Archive for the 'Galleries' Category


Friday, March 11th, 2011

Kathy Butterly at Tibor De Nagy, ADAA Fair

It was another frantic and fabulous week in New York for the art fairs and accompanying activities. The Armory Show on Piers 92 and 94 was too large and needed vetting, but it galvanized the audience. The ADAA show was tightly curated and elegant with high quality works. From Alice Neel’s intriguing paintings at Zwirner to the witty ceramic sculptures of Kathy Butterly at Tibor De Nagy, the range was broad and less predictable than in years past. Overall the mood was optimistic. New York exhibitors enjoyed synergistic business between their galleries and their booths.

Matthew Monaghan at Anton Kern, Independent Fair

Of the satellite fairs, my favorite was The Independent. No walls separated the booths. A spirit of comraderie and openness pervaded the entire three floors of the former Dia Center. Exhibitors were united in their distinctive vision and accessibility. The Modern Institute of Glasgow hosted a wonderful installation of the talented Victoria Morton. New York-based Anton Kern showcased a powerful sculpture by Matthew Monaghan. It was a community table of visual delight; we ate with our eyes.

Community table is a theme manifest all over town, literally and figuratively. People flock to Mario Batali’s Italian marketplace, Eataly. The new Foodhall beneath the Plaza Hotel is an upscale winner. Shoulder-to-shoulder, diners pack both counter-seating and shared tables. On Fifth Avenue, once the exclusive stronghold of high-end fashion, Prada and Gucci share street cred with H&M and Forever 21. The egalitarian attitude fostered by both economics and the internet is now part of the cultural fabric.

Kalup Linzy, "Lollypop", MOMA

Nowhere is the integration of multiple viewpoints more successfully presented than at the Museum of Modern Art. When High and Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture, opened in October 1990, it created a firestorm of controversy. How prescient it was. Now the influence and coexistence of high and low culture, mix and match, represent style and intellectual inquiry at its best.

Paula Hayes, Lobby Installation, MOMA

On the top floor at MOMA, Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures focuses on the artist’s cinematic portraits and non-narrative, silent films from the mid-1960s. Downstairs Looking at Music 3.0, the third in a series of exhibitions exploring the influence of music on contemporary art practices, focuses on New York in the 1980s and 1990s. Abstract Expressionist New York and Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914 alone would sate the palate, but then add contemporary art from the collection. A riveting video on view for the first time, Lollypop, 2006, by Kalup Linzy was worth watching twice. Gracing the lobby, one can marvel at artist and landscape designer Paula Hayes’ updated terrariums, botanical sculptures made from blown glass, silicone, or acrylic and filled with a rich variety of plant life. The style and breadth of MOMA programming sets the bar for every other institution.

Egon Schiele, Neue Galerie

Exhibition highlights elsewhere included the George Condo and Lynda Benglis shows at the New Museum, selections from the Emily Fisher Landau pledged gift at the Whitney Museum, the unparalleled Schieles at the Neue Galerie and the great David Hammonds show at L&M. While the art fairs bring everyone to town, New York remains a stellar event on any occasion.


A consultancy in modern and contemporary art, guiding clients with access and expertise, throughout the international art community.

HELLO 2011!

Friday, January 14th, 2011

January now kicks off the international art season. Following on the success of the Miami Art Fairs in December and recent strong auction performance, the art world is looking forward to a robust 2011. We have three fairs here in Los Angeles: Photo LA, The LA Art Show and Art Los Angeles Contemporary. A new contender of note in Asia is Art Stage Singapore which opened January 12. India Art Summit in New Delhi is in its third edition, Jan 20-23. Art First Bologna begins the monthly parade of European fairs on Jan 28. Who said January was a slow month?

Art as a commodity is no longer a concept; it is a fact. Portfolio managers now recommend art as part of a diversified portfolio. Players everywhere are trying to organize, categorize and monetize works of art. The strategies and techniques that have evolved in other industries are being adapted for new art businesses. The internet is the key driver.

I hold dear an idealistic belief that art can have a transformative power and that it offers a pleasure separate from commerce. That being said, there is plenty of evidence for the investment potential of art. Here are a few, among many, of the new emergent tools of the trade:


Established in 2004, Skate’s Art Market Research has matured into a serious tool for ranked art information. It provides individuals and institutional investors around the world with “reliable and unbiased research” supporting art investment decisions. Skate’s Art Investment Review is a newsletter that presents original material from their website, providing up-to-the-minute market commentary about the trends and investment opportunities in today’s art market. Skate’s profile is growing; they hosted a conference at the recent Art Basel Fair in Miami.  But Skate’s has plenty of company around the globe.   The attempt to compile sales records, predict market direction and value for artworks is now a huge endeavor including Berlin’s ArtFacts, Britain’s Art Sales Index and Art Market Research, Paris-based Art Price Index, China’s Artron, Art Market Report from Australia and US contenders ArtNet and American Beautiful Asset Advisors (Mei Moses Index), among others.


A & F Markets of Paris will soon be launching Art Exchange, the first stock exchange for Art that will be open to the public and to institutions who wish to buy and sell shares of artworks via its marketplace. Art Exchange will attempt to render the investment in art in a way that is theoretically simple, fast and liquid.

Art Exchange will launch with a modest selection of exceptional artworks including a major installation from Mike Kelley and a sculpture by Anselm Kiefer. Art Exchange plans to offer a large and diversified choice of high quality artworks representative of current market interests. Through its website, anyone can access and consult the list of artworks available, all of which are authenticated and certified. Each piece is accompanied by a detailed dossier of presentation, financial analysis as well as factual information on the artists and the art market in general. Clients have the option to set alerts in order to stay informed on the artworks of their choice.

ART AND THE SOCIAL NETWORK is a new website founded by Carter Cleveland, a 24-year old computer science engineer that will launch this Spring. Larry Gagosian is a supporter, Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, is an investor along with Russian art entrepreneur, Dasha Zhukova, who is also the creative director. is designed to be a place to discover and share original fine art online that is integrated with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Collectors can share artwork they like with friends using a Facebook application that publishes a gallery of favorite artworks, and a unique URL that creates short and easily-identifiable links to artwork on Twitter. will make personalized artwork recommendations to collectors based on works they like and trends within the social networks, similar to the way Amazon makes book suggestions or Pandora suggests music options.


VIP Art Fair (Viewing in Private) is a one-week fair which takes place exclusively online, Jan 22-30. Organized by New York gallerist, James Cohan and his wife Jane, along with internet entrepreneur Jonas Almgren and his wife, Alessandra, the roster boasts top international galleries. Viewers register and enter the virtual gallery spaces. They have an opportunity to chat with dealers via instant messaging, Skype, and telephone to discuss works on offer. Dealers will be able to provide access to their gallery’s back room inventory, sharing works in real time with clients in specially-created Private Rooms on the client’s own computer screen.


It’s only January.  Buckle your seatbelt!  Keep your digital devices charged and your passport updated.

Los Angeles / Early Fall

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Resnick Pavilion, Los Angeles County Museum

The Fall season is off and running. Many changes are afoot locally as the art world experiences its own version of consolidation and economic transformation. At the institutional level, the Hammer has announced its collaboration on an LA biennale for 2012 with LAXART, an independent, nonprofit art space in Culver City. LAXART is dedicated to showcasing and supporting challenging work in the visual arts, design and architecture. MOCA is exploring the idea of taking over programming of the LA Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park.   The choice of Jeffrey Deitch as Director of MOCA continues to be debated.  The Los Angeles County Museum is negotiating the conservation of the Watts Towers while Director, Michael Govan, discusses development for the eastern half of the LACMA campus with Swiss architect, Peter Zumthor. The Resnick Pavillion at LACMA designed by Renzo Piano has opened to mixed response. Eli Broad has settled on Grand Avenue as the location for his new museum as design plans move forward with Diller, Scofidio + Renfro.

Mandrake, Culver City

On the gallery scene, there has been a huge shift towards consolidation and strengthening of venues in Culver City. Early adopters from Chinatown included David Kordansky and Micai Nicodim. China Art Objects, Parker Jones, previously of Black Dragon Society, and Francois Ghebaly have now also forsaken Chinatown for Culver City. Angles, Cherry and Martin, Paul Kopeiken and Western Projects have all relocated from elsewhere into spaces on La Cienega. Mark Moore from Bergamot Station follows shortly on Washington Blvd. Honor Fraser expanded into the space previously occupied by Angstrom last season. Blum & Poe and Suzanne Vielmetter pioneered significant new spaces fairly recently.  Meanwhile, everyone hangs at Mandrake for a little refreshment.  Additional gallery energy is generated by New York’s L&M Arts’ branch opening in Venice, initiated with a Paul McCarthy show.  The new space is dramatic and the show of three sculptures is very powerful.   Damien Hirst is up next.

Alexandra Grant, Honor Fraser Gallery

New Fall exhibitions have opened all over town. Among my favorites are Lari Pittman’s paintings and drawings at Regan Projects; David Noonan’s collaged paintings at Kordansky; Alexandra Grant’s paintings which celebrate language and color at Honor Fraser; and Mimi Lauter’s seductive works on paper at Mark Selwyn. The Santa Monica Museum is featuring an elegant survey of the seminal Italian artist, Alberto Burri (1915-1995), emphasizing his production in America from 1951-1990. During the summer, SMMOA presented an impressive exhibition of ceramic sculpture and photography by Andrew Lord. The SMMOA exhibition program has been making a considerable contribution to the local scene.

Andrew Lord, Santa Monica Museum of Art

Title page, "Los Angeles Plays Itself"

Speaking of which, Los Angeles has never been more clearly defined than in the award-winning video essay “Los Angeles Plays Itself” by Thom Anderson. Completed in 2003, it was not released due to rights issues. However, it was screened recently at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. Consisting entirely of clips from other films, it explores the way Los Angeles has been presented in movies with terrific insight, wit and humor. It can been seen at film festivals and in special presentations by the director. Thom Andersen currently teaches film theory and history at the Cal Arts.

Vic Muniz (detail) from "The Wasteland"

The other great documentary soon to be in wide release is “Waste Land”. This fantastic film chronicles Brazilian photographer Vic Muniz’s journey to Jardim Grimache, the world’s largest landfill, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Muniz collaborated on an art project with the pickers that changed both his life and theirs. The film shares the heartbreak, the victories and the existential dilemmas that encompassed it all. It won the the Audience Award in the World Cinema Doc category earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. It is definitely a “do not miss”.

Francisco Goya, "Saturn Devouring His Son"

Lastly, the movie sequel, “Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps”, depicts the financial meltdown of 2008, replete with background inclusion of  artworld darlings preferred by hedge fund managers from the period. Watch for Richard Prince, Andy Warhol and a corner shot of an Ed Ruscha.  The metaphor for the entire film is embodied in Goya’s masterwork, “Saturn Devouring his Son”, which hangs center stage in the inner office of the film’s primary antagonist.  Artworld insiders will appreciate these historical and hysterical details. In a confluence of timing, Sotheby’s just raised $12.3 million in an auction on September 25 of 142 works from Lehman Brothers. LB declared bankruptcy in 2008 and is the model on which the movie is based. Reality and fiction draw ever closer.


Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Paul McCarthy sculptures, Hauser & Wirth booth

It was another terrific year at Art Basel. Exhibitors brought outstanding work and buyer enthusiasm was high. Confidence is evident at the upper end of the market. Pressing global challenges were set aside for a few days as collectors decided that art is its own currency. Sales moved quickly and pricing has firmed substantially.

Beyeler Foundation

The visual pleasures at the Fair and around Basel were equal to the commercial activity. The Beyeler Foundation was hosting a major show of Jean Michel Basquiat which was thorough and illuminating. But the thrilling exhibition was the show of Felix Gonzales-Torres (American, b. Cuba, 1957-1996).

Titled “Specific Objects without Specific Form”, the show is meant to defy the idea of the exhibition as fixed and the retrospective as totalizing. The show will have several installation versions, none of which will be the authoritative one. This concept underlines the artists’ practice which put fragility, the passage of time and the questioning of authority at its’ center.

Felix Gonzales-Torres at the Beyeler Foundation

The Gonzalez-Torres works were juxtaposed amidst the modernist masterpieces of the Beyeler collection resulting in viewers seeing both his radical conceptual works and the canonic historic works from an entirely renewed viewpoint. For instance, a Gonzales-Torres work consisting of multiple strands of light bulbs hung down from the high ceiling and pooled onto the floor. It was installed between Barnett Newman on one side and Jackson Pollock on the other side. The strong verticality of the Newman stripes and the skeins of swirling paint in the Pollock echoed in the dangling lights and the swimming bulbs on the floor. It appears obvious, but it was so fresh and created an unexpected bridge between the work of the modern masters and that of the short-lived, influential conceptualist.  Other arresting juxtapositions included Gonzalez-Torres’ stacks of striped, sheets of paper with Mondrian paintings and his beaded curtain hung between a striding Giacometti sculpture and several Bacon paintings.

Felix Gonzales-Torres at the Beyeler Foundation

Downstairs was an elegiac installation of a carpet of take-away candies lying grave-like below a foggy mural of soaring birds. The mixed sense of melancholy against the glittering candy wrappers signaling abundance and gratitude set in the sweeping gallery space was heart-stopping.

The current installation is magnificently curated by Elena Filipovic. It will be redone in mid-July by Carol Bove, an invited artist whose own work has been informed by Gonzalez-Torres. The changing versions of the show will ensue as it travels to the Wiels Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels and the Museum Fur Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt.

Art Unlimited

Art Unlimited is Art Basel’s exhibition platform for projects that transcend the classical art-show stand. Included are video projections, large-scale installations, oversized sculptures and live performances.

Bruce Connor, "Three Screen Ray", at Art Unlimited

One of the standout video presentations this year was from California-based artist, Bruce Connor (American 1933-2008). He was represented by “Three Screen Ray”, 2006, a three-channel video display synchronized to a live version “What’d I Say” by Ray Charles. The piece features Connor’s film, “Cosmic Ray” (1961) as its central image, with newly edited black and white footage for the left and right channels. It is a winning projection that combines found footage with footage shot by the artist, using images such as bomb explosions, a performance of female sexual liberation, television commercials, cartoons, fireworks, and his signature use of a countdown leader. The piece is completely engrossing, capturing the energy, spirit and historical significance of an era.

Zhang Huan, "Hero No. 1", at Art Unlimited

Arguably the most exceptional object work was a massive sculpture by Chinese artist, Zhang Huan, titled “Hero No. 1″, 2009. Measuring 16 x 32 x 20 feet, it is a colossus of stature and some menace composed of animal hides, steel and wood. The artist was inspired by the oxen from his childhood experience on the plains of Henan Province in China. He commented, “Hero No. 1 is born from the primitive passions that inform our future and expresses our wish for rebirth. Everybody is his own hero and part of the biologic evolution.” The Art Newspaper reported that the piece, priced at $1.8 million, was sold to Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami…a fascinating transaction of homage, art world sociology and politics.

Satellite Fairs

Ron Arad chair at Design Miami/Basel

Among the satellite fairs, Design Miami/Basel, the design and furniture fair, increasingly contributes to the excitement of Art Basel. The quality and ingenuity of the stands is always a pleasure. Collectible furniture has been an especially lively collecting area in the past few years. Growing trends include collectible lighting fixtures and digital elements embedded in the furniture.

Gabriel Hartley at Liste

Liste was the standout fair for emerging artists. Gabriel Hartley’s paintings and sculpture sold out quickly, among others. Liste was also a source for some better known artists such as Romanian, Adrian Ghenie and Belgian, Jan De Cock. This fair is an incubator and springboard to Art Basel. Gallerists are frequently invited to the main fair, allowing for a constant stream of quality newcomers to Liste.


Rosemarie Trockel ceramic, Kunsthalle Zurich

No trip to Basel can exclude a visit to nearby Zurich. The Sunday before the fair begins, Zurich galleries host special open hours and the museums always plan memorable exhibitions. The Kunsthalle had an outstanding show of German artist, Rosemarie Trockel. Best known for her trademark “knitting pictures”, the show also included her drawings, objects, ceramics, furniture and videos. Although this was an engaging exhibition, the drawing show running concurrently at the Kunstmuseum in Basel was fairly dry.

Berlinde de Bruyckere at Hauser & Wirth, Zurich

Hauser & Wirth had a macabre yet mesmerizing show of the powerful Belgian sculptor, Berlinde de Bruyckere. Her work grapples with life and death, pain and pleasure; I channeled Francis Bacon. Later my thoughts were reconfirmed by an installation at the Kunsthaus, where one of her sculptures was installed adjacent to a Bacon painting. They each conjure an unspeakable horror fed by the viewer’s imagination that exceeds the visual evidence in the work. De Bruyckere’s impeccable craft and seductive materials add an additional wallop to her provocative sculpture.

Lake Zurich, view from the Steigenberger Hotel

At the end of the afternoon it’s time for a boat ride on Lake Zurich.  It was a rainy week, but there’s nothing like getting out on the water to refresh and prepare for another day of art!