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.
“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.
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.
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.
When the artist Elad Lassry was asked to design an image for the billboard that overlooks the High Line park, he had to put aside some of his usual working methods. “I don’t normally do commissions,” he told The Observer over the phone from his Los Angeles studio, “or make work for a specific occasion.” But the invitation also presented an issue of scale. Normally, Mr. Lassry’s photographs are roughly 11 x 14 inches, proportions derived from a conventional headshot. Even when he presents his short films, as he did for his solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum in 2009, he projects them at roughly the same headshot size. The High Line billboard, on the other hand, is 75 x 25 feet, wider than the average IMAX screen.
Reporting from London’s Impressionist and contemporary art auctions, Souren Melikian reports a “noticeable change of mood this week in the art market.” [International Herald Tribune]
Cecilia Alemani, curator and director of High Line Art, has joined Twitter. [@ceciliaalemani]
Ashley Tickle, the former flack for Performa, has jumped to another of the city’s fun and weird art institutions. Ms. Tickle will now head publicity for High Line Art, the organization responsible for the curation of the elevated park, and a part of the broader Friends of the High Line, which manages the park at Read More
Frieze New York 2012
“People have to have time to go through stages with you,” the sculptor John Ahearn explained on a recent morning, standing in his sun-filled studio in the South Bronx. “You can’t just grab someone like this!” He gripped my arms tightly, then let up with a quick laugh.
Mr. Ahearn, who is 60 and classically handsome—square jaw, piercing eyes, neatly buzzed gray hair—was explaining how he and his artistic partner, Rigoberto Torres, have made art for the past 30 years. They cover their subjects’ faces and shoulders with a toothpaste-like goop called alginate, the stuff dentists use to make molds, and a layer of plaster bandages. The subjects breathe through straws while the materials harden. The whole process takes about 20 minutes, and a fair amount of trust. The two artists then take those molds and fill them in with plaster to make positive casts, which they build up and carve, and paint into startlingly lifelike wall reliefs.
Frieze New York 2012
VIPs taking rides to and from Frieze New York on Randall’s Island in cars provided by BMW will encounter a special surprise inside those luxury automobiles: sound pieces by Martin Creed, Frances Stark and Rick Moody. (Plebeians, take heart: the pieces will be available for download on Frieze’s site beginning May 4.) The pieces were commissioned as part of a new initiative called Frieze Sounds, organized by Cecilia Alemani.
Frieze New York
With its New York debut just a bit more than three months away, the Frieze Art Fair announced the artist projects that will form a “temporary pop-up village” on Randall’s Island during the fair in May.