A1 News Roundup

Are These NYC's 50 Most Promising Artists?

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Are These NYC's 50 Most Promising Artists?
New York City, city of dreams

— THE BIG STORY —

Last week the New York Observer published a dedicated art issue on "New York Artists Now," and in it legendary art writer Anthony Haden-Guest offers a spirited and somewhat unexpected defense of the much-deprecated art-star phenomenon. Rebutting critics who claim that the immense fame and wealth available to headline-courting artists in the age of Warhol makes selling out too irresistible for aggressively new, innovative work to flourish, the True Colors author writes:  "Artists have dealt with the Church and with the Courts. If they have the stuff, they can surely handle Celebrity Culture, too."

To demonstrate what this "stuff" might look like these days, and how artists might be sidestepping the pressures of the market, Andrew Russeth proposes a thought experiment: if a show themed to art in the year 2013 (a la the New Museum's current 1993 exhibition) were to be made a decade from now, what of today's art will have survived the test of time and be seen as representative of the current moment? The Observer also presented a list of 50 artists representing the "Next Generation" of New York artists, featuring the likes of Matthew Brannon, Paul Chan, Orly Genger, Wangechi Mutu, Josh Smith, and more. Intriguingly, the artists in Russeth's piece and the art-star list don't map, but together they provide an insightful view of the state of the city's art world today—and a prediction of where it might go from here. 

— QUOTE OF THE WEEK —

“Is it still worthwhile to talk about new art? I think it’s much more worthwhile to talk about new techniques and new audiences. The real challenge for the development of art is maybe the fact that we have a true new audience who want much more from us and from art than to judge and admire. They want to use art and museums almost as a kind of platform to explore the human condition.”
Tate Modern director Chris Dercon on his ambitious plans for the future of the indispensable London museum

— MUST READ —

Artist Aids Immigration to Fictional Country — Critiquing the fettering bureaucracy of the immigration application process as well as the arbitrariness of international borders in general, Queens-based artist Erika Harrsch has created an interactive art installation at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut where participants can play to win the the grand prize of a passport and citizenship to the “United States of North America.” (NYT

Reframing the Classics, Literally — A committee at the Guggenheim has been tasked with the responsibility of swapping out the dilapidated frames that accompany some of the paintings in the museum’s Thannhauser collection and replacing them with refurbished, period-appropriate accessories, which led conservators to do some interesting research on the framing preferences of Modern masters like Picasso and Degas. (ARTnews)

Abramovic Gets the Franco Bug — Famed performance artist Marina Abramovic will be making a film about the jack-of-all-trades actor and artist James Franco (her second collaboration with him), explaining that she finds his high-octane, genre-defying approach to art inspiring, especially his daredevil habit of "crossing all kinds of borders and not always with great success." (Gawker)

Laib Brings His Buzz to D.C. — The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., which happens to be America’s oldest modern art museum, will unveil a new work by current MoMA star Wolfgang Laib consisting of a closet-sized chamber covered in beeswax and lit by a single bare light bulb, marking the institution's first permanent installation in over 50 years. (WSJ

Museum Exhibitions Hit the Silver Screen — In an effort to make London’s incredibly popular exhibitions of works by artists like Manet, Munch, and Vermeer more widely accessible, museums—perhaps taking a page from the Met Opera—popular have partnered with documentarian Phil Grabsky to create the Exhibition Project, which will screen slides of works by the artists along with behind-the-scenes footage of the shows’ research and installation in movie theaters across the world. (Telegraph

Dalí Thief Admits Guilt — Phivos Istavrioglu, the man charged with brazenly stealing the Surrealist’s Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio drawing off the wall of uptown Venus Over Manhattan gallery, has plead guilty to the crime, avoiding substantial jail time and being forced to pay $9,100 in restitution, which amounts to a little over 6 percent of the drawing’s estimated value. (NYT)

All About Ed Ruscha's Art Books —Carol Vogel uses the artist's new "Books & Co." exhibition as an opportunity to talk to Ruscha and many of his fans about his decades-long love of making art books, and a number of tangy stories emerge (like one about Eve Babitz, a former Ruscha girlfriend). (NYT)

— ART MARKET — 

See a Preview of This Year's Armory Show: The big fair isn't opening to VIPs until Wednesday night, but Julia Halperin provides an advance peek at the wares that will be on offer. (Artinfo

Sotheby's Raises Commissions, Too — Following in the footsteps of Christie's, the auction house announced that it is raising its buyers premiums by about 2 to 3.6 percent (depending on the price of the lot) in the course of a report on its 2012 financials, which revealed that the company saw a 37 percent drop-off in net earnings from 2011. (NYT

Shouldn't This One Have Been Called "Thaw"? — The new Art13 London fair opened to eager crowds and encouraging sales last week, staking out a place on the opposite end of the calendar from Frieze (but in strangely close proximity to Armory Week). (Artinfo

Frieze New York Brings Back the Noise — Following the success of last year’s sound art commissions, the Frieze New York fair has announced the return of its Sounds program, which will feature audio works by artists Trisha Baga, Haroon Mirza, Charles Atlas and New Humans. (Press Release)

Gagosian to Get a New Landlord — If you happen to have a spare $400 million or so, you—yes you—could buy the iconic 980 Madison Avenue building that houses Gagosian's headquarters (and, soon, his restaurant) as well as Venus Over Manhattan, Higher Pictures, and Yoshii Gallery. (Crain’s

Tech Entrepreneurs Get the Art Bug — With art and technology circles becoming more and more intertwined as of late, some of Silicon Valley’s biggest power players are opening their eyes (and their wallets) to the international art scene, unsurprisingly focusing on screen-based and other complex digital works—and spawning new pools of dealers and consultants looking to help shepherd these  new collectors. (WSJ)

Collective Design Fair to Launch — Architect Steven Learner announced this week that he and a band of like-minded design aficionados—including dealer Todd Merrill and Grey Area founder Kyle DeWoody—will open a new fair with two dozen international exhibitors this summer during Frieze NYC, taking place May 8-11. (Artinfo

Jack Shainman Gallery Expands… Twice! — The Chelsea gallery is adding two new spaces, one a 2,400-square-foot street-level gallery on 524 West 24th Street that will be used for special projects, and the other one being, quite dramatically, a 30,000-square-foot former schoolhouse in Kinderhook, New York, that will host special exhibitions during the summer and boast five acres outdoors that can become a sculpture park. (Press Release) 

Say Welcome to the Donut District — Located near the dumpster of a Dunkin Donuts under a Brooklyn overpass, New York City's newest art nexus is the Donut District, and it's got everything: a one-room gallery called Know More Games that boasts both kale and cat remains, a space called gallery 247365 that ruminates on Selena Gomez, another gallery called Primetime, and Boutros Boutros Jolly, a 78-year-old man who looks like a cross between the former U.N. secretary general and Santa Claus. (T Mag)

— IN & OUT —

Performa has announced that this year's biennial will include the premiere of a new Pavilions Without Walls program, a new international program modeled on the Venice Biennale's pavilions—only without all of that chauvinistic nationalism—that will begin with Norway and Poland. (Press Release)

The Expo Chicago art fair has engaged LAND director and former Whitney curator Shamim Momin to put together the In/Situ special-projects section for its second edition this September. (Gallerist)

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston has commissioned Adam Pendleton to create a 30-foot-high banner for its facade, and on April 17 he will debut a photograph of a black warrior wearing an African Fang warrior's hat against a backdrop of 18th-century floral silk damask. (NYT)

Rhizome, the popular online journal and new media digital archive, has announced that Michael Connor, who was previously the head of exhibitions at BFI Southbank in London, will be their new editor and curator tasked with shaping the organization’s overall artistic direction. (Gallerist)

MoMA put its newly acquired batch of nine video games—including Myst, Pac-Man, Dwarf Fortress, and Tetris—on view for the first time in an exhibition called "Applied Design," but Curt Suellentrop wishes is was more fun. (NYT)

Art site ArtSlant has established a new Georgia Fee Artist/Writer Residency, a new program that offers young artists and writer a chance to live and work in Paris that was created in memory of ArtSlant CEO Georgia Fee, who passed away in December. (ArtSlant)

The upstate New York Omi International Arts Center has given this year's $10,000 Francis J. Greenburger Award—a grant meant to recognize “established artists whom the art world knows to be of extraordinary merit but who have not been fully recognized by the public”—to living legends Jonas Mekas, Richard Nonas, Peter Saul, Elaine Reichek, and Bruce Porter. (Gallerist)

For its recent travel issue, the New York Times Magazine commissioned photographer Massimo Vitali to create a portfolio of his signature large-format images to depict Brazil's beaches and other less glamorous vistas. (NYT

Artist Ty Morin is getting some buzz due to his plan to photograph each of his 788 Facebook friends performing some activity personal to each of them… so friend him. (Buzzfeed)

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