Pier Pressure: High Line Art Resurrects Classic Willoughby Sharp Waterfront Show

The pier. (Photo by Timothy Schenck, courtesy Friends of the High Line)

Over the past decade, as luxurious buildings, parks, restaurants and clubs have popped up near the Hudson River in the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea, Pier 54, which is located at about West 13th Street, has sat desolate, uninhabited except for the occasional concert or special event, and in 2012 the Hudson River Park Trust cut off access to most of the 800-foot-long, 104-year-old pier since it is at risk of collapsing.

“I see that pier from my window, from the High Line office, and it’s a landscape that is completely separated from what we connect to art, which is of course Chelsea,” Cecilia Alemani, the director and curator of High Line Art, told me by phone last week. “It is such an amazing pier. It has this wonderful metal framework at the entrance, and it’s where the survivors of the Titanic were brought. It’s a pier that is very rich in history, but now is just sitting there.” Read More


Bringing James Lee Byars Back to Detroit: Triple Candie Interviews Triple Candie About Their Latest Project

Detail of 'James Lee Byars: I Cancel All My Works at Death.' (Courtesy Triple Candie)

It’s hard to know where to begin with Triple Candie. There are too many good stories, and a lot of them are pretty complex. Best to keep it short. Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett founded it in 2001 as a gallery on West 126th Street in Harlem. For a few years they did all sorts of unusual art shows. (Their website has an archive.) Around the middle of the decade, things got really weird: the shows continued, but without art. They organized “David Hammons: The Unauthorized Retrospective” (comprised of photocopies), “Cady Noland Approximately: Sculpture and Editions, 1984–2000″ (exactly what it sounds like) and a survey of Lester Hayes, an artist who does not exist. In 2009, they moved to West 148th, and then in 2010 they closed, decamping for Philadelphia. Though they no longer have a space, they have continued to organize shows at various venues. Their latest, “James Lee Byars: I Cancel All My Works At Death,” is at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit through May 4. It’s marketed as “the first comprehensive survey of the plays, actions, and performances of James Lee Byars,” and includes no work by the enigmatic artist, who was born in Detroit in 1932 and died in Cairo in 1997. Read More


Terms of Art: Looking at the American South, the Studio Museum Considers the Insider-Outsider Divide


The 28-year-old artist Jacolby Satterwhite has reached a milestone in his career, with his work included in the current Whitney Biennial. For his mother, it has been a different story. “She has over 10,000 drawings; they’re stacked up to the ceiling,” Mr. Satterwhite said in a phone interview last week. Patricia Satterwhite, who is 63 and lives in Columbia, S.C., has for years been making sketches of products, often fanciful and slightly frightening, that she proposes selling on cable shopping channels. Diagnosed with a mental illness, she has not left her home in years, and her work has never been shown. Read More


César Baldaccini Will Have First U.S. Solo Show in 50 Years


Upper East Side gallery Luxembourg & Dayan will mount a historical survey of the late French artist César Baldaccini, his first solo show in America in a half a century. The gallery happens to be on the same street as the former Saidenberg Gallery, the site of the artist’s breakthrough show in America in 1961. In tribute to this, Luxembourg & Dayan will exhibit César’s 8-foot-tall bronze sculpture of his own thumb, Pouce, in front of the gallery building on East 77th Street. Read More


‘Something About a Tree': Linda Yablonsky on Her Flag Art Foundation Show

Robert Longo, 'Untitled (French Forest),' 2012. (Courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures)

“I’ve always been fascinated by trees,” the writer Linda Yablonsky told The Observer last month by phone. “They’re figures in a landscape, they’re astonishing and magnificent when they’re full or they’re old or they’re tall, and in a winter landscape they can be quite poignant. They have personalities, they come from different parts of the world, and express something in nature that is very human. We cut them down. They give us oxygen. We climb them. They fall down on us. They’re part of our lives.” Read More