On View

‘Displayed’ at Anton Kern Gallery


“Displayed” has my vote for the most seductive group show of the season—an easy choice, given its treasures and the fact that, in a sense, it takes seduction itself as its subject, with work that examines and exploits the “possibilities inherent to the processes of selection, arrangement and presentation,” as its organizer, White Columns Read More


Different Strokes: Culture Critic Wayne Koestenbaum Takes Up the Brush

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Wayne Koestenbaum, Jeff Twice (Purple Shorts)

“It’s really just like he jumped in at the deep end and became this painter,” said Matthew Higgs, the director of White Columns. He was talking about writer Wayne Koestenbaum, who is known for his books on Warhol and Jackie O. On Oct. 27, White Columns will present Mr. Koestenbaum’s first-ever solo show, with about 50 smallish paintings—some brightly colored self-portraits and a smattering of male nudes. Read More

Don't Miss It!

Darren Bader’s Bulletin Board at Venus Over Manhattan


The second show at the new Upper East Side gallery Venus Over Manhattan is filled with bulletin boards. (Disclosure: Venus Over Manhattan is owned by Observer contributor Adam Lindemann.) The West Village alternative space White Columns, which has been home to a bulletin-board exhibition space for a number of years, gave bulletin boards to more than 20 artists and art types and asked them to present something with it. Read More


Venus Over Manhattan Plans ‘Bulletin Board’ Show

(Courtesy Venus Over Manhattan)

After its dark, moody debut exhibition “À Rebours,” which channeled the feel of a late-19th-century aristocrat’s private chambers, the Venus Over Manhattan gallery is going in a comparatively contemporary and light-hearted direction for its sophomore effort. This outing is titled “Bulletin Boards,” and it’s being organized by West Village alternative space White Columns. (Full disclosure: VoM is owned by Observer contributor Adam Lindemann.)

For the show, Matthew Higgs, the director and chief curator of White Columns, has asked more than 20 artists and art types, including Rita Ackermann, Darren Bader, Gavin Brown, Margaret Lee and Michele Abeles, Bjarne Melgaard, Virginia Overton, Daniel Turner and B. Wurtz, to present work using a bulletin board. The show opens July 19. 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

Art Fairs

VIP MFA Gives Students Chance to Launch Themselves Into the Art World

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As art students around the country and internationally are gearing up for their MFA thesis exhibitions, the VIP MFA Art Fair will give those same students a chance to join a juried online contemporary art fair. For one-week, from June 1-8, VIP MFA Art Fair, brought to you by the people behind the online fairs VIP Art Fair, VIP Paper and VIP Photo, will present an online event made just for graduate students and recent alums itching to make their first big splash in the art world, online. Why wait for a gallery to come to you? As its poster advertises, “Apply Now and Launch Yourself Into the Art World.” Read More

Art Basel Miami Beach 2011

A Week at Art Basel Miami Beach: Parties Rivaled Art

Mark Handforth's "Electric Tree." (Sarah Douglas)

Happy 10th, ABMB
Art Basel Miami Beach turned 10 this year. There is a lot of getting swept up in things at the fair and its ancillary activities—its many, many, many ancillary activities, like so many barnacles on a whale that the whale lists to the side, from satellite fairs to parties sponsored by Champagne companies and fashion companies and car companies. Read More


Life After Thee Milkshakes: After Decades of Underground Music Fame, Billy Childish Tries Blue Chip Art

Billy Childish, "Toni Kurz Descending (Study 1)," 2011, oil and charcoal on linen, 59.8 x 36 inches. (Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery)

“There are people who have said to me, ‘They’re not going to swallow you in the art world until you’re dead,’” the musician, poet, novelist and artist Billy Childish said. “The chance that it has been moved forward 20—or 30 years, hopefully—is something that I never expected.”

Mr. Childish, 51, was speaking on the phone from Chatham, England, where he was born and still lives, and he was discussing his upcoming painting show at the Lower East Side branch of the Lehmann Maupin gallery, which opens Nov. 4. He has had a handful of shows in Europe, but this exhibition will be his first at a commercial gallery in New York.

These days, many visual artists are multitaskers. They write, they make clothing, they work in multiple mediums; art’s expanded field has made experimentation and cross-disciplinary practice not just an attractive option, but de rigueur. Which makes Mr. Childish inadvertently prescient: he has been at it for years. Not that it’s been easy.

“Really creative people are not liked in literature, in art or in music,” he said. “They tend to be excluded, and the reason being that they’re not containable and they’re pains in the ass. I’m one of those people—uncontainable and a pain in the ass.” Read More