October 12, 2011
By Rachel Wolff | Art

© Adagp, 2011. © Succession Picasso 2011.

The vast majority of a museum’s permanent holdings are kept out of sight and in storage, awaiting the right exhibition or a well-placed loan. It’s sort of a sad image—masterpieces languishing in very fancy, private, particular and carefully calibrated crates. So what better way to get some mileage out of a stellar collection then to take it on tour? That’s why Paris’s Centre Pompidou has created Pompidou Mobile, a sleek, collapsible 7,000-square-foot pavilion designed by French architect Patrick Bouchain. The portable museum—the first of its kind—will debut on October 18 in Chaumont (Haute-Marne), a small historic town about 160 miles southeast of Paris. Next year the museum will travel to Cambrai and Boulogne-sur-Mer (Nord-Pas-de-Calais). Many of the artists whose works are included in this first run, which tackles the theme of color, are long dead (think modern masters such as Alexander Calder, Georges Braque, Picasso, Matisse and Yves Klein). But a tour is a tour, so we’re not discounting the possibility of groupies. Open Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–Sunday. At Quartier Foch, Rue Raymond Savignac;,57,fma740;

October 04, 2011
By Rachel Wolff | Art

Cecily Brown's Park, 2004. Image courtesy of Phillips de Pury & Company.

Of the dozens, if not hundreds, of international contemporary art fairs that have popped up during art market's staggering ascent this past decade, London's Frieze remains a perennial favorite among patrons and professionals. The fair will launch its eighth edition in London's Regent's Park from October 12-16. Inside its massive tents, representatives from 173 galleries and 33 countries will man booths adorned with some of the most cutting-edge contemporary art available. Competition is increasingly stiff. Frieze's success has prompted the emergence of a slew of local satellite fairs (including the Pavilion of Art & Design, for those who favor more functional art), not to mention a string of "Frieze Week" auctions at the London outposts of Christie's, Sotheby's and Phillips de Pury. Artists to watch out for this year: Gabriel Kuri, Do-Ho Suh, Gerhard Richter, Cindy Sherman, Martin Kippenberger, Zhang Dali, Jacob Kassay, Lucian Freud, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

In other art news: Ben Stiller's auction raised $13.7 million for Haiti.

September 28, 2011
By Rachel Wolff | Art


Paris may be the ultimate destination for art history buffs (Degas, Rodin, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec and Dalí have all called the city home), but for some reason, the French capital has struggled to assert itself as a major player in the modern and contemporary art world. That's poised to change over the next few years. The Centre Pompidou continues to up the stakes with enviable programming (including a major retrospective dedicated to Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama launching October 10); the Palais de Tokyo is reopening next year after massive renovations; LVMH CEO Bernard Arnualt is finally moving forward with his Frank Gehry-designed museum; and last year the city got its very own branch of the ultra-blue-chip Gagosian Gallery. The programming at Gagosian's new outpost has been nothing short of major, with shows dedicated to Richard Prince, Richard Avedon and Elizabeth Peyton. The gallery kicked off the fall season yesterday with a museum-caliber exhibition of work by the 20th century master Robert Rauschenberg.

Traveling to Paris? Check into one of these small hotels.

September 21, 2011
By Rachel Wolff | Art


Can Ben Stiller raise millions in one night for the ongoing Haiti earthquake relief effort? He seems to think so. Tonight the actor, along with veteran New York art dealer David Zwirner, will host "Artists for Haiti," a star-studded Christie's New York sale of 26 contemporary artworks. Pieces by such artists as Jasper Johns, Chuck Close, Cecily Brown, Cindy Sherman and others are estimated to sell for anywhere from $200,000 to $1.5 million each. "Normally when I handle a charity sale, I treat it somewhat differently than I do a typical major auction," says Amy Cappellazzo, chairwoman of the Post-War and Contemporary Art Department at Christie's New York. "But this is a typical major auction. These aren't just tokens—so many of these works are among the artists' most outstanding examples." Proceeds will benefit Haiti-specific nonprofits, including Stiller's own. For those shopping the auction, Departures curated a selection of some of the most striking works. Bidders, get your paddles ready. Read more »

Plus: Record-Breaking Auction Jewelry

September 14, 2011
By Rachel Wolff | Art

Martha Rosle' s Cleaning the Drapes. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The Venice Biennale, on view through November 27, has long been considered the premier showcase of global contemporary art. Recently, however, other expos have emerged as likely heirs to Venice's prestige and buzz, the Istanbul Biennial among them. This fall's Istanbul iteration, called "Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011," runs from September 17 through November 13 in two former warehouse spaces on the Bosporus Strait. The massive exhibition will include 50 solo presentations by an international and intergenerational roster of artists as well as five group shows. It's a fitting time to check out the art scene in the increasingly hip Turkish metropolis as well. "There are a large number of very talented artists living in this city, and the energy is incredible," says Biennial co-curator Jens Hoffmann. "Many people from abroad are moving to Istanbul to be a part of this—similar to how people moved to Berlin during the 1990s." 8-20TL; Antrepo 3 & 5; 02-12/334-0818;

Check out: What $500 buys in Istanbul

September 07, 2011
By Rachel Wolff | Art

Gregg Brown's North Tower, 10/08/2001, from Above Ground Zero. Photo © Gregg Brown.

When deciding how to solemnly commemorate the tenth anniversary of September 11, New York's International Center of Photography (ICP) made a decision from the start—to not show images of the attack itself. "They're painful images, and they're images that have been shown 100 million times," says ICP curator Carol Squiers. "I wanted to focus on the people who had to clean up the tragedy." Squiers's exhibition, "Remembering 9/11," opening at ICP September 9, includes five distinct bodies of work, each focusing on the recovery. They range from Gregg Brown's sobering aerial photographs of Ground Zero to Francesc Torres's shots of World Trade Center materials that had been cleared and stored in a JFK Airport hangar. One of the more unusual projects is a 23-minute video collaboration from artist Elena del Rivero and filmmaker Leslie McCleave. It captures the steady stream of dust, papers and debris that infiltrated del Rivero's home and studio, located just blocks away from the attack site. September 9 through January 8. 1133 Avenue of the Americas; 212-857-0000;

Plus: New York, a Decade Later

August 24, 2011
By Rachel Wolff | Art

Locally grown: Fulvio Massi, Familiar Refrain, 2011. Courtesy of the artist

With its stylized crests and tentacle-like sea foam, Hokusai's Great Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa regularly ranks among the most beloved and recognizable artworks in the world, right up there with masterpieces by Monet and van Gogh—yet the artist himself is hardly a household name. However, a new retrospective of Hokusai's work at the Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum in Berlin seeks to illuminate the full range of the Japanese maestro's impressive output, not to mention the substantial impact he had on 19th-century European art. Hokusai's work is thought to have first reached Europe in a somewhat serendipitous way—his manga (comic strips) was used to wrap and package precious Japanese porcelain when it was shipped off to connoisseurs. French painter and printmaker Félix Bracquemond discovered the illustrations and quickly sang their praises to his artistic cohorts in Paris. Hokusai's work went on to influence a 19th-century European art movement known as Japonism. It was embraced by Manet, Renoir, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec and many others. "After 180 years, the time has come to understand the significant influence Hokusai had on European painting," says curator Seiji Nagata, "and to enjoy his charm." August 26-October 24; Niederkirchnerstraße 7, Berlin; 49-30/254-860;

Before you go: A guide to Berlin

August 17, 2011
By Rachel Wolff | Art

Locally grown: Fulvio Massi, Familiar Refrain, 2011. Courtesy of the artist

Long before there were jitney stops, Citarella outposts and Christie Brinkley sightings, there were artists, firmly planted on both shores of Long Island's East End. A group of painters that called themselves the Tile Club made the trek as early as 1878; the Shinnecock Hills Summer School of Art opened in 1891 under the directorship of American Impressionist William Merritt Chase; and by the mid-20th century, such artists as Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner called the East End home. (Pollock and Krasner's former house has been converted into a museum and study center.)

The Parrish Art Museum in Southampton has made a mission of preserving these artists' legacies, and in 2009 the 114-year-old institution launched a biennial exhibition that bridges the past and present. The second edition of "Artists Choose Artists on the East End" opens at the museum on August 21. Curator Andrea Grover asked seven established East End artists (Alice Aycock, Ross Bleckner and Gary Simmons among them) to assess hundreds of submissions and select two local artists whose work will be exhibited alongside their own. "The exhibition is a way to show that there's a continuity from the earliest moments of artists living out here until now," Grover says. "It's also a way to create a network of artists living here today." 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton, New York; 631-283-2118;

Some things never change: A Guide to the Hamptons

August 10, 2011
By Rachel Wolff | Art

Importing the Orient: Hiroshi Sugimoto's Lightning Fields 168. Photo © The artist. Courtesy of Edinburgh International Festival 2011.

The theme of the 65th annual Edinburgh International Festival is an undeniable trend: East meets West. "I felt we needed to take account of the tremendous shift in the world that's happened, even in the last five years," says EIF director Jonathan Mills. To wit, many of this year's offerings—which include dance, music, opera, theater and visual art—are Eastern interpretations of Western classics, such as the Peking Opera's stylized take on Hamlet and a staging of The Tempest set in 5th-century Korea. Other highlights include Re-Triptych, a new commission from Chinese choreographer Shen Wei (who conceived the jaw-dropping 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony) and stunning black-and-white photographs by the renowned Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. August 12-September 4; $15-$115 per event. Various locations in Edinburgh, Scotland; 44-131/473-2000;

Traveling to the festival? A guide to Edinburgh

August 03, 2011
By Rachel Wolff | Art


For the past seven years, major collectors and artists from around the world have escaped the dog days of August by descending upon Aspen for ArtCrush, a gala and auction benefiting the Aspen Art Museum (AAM). The fundraising event, which takes place this year on August 5, has evolved into the late-summer art gathering—so much so that the three-day contemporary art fair ArtAspen was launched last year to capture some of ArtCrush's exclusive audience. "The whole week has evolved into this little destination party in the mountains," says ArtCrush cochair Amy Phelan. If you are attending this year's festivities, here's a conversation-starter beyond the Richard Avedon and Ryan McGinley works on the ArtCrush block: AAM's expansion plans. The museum, which has occupied a 7,000-square-foot converted hydroelectric plant since 1979, is slated to break ground on a new 30,000-square-foot Shigeru Ban-designed facility later this year. ArtCrush: August 5, tickets from $1,250. 590 North Mill St., Aspen; 970-925-8050; ArtAspen: August 6-8, tickets from $15. Aspen Ice Garden, 233 West Hyman Ave., Aspen; 800-211-0640;

Plan your itinerary: Where to stay and what to do in in Aspen-and other summer mountain towns

Sotheby's Principal Auctioneer and Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art, Tobias Meyer, conducts the 2010 ArtCrush live auction. Photo courtesy of Patrick McMullan/courtesy of the Aspen Art Museum