Happenings

8 Things to Do in New York’s Art World Before July 27

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SATURDAY | Performance: Mahmoud Ahmed at Pioneer Works

MONDAY, JULY 21

Premiere: “Kurt Vonnegut’s Galápagos” at the Parrish Art Museum
The artists Tucker Marder and Christian Scheider will debut a performance based on the expansive 1984 play by that rascally Vonnegut, a former resident of nearby Sagaponack. —Nate Freeman
Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, 6 p.m.

TUESDAY, JULY 22Read More

Koons Kountdown 2014

Watch the Throne

Jeff Koons, 'New! New Too!,' 1983. (©Jeff Koons)

Jeff Koons has won. He has ruthlessly outperformed rivals, made sacrifices few would have dared to consider, and gone all-in on risky bets, aesthetic and financial (not that they’re always distinguishable), that have paid out gargantuan returns. Now 59, he is both the reigning artist-king of our time and, thanks to his strategic self-deprecation, which sugarcoats even his most sinister works, its proud court jester. The Whitney has given Mr. Koons his palace, and its retrospective, which opens Friday, has all the precise pomp of a coronation ceremony. It affords a rare chance to bask in Mr. Koons’s benevolent, terrifying, goofy and always-immaculate aura, and, of course, to bow down, the response that he prizes above all others. Read More

Kenny Schachter

Won’t See You Tuesday…

Imagine: artworks by stars Alex Israel, Wade Guyton and Richard Prince, laid to rest. (Rendering by Kenny Schachter).

Kenny Schachter is a London-based art dealer, curator and writer. His writing has appeared in books on architect Zaha Hadid and artists Vito Acconci and Paul Thek, and he is a contributor to the British edition of GQ. The opinions expressed here are his own.

The current resale market for contemporary art has the attention span of a teenager. To switch metaphors, it’s a nuclear hot potato. How many of today’s 25 hottest will be tomorrow’s stone coldest? It’s always in the back of my mind that the pretty young painting things of today can suddenly become progeroid, stricken by a premature aging ailment in their early market lifespans. Read More

Sculptures

Here’s What Jeff Koons’s ‘Balloon Venus’ Looks Like in Yellow

Jeff Koons, 'Balloon Venus,' 2013. (© Jeff Koons, courtesy and the Lyon Biennale)

I don’t know about you, but ever since falling in love with Jeff Koons’s magenta Balloon Venus (2008–12) in his Frankfurt retrospective last year, I’ve even dying to see what the sculpture looks like in the artist’s other trademark colors. (Mr. Koons tends to make his balloon sculptures in “unique editions” of five, each a different color.) So it was painfully bittersweet to walk into the master’s great Gagosian blowout earlier this year and to find the magenta one again. It felt good to be reunited, but where was the next color? Read More

the end of the world

Burned Out on Bali: An Apocalyptic Conversation With Ashley Bickerton

Ashley Bickerton

Near the opening of Noa Noa, Paul Gauguin’s journal from his travels in Tahiti, the artist describes an encounter with the Tahitian governor, “the negro Lacascade, who received me as though I had been an important personage.” The French government had sent Gauguin to the island on “an artistic mission,” but the governor and his entourage, Gauguin writes, believed this “was only an official synonym for espionage.” Of the island, he continues:

“It was Europe—the Europe I had thought to shake off—and that under the aggravating circumstances of colonial snobbism, and the imitation, grotesque even to the point of caricature, of our customs, fashions, vices and absurdities of civilization.

Was I to have made this far journey, only to find the very thing which I had fled?”

The artist Ashley Bickerton, for whom Gauguin is something of a perpetual elephant in the room, moved to Bali exactly 20 years ago to flee a different kind of colonial snobbism—the New York art world. The gallery boom of the 1980s had been kind to Mr. Bickerton, until it wasn’t. By his count, he is now on his third comeback. In August, about a month before his fourth solo show was set to open at Lehmann Maupin Gallery here, we talked on Skype from his home in the tropics, situated almost precisely halfway around the world from New York. I had just woken up, and he was preparing for bed. Read More