June 06, 2013
Courtesy of Costa Navarino
In a bid to brand the Mediterranean resort destination Costa Navarino as an up-and-coming place for artists and art enthusiasts, local developers are launching a new contemporary art platform called Costa Navarino: Engaging Art. The project kicks off on June 8 with an exhibit curated by conceptual artist Dimitrios Antonitsis.
The permanent exhibition space will reside in the Westin Resort, which is one of the area’s two luxury hotels. Artists in residence, whose work will be on display for about a month each, will be on hand in the evenings to explain their creations to guests and prepare new artwork on-site—a dynamic, creative process in which visitors are encouraged to participate. The debut exhibition, “60 Picks Per Minute” (through October 6), features four well-known artists whose work blends contemporary art with traditional handicraft. For the artists, exhibiting pieces in a hotel is a novel move. “I like the challenge of curating exhibits outside the white box of gallery aesthetics,” says Antonitsis. “Activating creative experiences for leisure-class travelers is the next frontier.”
Engaging Art has a solid foundation to build upon; Peloponnesian heirlooms, contemporary Greek art and original works from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries are on display throughout Costa Navarino’s hotels, restaurants, golf clubs and spas. The ultimate aim, though, is to create a meeting place for artists and collectors on the unspoiled section of the southern Peloponnese coast—an idea as idyllic as they come. Navarino Dunes, Messinia; 30-272/309-5000; costanavarino.com.
May 22, 2013
Photo courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press
A far cry from the white cube–style galleries that are so popular today, outdoor sculpture parks represent a hybrid of art and nature. As Italian architect Francesca Cigola writes in the introduction of her new book, Art Parks: A Tour of America’s Sculpture Parks and Gardens (Princeton Architectural Press, June 2013), “Works of art in these spaces interact with surrounding landscapes, playing off their character, colors, and makeup; in many cases the boundaries between the works and their settings are blurred.”
The book explores three types of outdoor art parks in the United States: leisure, learning and collectors’ spaces. Leisure spaces, like Griffis Sculpture Park in East Otto, New York, are the smallest and most intimate variety, usually located outside of cities and featuring a harmony between art and nature. At Griffis visitors are encouraged to interact with the art, even if that means touching, walking through or climbing on the sculptures.
Learning spaces, housed in museums or universities, tend to have an educational and aesthetic purpose. MoMA PS1, in Long Island City, New York, holds an annual competition called the Young Architects Program, with the selected work exhibited in the museum garden during spring and summer events.
Collectors’ spaces are private collections. The General Mills Sculpture Garden, at the company’s headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is essentially an extension of the local heavyweight’s sizeable art collection. Standout works include the towering steel Man with Briefcase (1987) (pictured above), which takes a playful jab at corporate culture, and Stone Court (1988), which features a wall that is dug into the side of a hill, making for a place where employees frequently go to relax.
Whichever park you choose to visit—the country has more than 50 to choose from; there are countless others abroad—Art Parks is the perfect companion on your journey. papress.com.
May 09, 2013
"Human Nature"/ Photo by James Ewing, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY
From the opening of the New Museum in 2007 to November 2010, the art installation “Hell, Yes!” (2001) affirmed the burgeoning Bowery scene with a lit-up rainbow arc bolted to the museum’s facade. Some were sad to see it go, some called it blasphemous and some called it the curatorial equivalent of “wearing a baseball cap over a wedding veil.” But the artist behind the piece—Swiss-born, New York–based Ugo Rondinone—made a name for himself.
Under the auspices of the Public Art Fund, the sign-maker and sculptor’s most recent body of work was unveiled last week on the plaza at Rockefeller Center. “Human Nature,” a convocation of nine stone figures (each between 16 and 20 feet tall), will stand on their poured-concrete platform through June 7, silently and deliberately provoking 30 Rock’s gilded angels. They simultaneously recall Stonehenge and a comic-book invasion of armless bluestone giants.
Whether they will be embraced or derided remains to be seen, but their rough-cut, primal scale is sure to elicit something. (“It’s Ugohenge. Isn’t that what everyone’s calling them?” said painter Elizabeth Peyton, quoted in The New York Times.) But there is a peace to them, perhaps born of their elemental nature; they are too basic for us to move them, so they move us.
Rondinone’s New York moment will continue through the summer with a similar exhibit called “soul,” opening May 10 at Gladstone Gallery (530 W. 21st St.; gladstonegallery.com), and a video piece at MoMA’s PS 1 (22–25 Jackson Ave., Long Island City; momaps1.org). His work will also appear in Chicago (five large rocks at the Art Institute), Dallas (public installations courtesy of Nasher Sculpture Center) and Zurich (stone giants in miniature at Gallerie Eva Presenhuber). Hell, yes. “Human Nature” will be on view at Rockefeller Center through June 7.
May 07, 2013
Tim Hetherington, Untitled, 1999-2003. Gelatin Silver Print © Tim Hetherington, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York
A war correspondent, photographer, filmmaker and humanitarian, Tim Hetherington was a singular and beloved figure in journalism. April 20th marked the second anniversary of his untimely death in Libya, where he was covering the tumult of the Arab Spring. In commemoration of Hetherington’s life and career, the Yossi Milo Gallery in New York has staged an exhibit of his work, “Inner Light: Portraits of the Blind, Sierra Leone 1999–2003.”
The black-and-white photographs, hauntingly poignant, depict students at the Milton Margai School for the Blind in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Hetherington spent five years developing the portraits, which are inspired by the many visits he made to the school. As with all of Hetherington’s work—from his photography for Vanity Fair to his Oscar-winning documentary Restrepo—this series offers a humanistic perspective on conflict, suffering and the effects of war on the individual.
The exhibit coincides with the premiere of the HBO documentary Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington, as well as an installation of Hetherington’s “Sleeping Soldiers” series, on display through May 13 at the Pavilion at the International Center of Photography (1133 Avenue of the Americas; icp.org). Through May 18; Yossi Milo Gallery, 245 Tenth Ave.; 212-414-0370; yossimilo.com.
April 25, 2013
TOMS Haiti Artist Collective, Pierre's Sketch Night Men's Classics, $68.00, available exclusively at TOMS.com. Photo courtesy of TOMS
TOMS—the philanthropic shoe company that promises to donate a new pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair purchased—is at it again. The brand’s latest initiative is the Haiti Artist Collective, a line of colorful, one-of-a-kind shoes ($68 a pair) hand-painted by Haitian artists between the ages of 18 and 45 and inspired by traditional Haitian art. The two-part collection launched its first line in March (a second line of styles is scheduled for July), and was created in conjunction with Caribbean Craft, a Port-au-Prince–based organization that supports local artisans. The initiative is intended to drive economic growth on the island of Haiti, which has had one of the world’s highest unemployment rates since 2010, when an earthquake devastated the area. Founder Blake Mycoskie says the crux of the project is the “potential of creating sustainable jobs and highlighting creative talent.” Sounds like a very worthy goal.
For more on the artists behind TOMS new line, click here. Limited-edition collection available at the TOMS Los Angeles flagship, 1344 Abbot Kinney Blvd.; 310-314-9700; toms.com.
March 06, 2013
JOEL SHAPIRO (American, 1941) Now 2013
Guangzhou, China—a southern manufacturing hub with a population of 15 million, the third-largest city in the country—is getting a taste of New York this month. From March 10–13, renowned New York–based artist Joel Shapiro will install his 22-foot welded-aluminum sculpture titled Now at the entrance of the city’s brand-new U.S. Consulate. Talks featuring Shapiro at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (March 13) and the Times Museum (March 16) follow the unveiling.
“There’s no collective intent,” Shapiro explained during a chat at his 5,000-square-foot studio in Long Island City late last year. “I wanted to make a sculpture that was lively and vibrant and in the present tense—a metaphor for the human spirit.”
The Foundation for Art & Preservation in Embassies commissioned the angular piece, painted a vivid ultramarine blue. The effort is Shapiro’s second creation for the foundation, the first being a large-scale bronze sculpture called Conjunction (1999), which stands outside the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.
As for Now, Shapiro said he avoided creating a colossal work and shot for something a bit more life-size. “I’m aware of the parts,” he said. “I want them to correspond with something in your own experience.” 1 Shamian St. S.; fapeglobal.org.
March 06, 2013
Photo courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana
On Monday night, Sotheby’s and Dolce & Gabbana co-hosted a night devoted to contemporary art of every stripe on the tenth floor of the famed auction house. The exhibition “Passion + Transmission: International Contemporary Art from the CAP Collection”—open to the public through March 6 at noon, with pieces auctioned off on March 7—showcased big-name artists like Christopher Wool, Francis Alÿs, Tracey Emin, Sue Williams and Enoc Perez. But it also drew bold-faced New York names like Harry Brant, Julie Macklowe, Kelly Rutherford, Stella Schnabel, Will Cotton and Lauren Remington Platt (pictured here).
The evening, which honored the New York Academy of Art, dedicated a portion of its sales proceeds to the CAP Foundation, an organization that promotes education, the arts, medical research and environmental studies. Fueled by DJ duo AndrewAndrew and free-flowing Champagne, the atmosphere was lively as guests got up close and personal with neon signs, graffiti art and a lacquered bronze balloon. Auction, March 7 (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.); catalogue available at sothebys.com.
January 28, 2013
Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth
Hauser & Wirth New York unveiled its new branch gallery last week in conjunction with the opening of the exhibit “Dieter Roth. Björn Roth,” which showcases the work of the prolific Swiss father-and-son team.
The gallery (also Swiss) was founded in the early 1990s and began occupying London with several outposts in the new millennium. A mainstay of art fairs worldwide, where it displays tastefully dressed booths, the gallery features names like Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse and Henry Moore that balance its contemporary collection of artists, including Roni Horn and Caro Niederer.
Marching steadily westward, Hauser & Wirth established its New York base uptown in September 2009 and recently took over the 24,700-square-foot space that was once home to the Roxy, the legendary roller rink and discotheque (where, incidentally, Keith Richards met Patti Hansen). Hauser & Wirth believes that its new 18th Street location, designed by architect Annabelle Selldorf, will be one of the grandest galleries in New York—though no promises as to whether its former matchmaking powers will extend to its now demure white walls.
“Dieter Roth. Björn Roth” itself, however, may be draw enough. New York Times art critic Roberta Smith once described Dieter as a “performance artist in all the mediums he touched.” (He played materials—paint, sculpture, texts, found objects, prints, film—like instruments in concert.) Dieter regularly collaborated with his son, Björn, who teamed up with his own sons, Oddur and Einar, to construct the latest iterations of Roth père’s never-ending tower projects. The works appear with more than 100 objects created since the late 1970s, from simple paintings to the floor of an artist’s studio raised to vertical as a painting-cum-screen-cum-sculpture.
Dieter also designed several working bars over the course of his life (he died in 1998), so Björn fashioned one for Hauser & Wirth. It will serve patrons coffee and liquor until long after the show has closed and the set readies for another artist’s conquest. Through April 13; 511 W. 18th St.; 212-790-3900; hauserwirth.com.
January 09, 2013
James Edward Deeds Jr.
Nearly 80 years ago a young patient at a mental institution in Nevada, Missouri, put pencil and crayon to the hospital’s ledger paper. The drawings that sprung forth from James Edward Deeds Jr. were fanciful and slightly eerie reproductions of daily life—portraits of his family, animals, vehicles—that were essentially lost until 2006, when they fell into the hands of a bookseller who put them on eBay. It took another five years, forensic research and a series of articles in a Missouri newspaper for the artist’s identity to come to light.
This January 30 of Deeds’s 140 double-sided drawings will be on display at Hirschl & Adler Modern Gallery during a monthlong exhibition called "Talisman of the Ward: The Album of Drawings by Edward Deeds." This isn’t Hirschl & Adler’s first foray into “outsider art,” a term rooted in French artist Jean Dubuffet’s notion of art brut, or work created by individuals who are outside the boundaries of established culture. The gallery is also credited with promoting pieces by marginalized artists like Bill Traylor, a former slave in Alabama whose works now sell for upwards of $100,000.
“Many artists conform to the mainstream,” says exhibit curator Tom Parker. “They are always trying to be something that the mainstream wants.” But the art market doesn’t influence outsider artists, and so their work often conveys an intimate feel that resonates with viewers. “Dubuffet loved this notion that art was purely done from the heart,” Parker says. “There’s the sense that it is revealing something in human nature.” Drawings start at $16,000; January 10 through February 9; 730 Fifth Ave.; 212-535-8810; hirschlandadler.com.
January 03, 2013
Photo courtesy of Vranken Pommery
Late last year, 70 highly coveted magnums of Les Clos Pompadour Champagne by Pommery arrived at Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits on Park Avenue. Going for approximately $520 a bottle, the sparkling wine is the only portion of the 3,000 bottles of Les Clos Pompadour produced this year that will reach the United States.
In case you missed it, we recommend heading to the Pommery Estate in Reims, France, where tastings are offered year-round. An unusual, annually developed show of contemporary art also occupies the estate’s historic landscape, with much of the same elegant mischievousness that a magnum of Champagne brings to a party in a Manhattan apartment.
This year Bernard Blistène, director of cultural development at Paris’s Centre Pompidou, curated Expérience Pommery. Rather than using existing works, the estate—under Blistène’s guidance—commissioned artists such as Piero Gilardi, Haim Steinbach, Alicja Kwade, Huang Yong Ping, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Richard Fauguet, Anita Molinero and Davide Balula to create new, site-specific works. Blistène spoke to us about creating a contemporary show in a historic space.
Q: How were you introduced to Expérience Pommery?
A: I followed the Pommery Expériences from the beginning. Each time I was struck not by the audacity, but by the freedom that Nathalie Vranken—wife of Pommery’s proprietor, Paul-François—gives the curators she invites. It seemed to me that one could recognize in that freedom the state of contemporary creation.
Q: What did you enjoy about curating this exhibition?
A: I have organized numerous exhibitions in historical buildings, such as the Château at Chambord or the Conciergerie [the old palace and prison] in Paris, but the cellars in Reims are unique. It goes without saying that the idea of white cube has been questioned for many years—but here you will find, perhaps, its antidote or its opposite. I believe that there is no experience of art without drama, and this place offers a drama that most places with which we’re familiar cannot.
Q: Sculpture parks like Storm King in the United States or Gibbs Farm in New Zealand have grown increasingly popular in recent years—clearly contemporary art loves a landscape. Do you think exhibits on private estates will become more common?
A: After the skepticism—or even moral indignation—that contemporary art generated originally, today it creates curiosity. This is partly due to the influence of institutions like the Centre Pompidou, but also largely because of individuals, at the same time or after Vranken, who realized that art should be shared and taught.
Q: Where were some of your favorite installations?
A: The artists invited to this anniversary exhibit have occupied a lot of corners. Art is in the trees, the rooftops, the staircases—regardez bien!
Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits, 505 Park Ave.; 212-838-7500; vrankenpommery.fr.