Pier Pressure: High Line Art Resurrects Classic Willoughby Sharp Waterfront Show

The pier. (Photo by Timothy Schenck, courtesy Friends of the High Line)

Over the past decade, as luxurious buildings, parks, restaurants and clubs have popped up near the Hudson River in the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea, Pier 54, which is located at about West 13th Street, has sat desolate, uninhabited except for the occasional concert or special event, and in 2012 the Hudson River Park Trust cut off access to most of the 800-foot-long, 104-year-old pier since it is at risk of collapsing.

“I see that pier from my window, from the High Line office, and it’s a landscape that is completely separated from what we connect to art, which is of course Chelsea,” Cecilia Alemani, the director and curator of High Line Art, told me by phone last week. “It is such an amazing pier. It has this wonderful metal framework at the entrance, and it’s where the survivors of the Titanic were brought. It’s a pier that is very rich in history, but now is just sitting there.” Read More

frieze new york 2014

Frieze New York Sound Program Commissions Cytter, Spooner, Weinberger

BMW 7 Series VIP Shuttle at Frieze New York. (Courtesy BMW Group)

Seriously, I can’t believe it either, but Frieze New York is just around the corner: the third edition of the fair runs on Randall’s Island May 9 through 12. The VIP day is May 8, and if you’re an upper-level VIP you’re going to have the chance to ride in one of the fair’s VIP BMWs, listening to selections from Frieze Sounds, a sound-art program organized by Frieze Projects curator Cecilia Alemani. This year’s commissioned artists are Keren Cytter, Cally Spooner and Hannah Weinberger. Read More

public art

On Tap in Manhattan: ‘Williamsburg’ Brew

Josh Kline, 'Cafe Gratitude,' 2012. Installation view from 'Public Relations' at Night Gallery, Los Angeles. (Courtesy the artist)

Curator Cecilia Alemani has recently been watching hi-tech gadgets, hipster snacks and bits of clothing get reduced to liquid in a blender. Artist Josh Kline is the man hitting the start button, preparing a sculpture that Ms. Alemani, the director of the High Line’s art program, has commissioned for her latest group show in the elevated park. The piece will be a commercial refrigerator stocked with smoothies designed for various lifestyles. The ingredients in the “Williamsburg” brew include kale chips, Kombucha and an American Apparel T-shirt. The “night life” is a concoction of Coke Zero and squid ink. Read More

frieze new york 2014

Frieze New York Announces Seven Projects for 2014

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Boat trips and rock concerts, soccer goals and jungle gyms. This year, fairgoers will be more aware than ever of Frieze New York’s unique location on Randall’s Island as seven artists respond to the tent’s surroundings. Frieze Projects, the section of the British-born art fair devoted to specially commissioned artworks, will feature site-specific work by Darren Bader, Eduardo Basualdo, Eva Kotátková, Marie Lorenz, Koki Tanaka and Naama Tsabar. Additionally, Projects curator Cecilia Alemani, director of High Line’s art programs, will pay tribute to a historical participatory work, as she has in previous editions. For the third iteration of Frieze New York, she will reincarnate artist Allen Ruppersberg’s Al’s Grand Hotel, a temporary, fully operational hotel originally created in 1971 on Los Angeles’ Sunset Boulevard. Read More

frieze new york 2014

Here’s the 2014 Frieze New York Exhibitor List

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Frieze New York is returning for its third edition in 2014, drawing 192 galleries from 28 countries to its big, bright white tent on Randall’s Island from May 9 to 12. The London-born fair appears to have taken hold in its new city, with a consistent number of local galleries returning—53 New York dealers will show at the next edition—along with some notable newcomers. “What’s nice to see is we’ve added Barbara Gladstone this year, who’s a great, stellar foundation of a community in New York,” Frieze co-director Amanda Sharp told The Observer. Among the New York galleries coming back for another year are Luhring Augustine, Jack Shainman, Paul Kasmin and Marian Goodman, who basically won Frieze New York 2013 by staging a Tino Sehgal performance piece in her booth. Read More

public art

John Ahearn Will Create Florent Morellet Monument for the High Line

Morellet. (Courtesy PMC)

Artist Florent Morellet, whose eponymous Meatpacking District restaurant served as a destination for artists, celebrities, drag queens and drug addicts alike, from its opening in 1985, when the area was still a no man’s land, through to its close in 2008, will be commemorated on the High Line with a monument designed by sculptor John Ahearn. The sculpture will be on view from this September through April 2014, joining the nine sculptures currently included in the “Busted” exhibition gracing the elevated park.

Mr. Morellet was selected via online vote, beating out the other four finalists for the sculpture (Peter Obletz, Dorothy Parker, Daniel Reddan and Magda Sawon) with more than 1,500 votes. The monument was commissioned by Friends of the High Line, the nonprofit conservancy that maintains the park and presents High Line Art, which is curated by Cecilia Alemani.  Read More

public art

For the Birds: Next High Line Show, ‘Busted,’ Examines Official Public Sculpture

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Goshka Macuga, Colin Powell, 2011

“Maybe because I’m Italian, I kept thinking of the High Line as a big boulevard or like a street of the Roman forum, and the public sculptures that dot that landscape,” High Line curator Cecilia Alemani said by phone last week.

Ms. Alemani was discussing her latest exhibition, “Busted,” which opens along the mile-long elevated park next month. It includes artworks that play with the conventions of such official public artworks. They’re by nine artists, many of whom rarely produce public art, like George Condo, who has made a beastly head titled Liquor Store Attendant, and Goshka Macuga, who is contributing a bust of Colin Powell delivering his infamous 2003 speech at the United Nations, gingerly holding that famous vial of anthrax. Read More


Light Metal: El Anatsui Weaves Delicate Tapestries From Rough Material

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Broken Bridge II, 2012, on the High Line

On a mild weekday morning late last month, a scrum of journalists and the Ghanaian artist El Anatsui stood inside a viewing room at an art storage building on 20th Street in far west Chelsea. They were flanked by a few of Mr. Anatsui’s new artworks—large, undulating tapestries that he and his assistants weave at his studio in Nigeria from thousands of bits of discarded metal, mostly bottle caps and folded-up foil wrappers. The press preview had originally been scheduled to take place down the street at Mr. Anatsui’s gallery, Jack Shainman, but Sandy had flooded Shainman’s basement, and the artist’s show had been to be postponed. It opens this Friday, Dec. 14. Read More


Curators Take Center Stage as Saatchi Online’s ‘100 Curators 100 Days’ Launches

Clockwise from top left: Ana Finel Honigman, Didier Damiani, Cecilia Alemani and Franklin Sirmans. (Courtesy Patrick McMullan)

Curator Britt Salvesen, of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is the first of 100 curators who will step up to the plate over the next 100 days—one curator per day—for Saatchi Online’s exhibition, “100 Curators 100 Days.” Billed as an effort to promote up-and-coming artists by the six-year-old online exhibition space, the show presents a selection of works, 10 per day, selected by each curator from the 60,000 artists exhibited on Saatchi Online. But what’s different about this online exhibition is that it serves just as well as a kind of college “pig book” of curators around the globe who you should get to know a little better. Do you like independent curator Ana Finel Honigman? Then you may also like the work she has selected. Well, that seems to be the premise anyway. And we’d be surprised if it doesn’t get people clicking. Read More