Fred Tomaselli Is Off Drugs

Fred Tomaselli, 'Mar. 4, 2014,' 2014. (Courtesy the artist/James Cohan Gallery)

On a winter day in the late 1990s, the artist Fred Tomaselli was gliding through the Florida Everglades with his friend, the art collector Mickey Cartin. “We were on one of these boats that makes more noise than 10 jackhammers outside of your building,” recalled Mr. Cartin. “This was one of the most uncomfortable hours of my life with all the noise, and the bugs and whatever, but Fred was just sitting there with this big grin on his face and his binoculars stuck in front of his eyes. I just remember thinking, ‘Boy, this is a guy who really sees humor and joy.’” Read More


Who’s on First? No, They’re All on at Once: Star Curators Take to the Galleries for Summer Group Shows

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"Dogma" at Metro Pictures | Installation view

Riding out the summer doldrums with a guest-curated group show is standard practice for name-brand galleries. Handing over the exhibition-making reins to an outsider—preferably a bleeding-edge tastemaker—allows for some quirky deviation from familiar pair programming. And the game of mix-and-match can, when the chemistry is there, cast selector and selections in a revealing new light. Three current examples of this appealingly unpredictable subgenre—all organized by men-about-the-not-for-profit-art-world for established Chelsea powerhouses—represent divergent approaches to the task. But while varied in their ambitions, all set an easy-going tone—too high-minded to be trashy beach reads, they’re still page-turners. Read More

Art Fairs

Young and Fair: VIP Art Fair Puts MFAs’ Artworks up for Sale Online

Nicole Maloof, Yale University School of Art, 'Monkey,' 2012 (Courtesy the artist and VIP MFA)

It’s late spring, time once again for the age-old tradition of the MFA thesis exhibition. Graduating art school students put on a final show of their work, in a rite of passage that marks the beginning of their lives as officially accredited artists, with all the struggles that entails: finding a studio, finding a gallery. The thesis shows, at least at the top-end schools like Columbia, Hunter and Yale, have also become a way for collectors and dealers to sniff out talent. It’s just a matter of making all those trips to all those schools. As of last week, there’s a brand new twist on the MFA thesis show, one that doesn’t involve any schlepping. VIP MFA, which launched last Friday, is the first-ever juried art fair that gives arts professionals and collectors a crack at the new talent emerging from 58 art schools around the world, from Manhattan to Mumbai—and it happens entirely online. Read More


Notorious VIP: After a Stumble, an Online Art Fair Embraces Its Tech Side

A screen capture from VIP 1.0.

Let’s assume for a moment that is the best way to sell something to someone else online, the Platonic ideal of website retail. Imagine a version of that exists for just one week a year and requires you to have a little instant message conversation with a salesman as the first step to any transaction. If he likes you, or you’re known to him, he might take you to a “private room,” identical to any other inventory page, but where they keep the really good thriller novels. Fair warning! This version of has a reputation for being a little quirky technically as well. The chat function isn’t reliable, and the whole site once had to be taken offline for several hours, during that week of its existence. Read More

Art Fairs

VIP Art Fair, Promising Improved Service, Announces 2012 Exhibitor List

A view of Massimo de Carlo's booth at VIP 1.0 (VIP Art Fair)

The online-only VIP Art Fair, which suffered from some technical problems in its debut early this year, has released a list of 115 galleries that have opted to participate in its second edition, a total that is down slightly from the 139 it signed for its inaugural edition. VIP 2.0, which stands for “viewing in private” and was started by Chelsea dealer James Cohan and Internet entrepreneur Jonas Almgren, will run next year from Feb. 3 through Feb. 8. Read More