powell in the 80s. Together with Pink Martini musician Thomas Lauderdale, Powell have began sorting through her extensive photography archive that chronicled her life in the midst of the 1980s art scene in New York as an inner member of Andy Warhol's Factory crowd. The result is this first exhibition focusing on Basquiat, and the 2-year relationship with Powell, where we see the artist in a series of nude portraits taken by Powell in her apartment. In these natural poses, Basquiat looks pretty relaxed, drawing, smoking, and watching cartoons. It is wonderful to witness Basquiat on a more personal level, who died when he was only 27 from a drug overdose in 1988. The exhibition is on view until 22nd of February 2014.
If you remember, MoMA had a big expansion just back in 2002 which had the museum move to Queens temporarily until it was re-opened to the public in September 2004. There were critics of that expansion too and the Guardian's Michael Wolf tells you why he thinks "...it is really too late for MoMA. The damage is done. Glenn D Lowry is the villain of the piece" because "The intimate, jewel-like space has become a standard-issue institutional structure, more suited to a corporate headquarters in Los Angeles or Dallas." Read the rest of his article here.
Every two years in November, the city of New York buzzes with exciting performances and programs all under the roof of PERFORMA, founded by RoseLee Goldberg. We are warned that tickets are selling fast! For instance, Rashid Johnson's revival of Amiri Baraka's famous play "Dutchman" to be staged at the Russian and Turkish Baths is already sold out. Tonight is the opening night gala, and until Thanksgiving, Performa loving New Yorkers will be running around the city trying to see all the action (which we tried once and found it impossible!) Check out what looks from this year's program from Art F City.
http://vimeo.com/77221402 It is officially November and time for the special Mike Kelley screenings in London! Organized by Artangel and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, and coinciding with the major survey of Mike Kelley's work at MoMA PS1, the Mobile Homestead videos will be screened at independent cinemas across the city 2nd-18th November. Mobile Homestead was the final work made by the great American artist Mike Kelley before his untimely death in 2012. The project involved Kelley building an exact replica of his childhood home, a 1950s suburban house in the Detroit suburb of Westland, with a special detachable façade that could be mounted on a chassis and driven around like a conventional mobile home. Check out the full program and more information on Artangel website.
Laurie Anderson has published a short message in remembrance of her late husband, Lou Reed in a small newspaper of East Hampton, New York where they have been spending much time. Read her moving words here: To our neighbors:
What a beautiful fall! Everything shimmering and golden and all that incredible soft light. Water surrounding us.
Lou and I have spent a lot of time here in the past few years, and even though we’re city people this is our spiritual home.
Last week I promised Lou to get him out of the hospital and come home to Springs. And we made it!
Lou was a tai chi master and spent his last days here being happy and dazzled by the beauty and power and softness of nature. He died on Sunday morning looking at the trees and doing the famous 21 form of tai chi with just his musician hands moving through the air.
Lou was a prince and a fighter and I know his songs of the pain and beauty in the world will fill many people with the incredible joy he felt for life. Long live the beauty that comes down and through and onto all of us.
— Laurie Anderson his loving wife and eternal friend
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gOVPOYPmes Taking inspiration from everything that surrounds us, Irene Kung creates haunting photographs that inspire a pause for reflection and meditation. The Swiss photographer transforms urban spaces and buildings in cities across the world, as she takes snapshots where tourist take pictures but turns these daytime shots into night. She also separates her subjects from any surroundings, and illuminating them in such a way that adds the dream-like quality. When asked what concepts she aims to emphasize her images, she answers:
Silence and immobility. To stop and see, feel, think and dream. I aim to respond to people’s inner being at this time when our world is rushing towards decline. The void. Unfilled space, the darkness around the subject is more important than the subject itself. Today there is too much of everything around us, and I concentrate on elimination and the creation of voids. Empty space offers the chance of giving time a dimension.
Sheftel, who met Da Corte while he was still at Yale, says, “I think there are very few people interacting with objects the way he is.” Da Corte’s work ranges in different media, but his favorite is sculpture. He hunts grocery stores, street corners and IKEA for materials for his assemblages that utilize everything from Coca-Cola bottles to fingernails – basically anything what we, as a culture, consume and discard. For his debut show at Joe Sheftel, one of the found objects was a video for Soul for Real’s 1995 song “Candy Rain” --- we look at this thing that was number one on the charts and now it’s completely foreign! For his abstract paintings, Da Corte re-purposes everyday products like discount shampoo, and by doing so asks the viewer to re-examine the items placed closest to their bodies. He is a painter and a consummate collaborator who grays the lines between collecting, absorbing and embedding.
Da Corte has been getting a lot of press, as well as having two exhibitions on this summer! One is a solo show “Fun Sponge” at the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art, and the other in a two-person solo show at Oko Gallery in New York. Read here an interview from June 2013 where Da Corte talks about his art and inspirations.