“Fierce Creativity” Returns with Chuck Close, Jessica Craig-Martin

Image: Jessica Craig-Martin, Let’s Party, 2010 © Jessica Craig-Martin

“Fierce Creativity,” the jam-packed art exhibition benefitting Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ), returns this year at Pace Gallery. The show will feature works from over 45 artists such as Laurie Simmons, Rob Pruitt, and David Salle.

Said Chuck Close of the exhibit,

“I joined Artists for Peace and Justice because their model is so unique. Witnessing the bureaucratic deadlock after the earthquake in Haiti, APJ quietly took matters into their own hands and started building schools in direct partnership with Haitians. We have been getting things done where big organizations are not, and I am proud to make even more progress thanks to the commitments of the artists participating in this exhibition.”

All proceeds from sales benefit APJ, a non-profit which provides education, healthcare, and arts programs to communities in Haiti. Chuck Close, one of the curators of the exhibit, said he became involved with APJ because of the organization’s tangible and immediate impact on the ground in Haiti. “Witnessing the bureaucratic deadlock after the earthquake in Haiti, APJ quietly took matters into their own hands and started building schools in direct partnership with Haitians,” he said.

The exhibit is at Pace’s 57th Street Location in New York City and will show from October 22-25.

Chuck Close, Self-Portrait (with Cigarette), 2014 © Chuck Close. Courtesy of the artist and Donald Farnsworth, Magnolia Editions, Oakland, CA.

Rirkrit Tirawanija, Untitled 2013 (Make a Monkey out of Clay), 2013 © Rirkrit Tiravanija. Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, NY.

Portrait-(Electric)---©-Jackie-Saccoccio-(hi-res)-$15,000 Jackie Saccoccio, Portrait (Electric), 2014. © Jackie Saccoccio. Courtesy of the artist and Eleven Rivington, NY.

Untitled---©-2014-Adam-McEwen---Artists-Rights-Society-(ARS),-New-York-$25,000 Adam McEwen, Untitled, 2014. © 2014 Adam McEwen / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


Michael Craig Martin, Untitled (credit card), 2014. Acrylic on aluminum, 48 x 48 inches (122 x 122 cm). Photo by Mike Bruce. Image courtesy Gagosian Gallery
© Michael Craig-Martin

Four Art Shows You Should See This Weekend

Checkpoint, 2014. Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York © Roxy Paine

A giant steel sculpture, a life-size wooden diorama, a solo exhibition as imaginative as a Lewis Carroll fantasy world, and a group show of satanic ceramics will have your running around downtown Manhattan this weekend. Over in Chelsea Marianne Boesky Gallery presents “Denuded Lens,” a solo exhibition featuring new works by New York-based artist Roxy Paine. The show’s centerpiece is a diorama replica of an airport security checkpoint made entirely of maple wood. Paine has a propensity for recreating banal scenes of contemporary life in his large-scale dioramas. His new diorama “Checkpoint” excels at neutralizing a space of intense surveillance and scrutiny, enabling viewers to observe a familiar environment without the irksome apprehension. 

“Denuded Lens” remains on view through October 18, 2014 at Marianne Boesky Gallery.

Just blocks away Polish artist Monika Sosnowska’s new 110-foot sculptural work “Tower” occupies Hauser & Wirth’s gallery on 18th Street. Sosnowska’s massive piece is an amazing mass of twisted steel that evokes the architectural framework of the built environment and outlines the contours of a giant figure reclining across the warehouse-like space. “Tower” is a must-see and feels like a stark parenthesis to what Rosalyn Deutsche describes as the “mangled, shattered, and pulverized architectural remains” that dominate the National September 11 Memorial Museum. 

“Tower” remains on view through October 25, 2014 at Hauser & Wirth. 

At David Zwirner, Marcel Dzama’s 2013 film “Une danse des bouffons (or A jester’s dance)” makes its U.S. debut with an exhibition of accompanying sculptures, drawings, and dioramas. “Une danse des bouffons” is a silent film that offers a fantastical account of Marcel Duchamp and Brazilian sculptor Maria Martins’ troubled love affair. Two versions of the film appear at the show, one cast in a red filter with Kim Gordon as Martins and the other in blue with Hannelore Knuts playing the lead role. Dzama pairs lighthearted choreography by Vanessa Walters with moments of macabre action (think Cronenberg’s Scanners). The film is masterfully lit, utilizing simple cutouts and rotating set pieces to play with light and shadow. The film ephemera outside the screening rooms are also divided into red and blue realms. The drawings and dioramas not only bring the imaginative work to life, they give a glimpse of the storyboard process that defines Dzama’s practice.  

“Une danse des bouffons” is on view through October 15, 2014 at David Zwirner.

Ceramics may be a neglected art form, often sidelined as a craft, but Mary Frey, Pat McCarthy, JJ PEET, and Tom Sachs are making ceramic art cool again at Salon 94 in the Lower East Side. The irreverent exhibition conceives of the group of artists as an underground clay caucus, abiding by The Contemporary Ceramics Manifesto as penned by JJ PEET, which reads, “Brain to Hand to Object [Clay].” Highlights include Pat McCarthy’s zine-like approach to the medium and Mary Frey’s reinterpretation of tourist souvenirs decorated with naughty imagery, the perfect gift for your creepy suburban relatives.

“Satan Ceramics” will stay on view through October 25, 2014 at Salon 94.

Screen shot 2014-09-12 at 2.33.21 PM
Tower, 2014
© Monika Sosnowska

m2Tower, 2014

© Monika Sosnowska

Screen shot 2014-09-12 at 2.35.22 PMCheckpoint, 2014
Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York © Roxy Paine

Marcel Dzama 1Kim Gordon in still from Une danse des bouffons (or A Jster’s dance) © Marcel Dzama
Photo by author

Screen shot 2014-09-12 at 2.32.34 PMInstallation photo by author
© Marcel Dzama

Uncovering the Past with Nick Cave: Art World Gets a History Lesson

Star Power, 2014. Photo by James Prinz PhotographyCourtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York © Nick Cave

Jack Shanmain Gallery has mounted a compelling two-part exhibition of new sculptural work by the Chicago-based artist Nick Cave. “Made for Whites by Whites” arrives at the gallery’s 20th Street location in Chelsea as the protests in Ferguson, Missouri over the police killing of the unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown wind down after jolting the nation for weeks. Nick Cave’s sculptures parse the pervasive denigration of African-Americans through mass-manufactured racist collectibles and decorative memorabilia, laying bare the role of visual media in the violent history of oppression. 

“Made for Whites by Whites” is a troubling catalog of sorts. It’s an important artistic record that preserves the everyday objects that tend to be forgotten or willfully overlooked. As Henry Louis Gates Jr. explains in the accompanying exhibition periodical “White Paper,” these objects served insidious ends. “The explanation comes in three words: justifying Jim Crow,” he writes. 

Cave says the series began to take shape after a disconcerting flea market encounter. “It all started when I found a container at a flea market shaped like the head of a black person. The description read ‘SPITTON.’ I was shocked. This led me to begin collecting extreme category of black inflammatory objects,” he says. 

When you enter the show you encounter a number of antique objects cradled in black wooden boxes and arranged on the floor. One imagines this may have been the way Cave came across the inflammatory container, scouring a jumble of otherwise unassuming relics.  Perhaps the most striking piece, “Sacrifice” shows black cast hands protruding from the gallery wall holding a hand-carved wooden minstrel head attached to a post, an object that was battered by use in carnival games from the 1930s or 1940s. 

It can be difficult to confront the past, but Cave wants to empower viewers rather than paralyze them by shock. “Right Right” is comprised of a badminton set with a gilded metal net. Letters hang from the net’s chains and form a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. that reads, “The time is always right to do what is right.” With the net drooping on the floor, the words are difficult to make out. Yet, the badminton set in its disused state seems to posit some social obligation to engage, no matter how seemingly frivolous the act may be. 

At the gallery’s 24th Street location, Cave places ceramic dogs on throne-like perches for “Rescue.” The dogs sit comfortably on antique furniture below nests crisscrossed with ceramic birds and flowers hanging from beaded strings. En masse the dogs look like regal purveyors of the messy mounds of neglected treasures. The incorporation of the dog sculptures in “Rescue” helps Cave elaborate on the problem of forgetting, particularly as it pertains to the past injustice. 

Nick Cave  “Made for Whites by Whites” and “Rescue” remain on view through October 11, 2014 at Jack Shainman Gallery. 

cave2Shine, 2014
Photo by James Prinz Photography, Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York © Nick Cave


Sculpture, 2013
Photo by James Prinz Photography, Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York © Nick Cave

Fresh New Way to Collect Art – The CoOp Gallery

Prints, sculptures, photographs, paintings — these are not the items you would typically find in a Community Supported Agriculture share, but a new program has mimicked the farming model, offering collectors locally-sourced bounties of art. Jill Allyn Peterson and Dianne Debicella founded the Brooklyn Community Supported Art + Design (CSA+D) and organized the first New York City art share season last fall. Brooklyn CSA+D is part of a nationwide project advancing a new way of collecting art that connects shareholders with artists and designers in their communities.

The art world is no longer a nebulous blip in the cultural sphere. In fact, the art market has rebounded since the financial crisis with global art sales reaching exorbitant new levels. Although there’s often a prohibitive price tag on artwork in galleries, Brooklyn CSA+D makes starting a collection more affordable. As interest in collecting grows, it’s only fitting that new models for acquiring art emerge. I corresponded with Brooklyn CSA+D co-founder Dianne Debicella to get the full scoop. We discussed the program’s benefits and she filled me in on the artists participating in the upcoming season.

How did you get involved with the Art CSA movement? Were you involved with similar organizations prior?

I work at a nonprofit arts service organization whose mission is to help artists and arts organizations with business tools. I had been following Springboard for the Arts as they launched the first CSA for art in St. Paul and they eventually created a replication kit for other communities to learn how to do it. For about a year, I’d been discussing the possibility of Fractured Atlas starting up a CSA for art in NYC. Fractured Atlas is a national organization and it was not a good fit for us to start a local program. So my friend (and vegetable CSA partner) and I decided to do it on our own. We purchased the kit from Springboard and started talking to other art CSAs across the country to see how they got started. We launched the first season of Brooklyn CSA+D last year.
What are some of the difficulties new collectors face in the art market?

New collectors are interested in art and collecting it, but are not sure where to begin. They’d like to own work for their home, but are either intimated by the gallery scene or not able to afford many pieces. They want someone else to curate the work for them or show them work that is new or interesting.

Jason Kachadourian Art CSA

Is there an education component to the Brooklyn CSA+D program?

Yes, Brooklyn CSA+D engages the audience with educational information about the artists and their process. The artists speak directly to the shareholders at the event to share information about the materials they used to create the work, how they came up with the idea, and what they did to create it.

How would you describe the average shareholder?

The shareholders are interested in the community aspect of supporting emerging/up and coming local artists. In talking to some of the other CSAs across the country and based on our experience with the first season, it’s common for a shareholder to find an artist (or designer) through the CSA+D that they love and to buy work directly from the artist or designer after they’ve received their share from the CSA+D. Some of the shareholders are young professionals who have just begun to collect art. Others have been involved in collecting art for some time and recognize the artists being commissioned by Brooklyn CSA+D or are being introduced to them for the first time. They’re people who are comfortable with the price points and want to support artists.

Hannah Mode Art CSA

What makes CSA+D different from galleries?

There are a few differences between Brooklyn CSA+D and galleries. First, there is no ongoing, physical space for Brooklyn CSA+D where the work is exhibited. Secondly, the shareholders do not get to choose the work they receive. They are buying a share knowing which artists were selected, but they do not know exactly what pieces they will receive or from which artists. There is a greater element of surprise (and also risk) compared to shopping at a gallery. The shareholders are taking a leap of faith since they haven’t seen the actual work. Also, by buying a share in Brooklyn CSA+D, the payment is going directly to the artists with minimal overhead costs for operating Brooklyn CSA+D. Plus these fees are not going to one artist, but are supporting a group of artists. The gallery system is typically a one to one purchase where the gallery takes a percentage of the purchase and the rest goes to an individual artist.

What are the benefits for artists participating in CSA+D?

The artists are commissioned to create a set number of pieces for a set price. Their work will be distributed to 50 shareholders, which can be great exposure for them. We also continuously promote them and the work they do. If a shareholder or potential collector contacts us and wants to buy work from one of the artists or designers outside of the work produced for the CSA+D, we connect them directly to the artist and do not take any commission for this service. For artists and designers that applied and were not selected, we passed along feedback directly from the jury so that they could work on improving their applications in the future (not only for Brooklyn CSA+D, but for any opportunity where an application is required.)

Florence Gidez - Imgur

What is distinctive about the Brooklyn CSA+D group?

The artists and designers this year were selected through a 2-step process. First, a jury of art professionals selected the top 24 applicants. From there, the public voted on which 12 should receive the commission and create pieces for Brooklyn CSA+D. The jurors and the public selected a group of artists who proposed creating work that varies in materials, size, and scope. Some artists are creating unique pieces for each shareholder and others are creating editions of the same piece.

ART CSA Pick Up Photo

Who are your favorite artists that have been selected this season? 

This is a tough question! I’m very excited about all of the artists and designers and since I haven’t seen the work in person yet, it’s hard to know which will be my favorite. If I could create my ideal share based off of the work samples, I’d choose Jenn Dierdorf, Florence Gidez, Jason Kachadourian, Jillian Rose, Rachel Burgess, and Jane Fine’s pieces.

Posted in Art

QT’s New Single ‘Looks Fizzy, Tastes Bouncy’

The UK producers Sophie and A.G. Cook find common ground in their idiosyncrasies. They are both leaders of a new breed of enigmatic British musicians who craft and curate their accompanying visual output with as much consideration as the music they create. Sophie caught our attention last year with the summer hit “Bipp.” Around the same time A.G. Cook’s new label PC Music began to gain a following, with anthems by GFOTY, Hannah Diamond, and Dux Content establishing their irresistible brand of garish pop.

Sophie and A.G. Cook have taken this audio-visual model to a step further with their new collaboration under the name QT. The artists conceived of QT as an energy drink, an “Energy Elixir” that doubles as a pop star. QT made their live debut in May at the Pérez Art Museum Miami. The performance featured a pink princess playing in a blow-up pool full of bubbles with a giant bouncy slide behind her. The elixir’s slogan aptly describes the QT sound, “Looks fizzy, tastes bouncy, feels QT. Drink it and you’re there. Every time.” If you are looking for a pick me up, the duo’s first single “Hey QT” will definitely get you there. Earlier this month Diplo revealed his involvement with the upcoming QT release on XL in a tweet. With big time support like that, Sophie and A.G. Cook are artists to keep an eye on in the coming months.

Mint&Serf Celebrate New York’s Young and Restless

Photo by Mike Krim

New York City graffiti duo Mint and Serf have curated a new show at Tribeca’s No Romance Galleries featuring four photographers who cast a youthful glimmer over to the gritty pallor of the downtown scene. Location is everything for PJ Monte, Mike Krim, Osvaldo Chance Jimenez, and Harry McNally. They comprise a rising group of documentarians whose work conveys an acutely urban sensibility. They are enthusiastic about documenting their downtown escapades with friends, but they also have the ability to animate nondescript city scenes with their inquisitive quasi-anthropological gaze.

The exhibition was conceived in collaboration with Good Peoples for the seventh edition of the Special Graffiti Unit newsprint, a street-savvy publication that Mint and Serf started in 2010. “Never Too Young” is the title of the new issue and the accompanying group show. Countless photographers are vying to capture the real New York, but Mint and Serf are a step ahead. The photographers included the exhibition, though distinctive in style, each value authenticity, surpassing the horde of amateurs caught up with a contrived romanticism.  

The seventh issue of Special Graffiti Unit is available at Reed Space, Ace Hotel, ONLY NY and Printed Matter. “Never Too Young” will remain on view at No Romance Galleries through September 7th.

Harry McNally 1“Gravity At Work”  by Harry McNally
 Osvaldo Chance Jimenez 2by Osvaldo Chance Jimenez

PJ Monteby PJ Monte

Osvaldo Chance Jimenezby Osvaldo Chance Jimenez

Turning New York Trash into Treasure

Artwork by Kenan Juska

On the radio, artist Kenan Juska is know for his omnivorous taste and an understated ability to seamlessly move between genres. Juska’s new solo exhibition “Daily Operations” at the arts incubator Pioneer Works shows a different side of the sonic interlocutor, who also happens to be a master of assemblage.

From March 2005 to November 2008 he created a series of collages from discarded items he found in New York City streets. The collages are methodically arranged and often integrate text, adding poetic levity to the weathered objects.

Juska is also the co-founder of the radio show and DJ collective Chances with Wolves, where he showcases his skills mixing eclectic tunes and vintage recordings. His work scavenging collage material is congruous with his production process for radio shows.

“Making this work was, on a personal level, an almost subconscious precursor to ‘Chances with Wolves.’ The daily meditation of collecting materials people cast off, and turning them into a sculptural diary, ended as the radio program began. With each episode of the radio show, we take overlooked and forgotten songs from different contexts, times, cultures and styles; ‘beautiful failures’ we think of them as, and do our best to meld them into a seamless experience for our listeners,” he says.

“Daily Operations” remains on view through September 7, 2014. If you make it out to the gallery, you can also pick up a new book featuring Kenan Juska’s work released through Pioneer Works Publishing.

0Or95-uevVf-1Jx2pDWxjQYXs8kda3PJHUIZGzeUH4M,85SlP2dyJ16qYz6A1ySYVZdwbQGexyT1Z1YW__Yl9NM,FACR79udoKWbYAESuPLsyFzHGNf8UlCT5VPxFsV5Kzw,3ZW_G3rCW2UViVcvBsAUJe4Jf_Nmu8YWqRIqLR9xO0E,B0cov8_L3eQLRA7C77R3qvWFT2oeagBn_h1Y9BDBno8 qTi583ut-YHrt1n-hWUANEW0IzAn22PfpYSOc-JbWiU,HEtbAO5ImtMpfh2ivi-JMqeXWTQ-zVs_n8zlEA7QDnE,pqe-aiuNjJ47vuV389kjrNNP0JpjjHAWerp4A8CvDvo,m7101bmM3hNFDsM8QFuwm2RK2ooC6m8JbVVS5zmrAdo,0Q6G3rJX0HnXP-qv4-1UJQpUdDcpk3i7Q9tYQQgNOk4 W20kl12GBILcpfdwJbhdgTZ452jo4W1oanLeTSvwdWo,hWT9UEY6DBk6XOL5Tx4HCav8YTYGltAE2qa00s-5Wi0,ZJF2GdrLlDLyJ3-Eybp_hUrDA0hDbB31n8mo34nlJw4,o2fzsEKnnmMAFhZuJrg5uxHzRRp758htGmvq2XFuoy4,CxbXexjE7SuKmJOb0lEEe1NPY0jg8kAPiMdVUSLEPKU

Artwork by Kenan Juska

Artists Reveal the Dark Side of Desire at Luxembourg & Dayan

Hans Bellmer La Poupée, 1949 Courtesy Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York Photo by Jeffrey Sturges. ©2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

Eight artists breathe life into Luis Buñuel’s surrealist oeuvre in a new exhibition inspired by the director’s final film, which opens at Luxembourg & Dayan gallery Thursday August 14th. That Obscure Object of Desire debuted in 1977, the last film directed by the acclaimed Spanish filmmaker before his death five years later. The drama unfolds as the male protagonist is repeatedly spurned by what Roger Ebert referred to as the “tantalizing elusiveness” of his young lover. “Buñuel relishes themes of erotic frustration,” wrote Ebert. The film received positive reviews from critics, but ultimately did not make waves at the box-office. 

Despite the film’s paltry financial gains, curators Tamar Margalit and Stephanie Adamowicz were drawn to the work’s romantic turbulence. The duo seeks to examine “the dark side of desire” in their new show, bringing together pieces from a variety of media that convey the obsessive and abject underpinnings of the artistic process.

The exhibition spans multiple floors of the Luxembourg & Dayan townhouse on East 77 street, featuring works by Hans Bellmer, Dorothea Tanning, Hannah Wilke, Alina Szapocznikow, Robert Heinecken, Anthea Hamilton, Julie Verhoeven, and Alisa Baremboym. Buñuel’s proclivity for surrealist imagery is not lost in the exhibition. You encounter distorted and twisted human forms, sexualized figures like Hans Bellmer’s poupée dolls. Anthea Hamilton and Alina Szpocznikow take a utilitarian approach with works that can function as furniture, though, the objects are not everyday. They are disorienting prosthetics whose appendage-like appearance would have certainly set characters in The Exterminating Angel over the edge.

Image 1 Hamilton_LegChairJohnTravoltaAnthea Hamilton Leg Chair (John Travolta), 2010  Collection of Beth Rudin De Woody,  photo by Andy Keate.

2Alina Szapocznikow Lampe-bouche, 1966 Courtesy The of Estate Alina Szapocnikow/Piotr Stanislawski/Galerie Loevenbruck, Paris/Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.© Alina Szapocnikow/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

34Installation view: That Obscure Object of Desire. Photo courtesy of Luxembourg & Dayan.

That Obscure Object of Desire opens August 14 and will remain on view through October 4, 2014 at Luxembourg & Dayan.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Get Arty in Aspen

Courtesy of Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

With the completion of the new Aspen Art Museum building this summer, the city known for its luxury winter recreation is on track to become a year-round art hub. 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner designed the new building, featuring a lattice-like façade.

Last week Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s Black Lightning piece struck Aspen. It was an explosive art event that set veins of black smoke into the sky, commencing opening celebrations with a bang. On Saturday, August 9th, Cai Guo-Qiang’s new installation Moving Ghost Town opens on the museum’s rooftop. The installation has already garnered criticism from animal rights advocates for its inclusion of three living African Tortoises. The three animals, Big Bertha, Gracie Pink Star, and Whale Wanderer, each have two iPads mounted on their shells, displaying footage of the tortoises roaming through ghost towns near Aspen.

ASPEN ART MUSEUM 2014 Ribbon Cutting, Cai Guo-Qiang Firework, and Shigeru Ban Walkthrough

Courtesy of David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

Veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Kremzier ensures that the animals are in good care. “I have worked with the staff from the Aspen Art Museum since the initial planning phase of the Cai Guo-Qiang project. Without question, the welfare of the tortoises has taken the highest priority in every stage of this exhibition,” she says. As it turns out, all three tortoises were rescued from a negligent breeder in Arizona.

Guo-Qiang frequently includes animals in his installations, though, not always living. Heritage (2013) and Head On (2006) both utilized 99 lifelike animal replicas. The tortoises in Moving Ghost Town have deep symbolic value, conveying endurance, longevity, and wisdom. In fact, African Tortoises have a life span similar to humans. They can even outlive their owners — a fact the museum hopes will inform viewers about why the tortoises are not supposed to be pets, particularly in the wake of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles summer blockbuster.

Moving Ghost Town opens Saturday and will remain on view through October 5, 2014 at the Aspen Art Museum.

aspen art museum insta
Via @aspenartmuseum on Instagram