The artist Christo has made progress with his ambitious Over the River project, that would drape fabric over the Arkansas River in Colorado, despite ongoing legal complications originating from concerned citizens. Read More
One thing I left out of my profile of Mierle Laderman Ukeles, the artist in residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation, is her short, though rather esteemed, past in the field of politics. She majored in international relations at Barnard, where she wrote her senior thesis about checks and balances in the history of the Tanganyika Territory, which would later form part of the United Republic of Tanzania (it was still a British United Nations Trust at the time). After graduating, she went back home to Denver and found that one of her sources for the thesis was a professor at the University of Colorado. She got in touch and he asked if he could use her thesis as a textbook in his classes. Read More
Last week, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, who is the first and, to date, only artist in residence in the history of the New York City Department of Sanitation (a title she has held since 1977), was speaking at the Brooklyn Museum’s daily staff roll call. She told the museum’s crew of maintenance workers—among them window washers, security guards and floor sweepers—that even though their work can seem boring and repetitive, what they do is “the first kind of culture.”
The Observer met with her at the museum later that day. “Here’s the museum with all this stuff,” she recalled telling the workers, “and then there’s what you do. You are culture, and your work is culture. And the endless hours that will never be done, that’s what enables us to be in an institution like this. Mopping up the garbage from yesterday. It’s safe. And the things in here are taken care of. That’s culture. What I’ve been trying to do all these years is take those things that have been behind the scenes, downstairs, things no one will talk about it, and pull them into the zone of things to look at. I’m not just saying, ‘Oh, you poor things, you’re having such a hard time, here’s a chance to let it all hang out.’ I’m saying these are important subjects.” Read More
Last fall, right after Hurricane Sandy slammed into New York, observant Manhattanites may have noticed that odd posters had appeared along some of their city’s streets. Pieces of striped paper, with the stripes precisely spaced, had been posted to walls and billboards around downtown without any explanation. There was no brand name—no text of any kind. Just stripes. One with bright aquamarine and white stripes popped up about a block from this writer’s apartment, on Avenue A near East 14th Street. About a week later, they were gone.
Earlier this week, the striped posters began popping up again. They are the work of 74-year-old French artist Daniel Buren—he calls them affichages sauvages (savage postings)—and he’s been installing them around various cities for nearly five decades. The stripes are always the same size, exactly 8.7 centimeters across. The posters in November were timed to coincide with a two-gallery show at Bortolami and Petzel in Chelsea, which was scuttled by Sandy. Two months later, that show is finally coming to fruition. Read More
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
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
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
Iwan Baan Joins Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Proceeds of Iconic Sandy Image Will Go to Hurricane Relief
Perry Rubenstein Gallery in Los Angeles announced this week that they now represent photographer Iwan Baan. As part of the news, the gallery also announced that Mr. Baan’s instantly-iconic aerial photograph of New York in the wake of Hurricane Sandy–The City and the Storm, which graced the Nov. 12 cover of New York magazine–will be sold in an edition of 10, with each photograph priced at $100,000. All proceeds will go to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, which supports Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. In addition, the design store at the Museum of Modern Art in New York will sell posters of the image, priced at $20 a piece with all of the money going toward Hurricane Sandy relief in perpetuity. Read More
Have you seen Judith Bernstein’s too-small solo show at the New Museum? It’s called “HARD” and it’s great. The exhibition, installed in the museum’s lobby gallery, closes Jan. 20, but before it’s over, Ms. Bernstein will talk with artist Paul McCarthy about “the themes of violence and sexuality apparent in both of their work.” Read More
This year’s Documenta 13 in Kassel, Germany, was so gigantic, and scattered across so many venues, that it was pretty much impossible to see all of the art in it, and even people who spent three or four days at the exhibition reported missing some major pieces. Thankfully, those who missed Tacita Dean’s project, which was a bit off the grid, got some good news today: Marian Goodman Gallery announced that it will present it in Ms. Dean’s next show at its New York space, from Jan. 31 through March 9, 2013. Read More