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
There are few things the art world can agree on, but one is that the Tuesday night opening of The Art Show, the Art Dealers’ Association of America’s annual fair at the Seventh Regiment Armory, is the most civilized way to kick off Armory Week. (The week, somewhat confusingly in this context, is named Read More
By Sarah Douglas 3/04 11:50pm
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
By Sarah Douglas 1/29 11:08am
Adapting the title of the Ben Stiller flick in which a night guard is imperiled by museum exhibits that come alive is nothing new for parties organized by the museum world. Some institutions do a Night at the Museum as a fundraiser. The American Museum of Natural History, the setting for the movie, has its Read More
By Sarah Douglas 12/23/13 10:08am
Opal, the journalist in the 1975 film Nashville, speaks into a micro-recorder as she walks through a school bus parking lot:
The buses! The buses are empty and look almost menacing, threatening, as so many yellow dragons watching me with their hollow, vacant eyes. I wonder how many little black and white children have yellow Read More
By Sarah Douglas 11/21/13 1:46pm
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
The Art World Is ‘A Very Fragile Ecology’: Laurie Simmons and Lena Dunham Talk Shop at the Brooklyn Museum
By Sarah Douglas 11/14/13 3:53pm
Earlier today, the Brooklyn Museum held its eleventh annual Women in the Arts luncheon. This year’s event honored the artist Laurie Simmons and her daughter, filmmaker Lena Dunham, the first time a mother and daughter were honored together by the organization. Here are some excerpts from their onstage conversation: Read More
By Sarah Douglas 11/07/13 11:53am
The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) has partnered with the online art platform Artsy for the 11th edition of its annual art fair in Miami Beach.
‘For a Man Who Is Unemployed at the Moment, Isn’t He Brilliant?’ Mimi Foundation Auction Totals $2.1 M.
By Sarah Douglas 10/18/13 8:20am
A couple weeks ago, Sotheby’s sold Chinese painter Zeng Fanzhi’s painting The Last Supper for $23.2 million. The consignor was Belgian collector Guy Ullens who, with his wife Myriam, is the founder of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. The other night, here in London, Sotheby’s was once again with the Ullenses, this time hosting an auction and dinner to benefit Myriam Ullens’s Mimi Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of cancer patients. There were eight pieces in the charity sale, which totaled £1.3 million ($2.1 million), and was notable for the gusto with which it was conducted by Simon de Pury, who started things off by advising that everyone “just ignore” the estimates on the artworks, which he characterized as “ridiculously low.” Read More
By Sarah Douglas 10/17/13 8:45am
1. A 20 percent decrease in VIP invitations on the opening day of this annual fair (Oct. 16) was intended to make the atmosphere here somewhat quieter and more conducive to art viewing and buying, but the fair seemed to have the same energy as in past years. The usual power players were on hand, including Greek collector Dakis Joannou, and Norman and Nora Stone, collectors from California. “A higher percentage of the people we invited must have come this year,” said fair co-director Amanda Sharp. Read More