Art Startups

Will Alexandra Chemla’s iPad App Change the Art Dealing Business?

Alexandra Chemla (Photo by Aaron Adler for The New York Observer)

Last June, at a dinner following a talk between Matthew Barney and Tina Brown at Kunstmuseum Basel, during that city’s annual art fair, Alexandra Chemla found herself seated with several fellow graduates of her alma mater Brown University.

“My rugby team at Harvard used to go down to the Brown campus to meet girls,” said Marc Glimcher, the president of Pace Gallery, one of the few members of the table who did not matriculate at Providence (the Observer was another). “I could sell my whole booth and it wouldn’t be as good as winning a rugby game.”

As small talk ensued, conversation centered on ArtBinder, Ms. Chemla’s startup that she founded as a 24-year-old gallery assistant at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, after years of slaving over massive physical binders full of printouts of art. Read More

On View

‘Bjarne Melgaard: Ignorant Transparencies’ at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise

Installation view. (Courtesy Gavin Brown's Enterprise)

Twelve feet tall and entirely naked except for his top hat, a cast-fiberglass Pink Panther stands in the front room of Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. He has bloodshot eyes, dirt on his lips and fingers, bandages on his forearm and wrist, and a thickly impastoed rainbow smeared all over his back like shit. Despite his size, he retains the proportions of a small plastic toy, but the emaciation that makes his elbows and knees so pointy also lends him a seedy, spendthrift glamour, highlighting his archetypal core by burning away the inessential. Swimming around the green and brown walls, their projecting black fins like silhouettes of his own nose or churning omens of the black hole beneath the infinitely solipsistic monotony of his addiction, are a dozen or so cartoon sharks. With a jaunty panache inseparable from self-destruction, he carefully cocks one pink pinky over his blue glass meth pipe. Read More


Jazzy Jay, Rich Medina, More Will Play Records From Afrika Bambaataa’s Collection at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise

The records. (Courtesy GBE)

It’s hard to measure this sort of thing, but from what I can tell, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise is certainly having more fun this summer than any other New York gallery that I’m aware of. They have “Made in Space,” a show of L.A. artists organized by Peter Harkawik and Laura Owens (a joint production with Venus Over Manhattan) in two of their large galleries, a handsome little Henry Codax show in their back room and, in another gallery, dozens of boxes filled with the record collection of Afrika Bambaataa, which is going to Cornell University Library and being archived in a joint project by GBE-Johan Kugelberg/Boo-Hooray Gallery. Read More

On View

‘Made in Space’ at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise and Venus Over Manhattan

Works by Leavitt and Thomson at Gavin Brown's Enterprise. (Courtesy GBE)

At a time when just about any exhibition or art fair, anywhere in the world, is just a click away, it’s easy to forget that art-making is still an intensely local affair, that individual scenes and real-world interactions between artists still matter, perhaps now more than ever. This fittingly hot summer, we’re welcoming Los Angeles here in New York. Its luminaries fill our museums—Robert Irwin at the Whitney Museum, James Turrell at the Guggenheim, Ken Price at the Met and the Drawing Center, Llyn Foulkes at the New Museum—and this two-venue show brings in its youth, many with slim or nonexistent New York exhibition histories, alongside a few of the city’s still-underrated elders, like William Leavitt, Jim Isermann and Allen Ruppersberg. Read More

On View

Elizabeth Peyton at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise

5 Photos

Elizabeth Peyton, Jonas Kaufmann, March 2013, NYC, 2013

When confronted with a technical difficulty that you don’t know how to handle or faced with a small but black-and-white decision and unable to make up your mind, you can often take refuge in a noncommittal ambiguity. In Elizabeth Peyton’s current show at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, this strategy works best in watercolor. Jonas Kaufmann, March 2013, NYC, a watercolor just over letter-paper size, is a close-up of the subject’s face, with paper white for skin, as in a blown-out fashion photo, neat inky strokes for eyebrows, carefully placed stains for under-eye shadow and darker stains for the beard. The inherent looseness of the medium, the supple overlap between a stroke, a stain and a drip, lets Ms. Peyton take full advantage of the viewer’s imagination by working within a similar overlap between constructing a figurative image and simply opening the space to project one. Read More

On View

Nick Relph at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise

Nick Relph, 'The Weather,' 2013. (Courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown's Enterprise)

There are young to mid-career artists today who jump nimbly across mediums and delight in the rich phenomenological possibilities of found objects and images. They tend not to work in a recognizable style, but instead create artworks that are united by sensibility—sly, mysterious, ironic, poetic. Think of Ryan Gander, Darren Bader, Adriana Lara and English artist and filmmaker Nick Relph, who is currently having his second solo show at GBE. Read More


Man Up: Macho Men Take Upper East Side Galleries—Too Much Testosterone?


THE UPPER EAST SIDE ART SCENE sure is getting wild. Long the preserve of the staid and genteel (old masters, modern masters and the like), the neighborhood has recently been seeing more adventurous fare. Three gallery shows that exemplify the trend—and a fourth farther uptown—are of work by artists who share elements of the same profile: the bad-boy avant-gardist with machismo to spare, rebelling against aesthetic conventions, social norms or both. Read More

Look at This!

Look at This! Laura Owens’s ‘Clocks’ Book

12 Photos


We’re working around the clock, trying to beat it, racing against it. We’re never clocking out. It’s how the world works. Meanwhile, time-based works, as they’re termed these days, are increasingly appearing in galleries and museums. Time itself is appearing in many instances. An art-clock boom is on. Read More