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Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Armory NY :: Massimo de Carlo+Carlson

Rashid Johnson, Aaron Young (All images © Jeff Newman/ThArtCollectors)

The joint booth of Massimo de Carlo and Carlson at The Armory Show was a reminder of the galleries’ cornering of several marque names of the New York scene.

A stellar example of one of Arron Young’s frenetic weaves of motorcycle burnouts, looping across a blistering sunset of color on aluminum, was the clear standout. With this continuing series, rooted in live performances whose aftereffects yield tangible works, Young has accomplished a near perfect melding of concept and material creation.

Works by Nate Lowman (who has called himself an image thief) and Rob Pruitt (who has actually been accused of being one) were cleverly hung side by side.  Both are artists of appropriation, as well as recent collaborators.

Lowman’s Axis of Evil reproduces a partially complete newspaper crossword. Taken together with its functional title (a reference to the post 9-11 war jargon of President Bush), the image suggests the degeneration of journalism into an entertainment industry and the quickly dying medium, along with news medias’ capitulation in propagating government rhetoric, with the puzzles’ blacked out areas symbolizing censorship and information control.

Rob Pruitt’s piece also dug up a metaphor for extinction. A pair of his signature glittery Panda Bears are a self portrait for an artist who was once himself an endangered species, and has resurfaced in the last decade with a carefully plotted resurrection that is nothing shy of an allegory for the life and death of careers in the finicky celebrity art world.  Ultimately, these images (which he has reproduced versions of over and over again since launching his comeback) were a reminder that at his best, Pruitt is an artist of ideas. From his now infamous cocaine buffet to the Annual Art Awards concocted with Guggenheim, watching his moves over the last several years has been more stimulating than much of the visual material he has created.

Also on view were works Dan Colen, Rashid Johnson, Christian Holstad, Roberto Cuoghi, Piotr Uklański, Rudolf Stingel, Yan Pei-Ming, Jim Shaw, Roland Flexner, and  John Armleder.

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Monday, March 21st, 2011

Armory Show :: Hits and Misses

Rosana Ricalde (All images © Jeff Newman/TheArtCollectors)

As is the case with any shopping mall of contemporary art, The Armory Show was a mixed bag of delightful hits and lackluster misses. Here are few memorable standouts on both ends of the spectrum. Read on for TAC’s hits and misses… Read the rest of this entry »

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Monday, March 21st, 2011

TAC Focus :: Sean Kelly at Armory

(All images © Jeff Newman/TheArtCollectors)

Los Carpinteros installation of recent works was a welcome extension to the Cuban duos’ recent show with Sean Kelly.  Four “architectural” watercolors encircled a melting chrome lantern, some serving as an extension to their new Rumba Muerta sculpture series. These are not merely the artists’ concept sketches, but an integral part of the Carpinteros’ overall message making, creating an extended narrative history to the primary sculptural works that were on view at the gallery’s main space. In Nueve Tabores Cuadrados pristine red congas are illustrated perfectly intact and prior to their meltdown into a bright liquid pool of red. A “blueprint” for Sala de Lectura Ovala shows preliminary plans for a reading room. Taken together with the final gallery construction which is still void of any books, the pieces relate to information control and media suppression of authoritarian political systems and are particularly relevant given the current crackdown on opposition movements in several nations including Egypt, Bahrain and Lybia.

Leandro Elich’s Subway consisted of a metal subway door recessed into the wall, with a video screen serving as its window, part of his video window series. A minute and a half silent loop of commuters Though not as nearly as mesmerizing as his 1999 Swimming Pool, a somewhere between a clever and kitschy take on voyeurism.

Though nothing special, a new study painting on paper by Kehinde Wiley and small scale sculpture were a reminder that  following the shuttering of Deitch, the artist has been snatched up by Kelly and is now in the company of Marnia Abramovic, Antony Gormley and Gavin Turk to name a few.

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Monday, March 21st, 2011

Armory NY :: KAWS at Honor Fraser

Love it or hate it, KAWS’ solo Armory exhibit with Honor Fraser drew a ton of reactions. From Artinfo’s Top 5 Worst of Show, to the pre-openign six-figure sale of a single piece installation of 21 circular canvases, there is no ignoring that the once underground artist is on a fast trajectory towards becoming a major pop star, complete with accolades and criticisms the likes of Murakami or Koons.

For the newly initiated, we can see the appeal of such playful  mastery of youth culture appropriation, and likely homages to the abstraction of iconography employed by the likes of John Baldessari and Elsworth Kelley. However, for the longtime admirer, yet another batch of Spongebob paintings, further extrapolating the cartoon character into fragmented abstraction, felt like a rehashing old ideas that lacked the same energy and inventiveness of his similar Michelin Man canvases from a decade ago.  Long story short –  Same idea, new character. Flanked by a massive Accomplice vinyl sculpture, the display left us hoping for something new beyond mere size, and eager to see the day when KAWS combines his new found ability at large scale industrial fabrication with some fresh ideas.

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Monday, March 21st, 2011

Armory NY :: Turn on the Bright Lights

Ivan Navarro at Paul Kasmin (All images © Jeff Newman/TheArtCollectors)

The halls of The Armory Show were aglow with neon and light last week.  Vapid spectacle or successful minimalism? Here’s the best, and the worst, for your judgement.

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Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Affordable Art Fair NY Opens Today

Kent Rogowski – Untitled #10, archival pigment print. Available at 20×200/Jen Benkman Project

The Affordable Art Fair opens tomorrow, Sept. 30 in New York and runs through Sunday, Oct. 3. Now in its eight year, AAF includes some 70 international galleries, with works ranging from $100 – $10,000. Tickets for the event, including tonight’s early private preview, can be purchased here. Planning a visit and looking for a bargain? We suggest checking out the prints of 20×200/Jen Benkman Project, who will also be offering convenient on-site framing services for all their editions.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Fairs, New York City, Openings | 3 Comments »


Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Recap :: Art 41 Basel, Switerland

Lawrence Weiner – Cat. 1006, hanging opposite the entrance to Art Basel. (Image © Lindsay Pollock)

This year the day job winds to a close one week too late for me to have made it over for Basel. I wasn’t there. These fine people were.

Lindsay Pollock

Art From Behind

Art Observed

Vernisage TV


The Art Newspaper

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Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Artropolis Chicago

Projection For Chicago, 2008 / Merchandise Mart © 2008 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Text (pictured): "The Joy of Writing" from View with a Grain of Sand © 1993 by Wisława Szymborska, Photo: John Faier)

With major fairs taking place in Miami and New York, many enthusaists overlook Chicago’s annual art events. Artropolis previews today, April 29th, and will be open to the public April 30 through May 3. The event boasts three fairs under the the roof of trade show producer MMPI’s massive Merchandise Mart facility. The largest show, Art Chicago 2010, is now in its fourth year since being purchased by MMPI (who also bought  New York’s VOLTAshow from Armory in 2007), and is accompanied by the NEXT Invitational Exhibit of Emerging Art and the Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair.

Art Chicago includes over 150 international exhibitors of contemporary and modern art, with a heavy focus on Chicago and New York based galleries. The fair will present several special exhibitions, including New Insight – an exhibition of top MFA students from some of the country’s most astute graduate art programs, Partisan – which focuses on politically motivated art (participants here), and a display of 27 large-scale sculptures, including works by Dzine, Kiki Smith, Rodney Graham and Florian Graf.

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Thursday, February 18th, 2010

KAWS debuts in Madrid

KAWS’ debut exhibit in Spain with Javier Lopez (sister gallery to New York’s Gering-Lopez, where the artist is also represented) debuted last night in Madrid, coinciding with the opening day of the ARCOmadrid contemporary art fair, where the gallery is also showcasing a new multi-panel painting by the artist. Comprised of three large monochromatic canvases (as well as a bronze sculpture), the show is reminiscent of some of the artist’s earlier black matte and gloss paintings (circa 2000). In recent works from the last year, KAWS has drifted deeper into abstraction and away from the figurative forms he is so well known for. Here, the artist combines his signature characters with these new geometric elements, continuing his claim on popular iconography by reworking them into his own lexicon. What is so compelling is that KAWS has managed to take such recognizable cultural images – the Michelin Man and more recent Sponge Bob character – and so effectively recast them as his own. Given his trademark treatment, with their morbid X’d out eyes the Chum and Kawsbob have quickly become instantly recognizable as part of the KAWS brand.

Feb 18 – April 7
Galeria Javier Lopez
José Marañón, 4
E-28010 Madrid, Spain

Feb. 17 – 21
Feria de Madrid (Halls 6,8,10)
28042 Madrid, Spain

(ARCO images via Glltn, Gallery images via Javier Lopez)

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Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Recap :: Art Basel Miami 09

Van De Weghe Fine Art
Van de Weghe Fine Art (All Images © Jeff Newman/The Art Collectors)

Once again Art Basel descended on Miami beach, delivering  a massive spectacle of contemporary art. Though largely predictable, the fair didn’t disappoint in hosting a whose-who list of blue-chip galleries, showcasing works ranging from the most influential icons to the hottest stars of the moment.  Some heavyweight standouts included Van de Weghe Fine Art (Andy Warhol, Willem De Kooning, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Basquiat), Skarstedt Fine Art (Richard Prince, George Condo, Keith Haring, Barbara Kruger, John Baldessari), Paul Kasmin (Kenny Scharf, Mark Ryden, Robert Indiana, Erik Parker, Walton Ford), Regen Projects (Lari Pittman, Raymond Pettibon, Lawrence Weiner), and Gagosian (Jeff Koons, Warhol, Richard Prince).

Finally, in what we now know to be their last hurrah, Deitch Projects was at the top of their game, doing what they do best – fusing the likes of Haring, Clemente and Schnabel together with some of the most respected younger talents, including Kehinde Wiley, Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Ryan McGinness, Rosson Crow, Dzine and Kristin Baker. The booth’s best buy went to the lucky collector who reportedly snatched up an early Barry McGee installation of 99 painted bottles for the unbelievably low price of $100,000, (about $250 – 350,000 less than we’d assume).

Read on for 100+ images from the event. Read the rest of this entry »

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