Richard Serra Meets the Press

Serra at Moma. (Courtesy Patrick McMullan)

Last week members of the press assembled at David Zwirner’s new space on West 20th Street for a preview of Richard Serra’s early works there and, we’d been told, a walkthrough of the exhibition with the artist himself. If you were familiar with Mr. Serra’s personality—or at least his famous falling out with the U.S. government over its decision to remove his sculpture Tilted Arc (1981) in 1989—the walkthrough sounded slightly out of character. Even if he had curated the show himself, Mr. Serra is not a salesman of any kind. He’s not even especially friendly. As the hacks shuffled around near the formal and material experimentations from 1966 to 1971 that comprise the show (coiled lead, etc.), the squat bald artist spoke to no one except the man whose name was on the door. And to him he spoke gruffly. Read More


A New Dimension: Thomas Ruff Embraces 3D


Could it be an art world trend occasioned by the special effects of films like Avatar and The Avengers? A few months ago, rising star Trisha Baga had visitors at Greene Naftali don 3D glasses to better experience her complex installations and slide projections. Last fall, Christie’s made the somewhat tenuous claim that Warhol’s 1962 “3D painting” of the Statue of Liberty was meant to be viewed through 3D glasses, and it dutifully doled them out to prospective buyers and looky-loos alike. Now, at David Zwirner, 3D glasses are provided for viewing superstar German photographer Thomas Ruff’s recent “ma.r.s.” series. Grab a pair from the box near the entrance and enjoy the aerial views of the red planet, originally captured by NASA. In 3D-ma.r.s. 10 (2013), the planet’s carbuncular surface seems to pop right into the gallery. Move around it and the irregular bumps shift and stretch, appearing to follow you. Put the glasses on backward to reverse what recedes and what protrudes—the enormous crater dominating 3D-ma.r.s.09 (2013) will stick out like a Bundt cake. Read More

On View

Alan Uglow at David Zwirner

Partial installation view of 'Torwand (Red) / Torwand (Blue),' 2004. (Courtesy David Zwirner)

It’s the rare deconstruction that remembers to deconstruct itself. But you can see how it works in Alan Uglow’s 2010 T-3. (The English-born painter died in 2011.) On a flat, bright-white field, picture a figure like a cross with red, silver and black bars, the upper and lower two slightly offset to create a cantilevered feeling of expansive stillness. Borders are exact—the white field, if you look closely, is divided by sharp edges of paint into four symmetrical pieces—but the bars of the figure remain thick enough to have their own substance. A subversion of the inhuman infinitudes of geometry is at the same time an expression of faith in their real meaning. Read More

human resources

Kusama to Zwirner

Kusama in 1968. (Keystone Features/Getty Images)

Yayoi Kusama will join David Zwirner, The New York Times‘ Carol Vogel writes. Shortly after Art Basel Miami Beach last year, The Art Newspaper reported that she was parting ways with Gagosian Gallery. She had her first one-person show with the gallery in 2009. A recent profile of Mr. Gagosian in New York magazine said that a representative for the artist told the gallery last summer that she wanted to cease working together. In late December, the German newspaper Die Welt reported the widely circulating rumor that Ms. Kusama was set to join Zwirner in New York. And now the official word has arrived. Read More

On View

‘Francis Alÿs: Reel-Unreel’ at David Zwirner

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A still from Francis Alÿs's film Reel-Unreel, 2011

On Sept. 5, 2001, the ruling Taliban militia raided the Afghanistan National Film Archive in Kabul and burned much of its contents in a fire that lasted two weeks. Most of the destroyed films were just prints, not original negatives. That information is provided at the end of Reel-Unreel (2011), a 20-minute film made by Belgian-born, Mexico City-based artist Francis Alÿs in collaboration with Julien Devaux and Ajmal Maiwandi for the Documenta 13 exhibition last summer in Kassel, Germany, and now on view at David Zwirner. Read More


Kusama Reportedly May Head to Zwirner, Singh Joins Metro Pictures, Kydd to Nicelle Beauchene

A Kusama display and wax figure at a Louis Vuitton store in Hong Kong. (Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

Last year was a wild one for relations between artists and their galleries. Numerous burgeoning talents signed up with major New York dealers; meanwhile, a handful of established relationships came to abrupt ends, with star players switching teams. There’s no sign things will slow down in 2013, with news of signings of closely watched emerging artists and a rumor that one more major arrangement is in the works. Read More


The New Yorker Checks in With Francis Alÿs

A still from 'REEL-UNREEL.' (Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner)

When Hurricane Sandy hit earlier this year, it delayed the opening of a Francis Alÿs show at David Zwirner. Thankfully, the gallery has repaired the space, and will present his work on Jan. 10. In this week’s New Yorker, Julie Belcove wanders around Manhattan with Mr. Alÿs as he looks for his doppelgänger. (Sort of a confusing thing: best to just read the story.) In the piece, the artist talks a bit about the strange, small paintings that he made in Afghanistan recently. Some were presented at Documenta 13 this summer in Kassel, Germany, and were at Zwirner when it flooded during the hurricane. Read More


Richard Serra to Exhibit Major New Sculptures at Gagosian Next Fall, Historical Pieces at Zwirner in Spring

Installation view of 'Junction / Cycle' at Gagosian Gallery in 2011. (Rob McKeever/Gagosian Gallery)

Amidst talk of artists leaving the Gagosian Gallery, news of any artists who show with Gagosian doing exhibitions elsewhere is likely to be closely scrutinized, and potentially misunderstood. Gallerist can reveal that, while Richard Serra, a longtime Gagosian artist, will have an exhibition of historical work at David Zwirner gallery in the spring, the artist’s relationship with Gagosian remains unchanged, and, in fact, he is planning a major exhibition of new sculpture for next fall at Gagosian’s two Chelsea locations.

The exhibition of historical sculptures will take place in Zwirner’s new West 20th Street gallery. According to John Silberman, Mr. Serra’s longtime attorney, Mr. Zwirner approached Mr. Serra about the exhibition, and the artist was enthusiastic about it. Read More


David Zwirner Will Partially Reopen on Friday

David Zwirner Gallery. (Courtesy

Chelsea, as you’ve heard by now, was devastated by Hurricane Sandy last week, and galleries on West 19th Street reported some of the worst flooding and damage. David Zwirner, whose galleries take up most of one side of the block between 10th and 11th Avenues thankfully issued a statement with some good news on Monday afternoon: his space at 519 West 19th Street will reopen Nov. 9 with an exhibition by Diana Thater. Other exhibitions that had been planned in November will open in early January, “once all our spaces have been fully renovated.” The full text is below. Read More


Odd Couples: Frank Benson/Peter Fischli and David Weiss at Andrew Kreps, Al Taylor and James Welling at David Zwirner

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James Welling, FD105C3, 2012

In these days of endlessly proliferating biennials, triennials and mega-exhibitions, contemporary art curatorship tends to be equated almost exclusively with the ability to gather works by dozens of artists under one roof while maintaining at least the illusion of a convincing theme or thesis. And while this skill is nothing to be sniffed at—it implies administrative mastery if nothing else—there is perhaps just as much to admire in the successful juxtaposition of two artists not generally associated with one another, or even with a particular approach or sensibility. Two current Chelsea exhibitions make a convincing case for the satisfactions of such pairings. Read More