Sarah Douglas


Putting the Overlooked on View: Andres Serrano’s Portraits of the Homeless Make a West Fourth Stop

5 Photos

Andres Serrano, Residents of New York (Meow Wolfman), 2014

As of May 19, those used to seeing ads lining the corridors of the West Fourth Street subway station are in for a surprise. For a month, those corridors will instead be home to large-scale portraits of homeless people by the artist Andres Serrano.

The project, “Residents of New York,” sponsored by the nonprofit More Art, came out of another one Mr. Serrano, who is best known for his controversial 1987 photograph, Piss Christ, embarked on in the fall. Last October, he said, he began to notice more homeless than ever on the street. He had noticed this before, 20 years ago, and had made studio portraits of the homeless, but he wanted to take a different approach to the subject this time and began paying attention to the handmade signs people held, asking for money or food. He spent October walking the streets of Manhattan for six hours a day, offering to pay $20 for signs that interested him. He ended up collecting more than 200 of them and made them into a video, funded by the nonprofit Creative Time. Read More

frieze new york 2014

What Is Frieze New York’s Economic Impact on the City?

Education Space 2013 Frieze New York Photograph by Graham Carlow Courtesy of Graham Carlow/ Frieze

Take a stroll through the aisles of the third edition of the annual Frieze New York art fair on Randall’s Island this week and the commerce, while discreet, will nevertheless be palpable. The VIP preview day on Thursday is all about business. Millions of dollars worth of art will be sold, or put on reserve for future sale. Dealers will sell artworks not on view at the fair based solely on jpegs popped up on iPad screens. And the seeds of future deals will be planted. Less obvious, but just as important, is the art fair’s overall economic impact on New York City. Read More

On View

Robert Longo at Metro Pictures and Petzel

Installation view of 'Robert Longo: Gang of Cosmos' at Metro Pictures. (Courtesy Metro Pictures)

For his latest exhibition at Metro Pictures, “Gang of Cosmos,” Robert Longo has taken appropriation art to a kind of logical conclusion. Using his favored medium of black charcoal on paper, he has filled the gallery with a series of hyper-detailed recreations, some of them to scale, of Abstract-Expressionist masterpieces by the likes of Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock. Read More


Flying Solo

Lévy with sculptures by Germaine Richier. (Photo by Emily Assiran for The New York Observer)

Last year, the contemporary art dealer Marianne Boesky visited the artist Frank Stella’s studio to discuss a project. They spoke about working together on a more formal basis. Mr. Stella, a titan of postwar art whose early paintings sell for millions of dollars, told her that a dealer hadn’t officially represented him in a long while. Ms. Boesky jumped at the chance and, in an art world known more for competitiveness than collegiality, made a fairly unorthodox proposal. She suggested she team up with another dealer, who would concentrate on Mr. Stella’s secondary, or resale, market while Ms. Boesky focused on his new work.

She had in mind the 46-year-old, Swiss-born Dominique Lévy, who over the past 15 years has emerged as a major force in the world of secondary-market art dealing and exhibition making. It wasn’t just that Ms. Lévy had exhibited and dealt in Mr. Stella’s work and had done an exhibition of his black, aluminum and copper paintings from the late 1950s and early 1960s at her previous gallery, L&M Arts, in 2012—works that, in the words of the Times’ Roberta Smith, “represent the cornerstone of Mr. Stella’s reputation.” It was that “it’s rare to have someone in the art world that you know for 18 years and trust.” Read More

armory week 2014

At the Armory Show, the Old Masters of Contemporary Art

L.H.O.O.Q. (1916/1964) by Marcel Duchamp, at Sean Kelly

So focused is the Armory Show on the art of our times—not so long ago, it was devoted entirely to works by living artists—that the artworks that end up being talked about here often tend to be the older ones, rather than the wet-paint ones.  One piece that had people talking at the Wednesday VIP preview was Marcel Duchamp’s famous L.H.O.O.Q.—a reproduction of the Mona Lisa with a drawn-on mustache—dated 1916/1964, and on view at the booth of Sean Kelly Gallery. Mr. Kelly placed the small Duchamp, one of an edition of 35, next to a piece by Joseph Kosuth, which in turn was next to a two-sided joke drawing by Richard Prince. His point? “That L.H.O.O.Q. is the original joke painting,” Mr. Kelly’s daughter Lauren, a director at the gallery, told us. Mr. Kelly, who had helpfully placed QR codes on all of his artwork labels, was having a busy day. He’d already parted with that Prince, for $70,000, and had sold a Leandro Ehrlich and a number of other works by midday. “The fair feels solid and strong,” he said. Read More


Baibakova Joins Barnard’s Board

Baibakova. (Courtesy Maria Baibakova)

The 28-year-old, Russian-born entrepreneur and philanthropist Maria Baibakova has been making waves in the art world in recent years—she is a collector, is involved with the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim, Lincoln Center, the Tate, the Chinati Foundation and Art Dubai and is a strategic director and a member of the board of directors at the website Artspace. Now she is taking on a significant role in a different kind of institution: Last month, she became the youngest member of the board of Barnard College. Read More

human resources

Madison Square Park Conservancy President Will Step Down

Landau. (Courtesy PMC)

After 12 years as president of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, Debbie Landau is leaving the organization, which runs the park’s popular public art program.

Ms. Landau told The Observer that she is leaving to work independently as a public-art adviser. “My plan is to continue what I was doing with Madison Square Park,” she said, “giving artists an opportunity to bust out of the white box and giving the public an opportunity to see urban spaces cultivated with art.” She said she will be advising museums and other institutions on public art projects, as well as working with artists directly. Read More